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Thursday, July 14, 2005

The History of Search Engine Strategies

For those who want to get more insight into these popular conferences, Danny Sullivan has just launched the Search Engine Strategies Blog. It includes a post outlining some history on Search Engine Strategies.

I attended my first show in March, 2001. Having exchanged notes through email with Chris and Danny, it was a thrill to meet them at the cocktail reception (Overture, I'm sure :) ) on the first day. They were then, as now, very approachable. I recall Chris was sleepy because he'd just about finished a book (The Invisible Web, with Gary Price). Plus ša change...

I've nearly lost count, but since then, I've had the opportunity to speak at a dozen SES shows, including two in Toronto, a relatively new addition to the lineup. It's amazing to see how busy the shows have become, especially since Dallas was moved to Chicago, and the Boston date was moved to New York. That Dallas show still stands out in my mind as one of the better ones, because you could meet nearly everyone in the room at breakfast. That event came nine months after I released the first ever ebook about how to succeed on Google AdWords (titled "21 Ways to Maximize ROI on Google AdWords.") One of the people I met at lunch, the head of a hard-charging, scrappy, heavy-spending travel site who depended heavily on paid search, expressed disbelief that I was the same guy who had written the document he'd been reading. "It's you? Go on! You're that guy?" And then he alternated between staring at me across the table and continuing to express disbelief that "it was really the same guy."

And then there was the San Jose show where Traffick.com co-founder, Cory, and I, got "recruited." The deal was, we sounded so smart over potato salad and microbrew, these fellas wanted us to drop everything we were doing and go to work full-time on web marketing for a small, one-location electronics store in Florida. Moral of the story: when eating potato salad, try to sound as stupid as possible. Works at family picnics!

Next stop: San Jose, August 8-11 (I'm speaking in the very first session, on new developments in contextual advertising). There's a load of new content programmed into this one, I see. By now, Google must be gearing up for its fourth Google Dance. Who woulda thunk. Can they top last year's t-shirts?

Posted by Andrew Goodman




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