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BlockchainWeek NYC 2019 Recap

For the last five years, every spring CoinDesk has been hosting its blockchain technology conference Consensus in New York City. The idea is to bring together the top brands and developers in the cryptocurrency and blockchain spaces to learn what’s new and what’s next. The event has grown to include the surrounding Blockchain Week, which includes both official and unofficial events thanks to the volume of attendees.

What’s New in Blockchain?

Cryptocurrency is moving past the toddler stage and people are starting to pay more attention to the underlying blockchain technology as many are looking to make money from blockchain. The CryptoNouveau event was a great place to meet the top thinkers in the blockchain space and learn where they think the technology is going next.

David Chaum, inventor of eCash, was there representing the company he founded, Elixxir, and to talk about cMix, which uses blockchain to create a secure, anonymous, digital method of communication, payments and app creation and usage. This has the potential to be revolutionary because it couples speed with protection of metadata, something not many blockchain applications can yet claim.

Jules Miller, partner at IBM Blockchain Ventures and cofounder and parter at Prose Ventures, spoke about IBM’s Blockchain accelerator in her opening remarks. This was followed by a lightning round of short talks by other industry leaders.

Tomer Sofinzon, founder and CEO of 20|30, spoke about his company’s efforts to create a universal wallet, as well as the Pillar Project, which is an open-sourced, nonprofit blockchain application that will give consumers control over their own personal information and reshape the relationship between consumers and service providers.

Ryan Feit of SeedInvest discussed how his company is raising funds for highly vetted startups, which began with a movement to change securities laws to allow companies to raise funds online, opening the market to people who had previously lacked access to capital.

Sebastian Serrano announced Ripio’s launch of its all-in-one fintech platform, which serves South American populations who have traditionally not had access to banking and credit. The platform offers users access to peer-to-peer loans with smart contracts, digital banking and more.

Additional presenters at this lightning round event included Antonio Brasse of BlockQuake, a cryptocurrency network built on regulation and transparency, and Alex Mashinsky of Celsius Network, a cryptocurrency investing network that guarantees the highest returns on cryptocurrency investments thanks to their internal rules and methodologies. I also met Brian Zisk there and we talked about Chia, an environmentally friendly, enterprise-grade cryptocurrency.

Consensus: The Big Show, But Not the Only Show

Last year Consensus was packed. They ran out of room at 8500 people after expecting 4000. As a result, people made plans for auxiliary activities in the area and Consensus was much less crowded. There was a distinct lack of Lamborghinis parked out front, and from what I have been told the conversations were more prevalent and of a higher quality thanks to the lack of overcrowding of the space. 

While not registered for the main event, I was able to get together with a number of industry professionals, speaking with companies like Tangem, which makes smart bank notes with high grade security and irretrievable private keys to keep a user’s cryptocurrency safe.

crypto summit
100x Crypto Summit PHOTO: BRIAN WALLACE

Blockchain investor, advisor and evangelist Ian Balina spoke at the Consensus 100x Crypto Summit.

“We believe the bitcoin price has bottomed and we are now entering a bull market with a strong likelihood of surpassing prior bitcoin highs of $ 19,000,” Balina said. “The initial exchange offering (IEO) trend has been a strong catalyst for the new bull market. Exchanges now have the responsibility of doing due diligence on new token offerings before making them available to their audience. They are regulatory concerns around this in some jurisdictions, but we don’t think the trend will go away. However the investment returns might decrease as the IEO space becomes saturated.”

Blockchain week is a great opportunity to meet people from all over the world who are working on developments in the blockchain and cryptocurrency spaces, whether you attend official Consensus events or unofficial blockchain week events. Next year promises to be even better.

This post initially appeared on CMSWire.

The post BlockchainWeek NYC 2019 Recap appeared first on WebProNews.

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SearchCap: Take our Amazon survey (please!), SMX Advanced session recap & more

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.



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SMX Advanced session recap: Mobile-first and AMP

Contributor Patrick Stox recaps an advanced SEO session where speakers shared how to perform audits in a mobile-first world and tactics to maximize the effectiveness of your AMP content.



