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Tales From SES Part 1 – Flights, Hotels, Lifts from ExCel Security, Drinks with SEOs & Chatting with the Googlers

Posted in: Search Engine Optimisation by Richard Hearne on February 13, 2007
Internet Marketing Ireland

It’s always the unexpected things that are worth talking about. And so far, after one might in London, lots of unexpected and funny things have happened.

Some tales (and one or two lessons)

  1. Don’t fly to Heathrow when you have to get to ExCel. To rub salt into the wound that was the 2 hour journey across London last night, this morning the planes heading out of London City Airport were about 80m of the ground by the time they flew over ExCel. *sigh*
  2. Don’t expect too much out of the Ramada. The phrase ‘wouldn’t stay there if you paid me’ springs to mind. And they are charging £99 per night. The breakfast was pretty good though (and boy did I need it :mrgreen:).
  3. When stopped by ExCel security while walking from Ramada to Crowne Plaza do be polite – they actually took pity on me, told me to jump into the back, and delivered me to the door of the hotel. Nice guys.
  4. Try to socialise a little. I went to the pre-conference drinks at the Crowne Plaza as per this kind offer. There was only one largish group, so I wandered over to them and asked if anyone was ‘evilgreenmonkey’ (sounds daft, but that’s what I said). It was about midnight, and he had already left, but they very kindly asked me to join them. In fact in a really hospitable act, one stood up and instantly shook my hand. He turned out to be Dave Naylor, who is a gentleman, and every bit the chancer that comes across on the Daily Searchcast. If asked to describe him, I’m quite sure his old school headmaster would reply that ‘Dave was a loveable rogue’.

    There were many other household names at the table – Greg Boser, aka WebGuerilla (only figured it out today when I saw his name on the panel table), AussieWebmaster (good craic), a couple of the SeoMoz guys (Scott and Rebecca I think), the famous hatbait lady Liana Evans (I’ve got the beads to prove it :grin:), a guy whose name I remember well because it was Richard, and a few other gents and ladies whose names I’m not sure of.

    It was kind of nice to be afforded their hospitality. And I can state for the record that the straight shots of tequila and vodka left me slightly the worse for wear. I was very, very happy to get a fry this morning. Thank you all.

  5. Say hello to Googlers. They are lovely people. I’m sure they get really pissed with everyone going up to them (sorry :grin:), and I hope Matt Cutts didn’t mind me giving my thoughts on the Google Webamster Group. In all fairness, I think he 100% expected me to ask him how I should link my pages, so when I went into feedback mode he seemed very genuinely interested in what I saw as deficits in both the Group itself, and the way spam reports were handled by Google.

    I also spoke to Vanessa Fox later in the day. She seems like a lovely person. I probably didn’t need to repeat some of the same things to her, but I do think Google needs to pay more attention to the group.

  6. Do pay attention when some of the top SEOs in the world tell you that there *is* value in having BlackHat in the toolbox. Not for its use, but for the knowledge it affords about how search engines work.
  7. Finally do – say hello to other Irish accents. I haven’t come across too many, but I’ve met a couple of nice folk here.

The only thing that I didn’t do so far was meet this guy evilgreenmonkey. Oh well, maybe somewhere along the trail, if even just to say thanks for extending the invitation to the drinks shindig.

It’s all good though :mrgreen:

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  1. Cool – lucky you being there!

    Matt Cutts must go into shock whenever he gets a question that isn’t related to some dubious seo practice. The c**p that guy has to take – a saint he must be! :-)

    Comment by Thomas Holmes — February 14, 2007 @ 11:05 am

  2. Sounds like you’re having a great time of it, all told. If you haven’t caught up with evilgreenmonkey yet, you should have no trouble finding him today. His name’s Rob Kerry, and he’s speaking on both the SEM Toolbox session at 9 and the Site Clinic at 3 (Day 3 agenda – http://www.searchenginestrategies.com/sew/london07/agenda3.html).

    Best of luck catching up with him, and I hope you share the stories from the rest of the week.


    Comment by Kevin Newcomb — February 15, 2007 @ 5:25 am

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