Recap of SMX San Jose 2018

Hardcore Technical SEO Tactics & Techniques by Eric Enge
SMX San Jose 2018 Recap

For the second year in a row Nikola Minkov visited SMX San Jose

На снимката Никола Минков с част от лекторите на SMX
На снимката Никола Минков с част от лекторите на SMX

For another year, the SMX West Conference was held in San Jose, California. The main trends this year were on Voice Search, AMP, PWA, Structure Data, Local SEO, AdWords Best Practices and Social Media Marketing. The owner of the Serpact ™ SEO Agency Nikola Minkov has been present for the second consecutive year. The lecturers were all high again, the organization was excellent, with Matt Van Wagner and his team in the main.

“Certainly last year’s conference ignited me and I was obliged this year to repeat the challenge of flying 12 hours to share experiences with the best in the industry.”

Nikola Minkov в компанията на Marie Haynes, Glenn Gabe и Barry Schwartz
Nikola Minkov in the company of Marie Haynes, Glenn Gabe and Barry Schwartz

Hardcore Technical SEO Tactics & Techniques by Eric Enge

Eric Enge, one of the world’s top experts and founder of Stone Temple, delivered an 8-hour lecture, covering several aspects of SEO in great detail:

Content Quality – Content Content:

Content analysis is a very important and key process in building a Content Marketing strategy. The process involves several levels of evaluation and comparison through different criteria, even Off-Page. Comparison and coefficient formation of each content (or content particle) determines the effectiveness of the strategy and any changes to its implementation guidelines.

UX plays a key role in creating the right environment based on the evaluation of the target audience. Often, different types of templates, template elements are developed, and different content is tested on the same topic, with data indicating that conversion rates of up to 35% can be improved within a month.

Correlations between certain moments are extremely important, with the key being the measuring tool and the analyzer. An example of an important correlation is whether or not our content links meet the appropriate pre-set social sharing ratio.

Hardcore Technical SEO Tactics & Techniques от Eric Enge
Hardcore Technical SEO Tactics & Techniques от Eric Enge

Technical SEO:

Analysis is at the heart of any technical assignment, but without implementation it is meaningless. It’s important to understand how the Crawling bot itself works and understand its logic, which is definitely not complicated. Duplicate content is a common mistake that leads to cannibalism of pages in SERP and reduces the weight of the target, for this purpose a micro-analysis is performed at the technical level in this part.

Structure Data is important for Google to better understand your content. There is no indication that it is a direct ranking factor, but it is very indirect and is used at every opportunity. The ultimate goal is to provide properly formatted and structured content through Structure Data Markup to Google or Bing and to process it properly and correctly.

Other important SEO topics and trends:

  • How Machine Learning Works
    Artificial Intelligence through examples and tests that you will be able to follow later this year at our SEO Knowledge Center.
  • MIF {Mobile Index Fisrt}
  • AMP {Accelerated Mobile Pages}
  • PWA {Progressive Web App}

SMX starts

Bing – forecasts and analyzes

50% of searches in 2020 will be via Voice and Photos, according to Bing. Currently 70% of searches are for short facts, 45-50% are looking for Local Business or a specific product, 20-30% are making reservations. This is a prediction that is similar to Google’s, as we know it is entering the Voice Search era.

Of course, the data is based on the US, but for companies with clients in these markets, this is data that should change certain marketing strategies of the business.

Bing - Voice Search прогнози за 2020 година
Bing – Voice Search forecasts for 2020

Another Bing forecast is for chatbots, with data showing that by 2020, about 80% of the market will use this service, regardless of the provider. The service is quite popular right now with several major providers. The big plus for business is that with advanced Chatbot systems, they will be able to reduce their teams and reduce their costs in this unit.

Chatbots прогноза на bing
Chatbots bing forecast


AMP: denied, rejected by many, but important to agencies that have one simple goal: “Deliver better ranking = traffic = customer conversions”, and the data shows just that. Speed is an important argument for using AMP technology, and relatively easy. A very interesting graphic:

  • Charging from 1 to 3 seconds will increase the bounce rate by up to 32%
  • Loading from 1 to 5 seconds will increase the bounce rate by up to 90%
  • Loading from 1 to 6 seconds will increase the bounce rate by up to 106%
  • Loading from 1 to 10 seconds will increase the bounce rate by up to 123%
AMP - Page Speed - SMX
AMP – speed matters, data about it and how it reflects on the Bounce Rate

Investigating the types of requests in Serp and the possible results based on personal device and user experience are important for several reasons. We can determine what results we have and what are the differences between users. Whether there is a difference between a desktop and a mobile user, and it is clear that the difference is huge.

