[ But first this:
For security purposes, it's essential to be vigilant in airports
and report any suspicious looking items which are left unattended.
However... should you happen to see what looks like a bag
of dirty washing on the seat next to you... don't panic...it's
likely to be Mike Grehan trying to make his way back home.
Please don't have him disposed of... just give him a shove
and make sure he gets his next connection. Thank you! ] ~
Here come the
apologies - and then a special "featurette" for
this edition. The first apology is for not having the new
format ready as we mentioned last issue. You'll see further
into this issue, that both Mike and I have been on the road
for two of the busiest conferences in the industry to date,
which occurred back-to-back.
managed to get back to my desk here in Texas to start to deal
with the mountain which appeared while I was on the road.
But poor old Mikey had to schlep up to Boston immediately
after both shows had finished, and then on to London, before
he was whisked off to Amsterdam just yesterday.
So, the second
apology is for the absence of Mike in this issue. (Did I hear
the faint sound of cheering in the background there?) Anyway,
Mike is checking in from airport- to-airport from time-to-time.
And we are sending him a fresh supply of underwear on a regular
That being the
case, I decided it was my duty to ensure that we got something
mailed out just to confirm that we hadn't both been kidnapped
by aliens or something. And we WILL be moving to our new format
for the next issue. (Right Mike???)
At the conferences,
Mike picked up another two exclusives with both Yahoo! and
Google. So, the next issue is packed with in-depth background
to the new Yahoo! with Jon Glick, Senior Manager, Search -
plus a Google update with Director of Technology, Craig Silverstein.
Mike did want
me to pass on a couple of "tiny-tips" which he picked
up and will help some people sleep better at nights. On the
burning issue of keywords in the URL (file name) separated
by hyphens or underscores... Craig Silverstein confirms that
Google sees underscores as a character - whereas hyphens are
seen as spaces. Should you include hyphenated keywords in
your file names? "That's quite useful to the end user"
says Craig. However, here's a quick word of warning from Mike
and myself: Two hyphens is likely to be the safest in your
URLs. So don't be TOO enthusiastic with your naming convention!
it or not... it would appear that rumours of the death of
the meta keyword tag have been "greatly exaggerated"
(to coin a phrase from Mark Twain). Yep, the little critters
are alive and well and living over at the new Yahoo! search.
Jon Glick confirms that Yahoo! is looking at meta keyword
tags. BUT... hold on a minute... they have no bearing whatsoever
on your actual rank at Yahoo! So, it's more a case of good
housekeeping than anything else.
How many keywords
should you include? Just be sensible. Your page can't be about
a zillion topics, so only use the words and synonyms which
describe what it's about.
And the eternal
"should I use commas to separate" question? Yes,
says Jon Glick. Commas act as separators to phrases and help
avoid keyword repetition i.e. desktop computers, laptop computers,
palm computers,... would be seen as three individual key-phrases.
I promise Mike
will be back with us next issue. As tempting as it was, I
didn't knock him off and take over, at least not yet. He really
did have to run off to Amsterdam to play, oops, I mean work.
But coming up next, here's a fun comparison review and roundup,
with audience and speakers at PubCon V1 and Search Engine
Strategies, New York.
Mike - if mostly in spirit)
PS - Just one more quick thing. Mike wanted me to mention
the brand new search engine marketing buyers guide compiled
by our friends over at E-Consultancy in the UK. You'll find
a link to it here:
A Tale of Two
Cities: Webmaster World Publishers Conference - Orlando Vs
Search Engine Strategies - NYC
You know search
is big when search conferences start backing up to each other.
And that's exactly what happened recently with PubCon and
First there was
the famous Webmaster World's Publishers Conference in Orlando
which ran from 26 -28 Feb. Planned or not, Webmaster World
owner Brett Tabke managed to host his conference at the same
hotel where a swinger's conference was concurrently being
hosted. Geeks and swingers make an interesting juxtaposition.
I've never seen so many bleary eyes peeking up from behind
laptops lining the halls and entry ways of the hotel. I know
at our table at the bar all the chairs were angled for the
best viewing of the latest in swinger attire as the swingers
paraded in for their evening activities. Brett, I know you
told me you didn't plan it, but you've got to admit, it made
for an interesting and memorable PubCon.
The Orlando PubCon
was the biggest so far with over 700 in attendance and for
the first time offered multiple session tracks that covered
the spectrum from European marketing and affiliate marketing
to aggressive link building.
The larger Search
Engine Strategies Conference in NYC had a more upscale feel
and the sessions were focused higher on the marketing food
chain. According to Greg Jarboe's informal poll, about 20%
of SES attendees wore suits compared to only 2% at PubCon.
Since the two
conferences were held back to back and there was an overlap
in attendees, we decided to have a little fun and ask duel
attendees their thoughts on the conferences. Particularly
we wanted to know who would benefit from attending one conference
or the other and their general impression of the two conferences.
Here's a few
of the comments.
is a must for any affiliate marketers and small business owners
- it's an event that's fertile for striking business deals
and learning more about current search products and services.
