Late last year I had the pleasure of interviewing Chris Alan, a true SEO veteran and head of SEO over at Expedia.com. Chris was one of my fellow speakers at the AMA Hot Topic: Search Engine Marketing conferences I chaired in Seattle and Boston last Fall.
Now this interview is finally available as a half hour long audio podcast for your listening enjoyment, as well as an abridged transcript for you speed readers who prefer the written word over the spoken.
Chris and I had a fascinating discussion about the unique challenges of search engine optimizing huge sites. One of the topics we covered was landing pages for SEO and how they differ from PPC landing pages. Chris explains that, unlike with paid search campaigns, in SEO you can’t just switch out landing pages very easily — at least not without some powerful technology. Furthermore, any changes to improve conversion on the SEO landing page can negatively impact the page’s organic rankings, thus making it harder to pinpoint what’s making the page less effective. What’s needed is a solution that allows you to make changes to the page yet still maintain your rankings.
Chris understands the value of empirical testing. SEO is an experimental science. You can’t just blindly implement SEO tactics prescribed by SEO experts on their blogs and in the forums. You need to test it for yourself. This is harder than it sounds when you’re dealing with millions of pages indexed. That’s why Expedia has a suite of very sophisticated tools at their disposal, that Chris could only briefly allude to.
Hope you enjoy this podcast!
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