Recap Of SMX Advanced ’08

    June 9, 2008

Now that I’m back from SMX advanced and have had a few days to catch up I’ll share my thoughts.

I had some client meeting to take care of, and some interviews and videos to shoot, so I didn’t get to as many sessions as I’d like to but I’ll talk about what I did see.

Microsoft Keynote
Interesting to hear some more frank discussions from M$. The branding issue is really a problem for them IMHO. Search is a smaller part of the whole M$ operation so they are subservient to the corp but really this is something they need to fix sooner rather than later. I really hope they take some of the suggestions and requests to heart and act on them.

Link Building
My least favorite session of the conference, probably not as advanced as I would have liked, but Stephan Spencer totally rocked the house on that panel.

You and A with Matt Cutts
Matt’s always fun to watch, I wish we’d get less sidestepping, shuffle step, and non question answering (at this stage Matt is an expert at it), but at least more people are seeing it.

International SEO
This was a really good session. I don’t do a lot of international work, but I think the info presented has a lot of carryover value, from an architecture POV. If this one is offered again and you missed it this time, definitely put it on your must see list

Analytics Every SEO Needs To Know
You know analytics is pretty tough subject to make interesting, but the panelists totally brought it to the table. Every speaker on this panel was rock solid on the money, interesting and informative. This one is another must see session.

Give it Up
ok slight bias as I was on this panel, but every other person on the panel gave me something to think about, and look at when I got home. IMHO much better and more consistent than last years, and this was absolutely my favorite session of the conference.

There has been some criticism that this show was a little darker than most conferences. I’ll admit that “give it up” had content that leaned in that direction, but I defy anyone to say that wasn’t an amazing panel. Other than that I’d say they were sprinkled in and it didn’t really make up a majority of the show. The black hats were just better at “stealing the stage” which made them more memorable. Could you make the argument not everyone disclosed the risks adequately … maybe … but I think as a speaker at an advanced show, it’s ok to assume participants have some idea of where the line is, and should know when they are stepping over it.