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The Six Certitudes of Search Marketing Conferences

Insights October 2, 2013

1.) Matt Cutts and Rand Fishkin will be treated like Taylor Swift and Justin Bieber at a Middle School Dance.

There was a time in each of these men’s lives, as there was for the majority of us in this industry, when there was a 110% chance they would be nothing but a geek for their entire life. Among a small circle of us in this industry, however? There are no more recognizable technicolor Eddie Bauer t-shirts or yellow Puma sneakers than those donned by Cutts and Fishkin. Search marketing is a weird, weird counterculture all of its own.


2.) People will do some weird things for SWAG.

Bing and Yahoo! seem to be willing to concede all truly profitable search market share to Google and have instead diverted the majority of their own marketing budgets to name-recognition by way of travel mugs, mouse pads, and foam stress balls. Look for a black Friday-esque stampede around their booths when they begin distribution of the stainless steel water bottles.


3.) SEOs will talk to vendors they have no intention of ever doing business with for drink tickets.

Listen (generic expo hall vendor), you and I both know I’m pretending to be interested in your product because I’m hunting for drink tickets. Baidu analytics monitoring? Sure. I don’t know anyone else here so I might as well give you ten minutes of my time and a fake email address for another couple of fingers of Glenlivet.


4.) Session presenters will begin each segment with a self-deprecating remark contrasting their slide deck to those presenting immediately before.

There seems to be an odd insecurity about powerpoint presentations, right? Funnily enough, presenters always seem to follow-up their expectation-lowering warning about their own slide-deck with assurances that you can access it easily from their slideshare account whenever you want. Thanks, buddy. I’ll be sure to do that.


5.) Session moderators will open at least one presentation each day with a remark about the irony of having internet accessibility issues at an internet conference.

This might be my favorite one of all. I’m still baffled how this can continue to happen at what seems to be 75% of the conferences I’ve attended.


6.) Google will continue to provide non-committal, confounding, circular, and generally completely unhelpful responses to direct questions about their algorithm.

Can anyone seriously remember the last time Google provided us with anything resembling a straight answer? Why do we even bother asking them anymore? Here’s a few of the more common questions and non answers:

Confused SEO:

Hey, (insert Google employee name here)- It looks like there was a ton of upheaval in the search results last week. Was there an algorithm update?

Google employee:

We make hundreds of updates to our algorithm each year.

Disgruntled SEO:

Hey, (insert Google search quality employee name here)- My white hat site’s traffic and rankings tanked last week. What’s the deal?

Google employee:

I’d focus on creating great content.

Follow-up from disgruntled SEO:

But you didn’t answer the question. Shouldn’t you be able to give me an idea of what might have happened?

Cornered Google employee:

Ummmmmm yeah you might wanna describe your problem in our webmaster forums.

  • Spook SEO

    Matt Cutts and Rand Fishkin both are my favorite personalities and they have always proven to be the most helpful and beneficial sources and guiders for the search engine optimization purpose.Well SEO is evolving very fast with the passage of time and a lot of improvement has been made in the SEO strategies with each update.

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