As it turns out, staying in, relaxing and getting some work done Wednesday was a great move because I woke up Thursday feeling refreshed and raring to go. Danny Sullivan gave the keynote address on Thursday morning and talking about search and where search is heading. I’m going to have to review someone else’s notes on his speech because unfortunately, I was in the back and wasn’t able to see or hear much.
Now, Thursday was a special day. The morning contained the conference’s final separated sessions while the afternoon was home to two Super Sessions. I had the pleasure of attending the Ecommerce Site Optimization session where Rob Snell gave an outstanding presentation of Yahoo! Stores and the best way to organize your SEO strategy on an ecommerce site. I know that I was not the only one who several times said “why didn’t I think of that??” Kudos Rob, you did a great job and bring on the redneck humour – I love it!
I also attended the Bots session and, to be honest, was a bit disappointed. While Bill Atchison and Dan Kramer were obvious experts on the subject, I just didn’t feel that being told what bots SHOULD do was all that beneficial to me. Vanessa Fox outlined the best use of Google’s Webmaster Console, a topic I always love hearing about since I think I’m a tiny bit in love with this service. Brett Tabke spoke about why WebmasterWorld banned all bots, and even gave an inside glance to WMW’s admin panel, and how they filter the good bots from the bad.
The first Super Session of the afternoon was a celebrity panel (Matt Cutts, Tim Mayer, Greg Boser, Todd Friesen, Danny Sullivan) running a site clinic. I missed the first portion, taking advantage of an emptier Exhibit Hall, but arrived in time to see a classic site of how NOT to do SEO. The woman admitted she had no idea what she was doing, and claimed not to have found a programmer in 10 years to help her. I do feel sorry for her, after hearing the audience bursting out laughing several times, and several panel members giving her the tough love approach. But I’m sure she came to PubCon to learn, and I have no doubt that many people have likely offered her assistance.
And for the last session of the day, we listened to representatives from Yahoo, Ask, MSN (oh sorry LIVE), and Google talk about what’s new and what they’ve accomplished. An awesome way to recap the week, and it’s always great to hear the speakers talk passionately about their products.
Ask threw another cocktail reception Thursday night, though this time it was hosted in the Exhibit Hall – much much nicer. I arrived late again and this time didn’t get a chance to do much mingling. I joined Rob Snell and Dave Burke at the hotel steakhouse for a VERY inspiring dinner. These guys are great and gave me TONS of tips and advice while I am starting my own SEO agency.