More Niche SEO Conferences

Recently, in addition to the expansion of Elite Retreat, a couple more smaller niche SEO conferences have been announced. These conferences offer a great value because they allow you to be close to the facilitator. They are like buying under-priced consulting in the form of a conference.

If you are on the other side of the pond you won't want to miss DaveN's SEO Days. In London on the 20th & 21st of March the SEO Days team is holding a hands on two day conference costing £1750 (incl. VAT) per person.

If you are in the New York area check out SEO Class. Stuntdubl, GoodROI, Rae, and Shoemoney are offering a free class for nonprofits on March 23, 2007. On May 27th & 28th they are holding a two day course for businesses. The cost to attend is $2999.

As noted by Lee Odden, with SEO conferences small is the new big. These conferences have already been added to the calendar.

Announcing Elite Retreat 2

Elite Retreat. We are holding the second Elite Retreat in San Fransisco on March 19th and 20th. Jeremy Shoemaker, Lee Dodd, and I will attend again. In addition Neil Patel, Darren Rowse, and Kris Jones will also be speaking.

Capacity is limited to 30 people, so register soon if you would like to attend.

Announcing The Elite Retreat

Elite Retreat.

On December 18th and 19th, in San Antonio, Texas I will be a facilitator at the Elite Retreat. Elite Retreat is a business conference focused on helping businesses integrate their business into the web and take their online business to the next level. I have had numerous people ask me why I haven't organized a small focused Internet marketing conference yet, so when Lee Dodd mentioned the idea of an Internet marketing conference that was focused on a small group of successful marketers providing personalized attention to attendees I thought it sounded interesting.

When I heard Lee also got Dave Taylor and Jeremy "Shoemoney" Shoemaker in on the conference I knew it was a great idea.

The conference will cover topics from blogging, forums, SEO / SEM, to just about any other type of online marketing you can think of.

I won't be pitching anything, and neither will the other facilitators. The goal of this conference is simply to help you grow your business. The cost of the conference is $4850.

The conference comes with many bonuses, including

  • Coupons for a free coaching call from all 4 facilitators

  • A free Ipod jammed full of content
  • Action plan follow-up

At launch there were only 35 slots available, and numerous attendees already signed up.

Want to learn more about Elite Retreat? Check out the agenda, and apply today at

Are You Going to WMW Las Vegas Pubcon?

I think the Las Vegas Pubcon from November 14 to November 17 is probably going to be the SEO event of the year.

Here is my top 18 reasons to attend...

  1. At $489 (currently), conference passes are exceptionally affordable.

  2. If you are cheap (as I am), Las Vegas is a cheap city to travel to. Many of the hotels cost like $30 a night if you book them with your flight. Circus Circus anyone?
  3. Caveman will be there. He will be mad at me for listing that last item, and thus I will correct my stance by offering up the next item.
  4. If you like a sweet suite there are numerous 5 star hotels. Bellagio anyone?
  5. Danny Sullivan will keynote, which means a chance to meet Danny AND there will probably be even more crossover between the SES and WMW crowds.
  6. Last year one of my friends won over $25,000 playing blackjack.
  7. Sweetest session ever!
  8. It is warm there.
  9. Many of my friends are going to an SEO conference for the first time, including John, Giovanna, and some of the Andy Hagans posse.
  10. I think my recent diet has been going better than Andy's, I weigh less now, and I will use the opportunity to gloat. If I can get below 200 lbs., Andy will be forced to eat haggis.
  11. Werty will be eating Kobe style beef. He intends to try his best to experience a full on meat coma.
  12. I get to speak on a panel with Rand.
  13. I will get to meet many other friends I haven't seen in a while.
  14. Travel within Las Vegas is easy via the monorail.
  15. I have lots of new cartoon t-shirts to wear.
  16. Related to last item, Joe Morin will likely host at least one clothing intervention :)
  17. With so much spam marketing covering the streets of Vegas Matt will have his guard and spam sensors de-tuned.
  18. Cirque du Soleil...rumor has it, Werty has a surprise guest appearance in the show this year.

Other preparation notes: if you wear white sneakers expect to get bounced by the bouncers! Some of them hate shorts too.

When is the Next SEO Conference?

The number of conferences and other obligations I have been dealing with have overwhelmed me, so I decided to create a calendar of marketing and SEO conferences. It is updated through the end of 2006, although I am uncertain to when WITS is. If I missed anything please let me know and I will add it.

The calendar is heavily focused on search and marketing. It will also list a few of the techy conferences like Web 2.0, Gnomedex, and SXSW.

2006 WebmasterWorld Pubcon Boston Pictures

I took some pictures while at the Boston.

A few pictures:
Jim Boykin celebrates his 27th birthday.
Tony Spencer had his birthday.
Joe Morin gives me clothing intervention.
Andy Hagans says thumbs up.

View the Boston Pubcon 2006 pictures.

Couple New SEO / SEM Seminars

Jim Boykin is hosting a free SEO gathering on January 18th in Troy NY. Rumor has it Jim is buying the beer as well.

Dan Thies is hosting an 8 week linking teleseminar from January 18 to March 8. It costs $895 to attend. Dan provides personal access and good value for money in his teleconferences.

Perry Marshall is hosting a 3 day seminar focused on AdWords. It will be in Chicago on April 7-9 and costs $1795.

WMW Paid Link Advertising Panel

Patrick Gavin gave similar presenatation as his recent San Jose one.

Stuntdubl mentioned the techniques of Link Ninjas, which is a link building seminar that came out of the presentation.

