- There was a good supply of coffee.
- The food at lunch was a little too salty, but that may be because I have been drinking too much coffee – apparently caffeine can cause your mouth to have a salty taste.
- The wifi was good. It usually blows at these conferences.
- Good gathering of SEM pros. Sort of like walking into a 3D version of Sphinn. Great networking.
- Most people I talked with thought the linkbuilding panel was the best and I agree.
- The bot-herding panel should have been a 5-15 minute discussion. The topic did not merit an hour+ session, certainly didn’t strike me or anyone else I talked with as “advanced”. Although it did provide the best moment of the conference – when the MSN guy announced that they no longer supported “NoFollow” and then five minutes later said they did.
- The buying domains for SEO panel had some interesting info
- While it’s cool to be able to ask Matt Cutts questions and it is definitely valuable to have him here and offer the ability for you to meet him, I don’t think the hour and a half Q&A session with him was worthwhile. For obvious reasons Matt’s answer to most questions is “build a good website”. It felt sort of like a Scott McClellan press conference. Maybe one day Matt will write a tell-all book, but probably not until he’s fully vested. Matt’s Q&A session did produce the best stat of the conference however – search volume for 13 year old hookers is low. Note to all of you entrepreneurs, the time to get into the market is now.
- The SEM industry has a huge diversity issue. This is an industry of white Americans, hard working white Americans (Special nod to @martinbowling who flew in all the way from the backwoods of Appalachia despite a Deliverance-like experience with the airlines). Based on a visual scan of attendees this industry is about 95% male. As the wife of one attendee said “I don’t have to worry about you tonight honey. This is a sausage fest”.
Ok time for more coffee and on to day 2.