Just got back from SMX East, which is still going on for those able to afford/take the day long workshops. For me it was a huge success. I went up with only an EXPO+ Pass, (the Free One) and ended up enjoying a lot more than I should have I’ll keep the details secret as not to oust anyone but I thoroughly enjoyed Tuesdays presentations and the AfterDark Party especially!
I had the pleasure of meeting the very kind and friendly Emily Breeze and Karen DeWeese, of which I thoroughly impressed with my Dance Dance Revolution Skillz in the Mars 2112 Arcade. I also had a wonderful conversation about all sorts of things including tech, academia, religion, etc. with the charming Kendra Jaros. Had a most interesting and insightful conversation with Brian Cosgrove after teaching him how to play DDR. Later Roger from MartiniBuster took me across the street where I had a fun time with Brian Piepgrass and his hilarious five toed shoes at a restaurant where I also met Greg Boser and his wife, who will be running the BlueGlass SEO conference in Fort Lauderdale very soon, not too far from my office!
I was even able to meet the renown Danny Sullivan, and the president of Third Door Media, Chris Elwell. What a fantastic group of people! I was invited to help at the Seattle conference in 2011, I think I might just do that!
The vendors there were great, I got a 3 month trial to Raven Tools Pro, a Free book Web Analytics 2.0 from the Google booth and I won a raffle for a free 1 year Premium Membership at SearchEngineLand. Other things included, Bing Waterbottle, Google Keychains, Lots of Pens, stickers and a free drink on Yahoo!
Of note with vendors was MyAds Predictive Search (MyAds Presearch), a resource I plan to be testing out in the future, as well as a couple of link building companies. I was encouraged by many SEO Professionals to try out Pay Per Click again and manage it myself, after explaining some disappointment in my field with it.
Bing and Yahoo announced next week Bing will officially be powering Yahoo Search results and Yahoo’s advertisement platform will be switching to Microsoft Advertisement Center. I haven’t much been impressed with Microsoft’s PPC Platform, but my company ranks organically better on Bing than Yahoo so I hope to see some traffic improvement!
Regarding PPC, today on Twitter I heard Google announced in an SMX workshop that they are no longer showing non-commercially valid results in Adwords Keyword Research tool, which basically makes it useless for any other purposes, and makes it riskier and harder for people to target long tail keywords that get relatively low traffic. Sucks for marketers but is great for Google, funnels people into spending money and keeping keywords competitive (and expensive).
In terms of SEO, I didn’t learn much that was new. SMO (Social Media) was the hot topic. I learned tons of new things, there is so much going on with Social Media and social Media Optimization. PEople are doing massive research into the statistics and psychology behind tweets, retweets, followers and lists. I got a great list of words most often retweeted, and least often retweeted, information on which types of tweets are often retweeted and even some insights into corporate sponsored contests and giveways that have gone viral when done right.
The state of SEO as a profession is amazing, the recession is definitely not hitting this market. Companies are spending millions of dollars on SEO and social Media now in order to keep up with the every changing methods of communications, entertainment and technology. There were twice as many people at this conference than there were at the last, they have started to have to reject speakers!
The amount of SEO professionals actually seems to be lower than the demand, leaving enough work for all. I love the ambition, interest and overall awesomeness of the people at the conference, everyone has unique experiences and different points of view, but we all agree on the same thing, its a great time to be in SEO and the dynamic nature of the business is what drives the need.
Whether its Google, Bing, Yandex, Whatever…someone needs to be in the know to help make the next decisions moving forward to make your company easily visible and accessible to the world.