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- hotel - most excellent. Everything it was billed to be.
- hotel bar - rather small, but cozy. Micro brewery within one block!
- odds are running 40-60 on a certain WebmasterWorld member making it into the states ;-)
- Top new SEO tips and tricks...as if...you had to be there ;-)
Oilman and Jatar_k this was the first time I had meant these Guys and they killed me. You need to spend time with these guys.
Drastic I still don't know how you made my pint disappear you are a real magician.
Scariest moment, USA customs with my traveling partner and state police (they donít have a sense of humor).
Best moments too many to list, Top Tips Ö.. You should have been there.
The ability to meet with, and put faces to names here on the forums is an amazing thing - and I'm already anticipating the next "pubcon".
While I only spoke with a few people in detail, I got to meet and pick the brains of many.
The best presentation, from my point of view, goes to Overture. The detail and breakdown of the PPC market was just plain awesome, and I look forward to seeing the printouts on my desk soon. :)
The funniest presentation? Goes to Matt Cutts. Not only do we know that Googlebot is asexual, but we also know that other search engines feature great mortgage calculators upon the most simple search phrase.
From there, I have to give a nod to the best dressed, ciml, and just hope that next time around, Matt from Google has a chance to eat in peace.
Hands down, great job by Brett in simply getting the community to the point it's at, and Oilman for playing the role of MC during the morning hours (not to mention the dozens of mods, sponsors, and speakers).
Travoli, oilman, drcool, rc_jordan, James_R, seth_wilde, eljefe -- thanks for the good conversations and splash of humor.
Hope everyone else had a good time, and makes it home safely - and post those pics if you were one of the members snapping photos!
Google and Overture both frequented the term "optimization" within the speaking roles, printed collatoral (Adwords booklet, last page) and the Q&A session. Being an SEO, this just struck me as odd, but hey, paranoia about all this is what makes you good at it. :)
Within the presentation from Teoma, I found it interesting to note that there was an emphasis on the "expert validation" aspect of their engine's handling of web pages. This is the first actual time that I've directly seen and heard an SE Rep. touch upon this topic.
Beyond that, it was really cool to know that FAST/ATW has some new editorial policies as well as the fact that a new WordTracker-esque tool _could_ be available in the future.
In terms of solid information from Google, Cutts seemed to point out that Google is investigating new and automated ways to help the dirty SEO/Webmasters. Essentially, a cycle was shown in fair detail, the steps from "hey look at all my spam" to the point that reinclusion can happen without a single emailed request.
Oh, and who could forget the fact that the ADDURL option on Google still actually works! (Why spend the extra minute though when you can just get a link!?)
I've got some more notes, and perhaps more importantly some more myths that I'm holding onto as truth -- but I'm curious to see what everyone else took away from it all.
PS: Special thanks to Travoli and JamesR for making me go from somewhat curious, to downright paranoid within some particular SE's practices...
I met many fine folks (too many to name) and for those I missed - sorry, hopefully we'll meet at the one of the future ones.
The Damage: hoarse voice, stiff back, headache, and sleepy.
The Goods: not tellin - you'll have to come to the next one to find out. SO many good ideas and discussions. I will tell you that profitability in our profession can be had - and you needn't work so hard. Just work smarter. For more secrets - be at the next one.
The Bonus: Finally got to sit in a Herman Miller chair (and I liked it).
3 hours of sleep and the constant thumping in my head were nowhere near enough to slow down my enjoyment of the weekend.
I was truly impressed with everyone I met at the pub conference. Once I get caught up on 6 days worth of e:mails, I'll be able to catch up on what has been happening on the board.
Once again, thanks to Brett, all the mods and all the attendees. It was everything I'd hoped for and more.
Voice still very rough. Have been to many types of business conferences but the information that passes back and forth at this one is astounding!
Biggest complaint: Every time I went downstairs to the pub's restroom I got involved in another 20 to 30 minute conversation (more good info). By the time I got back up to the bar and grabbed a drink it was time to head down and start all over again. And all over again, and again.