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SearchCap: Bing local bots, Yelp conversion & Google I/O recap

Below is what happened in search today, as reported on Search Engine Land and from other places across the web.

The post SearchCap: Bing local bots, Yelp conversion & Google I/O recap appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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SMX Advanced recap: Lies, Damn Lies, and Search Marketing Statistics

Are your marketing tests giving you valid results? Columnist Mark Traphagen summarizes insights from a presentation by Vistaprint’s Adria Kyne at SMX Advanced.

The post SMX Advanced recap: Lies, Damn Lies, and Search Marketing Statistics appeared first on Search Engine Land.



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Live Blog Recap: SMX West 2013 Day Two

Day two of SMX West is now over, and we wanted to share some of the live blogging recaps published throughout the day. There is one more day of SMX West still to go. Facebook Q&A Keynote: Danny Sullivan Interviews FB’s VP of Global Marketing Solutions Grady Burnett, AIM Clear Blog From…



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Live Blog Recap: SMX West 2013 Day One

Day one of SMX West is now over and we wanted to share some of the live blogging recaps published throughout the day. There are two more days of SMX West still to go. You can also watch the last session named “Walk A Mile In Google’s Shoes: Dealing With Tough Calls In Organic Search”…



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Event Recap: Notes from the Optimization Summit 2012 roundtable sessions

On the afternoon of the first day of Optimization Summit 2012 in Denver, attendees had the chance to interact with ten expert practitioners in a roundtable format. We wanted to provide our SherpaBlog readers with a sample of some of the high-impact material the experts shared during this roundtable session. Read on for some key takeaways from six of the roundtable experts.
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SMX Advanced 2012 : Day One Recap

The first day of our Search Marketing Expo Advanced in Seattle is now over and we have complied a list of live blogging throughout the day. Below is a listing of blog posts we have found covering SMX Advanced today. 12 Hardcore Social Media Tactics from #SMX Advanced in Seattle, Microsoft…



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SMX East 2011 Recap for SEOBook

Useful Links:

SMX Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/searchmarketingexpo
Twitter # activity for the conference: http://twitter.com/#!/search/%23smx

Another successful SMX East is in the books. From all accounts, the event seemed to go through flawlessly and without a hitch. Kudos to Danny Sullivan, Claire Schoen, and crew as the caliber of speakers, sessions, and attendees was top notch, as always. Judging from the event, search marketing is alive and thriving more than ever before. There was a healthy mix of industry experts, consultants, large corporations, agencies, and small businesses. The sessions covered a broad range of topics from beginner link building fundamentals to more advanced technical SEO sessions covering site architecture, technical coding optimization and everything inbetween. A huge thank you goes out to the organizers for a job well done.

It seemed there were two themes that surfaced regularly – Panda and Google Plus/+1. Clearly, there are still many webmasters struggling with Panda and how to properly handle content in the new post-Panda world . The search engines are addressing this and giving webmasters and SEO’s more tools and information to organize their websites correctly. After some of the presentations, it seems Google is very dedicated to their Plus and +1 initiatives which will have a large affect on SEO should end user usage continue to increase.

Below are tidbits and takeaways from the conference, from an SEO perspective. Enjoy!


Schema.org, Rel=Author & Meta Tagging For 2012

Panelists:
Janet Driscoll Miller, Search Mojo http://twitter.com/#!/janetdmiller
Topher Kohan, CNN https://twitter.com/#!/Topheratl
Jack Menzel, Google http://twitter.com/#!/jackm

Microformats where the original snippet format, however, they have been replaced by the new and evolving standard, microdata (which is Schema.org/Google/Bing are developing for and placing resources towards). Some notes from the presentations:

