Enterprise SEO was written by search marketers responsible for managing SEO for large scale websites or managing a number of enterprise-level or multiple brand sites under one corporate umbrella. Topics ranged from handling technical challenges to working with multiple key stakeholders and getting everyone to play nice together. It no longer runs as a standalone column but instead has been incorporated into the All Things SEO column.

Hummingbird In The Trenches: A Canary In The Coal Mine

canary-in-coal-mine I've been gathering and analyzing reports and in-the-trenches data from in-house marketers about Google's Hummingbird, and I believe what I am seeing is on par with finding a dead canary in a coal mine. Pardon the morbid analogy, but the writing is on the wall, folks, and it has been for a while. Change is here, now.  The following observations from other SEO experts and in-house marketing professionals all lead me to conclude that Hummingbird marks a new paradigm of SEO that revolves around concepts and not keywords. Keep reading for compelling evidence and, more importantly, what you [...]

SEO & Social Media Alignment

social-couldbe-disruptive-aspanda I recently presented at SMX East on how SEO and Social teams can no longer operate separately. Why? Because social media is playing an ever-more important role in SEO, and it has the potential to be disruptive to the status quo. Everywhere I turn, I find examples: personalized rank results, results with rel-author that display in Google search more prominently, and recently, # searches that incorporate G+ hashtag queries as part of the Google search experience. The Value Of Aligning Search & Social Traditionally, SEO has focused on content, website architecture and linking. The [...]

Enterprise SEO Interview With ABC’s John Shehata

I spoke recently with John Shehata, the director of search for ABC News. Since he owns the SEO responsibility for a number of large media properties, I leapt at the chance to explore some of the things he has learned along the way. We dug in and explored the challenges of educating a large media company, dealing with multiple content management systems, syndicating content and query deserves freshness, all viewed through the eyes of ABC! Interview Transcript Eric Enge: Can you provide a brief outline of your responsibilities at ABC News? John Shehata: I’m the Executive Director of Se [...]

The Keyword Discovery Process For Enterprise Sites

The keyword discovery process is critical for managing enterprise projects, as it forms the bedrock of brand messaging in search and social for large-scale websites or multiple brand sites under one corporate umbrella. This process is similar to keyword discovery for smaller sites; however, the difference in scale makes the process more complex. There are three main steps you need to take when preparing for Enterprise Keyword Discovery: Incorporate the social voice of the customer into your keyword and content research. This ensures that your page content is relevant and timely for us [...]

SEO Opportunities Begin Well Before New Website Development

Launching a new site, or any major site update, for a large enterprise comes with some unique challenges. A short summary of some of the most common include those listed below. SEO Challenges: New Site Launch Or Major Updates Too many decision makers. This is one of the more basic headaches. Product marketing, engineering, PR and the executive branch can all weigh-in in ways that can have you ripping your hair out. Many development priorities. This is often the most frustrating challenge, because it is the hardest one to combat. Other priorities may well be more important in the short [...]

Top 10 Tool Features For Successful Enterprise SEO

In 2007, I had the unique opportunity of building an in-house SEO team for an enterprise-level e-commerce retailer. From an SEO perspective, the website had been the accouterment of hacks, built over a six-year period with absolutely no consideration for search engines. The founder CEO was persuaded by a very bright 26-year-old VP to rebuild the site with search engines in mind. That VP had the marketing savvy to understand the power of natural search and hired me to build an in-house SEO team. Over the next five years, we generated enormously high recurring revenues at a fraction of the [...]

How To Work With Four Common SEO Leadership Styles

I’ve had the pleasure of working on SEO in a variety of companies both in house and, frequently, through casual advice to other companies. After eight years in the business, I’m convinced that the success of search for an in-house person hinges on their ability to work within a leader’s approach to search. This is due to the interdepartmental cooperation needed to effectively run search as well as the fluid nature of our business. What follows are four extreme leadership caricatures, vis-a-vis search, and recommendations on how to most effectively work search into an organizatio [...]

The Paradox Of New Vs. Old SEO

SEO is at a crossroads. Everything in the search industry is continually changing: Google is rolling out new algorithms, tools, and products; Bing is partnering with Facebook in ever more interesting ways; SEO toolsets are being forced to change their approach; and techniques used by SEOs are continually being re-visited to test their validity. Yet, there's a paradox that exists amidst this feverish pace of change: classic, boring, "old SEO" is still what works best. Now, before you publicly flagellate me for sounding off with such sacrilegious puffery, please continue reading. Signs [...]

Why Do Brands Overlook The SEO Opportunity For Non-Branded Keywords?

Many of the large enterprises we work with have a significant brand. They can mount advertising campaigns to create leverage for all of their marketing efforts. Sometimes, this comes out a bit sideways from an SEO perspective. What I mean is that some of these brands view SEO solely as a means to harvest the benefits of their other marketing efforts, rather than a marketing effort on its own. For example, one brand we work with is only concerned about ranking for its brand names (both the company and individual products). To them, that is the sole purpose of their SEO. This is not quite as [...]

How To Build Your Own Enterprise SEO Datastore

graphblank I hereby swear to not use the phrase “big data” again in this post. Enterprise SEO is all about the data. More accurately, it’s all about data storage. If you can look back over a year, pull out different metrics and see which ones correlate to success, you’re one step closer to repeating that success. If you realize at the end of the year it would’ve been realllllly nice to know page speed numbers across the whole site, well, you’re sunk. So why are so many ‘big players’ still using Excel as their main data storage tool? Portent’s not exactly ‘enterprise’ sca [...]

