It was hard to get to everyone I wanted to meet, but I took a few notes from those I talked to:
Tim Mayer [webmasterworld.com] of Fast mentioned that there would be an increased relevance in coming weeks. Sounded like a new algorythm and/or new index is in the works at Fast.
Paul Gardi said that Teomas next build would be two to three times as large as the current index. That would bring it up around 500 to 750 million pages. This is a non-trivial increase for Teoma.
When asked if they felt they could increase it even more in the coming year, he said they could, but they didn't want too. "We feel that after about 1 billion pages, you get into a very bad part of the web". It is certainly true that Teoma has done an oustanding job of identifying the core set of quality sites that make up the internet.
I was also surprised when Gardi told me that WebmasterWorld was his new home page. (he had me for about 2 milliseconds) ;-)
Teoma also won everyones praise for the coolest give away at the conference: Hard mouse pads with a silicon gel wrist rests - uber sheik.
Rob Cook of Intomi was excited about WebSearch 9 - Inktomis recent new rebuild of their database and search system.
I would be remiss if I didn't report that one of the hot behind the scenes discussions about Inktomi has been rumors of Inktomi building a showcase site for their engine. We heard of a site at Inktomi that has been used to show off the search engine for potential partners. Whether that will be transformed into a public site is unknown, but everyone was sure curious about it.
When asked about it, Rob said that for now, the best example of Inktomi's capabilities would be to use Position Techs pure search.
Although it hasn't been formally announced, it seems like everyone knew about a new product coming out from PositionTech tenatively called PT Review. It's a method of ensuring editorial quality over documents submited through PositionTech and Inktomis Trusted Feed service.
A great deal of talk at the conference was about Froogle [webmasterworld.com] that launched. Other than that, it was status quo - more of the same for the Google machine.
The Wall Street Journal had a reporter there talking with many SEO's. It was hard to tell the focus of the article, but he asked a wide range of questions.
(Please tip us off if you see it in print.)
Altavista was excited about their recent rebuild and relaunch. They stressed their renewed focus on search.
Conference Buzz Word:
Greg Boser [webmasterworld.com] coined the term "organic" to describe sites that are home grown with quality unique content. Everyone was using it.