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In this issue:

What You Need To Know From SMX Advanced

Yes, Virginia, SEO Is Worth the Investment

THE USUAL: Coverage of this month's
hot topics, shuffles, shindigs, attaboys and word on the wire.

Danny Sullivan's Search Marketing Expo Advanced conference was the talk of the industry this month. The two day conference debuted in Seattle's Bell Harbor Convention Center June 4-5 and a week later the buzz in the blogosphere is that it was an overwhelming success.

FEATURE: What You Need To Know From Search Marketing Expo Advanced

Attending search conferences is a great way to increase your search engine optimization and general search marketing know-how. It allows you the opportunity to network, learn the latest tricks of the trade and get a leg up on the new search marketing fads. However, it's not often possible to make it to every show, and even though Susan and I tried our best to provide you with complete conference coverage during this month's Search Marketing Expo, we understand you may not have time to read through all the recaps. Sometimes your business and taking care of it is understandably more important. For those folks, we present you with the five key conference takeaways from both the organic search engine optimization and paid advertising tracks.

BACK TO BASICS: Yes, Virginia, Search Engine Optimization Is Worth the Investment

Search engine optimization has a simple goal: make your Web site more accessible to both the search engines and your users so that expert content is easily found. It can help you to meet various online marketing objectives such as generating sales and leads, collecting newsletter subscriptions and site registrations, or simply building brand awareness. While pay per click is an effective search marketing strategy, we can cite numerous reasons for investing in search engine optimization. In fact, we believe that a well balanced search marketing strategy includes both SEO and PPC.

Hot Topics

A More Intimate Affair

One of the lures of SMX was the limit on the number of conference goers allowed to attend. The smaller group of marketers promised an atmosphere that was more intimate, more conducive to sharing information, and considerably more casual than the typical search conference. SEOmoz's Jane Copland described it as similar to leaving a large city public high school and enrolling in a tiny private college. We'd have to agree.

Whereas it's typically impossible to get face time with the various search engine representatives and conference speakers, at SMX the speakers engaged with attendees and often spent large chunks of time in one-on-one discussions. The close-knit feel encouraged discussion and significantly increased the rate of knowledge transfer at the show.

To complement the smaller size, SMX featured only two session tracks instead of the four or five that typically run simultaneously at SES. Bruce Clay bloggers Susan Esparza and Lisa Barone tagged team the sessions in order to provide completely conference coverage.

Session highlights included a You & A session with Matt Cutts, a keynote by Microsoft's Satya Nadella, a Paid Search Focus Group, a PPC Penalty Box Summit, a debate on bid management, and a secret "Give It Up" session that bloggers agreed to wait one month before blogging. If you missed any of the sessions or just want to relive the experience, check out Bruce Clay's SMX archive to read Susan Esparza and Lisa Barone's complete session recaps.

Comparing Shows

Once the doors closed on Search Marketing Expo, the blogosphere went into overdrive as everyone rushed to rate the experience. Everyone had an opinion.

Rhea Drysdale compared SES to SMX, Matt McGee shared his Top 12 Takeaways and wondered if SMX was advanced enough, Michael Gray gave us his SMX Conference Wrap Up, as did Katie Gausepohl, Gord Hotchkiss, Cameron Olthuis, Ross Dunn, Joshua Stylman and a myriad of others. If you're looking for video of the SMX happenings, you can find it at WebProNews.

The real strength of the conference was each session's Q&A. Because this was labeled an advanced conference, the knowledge level in the room was considerably higher, with attendees quizzing the panelists on new strategies and new techniques, not the boring fundamentals.

Ready for the next show!

The combination of having a smaller, more experienced crowd helped Search Marketing Expo to differentiate itself from the rest of the search engine optimization conferences out there. Congrats to Danny Sullivan and the whole Third Door Media team for putting together a great show. We can't wait for the next one!


While the industry had its eyes on Seattle and Search Marketing Expo, Kim Krause-Berg joined SiteLogic and Kevin Ryan was named Vice President of Global Content for Search Engine Watch and the Search Engine Strategies conference series.

Google's Vanessa Fox surprised many announcing she was leaving Google for Zillow, Yahoo Finance GM Peggy White departed abruptly, Business 2.0 Editor Owen Thomas left to join Vallewag, John Marshall left Clicktracks, and LookSmart's CFO John Simonelli also resigned.

In this month's mergers and acquisitions:

  • Google paired with and Sina, acquired Panoramio and Peakstream, and released a new PowerPoint preview tool.
  • Yahoo launched new mobile phone viewing software Zurfer, while also releasing a new celebrity Web portal.
  • re-branded and re-launched with Ask 3D.
  • AOL launched a public API for developers called Xdrive.
  • WebmasterWorld PubCon partnered with SEO Class to create an excellent training opportunity for everyone.
  • InfoSpace released new mobile platform mCore.
  • YouTube partnered with Heart-Argyle Television.

Bruce Clay, Inc. is hiring: Bruce Clay, Inc. is looking to fill a number of positions in our Simi Valley, CA headquarters. To inquire about any of the open positions, visit the Bruce Clay Employment page, which has a list of all the available opportunities and job requirements.


Search Marketing Expo wasn't the only search-related conference to take place this month. Right on the heels of the big Seattle show was Search Engine Strategies Toronto which took place June 12-13 and Bruce Clay's UK SEO training on 13-15 June.

Also taking place this summer:

  • Search Engine Strategies Miami blows into town June 18-19.
  • SEOToolSet training takes place in Simi Valley, CA June 26-28.
  • Jill Whalen's High Rankings Seminar will land in Denver, CO on June 28-29
  • Affiliate Summit Miami on July 8-10.
  • SES Travel will take over Seattle July 26-27.
  • Search engine marketers in South Africa and Australia should also watch for their own SEOToolSet training classes. Class will be in session 9-11 July in South Africa and 6-8 August in Australia. Check out their respective pages for more information.


Bill Gates was awarded an honorary degree from Harvard, the university he dropped out of more than 30 years ago.

Both Search Engine Watch and TechCrunch celebrated birthdays this month. Search Engine Watch turned 10, while TechCrunch celebrated a successful second year. Danny Sullivan penned a long, bittersweet tribute to Search Engine Watch, the site he created and made famous.

Mobile Web provider Bango reported that mobile Web usage has tripled over the past year.

Word on the Wire

Rumors persisted that Facebook may still be in play with the magic number being $2 billion. The word is that Yahoo may be looking to scoop this one up.

Wired created some buzz by reporting that Steve Jobs would announce a Google/Apple partnership that would have Apple bundling Google Apps. However, the rumored announcement date came and went with no news.

The Telegraph reported that Chinese search engine Baidu was getting ready to launch in Europe.

If you have any questions or comments on any of the articles above or if you would like to suggest topics for future search engine optimization articles, please contact us at Bruce Clay, Inc