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Forum Moderators: mademetop
joined:June 27, 2000
It appears most of the ideas presented at the Search Engine Strategies Conference were not new. There were, however, a few notable points.
The first was the question everyone asked about cloaking. "What do the search engines think of it."
Most everyone on the panal, which included Andrei Broder from AV, Lynne Mariani from Excite, Matthew Hall from Inktomi and Sergey Brin from Google said that cloaking was not something you could get away from. Some sites, which include frames, have to cloak just to get into the search engine in the first place. Excite, for example, cannot do frames of any kind. Period.
Someone on the panel said "the tactic is not the issue, intent is" and the rest of the panel agreed. It sounded like it is not a problem if your cloaking serves up a page to the search engines that has the same type of stuff your site is about. The only real problem with cloaking is that it might send up a red flag and cause your site to be checked, which could delay the site from being listed. It would not kill your site from having any chance of being listed unless the cloaking page served up something completely different than what the actual site was about.
If what these people say is true, perhaps cloaking isn't such a horrible thing after all.
Another point I thought was interesting that was that "spamming is never accidental".
Another point I thought was interesting was the people in the audience "mobbed" the Yahoo lady, Liz Streng, with complaints of their sites not being categorized correctly. This woman was literally against the wall with everyone trying to tell her their story. I quote my boss "It was like there was going to be a stoning." Everyone with a gripe was told to put their problem with their site on the back of their business card. My boss said by the time she got there, this lady had a stack of business cards that would choke a horse.
This makes me wonder. If there are so many people not having their sites categorized correctly, how long will it be before end users get wise to this and start using other search engines?
I haven't finished looking over all of the notes, but so far, a lot of this is stuff you guys already know. Hope this helps.
joined:June 27, 2000
So, to answer the question, yes, she was prepared for the 'depth & breadth' of the conference.
Before she left, I outlined in explicit detail what questions I had, and who she needed to talk to for answers. I told her to listen and write down any information she could about certain key topics. She had a cell phone with her and I sat next to the desk phone so we could conference between classes. If I thought of a new question, I text messaged it to her phone.
She had heard of most of the concepts before, and wrote down any 'coding type' questions she had for me to explain later. ('Now, what is this robots file thing?') As I said before, most of the stuff at this conference was stuff you all already know. Many attendees had less knowledge about this than my boss.
The conference seemed like it was for someone who didn't know sic um about SEO. It started with the very basics and ended with a Q & A of different reps from search engines and directories.
The part I really wish I could have seen 'in person' was the "meet the search engines and directories" portion, where it was a Q & A of people from different search engines. Other than the questions I gave her, my boss didn't know what to say because it was above her head.
I think overall she liked the conference. It at least told her that the little contractor she hired really is doing all she can.
Hope that answered your question.
Hey! Nice job of thinking ahead! SHE's having some guy from the secretarial pool bring you coffee now, right? (mea culpa on ALL sexist issues, does that get me off the hook?)
joined:June 27, 2000
I was looking through her notes last night and I found something about tables.
"Tables can push relevant copy 'down' because search engines don't understand them."
I had never heard that before. Can you guys give any insight on that?
I'm stealing straight from Brett in this thread [webmasterworld.com]:
#6- don't nest the tables more than 2 deep at any time.