Search Engine Strategies Conference NYC 2005

My first visit to the SES conference was filled with excitement, social contacts and an incredible amount of information. It’s my pleasure to share with you a comprehensive write-up of each session I attended, based on my written notes taken while listening to the panelists speak.

Sessions Covered:

Feb. 28
March 1
March 2
March 3
Competitive Research What is Spam? Search Convergence Advanced Link Building
Search Landscape Indexing Summit Organic Listings Forum Meet the Crawlers
Searcher Behavior Site Architecture Local Search Advanced Search Term Research Tools
Search Algorithm R&D Link Building Search Advertising Forum
Also See :
My SES NYC Photos

Competitive Research
The competitive research session is on the subject of how to seek out your competitors’ listings, understand their methodology for success and leverage it for your own efforts.

Search Landscape
Search Landscape primarily discusses many of the statistics and figures surrounding the search engine world. Presenters are talking mostly about reach and behavior of the different users of the major search engines.

Searcher Behavior
This session focused on what searchers did during their sessions online and how their actions can lead to better targeting and performance by marketers.

Search Algorithm Research & Development
This session focused primarily on discussion of some of the basic algorithms in the search engine world – HITS, PageRank, LocalRank (subject specific popularity) & the use of C-Indices & EF Ratios.

What is Spam?
This was possibly the most engaging and entertaining session throughout the entire conference. The focus was on what so-called “white hat” SEOs perceive as spam, what search engines consider spam, and how a high-level and successful spammer evaluates and practices these tactics.

Indexing Summit
The indexing summit is moderated by Danny Sullivan and covers many of the most frequently mentioned problems on the SEW forums. The topics are generally on the subject of indexing problems or concerns and their effect on relevancy.

Site Architecture
The site architecture session is moderated by Barbara Coll of Webmamma. The session focuses on the successful ways that site architecture can be built to be friendly to the search engines.

Link Building
The link building session is on the topic of external link building from an organic perspective. Each of the presenters offers some tips and some things to stay away from. During the Q+A, the session gets more advanced than anticipated, which is a positive for some in the audience.

Search Convergence
The search convergence session focused on the bringing together of search technologies with other technologies in the future. Much of the focus was on the new search applications and their integration now and in the future with mobile and other devices.

Organic Listings Forum
The forum format is different from the other sessions, as it is purely a Q+A with the audience. There is a brief introduction of the panel members followed by nearly 2 dozen questions with answers from the panelists.

Local Search
The local search session focused on introducing the various local search offerings fromYahoo!, AOL, A9, AskJeeves & Google. The session was very introductory, rather than a “how to” rank or target the local engines.

Search Advertising Forum
The Search Advertising Forum focuses on the paid search and PPC aspects of the search engine market. One topic that keeps repeating itself is the idea of a search advertising bubble that will eventually burst, sending search stocks and revenues plummeting.

Advanced Link Building
The Advanced link building session is on the topic of more intermediate and advanced methods for SEOs/SEMs to find and get inbound links to the sites they are optimizing. The session covers both methods and effective types of links that will help to boost traffic and positions at the major search engines.

Meet the Crawlers
The session focused on introducing the crawlers from each of the four major search engines and hearing about their practices, standards and goals for the future.

Advanced Search Term Research Tools
The final session I attended focused on keyword research to find the right terms to target and uncover their relative difficulty to optimize for. Much of the attention was on specific products as two of the panelists were speaking primarily on their company’s offerings.

Bonus: My Photos from SES NYC
These are simply some snapshots I took during the conference. Many of the photos are not of excellent quality, but they will hopefully give slightly more to those you cannot get a feel for the conference simply by reading.