Back To You – Danny Sullivan @ the Affiliate Convention in LA

Today, we had the pleasure of listening to Danny Sullivan, who has been the SEO authority for years and years.  Within Danny’s bio are these quotes: “Danny has been helping webmasters, marketers and everyday web users understand how search engines work for over a decade. Danny's expertise about search engines is often sought by the media, and he has been quoted in places like The Wall St. Journal, USA Today, The Los Angeles Times, Forbes, The New Yorker and Newsweek and ABC's Nightline”. Currently Danny heads up SearchEngineLand.com as editor-in-chief, taking it into the next generation of search coverage.

One of the things that he talked about is the continuation of the search engine blended search in Google.  As far as the natural search is going Google is blending photos and videos in the search and that if you don’t have video built into your marketing strategy, you should. He explained that the opportunity to get highly ranked is easier than ever and that it is very much like the early days of search.  I have spoken about this very thing and agree wholeheartedly.  There are so few videos in the grand scheme of things that it is not difficult to get highly ranked in the videos results which are now being blended into the Google natural search results.

He also mentioned local search if it is appropriate should be used.  Search engines now allow higher priority rankings when users search by name or region, if your site is optimized for local search.

Danny mentioned that all of the changes over the years with respect to Google have had a very common theme, which is rewarding quality content.  They are just getting better and better at that.  He talked about affiliate links and one of the things to keep in mind that if you have a human looking at your pages and they see a page of content loaded with affiliate links that they would consider that a low quality page.  He went on to say that you should keep the affiliate links down to a minimal.  It wouldn’t happen naturally to have one or two affiliate links in every paragraph.  Fewer affiliate links do better.

He did make an interesting comment; that he has never seen a page downgraded in the search results because they are displaying Google AdSense.  He talked about Bing which is the Microsoft search engine, and all that the media are all talking of the growth that Bing has gone through.  He said that in reality they have grown from 8% to 9%.  Mentioning that the 1,000 pound gorilla Google still captures 65% of all search volume.  He covered topics on the quality of content, being a trusted resource at your website, that good resources and trusted resources on your website will always be highly important.

I had a chance to talk with Danny afterwords and asked if the “no follow tags”, is it enough to satisfy the search engine’s need to filter out those links and he said “Yes”.  So as I suspected, Affiliates should be using the “no follow tag”, in their links to the merchant.  Tonight, we’ll be going to dinner and then on to the the Affiliate Bash which I hope to cover in a later post.

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