October 13, 2008
The Future of Search Conferences...
Well, I can without a doubt, say that the last few years in this space have been quite a ride. I've been doing this for quite sometime now and I've written some posts in the past regarding our evolution online. I think a lot of this is overlooked and we see people repeating a lot of the same mistakes that we made as newbies online. "Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it!" The good news is people, the web is still growing & so is the number of daily users. The game for the majors has been to grab the users at their point of entry online, and at any entry they can find whether it be via a desktop, mobile, gaming platform, etc. The cool thing is, in the beginning...the engines didn't like us online marketers very much. There's wasn't the hand holding that you see going on today. This has had a positive affect on Search Conferences, because the engines have embraced the community fully now. But what happens when the community divides itself? What happens when rumor and gossip become the foremost topic on our lips instead of the latest, greatest, hot news? Well, you have link baiters. It's only a point of evolution as we marketers are now a fixture online. This does not mean the end of SEO as you know it. It just means there's more change for you to be aware of. This has been this single largest constant in SEO I know of that one needs to be able to cope with: CHANGE. So when search conference personalities go one way and others go another way...and then comes the wave of politics to follow... I contend yet still...EVOLUTION! It doesn't mean you need to pick sides, it means you need to be loyal and true to yourself and your clients. Then you can find where you fit in the newest iteration of the space...as it's constantly changing. So it pleases me to find someone who recently wrote on their blog about the spirit of search conferences remaining as they had perceived them at the NYC show...and reading their description of it...my reply is best stated as the following: THE SPIRIT OF SEO'S HAVE ALWAYS BEEN THE SAME, IT'S THE PERCEPTION OTHERS HAVE OF US WHICH HAS CHANGED. As an old-timer around here, I can say without undo haste, the spirit you witnessed at SMX, is the same witnessed at Pubcon or Adtech or SES and many other smaller shows around the world not mentioned here as well as all the local SEO Meet-ups. I am glad you got to witness this and be a part of it, it's cool to be a part of this community. For those new or old, even though we may be seeing an overall economic impact here in the states and other countries abroad. This industry is still growing and its still here, which means more conferences and more of that good ole SEO Spirit!