Week 4 Guest Speaker Roundup – by Gina Ayala

A Conversation with Tony Adam, Founder/CEO of VisibleFactors.com & Eventify.me,
Former Director of Online Marketing at MySpace

By UCLA X425 Student Gina Ayala

Search Engine Optimization (SEO)? Yes, I know what the term means! After listening to SEO rockstar Tony Adam last Thursday night, the world of SEO became a little clearer for me, and hopefully, for all the students of UCLA Extension course 425.

According to Tony, this blog post may have already lost the attention of Google since the search engine cares most about the first 68 characters of text. Is this true? No one really knows, explains Tony, since the Google code is ever-changing and has never been cracked. But for now, just make sure that those crucial top characters on the page include all the right ingredients.

What are those ingredients, you ask? Content should contain appropriate keywords, and in order to find those keywords, you should perform research utilizing keyword tools. You should also look at how the competition is ranked for search, and take some time to examine reference sites that are doing SEO right, such as Wikipedia, MintLife and IMDB.

While keywords are important, Tony repeatedly stressed throughout his presentation that the most important part of SEO is links. Inbound links from reputable sites have the largest impact, and the most reputable sites out there end in .gov or .edu. Tony talked at length about links because they translate into authority, which is golden in SEO.

What else can help optimize SEO? Facebook and Twitter are social media platforms that can be used to increase a site’s SEO. Leveraging trends can also help, and one of the best tools for tracking trends is google.com/trends.

There is so much to the complex world of SEO, and Tony provided a good platform from which to continue learning. He has led SEO teams for major companies like Yahoo!, PayPal, Myspace and BillShrink, and has a lot of knowledge to share. If you want to learn more about Tony and “passing the juice on” through SEO, follow him on Twitter, @tonyadam, or visit his web site at www.tonyadam.com.

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