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WebmasterWorld Conference New Orleans Update

 1:29 am on Jun 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I just dropped out of the Google "Meet the engineers event" to say that it was great. I don't think that this has ever been done before anywhere and it has set the benchmark.

We had the opportunity to discuss individual site issues and observations. I was involved in the 302 dscussions and it appears that many webmasters/sites suffer the same/similar problems.

It's been a great opportunity for those attending the WebmasterWorld conference and I think it's proved that Google is listening.



 2:15 am on Jun 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd like to hear more of what was said.


 11:21 am on Jun 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

The google party rocked. They have set a new standard for innovative conference events (yes, topping the Yahoo bash at Rain last year Vegas)

hats off to Allegra for such incredible planning and preperation. Also to the team of engineers for such a great job - and also to their mentor ;-)


 12:10 pm on Jun 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

15 minutes with one Google engineer was worth the entire expense for the week. The "meet the engineers" event was incredible....


 12:57 pm on Jun 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

I thought that the engineers would be mobbed, and that it would be difficult to have a conversation with them. Turns out they sent more than 10, and that they were very accessible. I had a nice long chat with one of the engineers and learned a few things I didn't expect to.

The food was pretty awesome, too.


 1:53 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

it was sweet. i have a question, oh look, there's the cat that wrote the code, let's go ask him. Absolutely brilliant.

my only comment was that it was generally to loud to listen to conversations. i'm sure googleplex could foot the bill for some smaller rooms.

did i mention the free food, booze and live jazz...


 2:09 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I must agree on the noise level :-)

I also got the impression that guys from Google have built up a system that is so big that they really can not give you a clear answer on a question, but they do make a professional guess :-)
Still there is much value is such guesses.

And of cause the most important thing that they were listening and truly interested. Taking notes and digging for feedback, which is positive and we can hope that we will be heard.


 3:20 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow, the week flew by, I met sooo many of you and I know I'll never remember all of you.

What a fun week, I'm already looking forward to the next one!



 3:29 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

The Google party was certainly interesting. I'll agree on the noise level and whether you were lucky enough to get close enough to hear. Might have preferred a formal Q & A with a microphone on stage, but this was good as well.

I was most impressed with the interest the engineers took in the questions. They could have gone out there, been stubborn and quick with people, but they weren't. The ones I heard were very articulate, interested, and generally excited to be talking nerd with some webmasters. Someone should have gotten some hurricanes in them though to give up some dirt, although I'm sure a few tried at the bar later on.

The food was good, and not cheap. And an open bar will win me over anytime. Good time, and a great event.


 8:37 am on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I missed it, should have had gone, last minute changes in plans :(. When is the next conference guys? Brett, I know you you usually announce the venue for the next conference on the last day. The Las Vegas conference was great to attend (My first SEO conference).


 2:25 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I also got the impression that guys from Google have built up a system that is so big that they really can not give you a clear answer on a question, but they do make a professional guess :-)

Yeah I would guess that the algo is so large, different people work on different parts of it and nobody knows the entire secret.

The days of easy money and disposable domains are near the end. I think in the future affiliates may be able to make more money selling advertising than other peoples products.


 4:35 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

When is the next conference guys?

I think Brett mentioned it on the first day of the conference this time...

Sept 30. PubCon London (day conference)
Nov 15-17 Las Vegas (full conference)


 8:32 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

So...who's up for London?


 8:36 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

So...who's up for London?

I definitely won't miss this one.


 9:28 pm on Jun 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

I'd love to go to London...but I seriously doubt that I will be able to make it. Perhaps if there's one in Dallas or New Orleans again.


 12:58 am on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Vegas for sure, but will try for the London conference as well.


 1:00 am on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

So...who's up for London?

Definately - although I'm kinda hoping it will be in a different pub....


 6:14 am on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

As has already been said. WOW!

That was not only great information but what exquiste people! I had a great time with my new buddies... AND I remember their names even after the weird jello things... : )

Hi Kevin, Anna, Chad and Tony! House of Blues was GREAT.

I have some reading and learning to do but it will be fun. Hope the rest of you had a blast too!

Brett, you're a great host. Hope to see you all next time.


 1:35 pm on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Just wanted to thank Brett and crew for a great conference. The hotel was pretty bad, but I won't hold that against WebmasterWorld. :) Had a great time. Really loved meeting online buddies, as well as tons of people I'd never talked to before. Will be leaving the hotel in a couple of hours (thank goodness), and heading home with my head full of ideas.


