Quick Report: Search Engine Strategies (San Jose)

By , April 13, 2009

I spent half of my day yesterday visiting the exhibitor booths at the Search Engine Strategies conference in San Jose. My primary goal was to learn more about some of the advanced PPC search management tools, but I was also looking for anything new that might help my clients or me.

Probably the most interesting discovery, for me, was “Digger Keywords,” because it appears to do a fairly competent job of identifying the semantic meaning of specific search phrases, and the identifying related search phrases, including those that don’t contain any of the same words (for example: child car restraint / infant safety seat).  The goal is not merely to identify keywords to bid — it’s also to optimize pages for concepts instead of specific keywords.  Of course, you could use the “discovered” keywords to create additional keyword-specific landing pages (especially for PPC landing pages), but that strategy isn’t as helpful for SEO (organic Search Engine Optimization), where a better approach would be to integrate wording variations into a single “relevant and useful” web page.

I also found several “ad network aggreggation tools,” which claim to help web publishers by dynamically choosing which advertising (from ad networks) to display on a particular page.  I’ve heard this idea before, and I’m very curious to see how these might perform, but I’m not going to name any specific companies right now because I have a somewhat low “confidence level.”

One other interesting discovery: a suite of “acceleration” tools from Tracking.Net which promise to speed up page-loading time for web pages which contain one or more third-party tracking tags or advertisements.  I am especially curious how this might improve the performance of pages that load larger amounts of external content (drawing from RSS feeds or from a datafeed-aggreggation tool like PopShops).

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