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Monday, November 20, 2006

Las Vegas SEO Conference

Last week webmasters, IT people, marketers and seo's from all over the world converged on the Las Vegas convention center for the Webmasterworld.com's annual seo conference, PubCon.

The conference was held in the South hall of the convention center. Unfortunately, there was a gaming conference being held in the main hall and none of the convention staff had any idea where PubCon was being held. On the upside, I did meet a few of the guest speakers before they were mobbed by other attendees. After waiting in line for about 20 minutes, I finally got my badge and made it in. Topics covered in the various sessions included localized search, landing page optimization, ecommerce, linking structure and of course, organic search.

The keynote address was given by Guy Kawasaki of Apple (mac) fame. Back in the late 80's, Guy was a software evangelist for the Mac side of Apple computer. In his address he hit upon 10 points for success and related some of his own misadventures. If you ever get a chance to hear him speak, its definitely worth it. After the keynote, I attended several individual sessions.

google event at pubconThe second day of the conference the exhibitors' hall opened. I was surprised at the small amount of exhibitors, but those that were there were all top notch. I was particularly impressed with mountaincommerce.com, a seo friendly ecommerce website provider. One of the things discussed in a few of the sessions I attended was the seo difficulities incurred by ecommerce website owners. Mountaincommerce's sites started at $3,500, so it won't be a solution for everyone. After that day's sessions, Google had sponsored an after hours networking event. They had planned a presentation, but the hall was so crowded and loud I doubt half of the audience heard it. By the end of the night was voice was so hoarse from having to yell to be heard I thought I was coming down with a cold.

google's matt cuttsThe last day of the conference I spent mostly in the exhibitor hall and only attended one session. Probably the most anticipated event of the day was the last session. A "dream team" of seo consultants and se engineers, including Matt Cutts of Google would examine attendees' websites and give them their feedback. To say it was interesting is an understatement. On the whole, the conference was geared more towards a beginner than someone that has been promoting a site for a while. However, I did learn a few new things so it was worth my time and I will be attending next year again in Las Vegas. Hopefully they will post the actual hall next time!

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