First SES Conference (2006 Chicago)

I’ve just attended my first SES (Search Engine Strategies) conference in Chicago and thoroughly enjoyed it. It was really great to get to meet the search gurus as well as the major search engine players. A special thank you goes out to the Googlies for taking suggestions for improvements of their phenomenal webmaster tools. Also, welcome to Trevor (from Google) who attended his first SES conference also (sorry for hounding you, but 10 out of 10 for not giving anything away… obviously need more beer next time). Vanessa Fox (the brilliant (and very nice) webmaster tools project owner/manager), as a friendly reminder, this is what I think would be a great addition:

  • “My URLs are case sensitive:” with a ” o Yes o No ” option. (and Yes Adam, I promise to only use lower case going forward).
  • New tool for specifying “hey, these are all my new URLs, please get rid of any others for this domain which are not in this list.”
  • Header checker. In a similar fashion to how you have the robots.txt checker, offer a url entry tool which will return the header value. While this feature is available on other websites, it would be cool to not have to go elsewhere.
  • Header download. Would be great to have a download tool for all urls for myDomain and their associated header value.
  • Page rank summaries. Create a tool similar to my sitePRtracker.com (whoops, there’s that case sensitivity again) which shows the summary of PR Values for a website. Not just the “top ranking page” (which never seems correct – yes, yes, I know… yours is more up to date) but a simple break down of how many of each of the 10 page rank values the site has, with a total page rank score (sum of all values). For now, please will have to use my free tool at www.sitePRtracker.com (subtle plug – but it’s free, so why not?)

I also wanted to thank Local Search for their fantastic party (definitely the best one I think) and was a ton of fun. The band was awesome. If I had to pick one, my only complaint for the $2K (per attendee) conference is the abysmal food at lunch… come on SES, sort it out. The pretzel on the last day was the icing on the cake (if only there was a cake).

My only suggestion for improvement would be to video each session next time which can then be made available to all paid attendees after the conference. There were so many great sessions; it was just frustrating having to choose one over the other and not knowing what you missed. Yes SES, I realize video production is costly, but even if it was just sound and the slides or something… I’m sure there would be plenty of sponsors out there willing to help?

I almost forgot to mention the Yahoo party with their Yahootinis (cute). The band rocked (literally) and as this video will show “Bill Gates” should have been paid for the entertainment! Very funny…

If there is one thing which I learned at the conference, it is how valuable “Social Media” can be and how anyone with any interest in SEM should have a thorough understanding of it. As a result I’m now at the airport waiting for my flight and am just about to post this to my new (and first) webpress blog. Let’s see how it goes 😉

Stay in touch everyone and if anyone has any feedback on the free sitePRtracker.com tool, please let me know. Also, let me know if you think of another cool tool you want and can’t find it out there, as I enjoy building them.

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