Search engine optimisation in the USAJames Pennington and I went over the pond to Chicago in the USA last month to attend the Search Engines Strategies conference to keep up with developments in search engine optimisation (SEO).
The conference was very well attended and we met people from all the main search engine companies.
The conference covered a wide range of SEO topics, from writing good content for your website to video search engine optimisation. One of the hot topics in the US was duplicate content issues, especially content that has been stolen from another website.
If Google thinks you've been stealing content it can have a negative effect on your ranking. You can be kicked out of Google completely! Although, we were told that the search engines are smart enough to figure out which was the original content. But if that doesn't work you can submit a form to Google telling them that another website has stolen your content. If you follow the procedure and if Google agrees with you they may take the offending website out of their database. For more information have a look at - http://www.google.com/dmca.html and http://www.copyright.gov
You can read my article Search Engine Optimisation: Keeping up with the US, from the conference, for more information and to learn some quick wins you can do now to improve your site.