SMX Seattle – Some key highlights from Dids

The opportunity to go not only to a world class conference, and to see an iconic American city, was not one I needed persuasion to take. They both impressed and delighted!

Bruce Clay’s SEO 1 day workshop was fascinating, and the fact that I was still alert and learning after a long, intense day was the proof! The significance of how Machine Learning has influenced how search results are displayed really hit home, not just from Bruce Clay’s workshop, but also from sessions with other speakers like John Lincoln from Ignite Visibility. ML allows Google to display results in ways which increasingly means that the user doesn’t need to click through to a website to find the information he’s looking for. This is causing a rise in ‘no-click’ results; 60% of results in mobile now don’t lead to a click. 

For example, featured snippets whose purpose is to directly answer a question, and which show in the form of lists, tables or paragraphs above the first organic listing. (See example below) Featured snippets have become known as position 0, and we were advised that if we were ranking on page one, we should be aiming to reach that holy grail of position 0 by optimising those pages. 

Other hot topics were, of course, automation in paid search, and how important video has, and will become in the next few years. Bruce Clay predicted a significant increase in the number of video results surfacing on page 1 of Google in the next two years; he pointed out (cynically, but completely legitimately!) that millions of videos are monetised, and that each time a video appears in organic search results, there’s potential for Google to make money from a subsequent ad click. For our clients, the idea of creating meaningful, useful and good quality video content should be a no-brainer; without it they are more likely to get left behind.