Your Top 5 Questions About The New gTLD Domain Extensions, Answered

Do you know what new gTLDs are? That’s the question I posed to a room filled with marketers and SEO experts at a recent SMX event. Only three of around 40 people in the room raised their hands. Although the Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers (ICANN) has been talking about new gTLDs for years, it’s clear that there are a number of Internet-savvy professionals that still have questions about what they are, and how they will affect them. With the potential to change search and marketing as we know it, understanding new gTLDs will be vital in 2013 and beyond. What Are [...]

Why Enterprises Cannot Ignore Deep Link Building

Many enterprise websites, particularly those associated with good brands, obtain lots of links to their home page without any focused link building effort. In some sense, you could say that they get these links "for free." Since this is the case, do these sites really need to have a dedicated link building effort in place? I thought you would never ask ... Algorithm Update Regularity Increasing I have been known to say that 2011 and 2012 marked a major transition in Google's spam fighting capabilities and mindset. Panda, Penguin, EMD, DMCA/Pirate, & Page Layout / Top Heavy Ads all had on [...]

5 Whopping Lies That Keep SEO At Status Quo

I’m a little dense. I admit it. Sometimes things just don’t sink in. Me and the many voices in my head have attempted to define Enterprise SEO many times. Is it about big sites? Internal politics? Higher likelihood of failure? IT teams and branding guidelines? Nope. Apparently, enterprise SEO is something we say when we’re clueless. Say I’m on a call with a big development team and I make ridiculous request like, ‘Can we link to the home page at www.domain.com?’ Suddenly, everyone starts throwing enterprise SEO around like poo at a monkey party. I don't understand it. So [...]

The Importance Of Big Data, Integrity & Security In Enterprise SEO

The Importance Of Big Data, Integrity And Security - Enterprise SEO [caption id="attachment_143067" align="alignright" width="240"] Image via Istockphoto used under license[/caption] The phrase Big Data is everywhere. Not a day passes without the release of another report that describes the extent to which Big Data is influencing how we do business. But, what exactly is Big Data? What does Big Data mean in the context of digital marketing? How can we be more effective search marketers using Big Data? And, what can we do to make sure we have access to Big Data that works? I will deal with these topics in this post. Big Data Explained Big data is a phras [...]

Why You Need To Complement Your In-House Team With External Expertise

I am a big fan of large enterprise organizations having an in-house SEO team. However, there are strong arguments for supplementing the efforts of your in-house team with help from external SEO expertise. Below are a two major reasons why. The Complexity Of Topics It has been stated many times by the search engines -- there are hundreds of different factors involved in determining rankings for search queries. The complexity has only grown over time, as the search engines constantly seek out new signals for improving rankings. There are many ways that this happens, but one that people often [...]

Required Reading For Enterprise SEOs: The Top 25 Posts Of The Year

The Enterprise SEO column made its debut on Search Engine Land midway through 2011, as large companies and big brands were faced with new challenges and massive opportunities in the search world. In 2012, we saw mega-sized content sites lose visibility in search results due to Panda, while the Penguin updates squashed those who gambled their brand credibility with poor link building strategies, both leading to wildly changing SERPs that were only impacted further by Google+ and new features such as authorship markup. Meanwhile, the attention focused social media threatened to take away b [...]

The Keys To Success In Enterprise SEO

seo-hands-featured In the world of search engine optimization, Enterprise SEO is an odd bird. Most professional SEOs cut their teeth for years in agencies or independent consulting, doing a jack-of-all-trades level of work. [caption id="attachment_142838" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image via Shutterstock[/caption] As a result, they are used to digging into source code issues, optimizing individual landing pages for content and metadata, running a variety of detailed, hands-on social media campaigns, running deep analysis on their customer’s Web analytics data, and much, much more. You’d think the [...]

You Need To Steer To Survive In A SERP-Happy World

I was ready to write a completely different column today. Then, I saw the announcement that Raven is doing away with ranking reports and any other SEO data that might ruffle Google’s feathers. I quickly went through denial/anger/bargaining/acceptance: I’m sure they’ll find another way to get this data; this won’t affect anyone else What the #$)(*!*) people?!!! Oh please, let SEOMOZ keep their ranking data, please please Well, crap Then I revisited my old, familiar place: I hate the SERPs. Yep, it’s bizarre: I’m an SEO who hates the fact that we have to track [...]

A Year-End Checklist For Evaluating Your Enterprise SEO Program

As the year comes to a close it is a good time to evaluate your enterprise SEO program and ensure that needed adjustments are made. The best time to do this is actually during budget season so you are able to make a case for additional resources as necessary. But, since budget timing varies from company to company, we’ll stick with a year-end approach to keep things simple. I’m going to focus on the way that SEO is managed and executed within the organization rather than the performance of specific campaigns, but it is important to note that the two are intertwined. In-House Tea [...]

Making The Case For Adding Deep Content To Large E-Commerce Sites

Large e-commerce sites present some interesting challenges, and finding ways to build up unique content on the site is one of the toughest. I recently was able to witness a case study situation, and will today share the findings from that. Like any other company, the management team in a large enterprise prefers that everyone work on projects that potentially offer a large scale impact. This can be very challenging on e-commerce sites that cover dozens, or even hundreds, of categories of products. Here are two typical business case scenarios for a given e-commerce site: In thi [...]

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