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PubCon In The Rear-View Mirror

Posted in: General by Richard Hearne on December 17, 2007
Internet Marketing Ireland

My mother always says that the longer you leave something the harder it gets… And realising that I haven’t really set foot on my blog in almost a month is kinda depressing. But it’s been quite a month…

The Reds Hit Pubcon

Myself and Dave decided to hit the annual webmaster pilgrimage better know as PubCon. Staged in Las Vegas, the event is one of the best known SEO conferences with a speaker line-up that includes virtually every well-known name in the SEM industry.

Fabulous Las Vegas

Fabulous Las VegasEverything is big in the US. And boy oh boy, the Las Vegas Convention Center doesn’t let down on this count either. We had a good laugh walking through the cowboy convention the first morning. You’d never believe the cowboy products you can actually buy unless you saw it with your own eyes :grin:

The Highlights

A lot happened during the 4 days in Vegas, so best bet here is to cover some of my highlights:

  • A lot of attention was being paid to link buying. Interesting that so many speakers fessed up to buying links. Matt Cutts scribbled away in his notebook throughout the Link Buying session. Speaking of links, met Jim Boykin and now understand how fruit figures in the SEO industry.
  • Sat down with Mr. Patents Bill Slawski on a couple of occasions. Bill is one of the nicest and approachable people I’ve met during my travels online, and shooting the breeze with him for a couple of hours was pretty cool.
  • Matt Cutts the blackhat. Lots of folk probably joked about this, but the fascinating part of watching him play werewolf was that the all-around nice guy can certainly play the game when needed. Interesting insight IMO.
  • Meet the Engineers means 40 people circling Matt Cutts, and groups of lesser-know Googlers huddled together. Maybe next time you guys should wear Google t-shirts so folk can find you? On a further negative note – the geo-targeting tool within Webmaster Console is either slightly broken or very broken depending on which member of the Webmaster Tools team you corner (that deserves a post of its own). I better apologise about my Webmaster Group rants – hope none of you took it personally. On a positive note – had a great laugh with Jonathan Simon who is a real fun down-to-earth Googler.
  • Domaining is seriously hot. Lots of quiet chat amongst SEOs about domaining. I noticed that searchengineoptimization.us sold for $2k at the live auction. Wonder how much the .mobi would fetch? Had a drink or four with Nick Wilsdon who has set up camp in Russia and seems to have many fingers in many pies. Very nice unassuming guy.
  • Leave it to the Brits and Irish to prop up the bar late at night! We managed a 6am finish on day 2 – myself, Dave, Rob Kerry and Lisa Ditlefsen were the last wo/men standing. Good laugh that.
  • Best session for sheer entertainment value has to go to Jake Baillie’s take on Competitive Intelligence. Laughed a lot at his collection ‘techniques’.
  • Sat in on the enterprise Level SEO session – it’s more about politics, setting expectations and managing people than actual SEO. I’m learning this myself these days.
  • You can meet people anywhere. On the bus from the airport we got talking to Erik Gough who we had quite a few drinks with during our stay. And apparently not all afilliate marketers are scum – Richard Kershaw was great to chat with over the few days. The Canadians were nice guys and really up for it – Tony Clifton was a master stroke IMO :mrgreen:
  • Most speakers were wearing suits – just goes to show how it’s gone mainstream and the serious money is now entering the industry. Was I born in the wrong country?
  • Although everyone told me to take Vegas for what it is, I have to admit the place just doesn’t ring any bells for me. Really happy I made the short hop to the east coast for a few days in Palo Alto and San Fran (yet another post).

All in all it was a great way to turn off from the day-to-day client stuff. I’m not quite the socialite that Dave is, and networking isn’t really my thing, but it was great to make the journey and open my mind to just how big SEO is outside of wee little Ireland.

Certainly came away with some new ideas about what to get involved in next year and how to extend my career. More to follow as semi-regular posting will recommence shortly.

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  1. Hey Richard =) Great to meet you in Vegas. I had a fab time, thanks for the link love =)



    Comment by Lisa Ditelfsen — December 17, 2007 @ 11:41 am

  2. Great rundown Richard. Still have to find out how you got on a little further south.

    I could tell that Vegas was not really your cup of tea but I can see you got value from it. Hopefully it was more than the cost of the trip. Did you meet up with the Paddys Valley crew at all?

    And I wouldn’t say “socialite”, I was just excitable. All those bright lights and ringing noises…

    Comment by Dave Davis — December 17, 2007 @ 7:10 pm

  3. Hi Lisa – nice to drink with you also :)

    Hey Dave – all tax deductible :) Palo Alto and San Fran were really cool. The vibe out there is something else. Hope to spend some more time out there in ’08.

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 18, 2007 @ 1:27 am

  4. Great meeting you Richard! It was a good trip for us “Canadians”. Any chance you will be going to SMX Advanced this summer?

    Comment by Adam Green — December 24, 2007 @ 2:45 pm

  5. Hi Adam

    Hope you aren’t offended by the ‘Canadians’ title? I have to say it took some cajunas to pull that little stunt. Well done, and you deserve lots of link love for it.

    Dave was asking me already about doing some more conferences, but TBH they’re not really my cup of tea. Of course should some client offer to send me then I might just be attending a few more next year…

    I actually hope to work a bit more in the US next year – fingers crossed :grin:

    Thanks for dropping by, and best wishes over festive period,

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 26, 2007 @ 9:01 am

  6. Hey Richard, it was great to meet up with you too. I hope you do make it to more conferences, they definitely get better the more you go to. It’s a lot of time out though – I’m trying to get back into the office routine after spending Christmas in the UK but we have Russian New Year and Christmas (7th) to go yet!

    Comment by Nick Wilsdon — December 27, 2007 @ 4:15 pm

  7. Cheers Nick. Cool talking to you.

    We had anti-Christmas here in Thailand :( Too hot and very little to suggest that it was a holiday…

    With any luck we’ll meet again at some conference or other. Enjoy new year and Christmas #2.

    Best rgds

    Comment by Richard Hearne — December 28, 2007 @ 2:35 am

  8. Hello Richard, and thanks for the nice PubCon 2007 Las Vegas observations from an Irish perspective. I’m glad you found plenty of new ideas at PubCon to try in 2008, or at least until the next conference. Perhaps PubCon can come to Dublin at some point, to truly bring out the friendly spirit of the “Pub” in PubCon.

    I’ve been to Ireland twice but not to Dublin yet, and I look forward to meeting some Irish SEO folks when I do finally get there. Thanks again for your “PubCon In The Rear-View Mirror” posting.

    Best Regards,
    Lane R. Ellis

    Comment by Lane R. Ellis — January 3, 2008 @ 4:32 pm

  9. Hi Lane

    Thanks for dropping by. If you ever do manage the journey (and the horrendous exchange rate) drop me a line.

    Great of you guys to reach out to bloggers like this.

    Best rgds

    Comment by Richard Hearne — January 4, 2008 @ 1:01 pm

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