Golden Twitter Nuggets & Takeaways From SMX East

I took a lot of notes at SMX Toronto earlier this year and posted them in this column as Golden Nuggets From SMX Search Analytics. Looking back at them now, the evidence undeniably reinforces my memory of how much I learned, and I’m glad to say that three days at SMX East this week was just as fulfilling.

Instead of going through my own notes this time, I thought I’d utilize the tool du jour, Twitter, and see what great nuggets I could find marked with the #SMX hashtag. I’ve pulled out tweets that represent some of the hottest topics, tips, and tricks from the show.

So, without further delay, here are my golden Twitter Nuggets (and my takeaways) from SMX East:

Day 1

@dannysullivan: google announced cross domain canonical tag coming by end of year

Takeaway: This was probably the most retweeted topic in the SMX hashtag on Twitter. I saw literally hundreds of comments about this news. For more information, check out the good coverage on this by Chris Crum at WebProNews.

@KimToomey: Using DKI in ad text you can get away with a 28 character headline in Google.

Takeaway: Dan Soha from Five Mill presented this tip in the Amazing PPC Tactics session.  According to Dan, the alt text in Dynamic Keyword Insertion can actually exceed the headline character limitations of AdWords from 25 to 28. He made the point that this could be a crucial loophole for advertisers on vital headlines such as “Affordable Health Insurance” (27 characters). Nice tip, Dan.

@smec: use the geographic report in adwords backend for a good start for restructuring your ppc campaigns.

Takeaway: This is a really smart observation because if you forget to address important geotargeting segments in your account, you could really have a lot of work to go back and do.

@LauraLacy: Google says not to use disallow in robots file to manage duplicates. Use canonical tag.

Takeaway: Stephan Spencer from NetConcepts helped me understand this – if you disallow duplicate pages, you lose those page values vs. using the canonical tag will still let you garner value in the eyes of the engine.

@chiefmartec: web analytics will be a $1 billion industry by 2014 (Forrester) yet many companies still don’t have the basics right.

Takeaway: This is huge, right?  Here we are…the most measurable channel in advertising and the industry is still lagging behind the proper use of analytics. We need to get our act together as an industry— especially in this tough economic time.

@juliepower: “80% of searches on the Web are non-commercial,” Chruchill quotes Jim Lanzone of

Takeaway: Nothing shocking here but the first time I’ve really seen this data presented and a good stat to tuck away for a rainy day.

Day 2

@joemescher: Yahoo confirms (with Bing, Google) that the meta keywords tag doesn’t influence their ranking algo #icrossing (via @esidone)

Takeaway: This was certainly the biggest #smx Twitter topic of Day 2. Based on the tweet reaction from the search engine community, you can count this moment as the final nail in the coffin regarding the meta keyword value debate.It’s over folks. Don’t waste your time.

@jamiekeaney exposure to social brand pages early in the conversion funnel leads to a 15% increase in branded searches

Takeaway: One of my favorite sessions of the conference was The Interplay of Social Media and Paid which Andrew Goodman, Chris Copeland and Graham Mudd examined the recently released study between comScore and Group M where they tracked the lifts on Paid Search from Social campaigns. I highly recommend that white paper to everyone involved in either search or social media.

@staceymsmith: SEO tip: The easier a link is to get, the less value it will have to a search engine – @EricWard

Takeaway: From the Ask the Link Builders session with heavyweight SEO folks. Eric’s point hit home with many of the attendees. Eric Ward is straight money, folks.

@alpern: Danny Sullivan SEO tip at : Put your press release on your own site before distributing it elsewhere 2 get your URL indexed hi 4 that PR

Takeaway: This is a great tip! This is just another way to think about how you handle your own digital content online and how a small change in your process could have valuable results. This is the kind of tip we leave our families to find at conferences like SMX.

@springkeeper: In 2008, $23 Billion spent on online ads, only $250 million on site optimization and site-side behavioral targeting. 80 to 1 ratio!

Takeaway: Yet another sad, yet true, benchmark of our industry. Sometimes we can’t see the forest through the trees. I still can’t believe there are literally thousands of search pros out there that still send their traffic to their home page let alone using advanced optimizations that can truly mean success for their accounts.  It boggles the mind!

@demicco Search marketing success is all about learning what the INTENT of the qualified user is when searching.

Takeaway: I don’t know if this came up during a session or if demicco just wanted to reinforce this simple, yet powerful, point that search marketers must always remember. Either way, I’m glad someone keeps reminding us. Thanks, demicco.


@exclusivetweet Domain name length appears to barely matter for rankings (but more than 11 characters may be unwise)

Takeaway: I just hope you SEO folks recognize this Paid Search guy remembered to pull a nugget for you too.

@KimToomey Search & Display together will create a 173% increase in purchases on site & 124% increase in $$ (retail only)

Takeaway: We’ve seen many of these studies over the years and it’s always the same…search and display work great together. I wonder when it will finally stick in people’s minds that an ad exposure, even a lowly banner ad has some affect on a user. If a banner doesn’t work, then a billboard, a television commercial, a radio ad, etc doesn’t work either, but a half century of modern advertising proves that it does. Wake up Search Industry, banners are your friends—stop fighting and get along.

@jamiekeaney HTTP Fox add-on for Firefox is good way to show how HTTP status codes are being used

Takeaway: If I put add one more add-on to my Firefox, I don’t think my computer will be able to reboot again. Just kidding. Love those plug-ins and this is a cool niche tool to use.

@bogrady Damn: idea for the day – when your competitor drops $$$ on a big display campaign, squat on their brand keywords and say Thanks!

Takeaway: See my banner ad rant two tweets up this post for why I love this idea. 

@bonniesituation tip: When changing URLs DO leave old URLs in sitemap.xml till search engines hit redirects.

Takeaway: Seems like a no brainer but sometimes it takes someone saying it to become a best practice tool for my digital marketing toolbox.

Friday fun tweets I just had to share:

@adamandeve: Oh…the guy sitting next to me is wearing the same cologne as an ex.

@smec: “creating more landing pages won’t harm the rain forest!”

@w2scott “Facebook is like the other internet, but worse” said by @dannysullivan

@clickequations: At the booth candy was worse this year, the t- shirts slightly better.

@joshgister: Just walked by a guy wearing a “your mom links to me” t-shirt. Ah yes,

@mestrich “If Jackson Pollock was a web marketer, he’d be a spammer.” -funny but powerful analogy with visuals by Eric Ward

@clickequations: Javitz center holds tens of thousands. Mens room accommodates one. Conversion fail. .

@JadedTLC: They should let cute girls into for free! Of course, I’m biased.

@laurenpolinsky: The geeks are drunk. But it’s for charity so it’s ok:)

Thanks again to SMX (and specifically Elisabeth Osmeloski / @elisabethos) for inviting me to speak at the conference.  I can’t believe how much fun my first live Paid Search clinic ession was! Tony Wright (@tonynwright) was absolutely hilarious as he graciously mentored me through it. And thanks to Lori Weiman (@searchmonitor) for moderating.

Hope to see you all at the next SMX!

Opinions expressed in the article are those of the guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land.

Related Topics: Channel: Search Marketing | Search Marketing Toolbox


About The Author: has been a search marketer since 2003 with a focus on SEM technology. As a media technologist fluent in the use of leading industry systems, Josh stays abreast of cutting edge digital marketing and measurement tools to maximize the effect of digital media on business goals. He has a deep passion to monitor the constantly evolving intersection between marketing and technology. You can follow him on Twitter at @mediatechguy.

Connect with the author via: Email | Twitter | Google+ | LinkedIn


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