2nd SEO meetup went quite well. As expected, there was healthy participation by all the participators. We all observed different opinions, thoughts, and ideas and learned from others experiences.

Unfortunately, the number of participants was less than what we expected and it showed unprofessional attitude of SEO professionals of Ludhiana. Many of professionals who booked space did not turned up. But we are not disappointed and decided to keep organizing more meetups in this series.

The First Session was Knowledge Sharing session in which all participants shared their observations about latest findings and SEO related topics. We also discusses about “Will guest blogging be considered as spam in the future?”. There were different opinions about it but I think it can be considered as spam and in the future, only highly moderated blogs will get recognition. And over time guest blogging may be devalued too. Other thinks it will not be spam if it is moderated.

Second session was Brainstorming session where we discussed about Ways to create content and Quality traffic sources other than Search Engines.
We discussed about content because according to Gravity, it will be desired skill from any SEO Professional in near future that a SEO professional should be able to generate content or should be able to guide and educate the peers and clients about ways to generate valuable content. What happens now that we SEO professionals can list the requirements to rank higher but we don’t know that who will fulfill content requirement. We can use content writers but they can write the content and can’t create content. Therefore if a SEO professional has to deliver good results they have to start becoming more creative and find ways to create content. Here is the conclusion we derived about content and required skills and techniques for SEO professionals:

A SEO Professional should

Spend good amount of time to understand the nature of business and insights of the business or website for which they are doing SEO.
Explore competitor sites and gather as much information and knowledge as possible, they should also explore available images, videos, whitepapers and any other content available on the Internet and if possible through local libraries too.
• Read the content of the website to know what they are promoting.
• Discuss with Website owner about the content they have available which has not been published on the website. Also do brain storm about generating content. Don’t hesitate to give vague and stupid ideas too.
• Think how each piece of content can go viral. As per recent Google updates, unnatural ways of building links will be more and more difficult and disregarded for higher rankings. Therefore it is important that every piece of content has some virality.
Learn basic writing, photo and video editing skills, so prepare content ideas and submit to customer or content department to fine tune it and develop the finished content.

Conclusion: Each SEO professional should be able to advice on various ways of generating content, and they should also have a show case of content generated by them and it’s results achieved. This is the only way to convince customer to generate valuable content.

Quality Traffic sources other than Google
In this session we discussed about traffic sources other than Search Engines to reduce dependency of any online business or website on Google and search engines.
Participants suggested Facebook, twitter, forums, blogs, yahoo answers, YouTube, glogster, stumble-upon, Digg and many other sites. But the most important thing we all agreed that before we start using these sites, we should know our target audience. It is also important to understand what you expect from the traffic when they land on your website. Each of above mentioned websites have different demographic of the users, therefore it is not necessary that if one source generate good traffic for one site, it can also generate same amount of traffic for other website. It is important to know what the user of your targeted source is doing on that website, and what will that user expect if he/she land on your website from traffic source?
Hence it is important to test these traffic sources with a pilot project before you put all the resources and strength on these resources. Choose your targets source very carefully.

Third Session was about open discussion but we were running out of the time therefore we had to skip this session for this meetup.

Fourth session was about workshop and experiments.
Workshop was to generate ideas for the content. We conducted 2 workshops for 10 minute each. Two groups of participants were made and hosts gave them a scenario. The scenario for the first workshop was that they are doing SEO for an Insurance website. And they have to generate content.
Each group came with good suggestions and gave recommendations about on-page SEO so that content can be useful, informative and easy to navigate.
The scenario of the second workshop was to generate content for the website that sells shoes. For this workshop both the groups were shuffled so that they can get better exposure to work in different teams. In this exercise, they come up with some good content ideas that may have some virality such as creating trend reports, share customer stories rather than boring testimonials, find and create celebrity stories etc.

It was a good exercise but once again due to time constraints we were not able to discuss more on this topic. We are planning to allocate more time towards workshops in next meetup.

The second part of this Session was Experiments. In this session we wanted to conduct a few experiments. The Idea behind this session is that various participants can come together and carry on experiments on unanswered or doubtful SEO related topics. And provide hands on experimenting with those things which we have only heard and know from other websites. Therefore by doing these experiments we can challenge ourselves and share the findings with others.

We decided to do experiments on following two things:

Bing Optimization
Effect of suddenly generated high amount of links for a web page / website

We invited volunteers who are interested to conduct these experiments, and formed 2 groups to conduct the experiments. Any costs involved in these experiments will be covered by Gravity Informatics. And the findings will be shared in the next (3rd) SEO Meetup.

We apologize that the topics were already decided. But we will like to invite topics for next experiments. Therefore feel free to submit your ideas for experiments.

Meetup Conclusion
Over all conclusion of this meetup was that each SEO professional in Ludhiana should prepare themselves for the future challenges. As era of web 1.0 was finished and web 2.0 emerged, the same way the era of SEO 1.0 has gone and it’s SEO 2.0
SEO 1.0 involved unnatural ways of getting higher rankings in search engines. Although many of practices were quite good but in the bid of higher rankings people start exploiting the good practices and converted it into spam.

SEO 2.0 is more about ethical and natural ways. I will say it is more organic way of doing SEO and this only depends upon quality content. I can see the SEO 2.0 era which started from 1st update of Google Panda in March 2011 has declared first generation of SEO’s unqualified.

Old SEO techniques are not going to be of any use now. Hence if a SEO professional has x number of pre panda experience will be devalued to minimum. SEO professional version 1 has to upgrade them to SEO professional version 2 for SEO 2.0
Google was always saying Content is the King, but Google has made it king now. Therefore it is now war between kings. And SEO professionals will be the knights who will help their king stay in the war, win the war and make them emperor.
There are no SEO institutes and colleges where you can get training, and hence for your own bright future it is your own responsibility to practice and train yourself, and build your own army of experts whom you can depend upon and ask for the help when required.
We hope next meetup will be even more insightful and help us find our way towards SEO 2.0.

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