Matt Cutts is a standup guy, swamped by folks all day and eve. Paul from Temoa/Jeeves wasn't in best form for his presentation, but in small groups made it clear that they are not standing still.
When all clears I'll start to digest everything from all who shared. Now know many faces (blury), all I have to do is remember the nicks that go with them.
Thanks to all. Thanks to Brett.
The best company, the best conversation and some business to boot. I couldn't ask for more.
My point is to say I love every minute of the conferences and barring dismemberment wouldn't miss them. Thanks to every person I had the sheer pleasure to shake hands with and especially to the few who walked up and said they wanted to specifically meet me. It made me feel very good and even like I might know what I am talking about sometimes. ;)
The highlight was still sunday breakfast with DaveN, oilman and seth_wilde. I had tears streaming down my face from laughing so hard.
and, of course, thanks to Brett.
You have just started me off again it's lines from oilman like.
You look like a 12 year old and drink chocolate milk, it just don't figure.
If I ever get a chance to get over to the little country you live in, I'll catch a ride over to see you. For real.
Well, I came here for a drink with my mates...
Heh, I talk to you guys more than my family...
And what friends and family! - Superb of course but so much more, Pubcon was terrific and if I could think straight (jet lag) I'd tell you why more eloquently.
For now though, after days of no sleep and feeling like somthing the cat dragged in, put it this way: Go London.....!
David Cecil's now traditional PubCon event known as "Killing the 5th of Maker's Mark [makersmark.com]" (a.k.a. Southern Sippin' Whiskey 101) was carried out under my supervision with strict adherence to our TOS. 3 Vikings attended. (Don't let Rumbas fool you with all that hooey about jet lag, either. That's not the problem.)
I totally agree. There lots of you I wish I had chatted with.
Pubcon wrap up and what I learned:
1. It was nice to see that "computer geeks" are actually regular people. Not one mention of Star Trek the whole weekend ;-)
2. It was nice to talk shop with people that actually knew what I was talking about. Everyone at home that I talk to just yeah, yeah, yeahs me to death, even though I know they don't have, or want to have a clue.
3. Google search results are whacked out on webtv. Something with the Adwords boxes on the RHS breaks the #1 search result just before the site's URL. The rest of the results are not seen until all the Adwords boxes are shown. So if you target the "webtv crowd", and are not #1 for your keyword(s) I suggest you bid on Adwords. (I use <div class=s> for RHS adverts in search results pages and it seems to work fine on webtv.)
4. I cannot stay offline for more than 2 days. (No I don't own a laptop, and yes I paid the $10+or- for the tv internet in room) I thought I could hold out and stay offline for a few days, but after a serious web jones, the lure of the webtv was too much.
5. The Canadians really do patrol the Hague Line (commercial fishing boundary between U.S. and Canada) with submarines. source: fathom
5. There alot of very savvy people involved in affiliate marketing.
6. Drug dealers make alot of money online too. ;-)
Thanks to all for a very nice and informative weekend.
Big thrills: meeting for the first time folks whose posts I value so highly, including (but not limited to):
- CIML (A gentleman in the traditional sense...he'll be "Sir CIML" ere the decade's over)
- oilman (Me: "Dude, I thought you were, like, in your fourties or fifties!")
- Shak (...who should give lessons on how to party without alcohol)
- Laisha (A Mainer! Go Pine Tree state!)
- vitaplease (Great idea: printing his WebmasterWorld nickname in big letters on the back of his shirt)
- rogerd (Apparently quoted in USA Today within the past week)
- lorax (A fellow Vermonter! I will say that, per capita, Vermont may have been the best-represented state: four of us (myself, lorax, Milne68, and Eric_Winter) out of a total population of ~600K.)
For a 'non-technical' like myself, it was wonderful to find that I actually understood most of what people said -both with or without the aid of alcohol... I am so inspired from this conference to work really hard to become 'tecnical' like the rest of you.