Типове заявки в Serp и възможни резултати
Serp query types and possible results

PWA and AMP working together? Yes it is possible, although technically difficult to achieve, but even if such attempts are successful, it is still too early to enter the mix boldly. Data suggests that such a combination can be extremely positive:


  • App Shell
  • Persistent Header & Menu
  • Rich Functionality
  • Load AMP Pages


  • Lightweight units
  • AMPs load instantly & update smoothly
  • Cached on CDN & Service worker
PWA и AMP заедно
PWA and AMP together is possible, but must be developed by a team of experienced

Structure Data: Assuming it’s not a ranking factor, then why use it at all? The reasons are many: it is indirectly influenced, and in the next slide by Alexis Sanders you can see the root cause very clearly. The way we serve certain content is crucial and important to search engines, and the end result is a good result with On-Page SEO analysis.

Structured Data как работи и каква е целта му
Structured Data how it works and what its purpose is

Changes to Google’s algorithm, when?

Now! Yes, this is the short answer, there are rarely major updates, there is a constant disruption to SERP, and the causes are many. The advent of AI {Artificial Intelligence} and ML {Machine Learning}! However, there are updates and an expert like Glenn Gabe always manages to come up with an interesting Case Study.

In this case, he told several of his clients how they had suffered from a Google update. The affected sites are: Charlie Sheen, Will Smith, Marilyn Monroe, and others, and the data is quite alarmingly declining, as can be seen in the next slide.

Charlie Sheen Analytics Data след Google Update - Glenn Gabe
Charlie Sheen Analytics Data след Google Update – Glenn Gabe

Off-Page and Local SEO

Quite interesting data was presented by Dana DiTomaso of on Local SEO and how to follow a consistent, pre-engineered strategy for each client. Definitely the key in Local SEO is “Brand Mentions”.

Dana DiTomaso за Local SEO
Dana DiTomaso for Local SEO and how valuable the mention of the brand is

Local Ads: A pretty strong channel that can deliver very strong conversion growth with proper management. Unfortunately, in Bulgaria it is quite undervalued and is observed only in certain niches, but the expectations are different.

Local Ads - генератор на поръчки
Local Ads – генератор на поръчки


Collection and comparison. The main sources used by Google to find knowledge or the so-called Entity Knowledge Box are: the well-known Wikipedia, Wikidata, Google Plus, IMDb, and Twitter. We are living in the semantic web era, and as some of you know, it is becoming increasingly important to use the vector model to “accumulate” words and features, and in the presence of an ontology, search engines have to compare this data from somewhere, as well as collect even more information about each entity. This, in turn, means another very important thing – search engines are beginning to understand even more every term online.

For this reason, Google is taking this comparison extremely seriously – on the basis of content, source and semantics, it is naturally understood that context is extremely important and Machine Learning, in combination with Artificial Intelligence, facilitates and automates the process to a great extent.

Entity Knowledge Box
Entity Knowledge Box

Voice Search!

It is natural for Voice Search to be directly related to content, but there are other On-Page parameters that are key to open. Let’s say we have Featured Snippets on the one hand {zero Google search result} and on the other Voice Search, if we need to combine them in our marketing strategy, it would be logical to make a VSFS {Voice Search for Featured Snippets} goal, where FS would always be VA {Voice Answer}.

With the advent of Google Home Assistant, Amazon’s Amazon, Apple’s Siri, and Microsoft’s Cortana, the trend or growth in Voice requests is huge, with Google exceeding $ 100 million in 2017. Okay, with all this data, where do we start?

  • Creating Content Marketing Strategy and Integration.
  • Competition analysis
  • Analysis of all FS {Featured Snippets} competition results
  • Gathering Google Knowledge Graph data

Dynamics in digital marketing (especially in SEO optimization) is extremely large and trends are extremely important to be monitored by any SEO agency. This is where the great investment in knowledge and skills lies through training and attending important and quality conferences, lectures and seminars.

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