As I wrote earlier, my company made me the chosen one (i.e. chosen to attend a Russian Pubcon – Optimization.ru conference in Moscow).
To be honest, I was a bit disappointed. Most of the sessions were way too basic for any half-way experienced SEO person, and generally the conference seemed very commercial.
Anyways, I managed to learn some lessons, and here they are:
1. Soon webmasters will be able to edit snippets shown in the SERPs. There is a chance META description will replace today’s random snippets of text.
2. Widgets for Yandex can be a good source of traffic (it is possible to create widgets for Yandex, just the same way as for iGoogle)
3. Yandex finally created Webmaster Guidelines (similar to Google’s guidelines). Sadovskiy (Director of search = Matt Cuts of Yandex) joked that the guidelines are for white SEO and that webmasters should try to be at least somewhere in between :)
4. Yandex knows that up to 90% of all links to Russian sites are bought. Sadovskiy publically announced that buying links is BAD!
5. One guy said that Russians are more technical that analytical. Many people use Yandex Webmaster panel, but not many use analytics packages. Besides, 54% of of clients of SEO companies look at rankings only to evaluate success of the SEO campaign, and only 22% try to connect it with sales.
6. Liveinternet statistics is extremely useful for keyword research
7. Social media is developing. SMO is a trendy topic in Russian Internet circles.
8. Webmasters are mainly happy about the new Yandex search algorithm Snezhinsk. There was very little said about it though..
9. Russian SEOs try to use statistics and math to analyze search engine algorithms and PPC bids. They like long fancy formulas. Very scientific society.
10. Radisson SAS Slavtanskaya in Moscow is not a good hotel. At all!