Friday, August 31, 2007

San Jose the Recap

Well as I mentioned on my blog last week I was out at SES in San Jose last week as well as most of the usual search culprits. Looking around all the blogs most people have beat me to a post on it, but work comes first!

There are a couple of good ones, my old search mate Mike Grehan who never stops amazing me as he manages to go from place to place and keep racking up the miles! Bet you it is not very often you go from San Jose to Liverpool to the Lake District. Denis down at Indextools has a full post as well from his week of analytics and talking to a lot of people by the looks of it in San Jose. thanks for the mention by the way Denis!

Well I left on Sunday morning and arrived at the hotel late Sunday night after about 18 hours of fun filled traveling and a lot of film watching. It is amazing after going out for a quick walk after traveling around 5,500 miles the first person I see is Mel Carson from Microsoft in London, we just keep turning up in the same place. As you can imagine it was an early night and up the next day to be greeted by a sun filled half decent view from the hotel.

Nothing like sun and heat after the summer we have had in the UK. First up I was lucky enough to get a trip up to have a look around Googles head office up at Mountain View (The Googleplex). Really interesting to see how the search giant operates and also have lunch there. They always say the food at Google is good and I have to say it was. Below is a picture of the main buildings from the outside, I was not aloud to take internal shots at Google so I cant show you the one of the X Prize Space Challenge ship in the reception I took (I didn't say that did I?) but it was actually a Paul Allen of Microsoft project which I thought was quite ironic to see it hanging in a Google office!

You can also see in the picture at the back a little sneak preview of the Google Dance main stage. But then it was down to the first day of SES San Jose. I was not speaking till the second day so it was good to go and see the sights and see some of the other guys do there bit.

The first day was very good and it was nice to see a lot of old faces again and meet a lot of new people in the process at the speakers and exhibitors early evening reception. Day 2 came around and so did my session, it was a touch different to the norm as for the first time it was split in two with Search Marketers up first followed by the Search Engines in the next session. For me it worked really well and has had some good coverage from the likes of Search Engine Roundtable and a good piece the other day from Greg Jarboe who talked about Click Fraud have the second most buzz behind Google Universal on the blogs around the conference period when searching for 'Search Engine Strategies' which is great to here.

Here is a picture of the start 'Search Engines on Click Fraud' panel which followed mine as the room started to fill...and I lost the good view I had at this point! (bit of a struggle to take your own pic while speaking hence none).

Overall the sessions worked really well in the new format and long may it continue! That evening was the long awaited Google Dance. And you have to wonder if the queues for the buses set a world record for the 'most search marketers' stood in line. What you can see below is only about 2o% of all the queues. This one includes my mate Dave Naylor towards the back. Sorry Dave my queue moved first! As I took this as we got on the bus. Was good to see you at the event later and over the next few days and well done on a good session on Day 4 early doors!

Was nice to spend some time again with a fellow friend and Search marketer from the US in Jon Kelly from the agency Sure Hits. He has just started blogging again (probably after we spent about 2 hours catching up with Andy Beal and Loren Baker who talked him round) So check him out as he has a lot of good things to say about search and optimisation.

He is the queue for the fabled Google Dance T-shirt, which did run out towards the end of the night so they are a sort after item!

There was two great keynotes which all the bloggers have covered from Ask and Google giving some good future views on where their direction is heading and Jim Lanzone used the Ask commercial I mentioned in one of my last blogs before heading out there.

Well I could go on to talk about the next 2 days in detail but this is already turning into a long post. Overall great conference and session on all 4 days and some great events though out the week. Search is still riding high and with so many exciting things being developed with in the media space I think there are a lot more SES San Jose's to come in the future.

Wednesday, August 15, 2007 New TV Commercial

Saw a piece by Lisa Barone on the Bruce Clay blog yesterday about the new commercial in the US for First of all you sort of ask yourself who the heck came up with the line 'Experience Instant Getification' I Ask you! (pardon the pun).

But I think they have positioned it really well the new interface works. I have been playing with it for about 6 months or more now since it was launched as 'AskX'. Loved it back then and it has grown on me even more now.

Everything is there that you would want functionality wise and you can tell they have really thought about how to effectively position 'Vertical Creep' but still let the different products stand in their own right. The ability to move between text, images, local and other areas of the search results returned works well and at first I was a touch annoyed by the preview function as you roll over the search results but in all honesty it makes perfect sense and you actually start to enjoy using it.

Looks great, works great and the commercial isn't bad either!

Tuesday, August 07, 2007

On the Speaking Road Again

After a break of a couple of weeks its was good to get out again last week and talk about Search. I did a great session for the Marketing Society in London perfectly entitled 'Search Me!'

Well not literally! it was an event run by Microsoft so it was good to hook up with my old mate Mel Carson again to present search in the UK space, Mel has blogged about it as well on his brand new blog on Brand Republic called Digitales, definitely stick it in your favorites.

It was a good session and well received by the attendees but as Mel mentioned in his blog and I will as well the hot topic was 'Privacy'. We here about it more and more in the media press and it is interesting to see that this is echoed in the industry as well as the public domain.

We talked a lot about how the search engines need to deal with it and as the search landscape moves more into maps, mobile and particularly social search the lines need to be carefully defined.

Well the next speaking stop is in a few weeks over in the US at San Jose SES Conference where I will be speaking on the 'Search Marketers On Click Fraud' panel. I have done this panel for a few years now at various SES conferences and it always makes for lively conversation you could say.

Should be a good session so if your there come and say hello!