It was a year ago that I attended my first search engine strategies conference. It was also at this conference that I became a speaker.
Search Engine Strategies and PubCon are undoubtedly the two largest SEO/SEM conferences out there today so of course there’s huge attendance and lots of big industry names attending.
There’s also a guy there who you may have heard of. His name is Barry Schwartz and he’s from Search Engine Round Table. I bring his name up because he’s found one of the best ways to not only build an ever expanding content base up, but also a way to build quality relevant links. And it’s so simple one begins to wonder why others don’t do it.
Before I get into what he’s doing let me give you a little history. He started covering SES a few shows ago and would post summaries of the various seminars he attended at the SearchEngineWatch forum.
His posts were some of the most read posts during the conference. He soon also began posting longer summaries at his own site. Also very well read by those of us who couldn’t attend the show.
Now he’s become “the” reporter for the SES shows wherever they are. He even went into this one with a plan to cover as many of the sessions as possible, between himself and others known in the SEM industry. Some of the posts end up at the SEW forums but he also posts many on his own site.
Step one – there’s that ongoing content development.
You see, what the folks at SEO roundtable are doing is creating very long, but very detailed summaries of every seminar they attend. They then post these to their website daily or more often. Each post occupies it’s own static page, and most pages are well linked within the site.
Step two – relevant quality links and lots of them
Now here’s the great part. It is because of this coverage that people have come to realize that this site is the site to go to for SES coverage. Between this site and the SEW forums you can pretty much get your fill of SES in a very compact version. (Trust me for some of the sessions, a light summary is much better than sitting through 90 minutes of dry explanations of how ranking algorithms work 🙂 ).
And because people rely on these summaries of the show that they begin to refer others to them. Either through word of mouth or, more importantly, links.
This is where the relevant quality links kick in. What is a link to an SEM site from another SEM site worth? What would you pay to have your competitors link to you with lots of one way links, many from high authority sites? Because of this article, they even have a link from here.
Plus they get links from Searchenginewatch, in both the forums and the blog entries, not to mention other high profile industry sites. What’s link from Matt Cutt’s blog with a photo worth to this site?
You see, this site is building its online reputation the way everyone needs to – by posting relevant timely information that others want to see. Then the others link to that content in a natural way.
Let me put it to you another way – of the over 3,000 links this site has, how many do you suppose are from content? More specifically, how many are due to the site’s summaries of the various SES shows they’ve attended? Links may not be directly to the topics in question. In fact many are not.
In fact, if you scan through the top 100 links or so listed in Google you see a virtual who’s who of the SEO industry. Let me point out a few of the more notable links: Links from Yahoo Search Blog, as well as the MSDN MSN search blog. Of course there’s many from Searchenginewatch, but also from other industry sites like searchviews.com, seomoz.com and searchenginejournal.com just to name a few.
So what has the site accomplished by attending all the SES shows since late 2003? Well, they’ve built lots of good content which helps relay their authority status to engines like Google.
Further, they’ve gotten lots of quality inbound links from high profile related sites that are also considered authorities. Plus they’ve also built a reputation for being the place to go to find out about SES which means increased traffic to the site. Not to mention that they’ve now probably got a well known brand.
In other words, if someone doesn’t already know how to find the site, but they know the name of it, a the person will search on an engine like Google looking for the domain name. Even if it’s ranked #7 or 8 for the search term the site will get the click because the searcher is looking for that brand.
How’s that for building quality content and links at the same time?