SMX Israel took place in Jerusalem on Sunday as a one-day event full of keynotes and sessions, led by Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land/Search Engine Roundtable.
That's a long trip for those of us in the states (or for those in many other parts of the world for that matter), so if you were unable to attend, you could hardly be blamed. But that's what makes the Internet great. Attendees and presenters have shared info and commentary about the event for everybody else to see. I'm sure it doesn't quite match actually being there, but it's better than nothing. And it's free.
Some presenters have shared their presentations online. Here's one from Aviv Manoach:
Here's one from Mark Ginsberg:
Dixon Jones shares one here.
Ben Druce offers a live-blogged account of SMX Israel here.
"The SERP (search engine result page) scene from Google has always been changing – so their updates such as Search Plus Your World and Panda are not necessarily spoken of with resentment – Panda specifically is a good wakeup call to many for remembering that real people like fresh and real content," he says, in a separate "highlights" piece. "However, the notion that Google is being unfair in their current practices is now coming to the forefront. The most common claim is that Google SERPS are showing Google Plus results on top of the far more relevant traditional organic sites, or even Facebook or Twitter results. The general feel was that Google is here to stay, and if we don’t like it, we still have to deal with it."
Nichola Stott has her own summary of the event, concluding that the speakers "seemed to be very much in agreement on the following points:"
Gil Reich compiled a list of the "best lines" from the event, which includes:
Roman Zelvenschi: Nobody knows how to pronounce my last name, but that’s OK, I rank number 1 for it.
Eli Feldblum: Use schema. Do it now. Seriously. You have an internet-connected device with you.
Eli Feldblum: We’ve reached the point where “normal” blue text links get lost in the noise on a Google SERP.
Barry Schwartz: Google is recommending … Doesn’t mean you should do it … Just saying.
Shira Abel: Google owns you. Get used to it.
Marty Weintraub: Facebook owns you too.
Marty Weintraub: Use Facebook to target businesses. Raise your hand if you have a FB account. Raise your hand if you have a job. See …
Tomer Honen (from Google): We got better at Flash. Right about the time people stopped using it
Olivier Amar: When you’re in-house you pay a lot more attention to long term. Because you still want to be here.
Ofer Dascalu: Some people say “publishers and Google are partners.” My partners reply to my e-mails. They pick up the phone when I call.
Michael King: When you interact with people on Twitter don’t use the same account that you use to Tweet SEO articles. That’s like trying to pick up a girl while holding a book called How to Be a Pickup Artist.
Reich has a more complete round-up of the event here.
It's also interesting to see conversations that transpire in the aftermath of these conferences. For example, this one on Google+ including one of the presenters, Miriam Schwab, about the necessity of using Google+ for search marketing. Schwab said in a post, "Welcome to all my new followers since SMX Israel yesterday. Oh the hilarious irony that after bashing Google+, my community here grows. Love it :)"
Aaron Zakowski responded, "Hi Miriam, I enjoyed your presentation yesterday. But despite many people's feeling about G+, all of us marketers need to be here b/c Google is making G+ a necessary component for online success. I predict that within a few months, G+ will be more important to most us than Twitter."
Schwab replied, "Aaron, I don't disagree. Google has made Google+ necessary. My problem is that they are forcing us to join, and promoting Google+ results over other networks, even when the relevance is questionable. They are acting like a big bully, and that is not the right way, and maybe even not the sustainable way, to build community. We will be here because we have to, but will there be activity here? Will non-marketers join too? Possibly not, since they're all comfy on facebook."
A pretty timely discussion, given the regulatory scrutiny Google is getting.