Thanks to everybody who made this possible, well done!
I made it back to Orange County, California from my weekend of conferences. I'd first like to thank everyone for putting on this event, it has truly grown and in the growth the aspect and origons haven't been lost so it was another great event!
I've uploaded a few pictures of the conference and also a few video clips with slight audio :)
I enjoyed talking to everyone and sharing stories and advise amoungst the seo's of the industry. I picked up some very good tactics, and tips during this conference and also picked up on many affiliate programs which could be very profitable. :D
Food, Beer, White Russians, Little Sleep and Tons of talking made my weekend. Came in on Friday, Left Sunday evening and now im back at work integrating and implimenting some of the ideas.
Highlights for me:
~ putting faces and "real world" personalities with online names and personas; some people are exactly like I imagined, and some people were amazingly different -- but everyone was really great and easy to talk with
~ the hotel, food, and planning were really great -- a big thanks goes out to Brett and his 1,000 hours of planning for this conference - it really paid off in spades
~ the diversity of people -- quite young to retirement age, men and women, people from all over the world, pure white hat SEO's to pure black hat SEO's (and quite a few that know when it is proper to change hats), pure software people to pure affiliate people
~ every conversation I had was a learning experience, and a chance to exchange notes on different parts of the business (there were knowledgeable people there representing every major topic on this board); from riding in the limo from the hotel to the pub, to waiting in the line for food, and certainly downstairs there were tons of great conversations with "real world" web-people
~ the formal presentations on Saturday were fairly informative (especially for some of the little details that the SE's mentioned -- although the SE's were NOT trying to share anything that would actually help us in ranking ;-). The Overture presentation was the most buttoned-up and professional, Teoma was also interesting for the fact that they are really trying to bring in reputable "context;" but I was a bit disappointed that there was not even a possibility that there could ever be a version of the index that was "pure editorial, without PFI or PPC" (which Google and Fast thought was a good idea). The fact that Matt Cutts is a real cut-up was cool, and I enjoyed the very laid-back approach that he took.
~ the Q & A after the formal presentation was really good, and I enjoyed watching the SE's shift in their chairs as they were thrown some pretty interesting questions
~ the affiliate meeting was informative, and should be duplicated (often if possible -- perhaps even virtually) -- the Q & A part was really a great part of that meeting
~ the Google gifts were really great! The Overture mints were tasty,and the plastic pens were not bad; but come-on Overture, you have Google to compete with :-) (shameless plug for more goodies)
~ the whole "overall experience" -- it just rocked!
Negatives for me:
~ the "pre-show" activities could have been announced somewhere online (as the hotel had 8 bars, and many people just opted for other restraunts, so when somebody arrived it was a matter of asking everybody you see "are you webmaster" (I never knew that question could get such strange looks...)
~ the Q & A after the formal presentations could have been longer. I know that the SE reps don't like to squirm under the spotlight, but that was a really beneficial part of the event for us webmasters.
~ the cold rain was a bummer, but fortunately it was only on Saturday (Mike_Mackin, Jenn, and crisandrae should be awarded a medal for braving the weather to stroll the streats of Boston)
~ Boston is a really great walking town (with some really great parks, bars, and other attractions), BUT if you want to drive to Boston it is a living NIGHTMARE! For me, the Tremont was totally booked, so I stayed at the Wyndam Chelsea (only 4 easy miles away), but actually getting to and from that hotel to the Tremont was always an adventure (and I am not a bad driver). Honestly, I think that there should have been a special "Travel Advisory" page for PubCon attendees that wanted to drive warning them that you are doing so at your own peril.
From now on I am ONLY flying into boston.
~ PubCon had to came to an end :-( Just when I was starting to really get people's names down it was time to depart. Fortunately I think that a lot of the relationships that were started in the "real world" will continue on very well here in the forum.
Thanks to everyone! This online community is full of really bright and friendly people that I am happy to be "affiliated" with. I look forward to seeing you all again sometime real soon.