A little over a week ago, I made the trip to chilly London to attend the Search Engine Strategies London show. Overall, it was an informative conference, with a solid cast of speakers and a nice variety of in-house and agency SEOs. I was especially looking forward to insight from the UK and EU SEO industry experts about what is unique – or maybe not so unique – about optimizing content for various search engines in Europe.

Across the UK, Google continues to dominate search engine market share (even more than they do in the US) at over 85%, and Yahoo and Bing split the remainder. And this ratio hasn’t changed in two years — it’s clear that Bing has not made as much effort as they have on this side of the pond.

Here are some thoughts from the various sessions throughout the week:

Keynote Day 1, Avinash Kaushik

  • Avinash spoke about monetizing the long-tail of keyword traffic, as he has discussed on his blog. We work on this consistently with our clients –user-generated content drives traffic from 1,000 – 100,000 different keywords in a single month across clients of all sizes.
  • To make this advice actionable: (1) Assign goal values to actions on the site (for example, £0.50p for a newsletter signup, or £0.30p for a downloaded whitepaper) and rank keywords based on the sum of their goal values. (2) Add long-tail keywords into pay-per-click campaigns.

Managing a Global SEO Campaign

  • Many of the panelists mentioned a standard best practice — put content on country-specific top-level domains (TLDs) so that the search engines are more likely to return your content to the correct country’s searchers. For example, put French content on www.company.fr and German content on www.company.de.
  • Actionable advice from the panel: (1) Create list of Keywords in English, (2) Create a glossary that includes definitions of every word, (3) Send both of these to your translation company so they have enough information to translate accurately. I’d also recommend: (4) Use Google Insights to determine which versions of translated words are searched most often and use those on your pages.

Duplicate Content and Multiple Site Issues

  • Defined the concept of Shingles: Adjacent words and sections of a page (for example, portions of a page that are the template) that are compared between pages to detect duplicate content. If duplicate content is detected, the duplicate portion is filtered from Google index and not likely to be returned in search results.
  • This has been a particularly interesting topic that we’ve been monitoring for some time, so I followed up with one of the panelists about putting a handful of reviews on the product page (PDP) with a link to a page with all reviews. The response was this is not duplicate content because Google can detect the difference in intent between the pages.

I’m an SEO Specialist at Bazaarvoice; I help shape our SEO Strategy with our product team based on previous experience, analysis of our products’ SEO performance, and client insights. All in all, I’m glad I went – I met a few great partners and some sharp SEO folks. I missed out on Piccadilly Circus this trip but made it for some delicious dishes at The Modern Pantry. Cheers!