Posted November 14, 2008 12:10 pm by with 10 comments

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I am waiting at McCarran Airport to head back home and see my family after a long week of information overload. I mean that in a good way though. This was my first PubCon and I think it was well worth the time and effort. I met a lot of folks who are passionate about their work and are helping a growing industry move along at a break neck pace through open sharing of information, techniques, resources etc. I have always been on the sales side of search services and I tell you now that I am getting a look at the actual delivery and implementation of internet marketing and all its facets like SEO, paid search, social media, video and on and on and I am impressed. This industry is no longer the fringe. I am not totally sure where and how it fits exactly but it’s not going to be on the outside looking in that’s for sure.

The conference was great for me. Now, I would like to hear from veterans of PubCon to get a feeling for how this stacks up to the past events from an informational standpoint. The ‘social’ aspect I suspect is dependent on who you hang out with and Vegas is, well, Vegas. But back to the information. I spent the bulk of my time in SEO and social media sessions. Here’s a 30,000 foot flyover of what I heard. I will be sharing more in the next few days.


Surprisingly content is more important to SEO than ever. Not news I know but I think as the industry has matured this throwaway line has actually acquired more importance over time. The engines still want content. Of course, content leads to links and we all know about links.

The printed word (text) still leads the way due to the engines limited abilities that still exist with reading flash, video, images etc. Matt Cutts made an excellent observation that while Google is improving in their ability to index flash content there should still not be a rush to be “all flash all the time”. The simple reason was made clear when he showed two competing sites, one all flash the other not, but he was not looking at it from a Google perspective. Instead he showed how they rendered on an iPhone. The ‘traditional’ site was viewed just fine while the flash site was the dreaded ‘yellow screen of flash’ and not even viewable. Point taken.

One funny thing I saw was how far behind the enterprise SEO machines seems to be due to bureaucracy and the sheer magnitude / size of their sites. It’s kind of entertaining to hear these folks talking about how it takes months to change a title tag. If you are a more nimble small to medium player in any field you should be salivating at this dinosaur’s approach to SEO. Opportunity abounds!

I heard one theory (from Matt Cutts as well) that the future of black hat will now move closer to actual criminal activities. No longer will black hats be able to do what they have always done for success but now more are resorting to domain hijacking etc etc that can land them in jail and not just a Google ‘time out’. Many will snicker at that but the more deviant you need to get to beat anything, the closer you move to an edge that no longer is OK or ‘harmless’.

Social Media

As I alluded to in an earlier post social media has a bit of a Wild West feel to it. What is happening though is that people are started to develop many applications and services to help facilitate the successful implementation of social campaigns and efforts. This is the cottage industry of the internet marketing industry. The most innovation is happening here because there is so much learning on the fly. If you can remain ahead of the curve here I think you can turn these ‘neat and cool’ apps into real money.

Well there is so much more to tell you but that will be for another time. Thanks to everyone at PubCon; both the organizers and presenters. I think I am better for my time there. It’s not often one can say that.

  • Great experience. I trust that we can all learn from this, especially the newbies that still want to establish themselves. Often they just need to get a real feel for what is genuine or what is deemed as being pure scam online opportunities.

  • Pubcon 2008 was my third conference and, as usual, I walked away with ‘information overload’ that sparked ideas and possibilities for my own business as well as for my clients. I’ve already marked my calendar for next year.

    Yes, content will always, always, always be paramount to any Web site and not just from an SEO perspective. The bottom line for any Web site owner is *communicating and connecting* with a customer. Customers pay your bills. Spiders don’t (tho they do help point them in your direction).

    Many businesses still discount the importance of skilled and talented SEO copywriters – folks who can write balanced copy that engages potential customers and informs spiders.

    Nice synopsis, Frank. Let’s take all that “good content” we got from Pubcon (plus cool contacts) and run with it!

  • PS3

    Every time I see PubCon I imagine a bunch of real ale drinkers doing a tour of the UK’s bars (Public Houses = Pubs!).

    Glad to see you found it worthwhile though.

  • Too bad we didn’t meetup Frank. Pubcon was great!

    Utah SEO Pro’s last blog post..The Future of SEO

  • Content has always been very important. I think if your company has a good strategy for writing & distributing content that actually ‘matters’ in your community your SEO campaign is bound to be successful.

    Many corporate businesses ignore the value of social media…Social media is something that they aren’t comfortable doing…

    Saad Kamal’s last blog post..Official Google SEO Guide

  • I’ve never been to one, they sound good though perhaps I should look into it

  • I’d love to go to one, but distance makes it very hard.

    Can’t say I think much of Matt Cutt’s offering “… that the future of black hat will now move closer to actual criminal activities …”. Google has invested a lot of time and pixels in the concept that doing X, Y, or Z is “bad” or “wrong”. Certain activities may not meet with Google’s approval, but that doesn’t make them illegal.

    I take your point that there is a line where stuff becomes illegal, but it’s not because Google doesn’t like it.

  • Content is king. It is the mantra that everybody should be chanting!

  • Thank for the article. My 3rd PubCon. The information for me this time felt a little deja vu but still very relevant. Being for the advertising agency side, content has always been very important to us. I am still very surprised too that the big corporations have such a hard time believing in the power of online marketing and new medias.

  • cat

    Thanls for the info very useful especialy for me as I’m a new one in this