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SES Wrap-Up: Snow, SEO, and Angry CEOs

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I never thought I’d be upset to be walking in to the Hilton on Michigan Avenue in Chicago. But after camping at O’Hare for six hours, scrambling to rebook flights for two, catching the Blue Line for one, and trudging through the snow for another hour, I was more than a little peeved to be walking into the gilded Hilton lobby instead of my house for the night. Danny Sullivan had assured one cold lady on Monday that all the heat was in his room, and judging by how I was shivering, that was probably true.

It had been an interesting week stuffed like a chili rellano with information delivered at light speed from some of the premiere executives in the Search Marketing industry. The major search engines had neglected to provide any parties for the conference (save for Google’s invitation-only VIP cocktail soiree for about 200 AdWords clients-or so I heard). Thanks to some last minute scrambling by WebMaster RadioFM though, a righteous bash did materialize at Buddy Guy’s Legends, just around the frigid corner from the Hilton. These guys are funny when they’re drunk.

And these guys are fast when they talk. Furiously noting what the experts were doling out was a typing speed test-or an exercise in shorthand when my battery died. I at least got the gist of the conference, if not discernable notes (thanks to Dave and John for transcribing!) the future of search marketing is a different playing field altogether from traditional SEO, even with advanced SEO for large sites as discussed here.

While the usual stuff like linking and keyword optimization (the old hat organic part that’s so important) was addressed often, the darling of an online campaign will be through consumer generated media like RSS, blogs, tags, and wiki-style reference sites.

Though harder to control for content, these new technologies and services provide targeting like never before. Unlike spamming, which has a much lower response rate, getting messages delivered and managed through these media is highly efficient. The session on press release optimization for search engines was also enlightening.

And it was especially fun to listen to PubSub CTO Bob Wyman go at it with Feedster’s Scott Johnson, playfully taking jabs at the competitor’s services. I believe a “bite me” came out somewhere. More on that later.

The highlight of my week was landing an exclusive interview with AIT CEO Clarence Briggs, who filled me in on his company’s taking over the lead of a class action lawsuit against Google, claiming the company tolerates click fraud. There will be more from Mr. Briggs and WebProNews in the future.

As fun a town as Chicago is, it was nice to finally get home to Kentucky, home of pretty horses and fast womenwait, that’s backwards I think.

SES Wrap-Up: Snow, SEO, and Angry CEOs
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