The first speaker is Andy Atkins Krüger from Web Certain.
He begins by saying that search has always been there – although it used to be out hunting and later with a phonebook.
He presents a slide showing the search engine layout with Google presented as a kingly figure in the middle. Search as a whole seems to be polarising around a small number of big players.
Google vs Twitter. Firstly, they’re not the same. Twitter Search is still in its infancy and does not have such a good algorithm. But Twitter is far more human than Google’s automated system. Therefore personal and local.
What would happen if they merged? Google standard results with personal local twists and ratings. Interesting for the future.
Next onstage is Adam Lasnik from Google. They do not yet have Google Voice available in Iceland – be he says it is coming.
He also likes Google Earth and Google Docs as amazing Google developments.
But on the Google search results, the development has been towards tailoring results and allowing signed in users to say what sites should be at the top of their personal searches.
They are also giving more control to webmasters all the time – more tools and more control to help customise how your website appears in the index.
The future of Google is more local with a focus on the local. Like if you search ‘café’, you will increasingly be given the nearest cafés to your current location.
Google have seen a great increase in hacking and malware and they have been warning webmasters and users, but they are working on ways to target those people better to help them stop the viruses.
Implicit balanced with explicit – we know your preferences, and here’s what we think you’d like. The other side is the user saying ‘no’, this is what I want. Balancing the two without getting mixed up in people’s private and embarrassing searches is the challenge.
We are all part of the future of search whether we like it or not. So we might as well be proactive about making it suitable for us as individuals.
He would like us to visit google.is/webmasters to interact with him and his team!
Rand Fiskin from SEOmoz is next up. What is SEM? Users go to search engines to find their needs. SEM is steering those people to your website. Organic results and PPC are both useful.
Search is very powerful for sales, and also for influence.
The structure is tht many companies have in house marketers – both huge companies and little ones. There are independent webmasters and then there are the agencies.
He explains the SEO pyramid – which you can see by Googling Matt McGee SEO pyramid.
In the PPC side of it there are in house webmasters and independent ones, but unlike SEO, thee aare also tool providers, which Rand would like to start including them in SEO too.
How to apply SEM to your company?
Create a strategy first and foremost. What are your strengths? Content, quality, the product, reputation….?
In SEO, content is key, although a lot of people also think link building is key. The key is having the great content to make others want to link to you.
However you go about it, be sure to employ analytics to make sure you’re doing it right. Similarly, and intelligent search strategy cannot be built without an intelligent search strategy team. Building expertise in house is important in that….and this is coming from the agency guy! Basically, have the expert to be able to use your agency well.
Finally, keep paying attention. Great strategies become poor ones extremely quickly. And remember that PPC and SEO are not risk free. It is all too easy to get kicked off the search engines – sometimes with horrible effect. So be careful.