I spent the past week in New York City for Jupiter Media’s “Search Engine Strategies” conference. The event was extremely well attended (okay, packed) in spite of snowy weather. It was a great show, with only one tiny problem… the Internet access was terrible.
I don’t mind paying $10 a day for a broadband connection in my hotel room, but when that connection drops all the time, is often slower than a dial-up line, and can’t be relied on for 10 minutes straight, it becomes a problem. Even the free ‘wi-fi lounge’ provided by sponsors suffered from similar issues.
So after a week of trying to just download my email and keep my business running, it’s a relief to be back home in Texas where everything seems to work.
But I owe my readers some news, don’t I? Here are some highlights from the conference:
1) Yahoo announced a web services API (http://developer.yahoo.net/) for several of their search products, which appears to offer developers of search-enabled applications several strong advantages over the Google API.
2) Information retrieval and search engine expert Dr. E. Garcia (who posts at the Search Engine Watch forums as Orion) attended his first SES, presenting virtually on the first day due to travel difficulties, and bouncing around the conference for the following 3 days enlightening everyone.
3) An excellent session called the “Indexing Summit,” where the search engine reps openly discussed challenges with crawling and indexing various types of websites and content. Interesting was the discussion of Google’s “rel=nofollow” attribute for links, which is intended to prevent spidering of links. Search engines are supporting this, but they were not prepared to commit that they wouldn’t follow those links in the future.
4) The SES conferences seem to be capturing a much broader audience, thanks to new sessions that cover the gamut of search-related marketing issues. As the industry grows up, so does SES. All due credit to Danny Sullivan and the team of folks who help moderate the sessions.
My own sessions (Intro Search Term Research on Monday, Advanced Search Term Research Tools on Thursday) were very “well attended” as well, thanks to a schedule change that moved Thursday’s final sessions a little earlier. In the past, we’ve often presented to nearly empty rooms on the last day of the conference, but not this time.
More bits and snippets from SES will be coming throughout the week, as we get back on track with the blogging, and resume our conversation about keyword strategy.