Technical SEO Issues Are Hard and We Need Good Solutions
Those of you who work in search marketing know that there’s a ton that goes into search engine optimization. And solutions, particularly for technical issues, can be complicated. It’s easy to say that a site shouldn’t use tracking parameters in URLs, but it’s a bit harder to really dig into the optimal solution that takes into account why the tracking parameters are used and what the system architecture that processes them is like.
While I was at Google and since, I’ve gotten lots of questions from developers about search-related issues. There’s so much great information out there about search marketing, but less about pure techie issues that dig deep into the code and technology stacks.
I’ve always been interested in all things geeky, so this led me to do a workshop for developers about search at Web 2.0 Expo earlier this year, launch Jane and Robot, a site focused on search-related issues just for developers, host meetups for web developers in Seattle, and organize a “developer day” as part of SMX Advanced.
With those aims in mind, I’m co-chairing a new conference with Nate Buggia, put on by O’Reilly. Called Found, this conference is specifically for web developers and will feature lots of case studies and real world examples from developers about their experiences and what works. We’ll cover both the LAMP and Microsoft stacks, and will dig into diagnosing technical issues, and will advance best practices to build into the web development process to ensure web applications are search-engine friendly.
This conference isn’t meant to compete with search marketing conferences like SMX, SES, or Pubcon. While those conferences definitely cover technical issues, the primary audience is search marketers (on both the organic and paid side). We envision that attendees of those conferences might send the developers they work with to the O’Reilly conference. We hope this will help with communication between marketing and development. When search marketers tell developers that the site’s URL structure or use of AJAX or Flash or redirects need to be changed for SEO improvement, those developers can have a handy toolbox for exactly the best way to implement those changes based on the infrastructure of the site.
I also talk to a lot of developers who have launched startups, and while they have a development background, their companies are just too small for them to hire separate SEO expertise. So giving them guidance on how to build their sites so they can be crawled and indexed by search engines is another goal. Startups can definitely benefit from the potential customers that search can bring.
The call for proposals is open now, so if you’re a developer who’s tackled a tough search-related problem, or you’re a search marketer who’s spent a lot of time working with developers on best practices related to SEO, we’d love to hear from you!
We’d also love to hear from developers about what issues they face and what they’d most like to see covered at the conference. And from search marketers about what technical issues they see most often.
(I’m about to jump on a plane for SMX London, so I might be a bit slow in responding to comments over the next few days. But I’ll find an internet connection again as soon as I can!)