  • General consensus is rich snippets can greatly help in getting your content noticed.
  • In one example given, Eatocracy added the hRecipe tag to their pages, and immediately saw a 47% increase in their recipes being picked up and indexed into Google (which does support this in their recipe search). Additionally, they saw a 22% increase in their recipe traffic.
  • CNN started using Yahoo SearchMonkey / RDFa, and saw a 35% increase in their video content on Google Video search, and saw a 22% increase in overall search traffic. However, they removed the additional code from their site as it increased their page load time. The take away on that is that you should think to integrate this into your down dev cycle, your cms, or your template.
  • Per Google, their studies show that sites w/ rich snippets have a better CTR as well. Rich Snippets Engineer at Google, RV Guha noted, “From our experiments, it seemed that giving the user a better idea of what to expect on the page increases the click-through rate on the search results. So if the webmasters do this, it’s really good for them. They get more traffic. It’s good for users because they have a better idea of what to expect on the page. And, overall, it’s good for the web.”
  • Rich snippets only work for one site (no cross site references).
  • Sites like LinkedIn and Google Profiles still use microformats. Google has also provided a tool in WMT, but it is a bit buggy and may throw false errors. If you don’t see your snippets show up in the SERP’s, it’s likely caused by longer than preferred latency load times, errors in your code, or a random Google bug – (per Google).
  • The current types of rich snippets: reviews, people, products, businesses & organizations, recipes*, events, music

Session – “Ask the Search Engines”

Panelists:
Tiffany Oberio – Google http://twitter.com/#!/tiffanyoberoi
Duane Forrester – Bing http://twitter.com/#!/duaneforrester
Rich Skrenta – Blekko http://twitter.com/#!/skrenta

  • One audience member asked how to handle ‘subcategory’ pages that are often created in ecommerce sites such as “Sort Prices $ 0-$ 5”, “Prices $ 5-$ 25” etc. The question was whether or not to use the “rel=canonical” tag and point the pages back to the main page. The panelists agreed that those pages should be blocked completely and should not use the canonical tag. The Google representative said not only do these pages not add value to the engine’s index, but they also eat up the sites crawl budget.
  • If you see the warning “we’re seeing a high # of URL’s” in Webmaster Tools, most times its a duplicate content issue.
  • One audience member asked: do you look at subdomain as part of the main domain?
    • Blekko – no inheritance from main domain
    • Google – “it depends”. Sometimes it is inherited, sometimes not.
    • Bing – we look and try to determine if subdomain is a standalone business/website and will get treated differently based on that determination
  • One question touched on removing URL’s from Google’s index. Google advised that a removed URL may or may not stay in the index for a period of time, and that to expedite removal of a URL one should use Webmaster Tools remove-url tool
  • Duane from Bing was adamant about keeping your submitted sitemap clean. The threshold is 1%. If there are issues in your submitted sitemap >1%, Bing will “lose trust” for your website
  • Panelists advised to make your 404 pages useful to the user
  • It may not be breaking news, but Bing and Google both said unequivocally – duplicate content does hurts you
  • Google commented they are big fans of HTML 5 technology
  • At this point it seems Google will crawl a page if +1 is present, regardless of the robots.txt. This could possibly create issues with trying to not crawl certain pages to avoid dup content. More information found here: http://www.webmasterworld.com/google/4358033.htm
  • Panelists advised to spend a lot of energy “containing urls” on your website and to be thoughtful about which URLs you are getting out there
  • Bing and Google confirmed that “pagerank sculpting” is misunderstood and not effective. For example, if a page has 5 outgoing links and link juice is spread 20% to each of the 5 links, if you no follow one of the links, the link juice distribution will not become 25% to the remaining 4 links. It will remain 4 x 20%. In essence, you have just evaporated potential link juice

Google Plus and +1

These were hot topics at this year’s SMX East. Multiple session covered Google Plus and +1 in depth.

