INTERNATIONAL: SMX Sydney 2010 Highlights
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I was recently fortunate enough to attend my second ever SMX Sydney a few weeks ago and just like the last occasion, I had a very enjoyable and productive event. There are some who say that SEO conferences have zero value and that they are not worth the investment anymore; I am definitely NOT in that camp. I was lucky enough to be liveblogging the entire conference, so I managed to be in A LOT OF sessions. I will admit that a very small minority of the presentations were a little boring, during which I found I knew the majority of the content spoken about. But many were invigorating, refreshing and even interesting.
These conferences are not only about the presentations, it's also about the networking opportunity, chances to meet your search heroes and just make some friends within the industry. Bruce Clay Australia also had a booth, which I got to man for some short periods and I had an awesome time educating and explaining to some newbies how SEO works and the benefits of it to the overall business strategy. Due to the fact that SES New York was on at the same time, we didn't get all the great speakers we had last year, no Bruce Clay was a letdown. But, there were still enough great presentations for me to make up a nice highlights package. I will mostly rely on my own hazy recollections and liveblog posts but might also pinch an insight here and there from Kalena, Silver Pistol AKA Divine Write and Conversation Media.
The biggest SMX Sydney surprise
I never thought it would happen. Nobody did. It was like a lightning bolt out of the blue. Even though it was a big shock for all attendees, it was a good bombshell, the food was actually scrumptious. I have been to a few conferences in my day and generally to food ranges from very poor to average. But this year SMX Sydney relocated from Lunar Park to the rather swankier Hilton Hotel Sydney and I think it was a change for the better, but back to the food. The banana bread had that delightful crunch when you bit into it and a second later was melting in your mouth. The butter chicken was served in the richest, almost velvet like sauce and the desserts, well I am making myself hungry right now so I will leave that to your imagination.
Titbits from the presentations
Now like any attendee I had some favourite presenters. I thought Greg Boser and Todd Friesen were excellent when paired up or even on their own. Danny Dover and Brent Payne were also great in a session, where they pushed and prodded Google Engineer, Greg Grothaus for answers to questions like "What's in the algorithm etc etc", and to his credit, Greg kept his nerve and a smile on his face. Marty Weintrub was always entertaining too. But I will try to keep unbiased and relate key information from the sessions. Here are the key highlights from the presentations of SMX Sydney 2010:
SERPs and Universal
So much for a top 10 list, everyone, because that's 22 (my favourite roulette number) points of SMX Sydney goodness for you. SMX Sydney had a good atmosphere this year, it seems everyone was really there to learn, help each other and in general have a good time. Thanks for a great search conference SMX Sydney.