I found the WebMasterWorld crowd to be a welcoming and experienced
group of ebusiness professionals and search optimizers. If
you go, be sure to hit the bars after the sessions - that's
where you'll learn SEO from the inside."
seemed most attended by small business owners and affiliate
marketers, though with sessions on European Search Engines
and Big Site SEO that will change."
least the one in New York with its three - and on some days
four - tracks, is a must-attend event for keeping current
on the search industry. Both Yahoo! and AskJeeves made major
announcements, and major companies launched new search products,
especially in the local search vertical [market]. Both black
hat and white hat search engine optimizers attend, along with
marketers from the biggest names online. SES is a big event
and has a corporate feel. If your competitors attend and you
don't, you lose."
Greg Boser <
black versus white. There are more women at SES I like that.
And I like the dark demonic guys who hang out in Webmaster
World - they're fun. It's a good blend."
[is] more for a slightly different public, in terms of its
people are more involved in WMW, more into the technical side..."
is huge... very big and sprawling. Not quite as cozy as the
earlier ones. It's been very good for the new people; it gives
them basics and helps new people get into the industry."
was for the organic marketers, the people that are after the
rankings, the optimization, for people who want the tricks
and hints, this is what is done, this is how it's done and
this is what I can get away with as well. This is probably
the biggest part of PubCon."
aren't really into PFI [pay for inclusion] programs, don't
really do the Pay Per Cick, they just find out how to get
traffic to their sites without paying for it. If you're an
optimiser and want to market your site without paying, PubCon
is the show you want to go to."
far more open. You actually got a chance to ask a question
you wanted answered, and yes, you got it answered. That's
a partial difference between the shows. You can ask questions
at SES, but you'll get a more roundabout answer full of NDAs
it's more for the advertising industry, the in- house SEO,
people who want to know what the paid inclusion options are,
people who want to know what the organic options are, and
then they want to know how much to budget for and market for
and what's it actually going to cost."
benefit is they [companies looking for SEO] come here to appoint
SEO companies, where as at PubCon they aren't going to appoint
us because they are already doing it themselves. For us as
a company [Trellian] we actually get a lot of business networking
here and as being appointed as a technology provider."
the two conferences I would say the WMW was a little more
analytical, geared for those who are drilling down on the
deep issues, while SES was more of a corporate networking
event... but there are always a couple of gold nuggets to
be gleamed from both areas."
World PubCon is where you get to hear from the people who
are actually doing the work on the front lines. It's very
tactical, it's very good information. SES is more strategic,
more sales oriented, a little bit higher level. There are
a lot of sales people here, more CEOs here, that is not necessarily
true of WebMaster World. I think they both have tremendous
value and I'm glad I went."
Kevin Lee <
that the Webmaster World Conference was more focused on the
people down in the trenches - getting their hands extremely
dirty in the code - particularly at the technical level. And
while they did cover strategic and tactical things at a higher
level as well, their primary focus was hands on down and dirty
in the code. So the people who should attend that conference
are the people doing the code."
SES I think they split it into tracks in an attempt to reach
a broader audience, in particular they are trying to hit more
and more of the upper level management from VP of Marketing
and Director of Marketing on down. So there are going to be
sessions for both, some tactical sessions and strategic sessions."
Greg Jarboe <
respects this year's WMW was very reminiscent of where SES
was two years ago. It was about the same size - there were
about 600 people this year at WMW, there were about 600 people
in SES in Boston two years ago."
differences. I would say WMW is far more focused on what I'll
call the "technical issues". Two years ago SES was
more focused on "technical issues." It will be interesting
to see how they evolve."
of which audience should go to one, my guess is it depends
on what it is you are trying to learn. If you need to learn
the basics and a lot of the basics are technical, WMW is the
right place to go. If you're interested in what I'll call
the marketing - both the advanced and intermediate lessons
then you want to go to SES. Frankly what that means is for
a lot of people that means you've got to go to both."
Well, there you
have it: if your time schedule (and your budget) permit, attend
both conferences. If, on the other hand, you must choose,
base your decision on the following: PubCon concentrates on
hands-on, practical advice for the SEO professional who is
doing it themselves. SES is more focused on corporate advertising
and marketing. PubCon specializes in web site traffic from
organic SEO to affiliate marketing for the cost-conscious
webmaster. SES expands into other marketing areas including
paid inclusion, PPC, and even promoting your company to Venture
Capitalists and potential acquirers.
Both venues are
key if you want to hear the latest scoop from the Search Engine
insiders. As is true of many conferences, the best information
may be found outside of the actual sessions: either in the
halls, in the bars, or over the dinner table. So go to the
conferences and wear your schmoozing shoes.
Oh, and there's
a few snapshots of the main proceedings (which mainly occur
in the bars!) at:
See you next
Churchill & Net Writer Publishing 2004
Editor: Mike Grehan. Search
engine marketing consultant, speaker and author.
Associate Editor: Christine
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