  • Speaker Benjamin Vigneron from Esearchvision covered the basics of Google Plus and +1 . He noted a +1 to a search result will +1 the ppc ad/landing page, too.
  • With PPC, +1 could have a significant affect on Adrank by affecting each of the Quality Score factors including quality of the landing page, CTR, and the ad’s past performance.
  • Interesting that Adwords could conceivably add segmenting on all information in Google Plus (similar to FB) ie males, ages, etc.
  • Christian Oestlien, the Google Product Manager for Google Plus, spoke about Google Plus features and fielded questions. He mentioned Google is testing and experimenting with celebrity endorsements +1′ing and showed an example SERP with a +1 annotation under the search result (for example “Kim Kardashian has +1’ed” Brand X or search result X). He noted Google is seeing much higher CTR with the +1 annotation and that usage for the “Circles” feature is relatively high.
  • Google software engineer Tiffany Oberoi was also present on the panel. She noted +1 is NOT a ranking factor, but social search is still of course implemented in search results. She confirmend Facebook likes have no impact on rankings but also noted regarding social signals, “explicit user feedback is like gold for us”. She also touched on spam with +1 and said she is currently working with spam team. Regarding +1’s and spamming, she said to think of +1’s similarly to links. The same guidelines could apply. Google wants to use them as a real signal. Using in an unnatural way will not good for you.

Hardcore Local Search Tactics

Panelists:
Matt McGee – Search Engine Land
Mike Ramsey, – Nifty Marketing
Will Scott – Search Influence

Panelists here gave an encore presentation of the session these folks put on at SMX Advanced in Seattle. The content was excellent and definitely deserved another run through. Here are the notes:

  • July 21st, Google removed citations from their Places listings. While they have been removed for public viewing, they are still used. Sources like Whitespark (link: http://www.whitespark.ca/) can be very helpful in uncovering citation building opportunities.
  • Citation accuracy is among the most important factors in getting your business to rank in the O or 7-Pack. Doing a custom Google search of “business name”+”address”+”phone number” will help determine what other sources Google sees as citation sources.
  • Average number of IYP reviews of ranked listings vs non ranked listings showed to be a large gap, indicating that IYP reviews do in fact provide quite a bit of listing weight.
  • Offsite Citation’s / Data appear to be the no. 1 ranking factor in Places listings
  • Linking Root Domains appear to be the no. 2 ranking factor in Places listings
  • Exact match anchor links appear to be the no. 3 ranking factor in Places listings
  • Links are the new citations for local in 2011-12
  • Building a custom landing page to link your Places Listing to appears to be a huge success factor. Include your Name, Address, Phone (NAP) in the title tag
    • Design that landing page to mirror a Places listing on their site w/ a map, business hours, contact data, etc.
    • If needed, submit your contact/location page as your Places URL/Landing Page which will create a stronger geo scent
  • When trying to understand how users are searching for your client, Insights for Search is a great tool as you can find Geo targeted data w/ KW differentiation (ie Lawyer vs Attorney, which is used more in that area)
  • Local requires a different mindset from traditional SEO
    • Optimize location (local SEO) vs Optimize websites (traditional SEO)
    • Blended search is about matching them up
  • PageRank of Places URL does NOT seem to affect Local ranking -(source: David Mihm)
  • Multi-Location Tips
    • Flat site architecture beginning w/ a “Store Locator” page
      • Great Example, lakeland.co.uk/StoreLocator.action
    • Give each location its own page
      • Great Example, lakeland.co.uk/stores/aberdeen
    • Cross link nearby locations w/ geo anchor text
  • Ensure the use of KML Sitemap in Google WMT
  • Encourage Community Edits – Make Use of Google’s Map Maker
  • Include Geo data in Facebook pages and article engines

Panda Recovery Case Study – High Gear Media

Speaker Matt Heist from High Gear Media covered their experiences over the past 8 months with recovering from Panda. High Gear Media is an online publisher of auto news and reviews.

Heist walked through the company’s strategy pre-panda and explained their contrasting new post-panda strategy. The original strategy was many auto review niche sites across a broad range of auto makes, models and manufacturers. The company originally had 107 sites and 20+ writers and dispersed content amongst all the sites. The content was “splashing” everywhere, unfocused. The “large network of microsites” strategy was working and traffic was climbing each month. Then Panda hit – hard. Traffic plummeted beginning this past Spring. Leaders at High Gear was forced to reevaluate their strategy and concluded that a more focused approach was better for users and consequently would help search traffic recover.

