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In this issue:

What You Need To Know From SMX Advanced

What is a CMS and Do You Need One?

THE USUAL: Coverage of this month's
hot topics, shuffles, shindigs, attaboys and word on the wire.

FEATURE: What You Need To Know From SMX Advanced
Anyone following the industry may have noticed the overwhelming coverage of SMX Advanced earlier this month. A relative newcomer to the conference circuit, SMX has quickly become a sweetheart of show goers. Advanced was billed as an expert-level search engine marketing education and exhibition event, featuring sessions for fluent and experienced SEOs, SEMs and Web developers.

BACK TO BASICS: What is a CMS and Do You Need One?

A Content Management System or CMS is a software product that companies use to manage the content of their Web sites. Some content management systems are complicated and quite expensive; others can be simple and quite reasonable. “Broadly speaking, Content Management describes a process that allows people to more easily create and update content, especially on their Web sites (Web Content Management).” Does your company need a CMS? Let’s explore your options.

Hot Topics

Last week Search Marketing Expo Advanced made its second showing in Seattle and gave search marketers two solid days of search engine optimization education. However, it didn't end without stirring up some controversy first.

Was SMX Advanced Too Dark?

Bruce Clay's Lisa Barone returned from the show unsettled. It seemed this year's SMX Advanced show was too focused on promoting grey and black hat techniques and not focused enough on teaching advanced white hat search engine optimization strategies. Lisa's post ignited an unprecedented firestorm of comments on the Bruce Clay blog with many chiming in to add their own thoughts on the matter. Among those joining the debate was SMX creator Danny Sullivan who expressed his embarrassment for putting on a show that contained more black hat material than he would have liked. He went as far as to question if SMX didn't set the industry backwards instead of helping to move it forwards.

From there, a heated conversation ignited on both Sphinn and SEOmoz as to whether the tone of the conference was appropriate. Those at SEOmoz seemed to support the darker shade of the conference saying that just because you know how to do something doesn't mean you have to implement it.

Danny Sullivan dedicated an in depth post to the conversation where he reminded the industry that advanced SEO does not mean spamming or black hat search engine optimization. The topic was once again tackled on Bruce Clay Inc.'s SEM Synergy radio show; co-host Robert Esparza expressed his fear that many inhouse SEOs may have not have found what they were looking for in the show's content.

The Industry Divides Over Black Hat SEO

Search expert Eric Enge agreed with Lisa that black hat tactics aren't a good idea, but there were plenty of SEOs who disagreed. SEO BlackHat took a few personal jabs while stating there's no such thing as advanced white hat SEO and Michael Martinez asked if black hat SEO is advanced enough to be called advanced SEO, arguing that being sneaky and deceptive is not cutting the edge of search engine optimization theory.

Marty Weintraub got in on the conversation with SEO, Colored Hats & The Pollyanna Pissing Match where he colorfully made the case that white hat SEOs need to take off their rose-colored glasses and realize that using grey hat tactics and exploiting loopholes doesn't go against Google's guidelines.

Best Practice SEO Is Always Best

In Matt Cutts' own SMX Advanced 2008 Wrap-up, he commented that he didn't find much value in sessions that offered official panels on cloaking and thought it represented a bit of a time warp. Advanced SEO is much more than black hat tactics and exploiting loopholes. It always has been.

While exploiting loopholes may not technically break the search engines guidelines, they definitely go against the spirit of them. Just because you may get by on a loophole today, doesn't mean Google isn't actively working to close up that loophole. It's always better to spend your time optimizing your Web site using best practice search engine optimization, no matter how sexy the blackhat tactics may look.


In family news, Chris Hart joined Bruce Clay as Director of Eastern Region Operations for the newly opened Bruce Clay East.

June saw a number of high profile leavings, including beloved Yahoo Jeremy Zawodny who bid farewell after more than 8 years with the company. Peter Linsley left Ask to join Google and Usama Fayyad resigned as Yahoo's chief data officer. There is also talk that Yahoo Jeffrey Weiner is also getting ready to leave, as well.

The biggest news of the month was Yahoo partnering with Google to serve ads. Yahoo hopes the non-exclusive 10 year deal will stave off prospective suitor Microsoft. However, anti-trust questions may cause the deal some trouble.

In corporate mergers, acquisitions and launches:

  • Google updated its favicon and added PDFs to the list of files supported by Google Docs.
  • Yahoo expanded its SearchMonkey program by launching Yahoo! Search Gallery and signed a Web video partnership deal with CBS and Walmart.
  • Microsoft closed down its Classifieds portal Microsoft Live Expo, introduced SearchTogether and Search and Give, stole Yahoo's position as HP's default search engine, and used the SMX Advanced show to announce the release of adCenter Desktop Beta.
  • Twitter clone Plurk launched in the midst of Twitter facing massive downtime and scaling problems.
  • Andy Beal's reputation management tool Trackur released its second version, which includes Trackur Trends.


SES Toronto begins on Monday, June 16 and will run until Wednesday. If you're in town, be sure to consult the SES Toronto party guide so you know where the debauchery can be found and when. The WidgetWebExpo will land in New York City on June 16-17, Bruce Clay's SEO Training will take place in Simi Valley, CA on July 14-18, BlogHer hits San Francisco on July 18-20, Jim Boykin will take the SEO Class to Edinburgh, Scotland on June 23-24, and SMX Local and Mobile will take place in San Francisco on July 24-25.

Search Engine Strategies has announced additional SEO training opportunities throughout June and July.

While you've got your calendar out, you'll always want to pencil in Search Engine Strategies San Jose on August 18-22.

The Bruce Clay, Inc. UK SEO Training class is set to take place September 9-11. These are the confirmed dates, so if you're hoping to attend, make sure to reserve your seat today.


Google announced the Google Website Workout Contest which will give four site owners the opportunity to work with Google consultants and test a series of different factors that will help them increase their conversion rate.

ClickZ shares the Borrell Associates prediction that local Web ad spending will grow 50 percent over the next 18 months.

Twitter and Summize partnered up to provide coverage of this week's WWDC. Summize showed all tweets that contained the words "wwdc", "apple", "iphone" or "steve jobs". The pairing helped Twitter to stay up through the conference without interruption.

Internet service providers Verizon, Sprint and Time Warner have banded together to block access to child pornography on the Web and eliminate such content from their servers.

Word on the Wire

A comment by Twitter developer Alex Payne made Loren Baker wonder if Google would step in to save Twitter by running ads on the site.

If you have any questions or comments on any of the articles above or if you would like to suggest topics for future search engine optimization articles, please contact us at Bruce Clay, Inc.

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