The midnight SeaTac passenger lounge seems strangely romantic to this bleary eyed writer, awaiting the 12:40AM flight to Minneapolis and then Duluth, Minnesota. I’m positive the excitement of SMX Advanced 2008 will not wear off before we all get together for Advanced again next year. This was one hell of a conference.
From The Mountaintop
There is genius in focusing a search marketing conference on experts coaching experts. At one point during the already-classic You&A With Matt Cutts session, highly regarded SEOs exchanged impassioned perspectives, talked “Terms of Service,” thrust and parried from both podium and audience. Conversational fodder included Googlebot morality and the immortal linkbait hoax. Matt Cutts (Yeah like he needs a link 🙂 ) showed up wearing “his & his” Vans to match Danny Sullivan’s colorful sneakers. Matt seems like a thoughtful guy.
The “Give it Up” panel, on which I had the pleasure of speaking, was totally immense. Danny Sullivan half joked that when Stephan Spencer talks (a natural search genius) he “scares the rest of us half to death.” Now THIS guy is a scientist. Stephan’s conditional redirect logic is pure poetry.
Next Gen Analytics
Most striking to me on the organic track was the serious progress being made amongst analytics thought-leaders like Brian Klais, Executive Vice President, Search, Netconcepts, Laura Lippay, Group Program Manager, Search Strategy, Yahoo, Jonah Stein, Founder, ItsTheROI and Richard Zwicky, President, Enquisite.
Personalized search has turned the analytics industry upside down and, to my mind, this was the most focused presentation of post-personalized (read post-nuclear) search metrics proffered in one place ever. Kudos to Rand for putting this excellent panel together.
Speaking of Rand, he shared fluent mastery of Advanced Google Search Operators. If you have not checked out the suite of ‘Moz seo tools, it would be well worth your while to do. Rand’s Seattle SEO team does breakthrough work in social media, analytics and community building within our industry.
One Is Silver & The Other’s Gold
I also spent some quality time with Chris Sherman: Executive Editor, Search Engine Land, who turns out to be a Minnesota Boundary Waters Canoe Area (BWCA) enthusiast with deep roots in aimClear’s Lake Superior north country home.
I greatly enjoyed the company of Kevin Newcomb, Managing Editor SearchEngineWatch, Hamlet Batista, Gabriel Goldenberg, Scott Clark, Todd Mintz, Addie Connor, Melissa Mackey, Valerie DiCarlo, and Dr. Michael Dorausch our famous Venice Chiropractor blogger buddy. We met dozens of new friends, colleagues and shook hands (or hugged) many we already “knew” from the blogosphere but had never met in person.
Thank you SMX Advanced. We can’t wait untill next year.