Eric Enge

Heather Fletcher is senior content editor with Target Marketing.

Content marketing may sometimes feel like a struggle to marketers, but a Twitter chat on Thursday went straight for hyperbole and called itself #ContentBattleground. In the chat organized by San Mateo, Calif.-based content performance marketing software provider BrightEdge, marketers, consultants and chatters provided content marketing tips.

For now, the only author "markup" is the byline. Google got rid of "Authorship," which used to show searchers if a recognized writer penned a piece about the subject for which they sought information. The search engine optimization feature was great for content marketers who wanted to establish authority as thought leaders on certain subjects. Or was it? Search Engine Land's article, "It's Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results," explains a couple reasons Google tossed out the tool.

When it comes to ranking in Google search, many webmasters in highly competitive markets wonder if it's possible to compete against larger, established sites, especially without using black hat techniques. This is the topic Google's Matt Cutts addressed in the latest webmaster help video. "Matt, [do] the good guys still stand a chance? We're a small company that hired an SEO firm that we thought was legit, but destroyed our rankings with spam backlinks. We've tried everything but nothing helps. What can a company with good intentions do?"

With all that’s been going on in search marketing in the past year, the coordinators of SMX East came to the table with their work cut out for them. But if you ask us, they pulled it off in spades—this year’s SMX East was one of the best to date! Everyone came out energized with ideas, inspiration, fantastic insider tips, and a very long “To Do” list. If you’re in SEO or SEM and weren’t able to make it this year, here’s a few nuggets we took away from our experiences:

Matt Cutts joined Google as a software engineer in January 2000. ... He has an M.S. from UNC-Chapel Hill, and B.S. degrees in both mathematics and computer science from the University of Kentucky. Matt wrote SafeSearch, which is Google’s family filter. In addition to his experience at Google, Matt held a top-secret clearance while working for the Department of Defense, and he’s also worked at a game engine company. He claims that Google is the most fun by far. Matt currently heads up the Webspam team for Google and talks about webmaster-related issues on his blog.

Google’s head of web spam Matt Cutts tweeted that the company has refreshed its spam report form. He calls it the biggest refresh in 10 years. Side note: It’s worth pointing out that he used Twitter to announce this. I see no updates about it in his posts on Google+. This is the kind of thing that makes Twitter essential to Google’s realtime search feature, and why Google+ has a long way to go before it can serve as a useful replacement for it. But that’s another story.

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