Disclosure: Please note that links to merchants mentioned within this post might be using an affiliate link which means that - at zero cost to you - I might earn a commission if you buy something through that affiliate link. That said, I never recommend anything I don’t personally use and find to be a valuable asset to my business.

My “Meet the Search Engines” SMX West 2014 Takeaways


  1. Rick Noel says:

    Awesome post Rae. Excellent live tweet coverage with some great follow-up elaboration. I especially like your (*cough unless you’re a big brand?) – Say JCPennys, Rap Genius, Teleflora, etc.

    Love your use of technical “jargon” (e.g. But if you have a shitload …) is excellent

    When Duane says that Bing penalties are not common, no kidding. If you want to see the ghost of the first page of Google penalized sites for a head terms, just search the same term on Bing. I have seen posts dedicated on how to salvage ROI on penalized sites by using more link spam to rank on Bing :)

    Happy St. Patty’s!

  2. Vinny O'Hare says:

    Great post as always Rae!

    Speaking about we better adapt to mobile. If Google wants to rank me according to being in mobile I might as well ban the Google bot now.

    Scenario: I have a classic car authority site built with frontpage and other 1999 wsyiwig software that is visited by old guys that still have old phones if they have a mobile phone at all. I am lucky they know how to turn on a computer, but they do and they visit my authority site multiple times a day and have it “Saved as their Favorites” in Netscape lol. I was smart and built an email list on day 1 for the site. 80% return visitors

    I don’t need Google until my audience dies off. Do I spend hundreds of hours (and dollars) to covert it because Google thinks everything should be mobile? I don’t think so.

    Once again TY for the live tweets at the show. It was good knowing someone would be there to post the “Read Between the lines”. :)

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      Vinny – well, in my eyes, even if you “don’t need Google”, you still might need to do it. You can easily check your analytics to see what percentage of YOUR specific visitors are coming in via mobile. If it’s a large percentage of them and if your site gives a less than desirable user experience on mobile, then, yeah, I’d take the time to flip it. Both Sugarrae and PushFire are in the midst of redesigns and one of the big “spurs” for that was to make them mobile responsive.

      And you’re welcome re the post. :)

  3. Pete Kici says:

    You are always ahead of the curve with your insight and where you are in the SEO and marketing process. Thank you as always for being a breath of fresh air reporter and just a real cool person.

  4. Ana Hoffman says:

    Thanks for the notes, Rae – I was at SMX, but couldn’t stay long enough for this one.

    Love it what you said about Duane vs Matt – clear vs vague. Too bad no one seriously works on Bing rankings…

  5. Mike Ramsey says:

    Rae, Thanks a ton for the coverage. I am shocked nobody else was talking about the US Guest Blogging Network that was in line to get hit. I’m amazed at how fast it went from Guest Blogging is ok, to Guest Blogging is getting Abused, to Stop Guest Blogging, to We are going to hit a network of sites that have been guest blogging. It’s usually taken Google a lot longer to come full circle on a specific tactic. They must be getting a little more impatient or have inside knowledge to the end of the world and want to have a clean web before then. ;-)

    • Rae Hoffman says:

      You’re welcome Mike :)

      Re the blog network… I think there’s a lot of “expected that” behind it. When they first took the stance on paid links, they subsequently went after several “buy PR5 links” networks. Re the time frame, I think guest blogging has been harder for them to detect vs. paid links and that means you hit the people who have been doing it most lazily and “in multiples” first – at least that’s what I do if I were them. :)

  6. Awesome, recap – very thorough and insightful. Love it!

  7. Gabe Gayhart says:

    Thanks Rae good recap — appreciate the nuance. Any opinions on the slaps, yesterday?

  8. Rae, Thank you for your excellent summary of the SMX meet the search engines.

  9. I know you ‘called yourself out’ for not having a mobile site… But I am reading this post and typing this comment from my Nexus 5 and I GREATLY prefer the full desktop site experience on my phone versus mobile, and even responsive, sites.

    I think it is very foolish of Google to assume that everyone wants a mobile site on a mobile phone. Ugh.

  10. Akash Agarwal says:

    It’s really a great post. Here a lots of useful insights. Thanks for sharing.

  11. Robert Choi says:

    You are always ahead of the curve with your insight and where you are in the SEO and marketing process. Thank you as always for being a “breath of fresh air” reporter.

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