Just came back from Google Dance - a massive party done up like the bashes of the Bubble Days - dancing, karaoke, beach volleyball, food, beer, wine and free T-shirts. Oh, and you could also talk to various Google engineers about new offerings. There were even party crashers that even went out of their way to get SES badges so they could get in. Why be a wedding crasher, when you can be a corporate bash crasher? It was fun to soak it up with Microsofties and Yahooligans at their competitors expense... though I'm sure someone at Google is justifying that as a show of dominance or invitation to join.
The SES show was better than in previous years, specifically in terms of the research data and the multimedia SEO content. Last year, tagging and social networks were all the rage. Now it's old news. Google Universal is all the rage given how it will change the look and feel of search engine results as well as what we do with SEO. The Golden Triangle is breaking to the "E". It goes to show you that the game is not really over. As much as Google is dominant now, with broadband media taking shape, it does not mean that it will retain dominance. Hell, I even met a company putting together an "answer machine" based on chaos theory. If only the founder could explain it like Charlie Epps in NUMB3RS.
Based on last year, I did not really see this as a show about getting any leads, but I'm told we received quite a few. I saw this as a way to stay ahead of the curve, get sources for our upcoming books & seminars, and establish our brand firmly in the Bay Area. Little did I know that Manju would actually offer our book, Insider SEO & PPC, for sale. By selling it instead of giving it away, people realized its greater value. Moreover, as part of our education effort, we also promoted our upcoming Search Engine Roundtable in Santa Clara on August 30th. Yeah, it's free - for now!
I'll be writing a lot more about the specific sessions I found interesting, but this is a golden time for anyone to be doing something on the web. For those who want to break through with media or run an SEM agency (good luck doing all this inhouse), these are exciting times.