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Keynote Panel & Discussion

  • By calcoastwebdesign
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  • 19 Sep 2008

I get there a little early to find an electrical outlet so I can charge my laptop… No such luck, so I grab one of the hundreds of free seats closer to the front. About 20 minutes pass and the room is now full and the presentation begins.

This was an entertaining hour! We got to hear from speakers Matt Cutts, Danny Sullivan, Tim Westergren, Robert Scoble, Kristen Mangers and Rich LeFurgy , with moderators Kevin Ryan and Mike Grehan.

One of the first topics to come up was on what the “Google killer” is (basically, what or who is going to be the one to out-do Google overall).

Danny Sullivan said that Microsoft would be the most logical name. The thing is, is that Microsoft has been trying for the last 5 years to do so, and has had very limited success.

It was really interesting to hear Matt Cutts talk about his first working experience with Google. He couldn’t find the office and when he finally did, it was a small room with a desk and a PowerPoint presentation… I think it’s a fair to say that Google has come a long way since then.

The discussion switched to the data that Google has and how they use it to develop new products and remain the undisputed search engine. In general, people aren’t that concerned with how search works or why certain sites get found quicker than others, they just want to find what they were looking for at the fastest rate possible… Google has definitely brought this to the users.

Someone asked the question “does Google focus on internal resource development or acquiring technology?” According to Matt Cutts, they actually do both.

We listened to the panelists talk about how people can search twitter in real time rather than the way Google provides search results.

Local search is becoming more and more popular. Urban Spoon is a great example of local search growth. Urban Spoon finds restaurants and food local to the, user using average cost, type of food and physical location, which makes for very specific search results.

As much as local search has grown, it still has a long way to go according to the panel, due to the amount of data and how the data is used. Some of the open formats for local have a huge opportunity based on where the users are going with the market. This could be an additional layer placed on top of today’s web.

Matt Cutts talked about broadband and wireless, and how they have had such a big impact on our lives. Matt predicted that 70% of all phones will be “smart phones” within the next 10 years. Everybody will have them and is this where local will go?

The panelists continue discussing multiple examples on how search is being utilized today and how useful it has become by providing exactly what someone is looking for vs. traditional outlets that try to push messaging to a “proposed” audience.

All in all, this was a great session and very entertaining as well. During the presentation, we got to see a video compiled of clips from various TV shows, movies and SouthPark. The kicker was that they arranged all of these clips to talk about search and SEO. Very creative and witty. I especially loved the SouthPark clips. It was the perfect episode to use!

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