State of Search: Conference Recap

state of search conference recap

State of Search: Conference Recap

If you’re a nerd or geek, you have to agree with me when I say attending conferences with fellow industry geeks and nerds is the absolute best. This year, LevelTen sent me to the State of Search two-day conference for marketers! Yes, you miss out on a couple of days of work, but you get to learn and meet fellow practicing marketers and learn from industry gurus.

I’ve been to a few Drupal conferences in the past, but those were always too technical for this semi-technical marketer. State of Search was something like nothing I had ever attended. Hearing and talking to fellow attendees was very easy, and conversation about marketing practices and trends was easy.

Day 1 of State of Search

Opening Keynote:

Day one started off with a great Opening Keynote about the Paradigm Shifts: Can SEO Survive Google by Dr. Pete Meyers, Moz Marketing Scientist.

Dr. Pete Meyers talked about the “Attack of the Ads” in Google’s search when a search query is returned. Personalization is Google’s move to do away with queries entirely. The emergence of devices like Google Home and voice searches has also taken search relevancy into a whole new direction outside of the desktop and mobile world, in what Google calls Cross-platform Consumer Behavior and how visitors are consuming information.

AMP (accelerated mobile pages) was a big topic that was either loved by some or hated by others. This was also a topic talked about in Dr. Pete’s presentation. Most notably, AMP results are yes, your website’s content. However, there are all hosted on Google’s servers.

View his presentation slides below:


The State of Research Keynote – Study Release: AMP Top to Bottom:

I thought it was pretty unique that there were two keynotes for this conference, but it was just as great as the first one! Erick Egne from Stone Temple Consulting presented his findings of the shift to AMP and the penitential benefits of implanting AMP, the effort it requires, solutions to some of the challenges of using AMP, and what your ROI might look like.

I happened to be live tweeting during this keynote, you can view snippets that resonated with me, and you can read more about their findings with real numbers to back it up, here.


Get Real or Go Home – Marketing Therapy for Small Biz & Entrepreneurs

This particular talk was a panel discussion that included Duane Forrester, Jon Henshaw, and Steve Hammer. They covered remote work, going into - DON’T GO INTO – business with friends, and not putting all your eggs in one basket when it comes to clients.

Battle of The Third Party Platforms

I sat in on this particular session because I was curious on how PPC marketers went about bidding on keywords. It was definitely a talk for the media PPC buyers. It was interesting to learn about the different platforms available for buying advertising. There was talk about analytics, forecasting, and AI. For those interested more about PPC 3rd party platforms check out Natalie Barreda’s slides below:


Forget AMP: Make Fast Sites

Jon Henshaw’s session about making websites faster. Funny thing about this talk was that Henshaw wasn’t all fond of AMP compared to his other industry peers. He gave a plethora of tips on how to make a website (WordPress CMS) faster. I live-tweeted this session which you can see below, and you can check out his presentation slides right below my tweets.

Forget AMP – Make Fast Sites! from Jon Henshaw


JavaScript Indexing and SEO: The Naked Truth

This was a fairly technical session, but eventually understood the importance of it. Bart Goralewicz of Elephate went through a very thorough presentation on how JavaScript can impact SEO. Particularly, he mentioned how Google and JavaScript don't really get along as well as regular HTML5. I learned that not all JavaScript is created equal, not all JavsScript frameworks are crawled of indexed the same, and inline vs. external JS makes a huge difference.

Google isn't the only search engine that has difficulty crawling JavaScript-heavy sites, Bing and Yahoo are probably the worst ones. See slide #74. Overall, this was a great talk and should be something developers, and marketers should discuss when dealing with SEO and the more technical aspects when building a website. You can view the slide below. 


Day 2 of State of Search

The second day of the conference started off just much like the first day with two Opening Keynote and The State of Research Keynote. One that focused on ranting and raving, which I appreciated and the other one was the future of automated search.

Opening Keynote:

Bill Hunt from Back Azimuth Consulting, presented Rants and Raves, Twenty Years in the Making to us marketers on day 2 of the conference. He touched on organic search to maintaining SEO when doing a site migration. I couldn't find his presentation slides online, so I've added my tweets below:



Analytics in the Mobile Age

My last session of the day was the session presented by Jenny Halasz on Mobile Analytics. I was looking forward to this session the most because LevelTen is very on trend with Analytics and how it helps you determine your ROI. Attending this session gave me new insight on how to treat and leverage mobile analytics to better understand audience behavior and how to target them better. Halasz gave many interesting examples and statistics as to why mobile analytics needs to stop being ignored and be incorporated more when it comes to strategy. 

Below are some of the live Tweets from the session and the session slides.


2 Days of Awesome

Overall, my experience at the State of Search was nothing short of amazing. I met with industry leaders and others in my field of work and got to learn more about the future of Search Engine Marketing. It was great to meet a group of people open to talking about anything and everything marketing.

This was a long recap, and I only skimmed the surface of what I was able to attend or had available notes on (my computer died by mid-afternoon). I will say that attending this conference if at least once in your career you will attain some knowledge you never were knowledgeable of before attending. If you can, attend next year! 


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