 2:42 pm on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

The google dinner was amazing. Anyone that missed it doesn't even know how much they missed.

I thought the session halls were great, but the hotel in general was horrible. Like the poster said above I as well will not hold that against WebmasterWorld. :)

Thanks everyone for such a great experience. See you next time, -g


 3:11 pm on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

It was a great idea and I was surprised they had as many engineers as they did. However, I found some of the attendees to be pushy and basically ignoring etiquette. Because there was no actual "lineup" to talk I noticed a few taking advantage.

In any event, I got some important questions answered, enjoyed the food (and drinks) and was extremely pleased with the forum.

Hope this becomes a regular thing for them :)


 3:35 pm on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

> ... noticed a few taking advantage

What?! Some small number of webfolks were taking advantage and trying to hog the best spots all for themselves?!?!?

Why, who ever heard of such a thang? :)

I gotta make one of these soon, even if I don't do this for a living, sounds like there definitely is the potential to do some living


 3:40 pm on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Had a great time, learned an incredible amount.... and we thought the hotel was great. I mean, often hotel staff start to have problems when the hotel is so full, but I didn't see any problems myself. And I can't remember the last time I paid only $60 a night in a hotel.


 11:13 pm on Jun 25, 2005 (gmt 0)

Wow, I met the Google Guys and one Google Girl, who, by the way, prefers to be called a Google Engineer. Learned just about everything I needed to know. They were unbelievably helpful. I got a few direct answers that I didn't expect. To those who did not attend, glad I'm not you.

Pubcon was awesome as well. I met just the right people. Just, WOW!

I have one word to describe the entire experience: overwhelming. My "to do" list will take me 6 months. Better hire some help soon.


 2:09 am on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

This was my first conference. It was great... looking forward to the next one.

Does anyone know what the next PubConf will focus on? Both London and Vegas?


 2:22 am on Jun 26, 2005 (gmt 0)

Vegas I sure won't miss, maybe adopt a new psuedonym to avoid scrutiny first...

It's been about 10 years since I was last in London, that would be a hoot, not sure what my spousal unit would think about hopping the pond to just sit in a pub as she's not fond of beer.



 4:40 am on Jun 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

I was pretty happy with the New Orleans Conference too and I met a lot of people and even remember some of their online names!

Got alot of good info on Google SiteMaps, Duplicate Content and SEO Tools. Here's the brief summary of what I got of the Wednesday session:

The Google people use the term “Sandbox” but it means specific kinds of behavior; they don’t subscribe to the idea that all new sites fall into a sandbox.

Google confirmed that they probably do use CTR as a ranking factor with qualifications – they have to determine when people are gaming the system and clicking on their own urls, etc.

The engineer I spoke with did not agree with my definition of Duplicate content on websites. I did not get the feeling though,they actually knew for sure how the duplicate content penalty was invoked. If content looked identical but it was clear the data was sourced from somewhere else (therefore, not a copy), the engineer said this should not be a penalty.

There was a lot of talk about LSI at the conference; however, I don’t know if any of the engineers actually addressed it in detail.

None of the Engineers at Google use the tools we do; they are more like statisticians and speak a different language (ie: Signal noise, etc). That’s the one thing I think we need to bridge. I suggested that Engineers at Google look at the SEO tools in use and express an opinion on the ones they think are useful (or not).

I also go some very direct info on Sitemaps for a large site of a client of mine with 11 million pages; the Google Engineer knew of my clients' sitemap! I was very impressed.

Great Show Brett!


 4:55 am on Jun 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

.. and a good post Metricsguru!

I'm sure any further nuggets from Google would be welcomed too.
As for Signal/noise, that's probably in reference to the famous "signal to noise ratio"
used in all sorts of electronics, radio, communications and engineering.
Everyone wants to improve their S/N ratio, i.e. more signal and/or less noise.
The same formulas might apply to content over junk if you catch my drift;
but that's only speculation on my part. -Larry


 7:10 am on Jun 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

... specific kinds of behavior ...

Hehe. No one who was paying close attention over the past year subscribed to the nonsense that all new sites get hit. But for the still-non-believers, hats off to MetricsGuru for being in the thick of things and accurately restating this critically important tidbit.

And some people wonder if it's worth it to attend the PubCon's. Go figure.


 8:07 am on Jun 27, 2005 (gmt 0)

Interesting post Metricsguru - thanks.

Google confirmed that they probably do use CTR as a ranking factor

What!? Any more details? ;)

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