SEM Days – some after thoughts

Advertising, Digital & Media, Marketing

I was among the people present at SEM Days, an event organized by 2Parale and that brought together people specialized in search engine marketing, search optimization and so on.

Although I missed the opening session, I was there for most of the day and presentations I say made me a fan of Ralph Tegtmeier (@Fantomaster) and Phil Nothingham (Distilled).

Many times, I recommended doing this or that to people that asked for my advice, and SEM Days proved to me that, in most cases, my intuition was going in the right direction.

Ralph Tagtmeier talked about the art of content generation and how that could help SEO. Of course, he also warned against duplicate content, explaining Google will find out when that occurs and one can even find himself in the situation when others are being given better rankings, a situation nobody would be to happy with.

@Fantomaster explained that, if you have enough unique variants of content, Google won’t have a problem, as what it matters most is to have the best and most perfect spinned content.

He also explained that content to be submitted to search engines shouldn’t be automated completely, because sometimes translation engines are loosing the sense. But there still exist the possibility to automatically generate thousands of versions of a text and to avoid duplicating the content, as Google wouldn’t, for example, have a problem with a website that have 25k pages of unique content.

Also, @Fantomaster explained that generating so many pieces of unique text could drive nuts a copywriter after the first 20-25 spinned  texts so that is why he would prefer “to automate this stuff and lay off indians”.

Also, when it’s about SEO, he also said that people, even bloggers, want to keep themselves average and not attract too much attention when they are goinf for search engine optimization.

On the other hand, he let the Romanian public present at the conference that there are tools that can be used for spinning content. The best joke was about Google Translate, as Tagtmeier seriously advised SEO specialist against using it, because translations aren’t really ok and can generate weird and improper texts.

He also mentioned that, when it’s about different texts related to SEO, editing and proof reading must be done by the same person.

Moreover, he warned the SEM Days participants against misspellings and mistakes in text, explaining that, when that happen, it can represent some sort of signature or footprint for submitted texts.

Very funny and with all the words at home, Tagtmeister also spoke about hats: black hat, grey hat and white hat related to SEO and Google.

Also present at SEM Days was Radu Ionescu, Creative Director and founder of Kinecto, that had a presentation related to how Facebook helps or blocks one in building the online brand.

In the start of his presentation, Ionescu admited he was in an unusual situation, one where he felt like a beginner.

I must admit that there are very rare occasions when it happens to me to go to a conference and to feel that I am at beginners level

Radu Ionescu

According to Ionescu, the main purpose on Facebook is to collect likes, Facebook having now somewhat the function newsletters had 10 years ago.

In what concerns Facebook likes, Ionescu thinks that 80% are paid and 20%organic. When he qualifies 80% of likes as paid, Ionescu explained that the people that like a brand or a page are coming from Facebook ads, mainly attracted by promotions with prizes. According to him, the promise of a prize is the main reason 95% people like a Facebook page.

When it comes about organic likes, people like a Facebook page because it is about a lovemark, it’s hobby related, it’s entertainment or has to do with customer care, mainly when they want to signal to a company they are unhappy with its services.

According to Ionescu, on a Facebook page you can maintain the reputation by establishing clearly, from the start, what users are allowed to do but also when and in which circumstances the page has the right to censor (delete or unapprove posts).

Ionescu also said that, on Facebook, where rules are totally different, it matters the most to be human and to interact with your public.

When Phil Nothingam’s turn came, the Distilled representative went on the stage and started speaking quickly and with a very strong British accent. Of course, the accent only underlined and made maybe a bit stronger what he was saying. Nothingam started his speech by saying that Google always promised to reward exceptional content but never did that. Moreover, according to him, content must nowadays be both unique and great to have impact.

His advices? Invest in media types, in page types, connect online and offline marketing and make  sure your content strategy is part of your SEO strategy.

SEM Days attracted over 20 top professionals from Romanian and online marketing, that shared their knowledge on how one can obtain visibility and traffic on search engines.

SEM Days 2012 is the 1st SEO and PPC conference in Romania tailored both for online experienced marketing specialists and people that are just at the beginning in this sector. Participants will have access to 2 days of interactive sessions, case studies and discussions that will unveil techniques and secrets for a successful campaign.

Some of the internationally renown guests that will come to SEM Days (and for the 1st time in Romania) are Phillip Nottingham (Distilled), Paul Rouke (PRWD), Gary R. Beal (VanguardSEO), Mike Litson (Blueclaw Media), along with Ralph Tegtmeier (aka Fantomaster) and Julia Lukyanova (aka IrishWonder). Moreover, Rand Fishkin, founder SEOmoz, will be present at the event via a Skype session, during which he will also answer questions taken from the participants.

The Romanian speakers at the event – people with decades of experience in online marketing – include Cristina Andrei (Bitdefender), Gabriel Curcudel (Advert Point), Claudiu Murariu (PadiCode), Razvan Gavrilas (cognitiveSEO), Cristian Ignat (2Parale), Ionut Munteanu (Webdigital) and Razvan Alexa (independent consultant).