SES San Francisco 2010: News Search Optimization
Search Engine Optimisation

SES San Francisco 2010: News Search Optimization

18th August 2010

OK, here we are – back in the game. First session of the day is scheduled to be “News Search Optimization” – featuring some really great speakers including Mr. Brent Payne, Allison Fabella, Topher Kohan, Eleanor Hong – the panel will be moderated by Dana Todd. The session description says, that “in this session, we look at how to make use of press releases and news content to tap into the power of news search”. We’ll let’s see…

First on stage is Eleanor, she wants to talk mostly about how to make most out of trends and hot topics. So what ABC News does is, to look at what trending on Google Trends, on Twitter, Facebook (what’s mostly shared) and also Yahoo! trends. Monitoring this they do compile a daily email and send it out to their editors and spread the word about “the trend of the day” but also more general what might be interesting.

Breaking news: If a media site is breaking news, also look at related terms – they are a great source for related future stories and also for a potential next day coverage.

Next on stage is Allison, she is going to talk about the differences between web SERPs and news SERPs, here’s what you need to know:

  • Crawling is the same, no differences there.
  • Indexing: news sites must request inclusion vs. web is open for all
  • Ranking: Sotiry ranking, article ranking (localiness of source, quality and trustworthyness, citation, note: links are NOT a factor)
  • Ranking: PageRank vs. 2-step process
  • Sitemaps for both (but different formats having to carry different attributes; Note: GWT has all the tag options, you should check it out!)

Also, when you open a story with city and state, put stories in the relevant categories (also break it down in the URL slug) and of course SEO best practices for keywords. When using images consider the following: Use jpeg’s, make them inline and non-clickable, make sure you have proper alt text and captions, larage formatats, good ratio aspects

Brent Payne is continuing with social media – he says it is just about people interacting more with your brand. Looking at this from a “basic SEO 101 perspective” there are three main factors:

  • Popularity: A lot of links
  • Authority: Who’s linking to you and how may do they have
  • Relevancy: On and off-page relevancy, link text, etc.

Social media ultimately helps to drive more links to your site – and even tribune has to care about link building. Brent says one of their really big problems was the constant “I don’t want to be on X” and other wining around the use of the 300+ social media choices. But even though most of them are nofollow’ed they are still worth the effort, especially because “scrapers are a benefit” – they do scrape feeds from those sites but if they put it on their sites, most of the time they get followd and they’ll boosting link pop for sure. And it also increased awareness.

And next one up is Topher of CNN, he’s sharing what he thinks is next for SEO:

  • Video: better user experience, major push to the index and working across all platforms. Play on-page (and don’t let them go away) and put content around those pages. Also use video transcripts – it’s just the right content around the video cause it matches the content.
  • Video XML sitemaps and mRSS: You just need a video sitemap, it just doesn’t work around.
    Semantic mark-up and micro formats: Google and Yahoo! are working on an open source set to setup a new standard. Make sure you use them!
  • GC: It’s just important, engines like it (well we had that yesterday… right?)
  • HTML 5: This is going to change how search engines view the web, it’s gonna be important! Code is going to be way more understandable, easier on how to crawl, etc. – it’s a big next step!
  • Yahoo & Bing: Can potentially be around 10% of the traffic, make sure you rank in Bing as well (Bing is trying to cut a big deal with Facebook to become their on-platform search engine).
  • Testing: ABT, Don’t tell anyone, don’t use your main site, scale to your site.

Wow – that really was a good one! Thanks to the panel, good stuff!


Written By
Bastian Grimm is founder and CEO of Grimm Digital. He mainly works as online marketing consultant with a strong focus on organic search engine optimization (SEO). Grimm specializes in SEO strategy consulting, website assessments as well as large scale link building campaigns.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.