Chris Richardson has an interesting post over at WebProNews that reports on a panel session at the SES conference in San Jose this week. The panel looked at organic Search Engine Optimization techniques and covered some of the following topics:
‘Link Buying: The panel said that link buying wasn’t a punishable offense as long as it is clear that the intention of purchased links advertising and not solely for search engine ranking. For example, a legitimate link like Yahoo’s travel.yahoo.com on SearchEngineWatch would not cause your site to be penalized….
The Sandbox: The panel was in agreement that there is in fact a Google sandbox, even if it is an inadvertent nether region created by the nature of how the search engine works. New sites with large amounts of links from the same IP block will appear unnatural and will not be weighted nor penalized. The site is thrown into the Sandbox because it will not receive any ranking benefit from these links and therefore will likely not be ranked very well for what they are targeting….
Duplicate Content: A lot has been made of penalties for duplicate content, but as long as it is judged to be duplicate content for legitimate reasons, there should be no penalty. You ask, what constitutes a “legitimate” reason? For example, if your goal is to expand from a US market and you want to target a new market in the UK, then a sister site with duplicate content and alternate spellings (color, colour, aluminum, aluminium) may be a necessary adjustment….’
I’m definitely going to try to get to SES next year (maybe the New York one which would allow me to meet with a few bloggers that I know there also) – I’ve really enjoyed following the various reports on this year’s event and think it might be worth forking out for an airfare for.