Search Engine Strategies San Francisco

I’m crashing the Search Engine Strategies conference today for only one day. My buddy Casey is speaking tomorrow and on Thursday, which I will miss. But fortunately we can hang out at the Blue Glass party tonight, and have some dinner. Casey is the Director for Digital Marketing of the NHL players’ association

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I’m a little late today, and only will be able to attend the sessions in the  afternoon, which are pretty basic. But always good to listen to the speakers and see if you can get some more ideas, ways of presenting certain data and off course the way you can speak in public.

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Session review: Content

In the content session, Bazaarvoice is up. Bazaarvoice is off course the User Generated Content and review company which recently closed a partnership with Google. According to Bazaarvoice 80% of content on major commerce sites (Best Buy, Walmart, Amazon, etc.) Is UGC. A good example which is presented is a company called QVC.  QVC has had good results in their product reviews, through asking their users to review their products.

Rand Fishkin from SEOmoz is pointing out he has written a little over 3,000 blogposts. This has taken him over 6 years to create these posts. There are certain UGC websites who create this amount of content within 6 months. Demand Media is even creating more than 5000 pieces of content on a daily basis. This is like carpet bombing the index, and shooting with hail to make sure you will hit something.

Furthermore, Rand shows something what he calls the power of default selection. Making one selection of price point the default, its conversion rate will go up by 20%. Nice.

The guy from Bazaarvoice, Michael DeHaven is starting a sentence with: “They asked me not to share this…” So why do you share it then. Good advice though, which I won’t blog here to avoid him getting in trouble :-).

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Conversations in the hallway

I always go through the total speaker list to see if there are more people I might know. And what do you think, Matthijs Gajentaan is one of the speakers. Matthijs is another Dutch guy living in Toronto, where he has started his own company, Winvolve.com. More than 10 years ago, I was an intern at Netstad in Amsterdam, where at the time Matthijs was the marketing manager for Europe. It’s always important to keep up with the people in your network. So I dropped Matthijs an email through LinkedIn, and we just met for a nice catch up in the hallway.

While we were chatting in Dutch, another Dutch guy came by, and immediately turned around and came up to us. And what do you think…We met before on SES San Jose two years ago. He lives in Alabama.

While chatting, about living abroad, the conference etc, we got back to our Dutch roots and started to complain about things around us. What really was clear is that the organization of SES is not particularly good. The food is not of high quality, warm drinks and hardly places to sit to eat your food, no power plugs in the session rooms and the wifi sucks and is spotty. For the amount you pay for a ticket, which I didn’t so I’m not complaining, it seems the service you get is minimal.

BlueGlass Party

I got an invite for the BlueGlass party tonight. Good call from the team, as I just heard that searchbash has been cancelled Microsoft withdrew their sponsorship for the party. BlueGlass is making a name for itself in such short notice, but what can you expect. The company has a bunch of Internet Marketing Rockstars as founders!

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Connecting During Lunch

The value in these kind of conferences lies in re-connecting with old and new friends. During lunch, I sat down with Brent D Payne, the Bald SEO. Brent and I spoke earlier this year at the SMX inhouse session in Seattle, and it is always good to catch up with Brent. This time, he brought his son with him, and clearly the little guy is going to be the next generation of techie. Brent is awes0ome, and you should follow him for good SEO tips on Twitter @BrentDPayne.

At our table we had some great people to connect with. I see these moments as most valuable of the whole conference, as you can drill down in learning's people might share with you. More important, you can build out your network, on which you can build later on.

Casey Speaking Gig

Casey is right up to speak next about Speeking Geek: How Marketers Can Work with Web Developers to Achieve Business Goals. He is such a geek himself, so won’t be any problem speaking geek LOL.

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He is doing great. Funny and on the ball bringing great points home and engaging the audience in the presentation. He brings up three books you should read:

  1. Getting Real
  2. Don't Make Me Think
  3. Managing the Customer Experience

At the end he asks people to follow him on Twitter, as I’m kicking his ass in number of followers. Yeah!

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Where to read more…

I created a separate section of my site here, where I share the links which I read. Here you can find some of the great live blogging posts so many companies/ SEO bloggers are putting up.