He posted quite a bit of good stuff like some of the recurring themes on his blog (link naturally, neighgborhoods, use a variety of link types, etc). I will see if he posts his presentation online. If so I will update this post. Todd has got really good at presenting for starting somewhat recently.

Philip Kaplan of AdBrite showed his recently launched intermission ads (mentioned here). Also noted that AdBrite does not do direct links and is exceptionally transparent.

Online magazines are sometimes underpriced and have great link neighborhoods.

Gives example Google Search [advertise $15 per month -cpm]

look for websites for stuff like [this website closed]

run Xenu link Sleuth on directories to find broken links...some of those may be easy sites to buy cheaply

emphasizes alternative sources of links

look outside same networks everyone else is using

Q&A: there was a question about Google hating on paid links

don't forget Yahoo! and MSN give credit
stay on topic so you get direct value too

managing link buys?
you can use AdBrite to mine information (this could also be used to help you find what the top posts or topics are on some competing channels)
excel can be used to show link dates, which also helps show the value if you are tracking

Oilman mentioned search for powered by xyz forum + a topic (like sci fi) to look for some potential cheap link buys

WMW Las Vegas Organic Site Reviews Panel

On this pannel sites are reviewed for what they could do to improve their SEO.

  • use specific page titles on deep pages

  • Tim Mayer recommends optimizing for image search since it has lots of traffic and few people optimize for it. Use proper file names, alt tags, and link at the images.
  • duplicate content issues (individual product pages are so similar)
  • Matt says they need to look harder at link quality
  • has the site duplicated on the

OnlineHighway or InformationHighway...something like that...I so could not see the URL

  • 50,000 to 5,000 visitors per day on update Allegra

  • using popunders is just as evil as popups
  • unsure purpose of site by looking at a page
  • used to have multiple location based URLs...301ed to one central domain. Matt Cutts recommended that.
  • Baked Jake said it can take 2 weeks to 6 months for 301s to take effect

  • TicketsToGo seems penalized in Google since October 2004

  • also created because
  • duplicate content issues
  • Jake recommends starting from the bottom up. Building links into some of the subject specific pages and then working your way up.
  • target Geo specific concerts
  • Matt Cutts said "tell me about your backlinks" ... uber spammy reciprocal linking campaign. said good news is no manual spam penalty, but few of the low quality links this site has are doing it any good.

  • Tim Mayer asked what is actually unique about your domain?

  • Yahoo! looks to ensure that with travel that the travel box is owned by the domain, not an affiliate form. Would not recommend submitting to Yahoo! paid inclusion
  • Matt pointed out bad cross industry linking between his own site (like mortgage and credit sites), but said there were some good links
  • Tim recommends making the site more unique from page to page and cleaning up the navigation links. He thinks the site navigation being at the footer and the page content existing primarily of wildcard replace duplicate content makes him think the local pages are for search bots instead of users
  • not only link to related pages about immunization, etc., but also create tables of the locatin based related information, etc.

  • home page title nice

  • site looks good
  • individual product pages have good data
    Matt Cutts calls some of their paid backlinks "painfully obvious" to most any search engine. Matt said those links are not hurting them, but they are not helping in Google.

  • could probably be rather easy for a site like that to get many links from beer hobbyist sites

  • question about looking at their sitewide links to IACI partner network

  • instead of looking to rank for mortgage Matt recommends looking for 20 year mortgage loan, etc.
  • Jake recommends geo targeted pages
  • Matt recommends maybe adding more text, but they are already looking at ROI testing and that is why there is limited text
  • internal links can help reinforce topics
  • Matt said their cross network linking seems pretty organic / not with intent to spam. Note that in Google's spam review guidelines that IACI's travel sites were ones that were whitelisted examples for remote quality search raters

  • mortgage calculator link on LendingTree built for a manipulation test on Google...that was the reasoning the guy said and Matt Cutts made a funny face
  • Matt Cutts said the partner links section on IACI properties as a technique do not work in Google.
  • Matt said the goal of engines is to detect and count editorial quality votes.

Matt Cutts Las Vegas WMW Keynote

Spam is a subset of SEO...not all SEO bad, etc.

Nissan Motors robots.txt blocks all spiders.

Testing fixing 302's. Want to accept destination URL except for like 0.5% of the time. Gives SF Giants URL as an example.

Somethings in index can be perceived in our process as the sandbox...does not apply to all sites.

Does not see Google buying DMOZ or killing reliance on it.

Google does not have the ability to hand boost any sites. They do have the ability to penalize things by hand they believe are spam or illegal.

Autolink...references how it was liked at Web2.0. Thinks the launch could have been better. Would like to allow users to enter their own triggers.

Users and take search to the next level you need some information about the users. Matt said he wouldn't work at a company that he felt violated users privacy.

Matt has never worried much about hidden table row type techniques to organize word order. With CSS if you want see how it influences a file test it.

Toolbar does not influence how frequently stuff is crawled. It is too easy to spam, and the toolbar does not have equal distribution across various regions. Many people assume some things provide clean signals which are not so clean.

Matt as a webspam team member said he has no ability or intent to accessing the Google Analytics data.

Litmus test of a site for spam is what value does it add to the web. User reviews, forums, community, etc. What makes a site unique.

Matt Cutts hates on paid links. He said they have manual and algorithmic approaches to paid links. Compares effectiveness of paid links going forward to how reciprocal link spam has largely died off with Update Jager.

If you have to something creative and useful it is easy to get quality links that are hard for your competitors to try to recreate.

Not too long ago I interviewed Matt Cutts.