smx-local-mobile-2008Last 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, 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.

  • Mary Bowling

    Marty, It was an honor being on a panel with such a smart and engaging guy. We rocked ’em, didn’t we? LOL I’m so glad I finally got a chance to meet and talk with you in person. Please keep in touch. Mary

  • Will Scott


    I’m totally with you, I think this will go down as the sleeper of the year. We work on this stuff every day and I learned so much it’s unreal.

    And then of course I got to spend some quality time with my new favorite SEO speaker — you!

    All the best,

  • Marty Weintraub

    @Mary: The pleasure was entirely mine. I look forward to spending more time with you.

    @Will: Thanks for the kind words. I look forward togetting down to New Orleans and visiting your company.

  • Teddy Garcia


    Your presentation was not only informative but hilarious as well. Thanks for trying to push Jon to share his secret mobile autoresponder tool. Oh well, guess some people just aren’t willing to share the goods.

    Anyways, good to see you again and I’ll see you next year I’m sure as well…

    Take care,
    Teddy Garcia

  • Marty Weintraub

    @Teddy: Yeah, I had a total blast and I suppose that’s why it came off as funny. My favorite sessions are always when the panelists “encourage” the others. I hope our paths cross again.

  • Mike Blumenthal


    It was an incredible event and the folks there were chock full of useful information.

    But for me one of the interesting side lights was learning that I don’t understand “Minnesota Nice Speak” and have trouble communicating in that language. David Mihm was an incredibly useful guide in that regard. He would elbow me whenever I asked the same question 3 times, the listener had responded politely but evasively, and he would say “they can’t tell you!”. Hearing your telling of the Tree Doctor confirmed the cultural gap that I need to cross.