Last week I spent Monday through Friday in Santa Clara, CA at SMX West 2009. The event was excellent and gave me a chance to shake hands with, and network with, many well known SEO industry professionals. Many of which I am already acquainted, but I never miss out on an oppertunity to network. I live-blogged the event on our internet marketing blog at DSM, you can visit it to find full recaps of each session I attended.
Along with networking, I was able to attend many sessions dealing with subjects ranging from the legal mattress of doing online business, through the process of optimizing images for search relevancy. I do have to say that I learned a number of key things that will help add to my game as an SEO, but the biggest reason we were in attendace is because both of my partners, Matt Siltala and David Mink were invited to speak at the event.
Here is a quick recap of both their sessions
Matt Siltala, SEO and Owner, Dream Systems Media
Topic: How to Make and Image Worth $1000.00
Remember the Janet Jackson football half-time image of her “outfit problem.” Mat was able to turn that into a very interesting case-study. He found that thousands and thousands visitors were hitting the page when he posted the image just after the super bowl.
How to get image indexed and ranked:
- Name images with keywords.
- Use the proper tags in title, alt, meta, etc. The file name is really important as well; name something related like: keyword-name.jpg.
- Describe the photo in Flickr so there is something for Yahoo and Google to get information about your images from. This will help rankings in related searches.
- Wrap your images within text that is relates. You want to totally surround the image in related text.
- Use image captions as a way to load with images with keywords that you are targeting. WordPress offers a new features to insert a caption when uploading the image.
Where to use your images:
- Within blog posts.
- Twitter / Twitpic
David Mink, Chief Legal Counsel for Dream Systems Media
Topic: Developments in Privacy Law
Hypothetical: your employee loses their laptop on the way home from a business trip to Boston in 2010. What do you do now? The answer will probably depend on how cavalier this employee was: did they encrypt their laptop, did they use a password, is the file encrypted?
- Over 40 states now have security breach statutes?
- Mass. law makes it illegal to store data that is not encrypted, has to be sensitive personal information.
What is sensitive personal information (SPI): This is a persons name associated with other personal information such as their social security number, credit card number, etc.
Mass. Law has many stipulations you must follow to be ensured safety from law. The law is long. Dave gave some synopsis, but asked that you review the law. So, what happens if you break the law: nobody really knows because there is no case decisions on this to date. Most likely the real risk will be a fine and damage to your company brand and image.
“It takes many good deeds to build a good reputation, and only one bad one to lose it.” Benjamin Franklin.
Privacy is a really hot topic right now and focusing on protecting identity theft is a major focus from a government level right now. Mass. law, Nevada law, etc. There is a new Gov. agency dedicated to specifically this and overseeing the transfer of SPI.
Along with spending time at SMX, we also were able to tour a few businesses that were close by: including Google and LinkedIn. We also headed up to San Fransisco a few times to hang out in the evenings; doing that teaches you about saving your wallet because San Fran turned out to be pricey.
Here are some pictures from our travels —
Mat Siltala, David Mink, and Andrew Melchior at the Google Campus
Andrew Melchior, David Mink, and Mat Siltala at LinkedIn
Andrew Melchior, Mat Siltala, and David Mink at SMX West 2009.
Andrew Melchior cruising the Google campus on a custom Google beach cruiser.
Everything went great and we sure had a lot of fun at the event. I’m guessing we’ll be back again next year.