High Gear took the following actions:

  • Eliminated most of their properties completely (301′ed) and pared them down to 7 total sites with 4 being ‘core’: FamilyCarGuide, Motorauthority, GreenCarReports, TheCarConnection.
  • Properly canonicalized duplicate content
  • Aggregated content with strong user engagement was KEPT, but not indexed
  • The made the hard decision to eliminate content that could be making money but not good for the long term
  • Dedicated significant resources to redesigning each of the 7 sites remaining sites

Their strategy seems to be working. Heist noted traffic has ‘flipped, plus some”. According to Heist, here are the learning’s:

  • High Gear Media believes that premium content will prevail and that Panda will help that
  • Advertisers like bigger brands – it is now easier to sell ads and for more $ with fewer, more powerful sites
  • With evolution of Social (joining Search from a distribution perspective), premium content that is authoritative AND fresh with flourish

Raven Tools

We were able to meet up with the friendly staff over at Raven Tools, sit down with them, and learn a bit more about their product. We personally have been using Raven for about a year now, and highly recommend it. There are several features in the works that will make this even more of an incredible product. If you haven’t used them, we would HIGHLY suggest giving the tools a run. They are partnering with new companies constantly, and as such, are building out a best in class seo management product.

Upcoming Features:

  • A new feature they are working on is a Chrome Toolbar to compliment the current Firefox toolbar
  • Another feature coming is “templated messaging” for link requests and manual link building which will include BCC’s back to records. Templated Messaging will be built into our Contact Manager, but they are working on making that functionality available in the toolbar.
  • Another upcoming features is file management. RavenTools engineers are looking at integrating Dropbox into the system to allow files to be associated with other data and records.
  • The Co-Founder Jon Henshaw alluded many times to the idea that link building and consequently their toolset will continue to become more and more based on relationships in the future. He also alluded to the idea that traffic can or in some cases should be associated with PEOPLE as the referrer, rather than a website (ie x amount of traffic came from person A, whether it be their facebook, twitter, blog, or website). In other words, a relationship management system looks to be a integral part of the future of Raventools.
  • For future updates, Raventools takes explicit user feedback greatly into account. If you have a feature request or a software integration request, please contact: http://raventools.com/feature-requests/
  • Regarding MajesticSEO and OSE/Linkscape, they will be more fully integrating it into the Research section of Raven. That means they’ll be adding as much functionality into Raven as their APIs will allow. In addition to getting more full access to that data, users will be able to easily add that data to other tools, like the Keyword and Competitor Managers, Rank Tracker, etc…
  • Speed is the number one priority right now. They have full-time staff that are solely dedicated to speeding up the system. The goal is to make it run as fast as a desktop app.
  • Long term – 3rd party integration will be a constant (and should accelerate) for the platform for the foreseeable future.
  • Screenshot of “Social Stream” prototype design http://cl.ly/1b2h0u3P3U441w000o1K/o
  • AdWords Insights: Flagged Pages: http://cloud.raven.im/9v8d
  • Link Clips link checker results with historical results: http://cloud.raven.im/9zgK/o

Other Notes

  • Regarding Panda, one panelist referenced what he called a website’s “Content Performance Ratio” referring to the % of content on a site that is good versus bad or ‘performing vs non performing’ and using that as a gauge as to the health of a website.
  • Panelists also noted in his experience it takes 3-4 requests on a 404 before search engine believes you and removes it from the index.
  • Panelists in the “Ask the SEO” session said to pay close attention to anchor text diversity and human engagement signals

Author bio:
Jake Puhl is the Co-Founder/Co-Owner of Firegang Digital Marketing, a Local search marketing company, specializing in all aspects “Local”, including custom web design, SEO, Google Places, and local PPC advertising. Jake has personally consulted businesses from Hawaii to New York and everywhere in-between. Jake can be contacted at jacobpuhl at firegang.com.

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