SEO Bootcamp with Bruce Clay

This post is so past due it’s not even funny. It’s been just a few weeks since having had the chance to attend Search Engine Land‘s SMX Advanced in Seattle and it was awesome. Not only did I finally get to put real people and faces to their names like getting to chat with Danny Sullivan and of course Rae Hoffman who was great at being friendly and introducing me to others. Thanks for that. Honestly there were so many if I wrote them all it’d probably just look like link bait…so I won’t. It was my first SMX and I must say, I’ll be back. I’m hooked.

Bruce Clay and Marshall Stevenson

Bruce Clay & Marshall Stevenson after completion of the SEO Bootcamp

Beyond the great parties, informative sessions, amazing food and great networking, the best part had to be the SEO Training that Bruce Clay put on. I’ve dubbed it SEO Bootcamp because he effectively and efficiently crammed in a weeks worth of content into an all day session. I owe it to Shannon Poole for convincing me I needed to hear it from one of the original SEO Experts. Find custom-tailored marketing ideas at

The format was great. It was structured enough to start “precisely at eight thirty-ish” in the morning, yet relaxed enough to have some insightful conversations alongside some great questions. There were clearly people of all skill levels and I would say everyone got something out of it…at least a basic understanding of the Facebook Like button (I hope).

For me there were a lot of ideas. Too many to list, in fact I think Bruce (or maybe I should call him Mr. Clay) wouldn’t probably like me to share them all with you anyway. What I will say is take the course.

iframed source referenceIt even came with a copy of Search Engine Optimization All-in-One For Dummies…that’s almost a $50 value in Canada. One thing that came up was right near the end and I think I might try it out as an effective way to help sculpt pages (as I duck and cover). I’ll share it, but only because you can see it in practice on the web site – using an iframe to included content to more accurately pass page rank.

I won’t lie. It sounded really lame at first. Everything I’d read and heard was avoid an iframe almost like one would avoid a frameset. Then Bruce mentioned that BCI had run tests (I hear just a few of them) and determined that the content in an iframe is crawled and indexed. This was perfect and allowed for common items like header, navigation and ad space to be included commonly, client side. This is a good thing he said. I disagreed.

To me SEO is about ensuring the user has a good experience. I was concerned that the user could land on the source page in the iframe from a SERP and be orphaned on the site. As expected Bruce had a very easy solution. Simply place the included elements in a directory then disallow them with an entry in the robots.txt file. That’s when the light bulb went on and it started making sense.

From there it was a quick illustration and calculation of how the link juice would actually flow and I was convinced I should at least give it a try. Since I build most of my sites using WordPress, a plug-in would be ideal but I haven’t had a chance to look. That just means some manual work to create a few custom pages developed in the theme and we should be good to go.

Does it make sense now on why you would do something like this?

Oh and three other things I learned from Bruce Clay were

  1. you can create a solid brand around your name;
  2. Google speak should be an official language;
  3. at the end of the day, keeping it White Hat SEO over Black Hat or Grey Hat SEO tactics will make life easier for everyone.

Were you expecting better ideas? Like I said above I’m not giving away all the secrets and neither is Bruce. Have you taken the Bruce Clay SEO Bootcamp or any other SEO Training? What was the one most intriguing theory or idea you got out of it? I’d love to know so please be kind, leave a comment behind.


About the Author

Marshall Stevenson is a Director at SPRY. He’s been designing websites since 1995 with a focus on usability. Since 1999 he’s focused heavily on ensuring sites are designed for people and are SEO friendly. Lately he's been spending time on one of the best Winnipeg Jets blogs as an editor and co-founder while also co-hosting the Drunk Hockey Show – a show where friends & guests sit around, drink beer and talk hockey.

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