Ok, it’s been a while and I have no serious excuses to that except a lot of roundtrips to my home country. These flights also mean a trip to Paris. I had the opportunity to attend this 2013 session of the SMX conference for the first time.
SMX Paris 2013
Well, I would like to talk about it because first, you have to know that it was my first conference ever. I’m still at the early stages of my daily job and attending such a conference was kind of a reward for me, with a little bit of “what should I expect ?”. Let’s just say that when I found out Rand Fishkin would be there, in Paris, in the same room as me, I was in love .
You have to know that the SMX Paris has 2 differents sessions : a technical part and a marketing part. I mostly attended the technical part since the topics were more appealing to me but I’ve heard good stuff about the marketing sessions as well.
What I didn’t like ?
“How to build your netlinking“. The techniques mentioned to pimp up your netlinking were very old-fashioned and kind of spammy. Like creating accounts on different forums pretending to act like a veeery naive blonde girl (I’m not kidding) and BOOM, here’s a link of the website on which I don’t know how to put a damn title. The thing is that you can do whatever you want with your SEO but this shouldn’t be the answers to hear of at the SMX – in my opinion, this was very dark grey hat SEO. It may work, good for you but I wouldn’t do it. Instead, go talk to people and have a real debate on something you have a passion for. Share your honest opinions in the comments on blogs you read every single day. It takes time but I think it could be worth it in the long-term. I’m not saying it will work for every type of websites of course but it certainly is a starting point.
The question will always remain the same as the techniques keep changing – how can we build an environment that will offer you the popularity you expect ?
What I really liked ?
Being able to hear about very interesting stuff from experienced professionals in the SEO world. Rand Fishkin (@randfish) first, but also David Degrelle (@david_degrelle) who always shares his most honest opinions on many topics. This is how I learnt that Google has more than 16% new search queries every single day ! Don’t worry, I learnt more than this simple fact but it would be too long to list all of them here.
Rand Fishkin, Google and the Zoo
According to Rand Fishkin, being authentic and original is the key to success. TARGET YOUR AUDIENCE. Always think of the user first, don’t think too much about Google – it will eventually understand that if people go to your page and share, it means that the content is awesome. Google is the king and does whatever it wants to sort out the SERPs. But it’s not perfect.
Basically, Google is taking over SEO. It means that they clearly want the user to stay on the SERPs and that’s it. No clicks, just the info you’re looking for right away. Wanna plan your next vacation ? Here we go.
There are thousands of examples like this. Will SEO have little to no relevance at all in a near future ? Possibly.
Last but not least, what about the Google zoo ? There is one great sentence that sums up the whole thing “Panda and penguin are not the scariest thing in the Zoo ! The Zoo keeper is.” by Rand Fishkin. That’s why you should be using MozCast which is a great indicator of the updates that secretly happen regularly – some of the secret updates are scarier than the announced ones.
All in all, it was a really good conference with great speakers and from what I heard, it was way better than the previous years. SMX Paris is growing and I hope to come back there in 2014 for more learning and sharing.