Last year in Denver SMX Local Mobile was a gathering of theorists, brilliant upstarts, handset manufacturers, fledgling platforms and edgy prognosticators.
Keynote speaker Michael Jones looked skyward and evangelized Google Earth’s mission of placing the world’s information in geographical context. Experts introduced many of us to terms like on/off deck, walled gardens, and dumb pipes.
The initial release of the iPhone was embryonic and we all knew it would change the world, in terms of mainstream expectations for mobile web page parsing quality. One year later, the LoMo promise is coming true and SMX Local Mobile has become an extremely serious search marketing conference.
The keynote address featuring Frazier Miller, General Manager, Yahoo! Local set the tone. These 2 days at the JW Marriott in San Francisco were not going to be hypothetical. As Miller talked about Yahoo!’s vision for weaving local information into users’ primary web starting point, I knew right away this conference was not just about theory. It was about search.
The tracks across 2 days were “The Big Picture,” “Local Search Tactics,” “Local Mobile Strategies & Tactics” and “Mostly Mobile.” Sessions like “Ranking Tactics For Local Search,” “Monetizing Local & Mobile: Who’s Making Money?,” “Targeting Locals in a Blended Search World,” Neogeography: Opportunities in Mapvertising” and “Cracking the Code: Inside the Black Boxes of Local & Mobile Search Algorithms” were incredibly relevant.
I found myself taking notes frenetically as Mary Bowling gave her presentation during the case studies panel I spoke on. The audience struck me as a very professional bunch and, when polled, revealed the depth of marketing experience in attendance. I’ll take this opportunity to thank Danny Sullivan, Chris Sherman, Greg Sterling, Chris Elwell, Sean Moriarty, Karen DeWeese and Chris Silver Smith for including on this cool panel and putting on a hell of a show.
SMX Local Mobile has become a serious must-attend search marketing think tank for natural and paid search service providers. It was a pleasure to talk shop with folks like Mike Blumenthal, Owner and Local Marketing Expert, Blumenthals, Jordan Kasteler, Senior SEO Analyst, Overstock.com and make new friends like Will Scott, President, Search Influence LLC.
I’m surprised at the relative lack of coverage for, what amounts to be, one of the most important informational gatherings of 2008. As news of the essential tactics and techniques imparted spreads by word of mouth, next year’s edition of SMX Local Mobile will likely gain quite a bit more attention. Don’t miss it.