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Tuesday, May 17, 2022

Goodbye Search Engine Strategies!

It’s Search
Engine Strategies San Jose
next week. For Chris Sherman and I, it’s our
swan song. This is the last SES event that either of us will program, with our
search marketing conference efforts going forward focused on our own
Search Marketing Expo (SMX)
events. But we’ve put our all into making the last SES event great, and I
wanted to share some of the many things we’ve organized, plus how to meet up
with Chris and I for the show. We’ve got a Sphinn lunch set, as well as laptop
stickers for readers.

Some quick facts. The very
SES event (and the first search marketing conference, to my knowledge)
happened back in San Francisco in November 1999.
Chris Elwell of
Jupitermedia (now president of Search Engine Land’s parent company,
Third Door Media) had asked me if I
thought an event about search would work. Absolutely! I was thrilled. Until
that time, search had been relegated as a panel that might happen within other
events. It deserved greater attention.

We had a great turnout, with over 300 people there. It was an amazing
experience, because it was the first time many search marketers had met each
other in person. Until then, they’d only known each other online mainly
through newsletter discussion groups. Forums had yet to fully blossom. It was
also the first time they’d connected with many of the search engines directly.

My favorite story from that time was how much I worried that the search
marketers might attack the search engines, since things were considered far
more antagonistic between the "sides" than today (also remember that paid
search wasn’t an option with any of the major search engines at the time,
putting even more pressure on the organic listings).

We had our first all-search engine panel, took the first question, and I
wondered if this was where the attacks would begin. Instead, the person
started out by thanking the search engines for coming out, taking part in a
conversation with the marketers, and the room erupted in applause.

So much time has past. Since then, over the past eight years, I organized
the content for 24 of the SES events within the US. I also ran a number of the
London shows, which Chris Sherman later took over, along with other
country-specific events he oversaw.

So what’s up with our last SES event? Here are a few highlights from the 70
session show we’ve put together:

  • Keynotes: Both Ask’s Jim Lanzone and Google’s Marissa Mayer
    kindly agreed to my invitation for "keynote conversations" at the show.
    Chris Sherman will be talking to Jim on Tuesday, and I’ll be talking with
    Marissa on Wednesday.
  • Searcher Track: On day one, Chris and I have added all new
    sessions looking at personalized search and universal/blended search, huge
    shifts that search marketers need to understand.
  • Advertising Track: On day one, "Post-Search" will look at the
    growth and coming expected expansion of ads targeted to searchers as they
    surf the web, based on their searching behavior.
  • Issues Tracks: On day two, topics will range from two sessions on
    click fraud to a panel on copyright and trademark issues to an
    end-of-the-day look at whether paid links are "evil."
  • Industry Track: On day three, topics cover Search APIs, how to
    get started if you want to be a search marketer, pricing models for SEM and
    how the industry may approach the "SEO reputation problem."

These are just a few of the highlights — there are a lot of sessions. Long
time attendee, as well as speaker, Greg Jarboe has put together his
on session to attend today.

My own advice is to review the at-a-glance
If you’re new to search marketing, you want to sit in the Fundamentals track
all day on day one and most of day two. Really, stay there, learn the basics.
Experienced? Pick and choose based on what interests you. Each session is
flagged to tell you if it skews more toward the paid or organic side of search
marketing, if that makes a difference for you. Those especially for advanced
people are also noted. Been to SES before? Then look for sessions marked new.

Looking to meet up with me? These are the sessions I’ll be moderating in
chronological order:

  • Intro To SEM
  • Ads In A Quality Score World
  • Earning Money From Contextual Ads
  • Advanced Paid Search Techniques
  • Meet The Search Ad Networks
  • SEO Q&A On Links
  • Search Engine Q&A On Links
  • Organic Listings Forum
  • Meet The Crawlers

I’m also doing a formal presentation for that first panel. The Intro
session is sort of my hallmark presentation for the show, where I go through
all the basics of search marketing. My last one, at least at SES.

As for Chris Sherman, you’ll find him at these sessions:

  • Universal & Blended Search
  • Personalization, User Data & Search
  • Local Search Marketing Tactics
  • Link Baiting & Viral Search Success
  • Buzz Monitoring

We’re looking forward to meeting many of our
Search Engine Land readers out at
the event. We’ve got plenty of Search Engine Land laptop stickers, so if you
want one, just catch us and ask.

On Tuesday in the main lunch hall, I’ll also be hosting a
"birds-of-a-feather" lunch for any readers who want to meet up along with
those who are participating in our new Sphinn
social networking site. I introduced the birds-of-a-feather seating idea to
SES several years ago to allow those from particular interest groups or from
various forum communities to easily connect. You put a sign on your table, and
those interested in your topic or area all come by. So, we’ll be the Sphinn
table. And yep — I’ll have Sphinn stickers as well.

Want to see who is coming? Want to add your name? Check out the thread at
Sphinn: Sphinn Meetup @ SES San Jose

Want to kick back at one of the conference parties, such as the Google
Dance? Barry Schwartz has a round-up
here, and his
Search Engine Roundtable team will be live blogging sessions as listed
here. Doing
your own coverage? Kevin Newcomb over at the Search Engine Watch Blog provides
the official conference tag of "sessanjose2007"
here. Our
own coverage will go up on Search Engine Land, of course.

As I started out, SES San Jose is the swan song for Chris and I. After
this, it’s entirely other people who will program that event. Kevin Ryan was
put in charge back
in June, and a band of 15 advisors has just been
named to
assist him in figuring out how to do the events going forward. SES Chicago in
December will be the first major SES event where the new team has to strut its
stuff. FYI, I’ll be at SES Chicago, but solely as a speaker.

Speaking of SES Chicago, that other long-standing search conference —
Pubcon — runs
directly against in December. Organizer Brett Tabke has just posted a

giant list
of wonderful speaking tips for those getting ready for that.

Finally, while its our SES swan song, our SMX series is growing strong.
Both our SMX Local &
and SMX
Social Media
events are approaching fast; we’ve got some new events we’re
about to announce, and they type of work we’ve done to make SES a success as a
general gathering place for the industry is flowing into the planning for our
own SMX West event
next February in Santa Clara/Silicon Valley. Thousands have liked what we’ve
done over the years with conferences, and we’re still providing all that
quality content plus providing a great conference experience, as part of SMX.
Check out the SMX site for the
full line-up of shows this year.

Also, if you’re interested in sponsoring or exhibiting at one of our shows,
the right folks will be out at SES San Jose in the Third Door Media suite.
Contact Sean Moriarty
or call him on 203 536-4004 to set up a time to talk.

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