Friday Short Notes

Friday, February 29, 2008
Posted by Jim Hedger @ 3:07 pm

I just got back from the amazing SMX West search marketing conference very early this morning so the post will be a bit short on style but hopefully long on substance. Bear with me friends, it has been a long and exhausting week. Conferences tend to take 110% of the attendees’ energies, leaving a gaping deficit that has me feeling half-strength and under the rainy weather today. Instead of trying to write a high standard post this morning I think I’ll just share a few notes from the week that was… (And what a week it was…)

1/ Search Marketing Expo West

Third Door Media achieved the home run they needed at SMX-West. To be more accurate, the SMX-West conference was one of the best shows I’ve ever attended; second only to the inaugural SMX-Advanced (Seattle) conference in June 2007.
Held in the expansive Santa Clara Convention Center, SMX-West featured a massive line-up of speakers, networking events and information sharing. I plan to do a much longer article on the show but, not today. It was far too busy for me to be able to work well after 96-hours in that fast-paced environment. In the meantime, here is a link to 80 photos from the show.

2/ Enquisite makes a splash at SMX West.

We love it when our friends are successful. Enquisite CEO Richard Zwicky (co-founder of Metamend) was seen and heard all over the place at SMX West as he and Enquisite spokesperson Emily Spence introduced the Enquisite Search Analytics Suite and PPC Assurance to the conference.

Richard joined Rand Fishkin in a demonstration conference of the seomoz pro community which has incorporated Enquisite as its lead analytics tool. Enquisite developed a specialized long-tail keyword analyzer at Rand’s request which was also introduced during the product demonstration. Congratulations to the entire Enquisite team.

3/ IAC Ready to Ditch Ask Technology for Google?

Peter Kafka at the Silicon Valley Insider is reporting IAC might sell or dump the technology behind and turn to Google to power search.

“There is indeed a big shakeup coming. A new Ask. Some think a reduction in workforce is likely. There are no sacred cows, Teoma may be sold or simply abandoned which is hundreds of engineers who work on the core search engine, in place of just using Google’s search with our special brand of user interface.”

At this point, the story is industry gossip but, as the IAC board is known to be in a power struggle right now, there might be weight to the rumour. Watch for more developments next week.

4/ Standardize Me: A Push for Industry-Wide Standards

There has been an uptick in discussion about codifying a set of standards for SEO and SEM. A session at SMX covered the topic as does an article by Chris Boggs in Search Engine Watch today. Though the idea of compiling a set of standards for an industry as dynamic and fast-paced as SEO is daunting, the SMX panel and Chris’ article make good cases for it. (note: Chris was on the panel at SMX)

I’d watch for an attempt at setting standards by SEMPO in the coming months. At the very least, I’d expect some momentum fueled by the continued and often heated discussion in the sector.

5/ Industrial Strength

Based on my experiences this week, I suggest the industry is extremely strong and growing stronger. I had the unique pleasure to meet five emerging SEOs under the age of 21 this week. The newest of these SEOKids scraped up just enough cash to gas up a borrowed car to drive up from LA. With no money for food or lodging, he slept in stairwells and on deck chairs near the hot-tub at the Hyatt, not telling anyone of his plight until the last night. He did it because he simply had to be at the conference. Amazing… Each of these emerging SEOs has accomplished something noteworthy in their remarkably short careers. Note to Evan Fishkin, Chloe Spencer, Harrison the Affiliate King (16-years old!), Fred Works and Gab Goldenberg; ya’ll rock. Keep at it.
That’s it for now. I hope to get a number of thoughts about SMX and the search marketing industry out over the weekend but now, I need to write a few reports over yet another cup of tea.

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