Webmaster World Conference wrap up.

I took a red eye out of Boston on Wednesday evening. I’d completely forgotten what my family look like and where I live. So, I have exactly two and a half days at home before I head back across the pond again.

There are two conferences next week. Killer search marketing strategies in London. And then when ad:tech San Francisco finishes, I have to head straight to London for Jim Sterne’s Emetrics Summit, the week after. I felt certain that I had some time at home immediately after that… And then realized that my buddy Jim Banks has the official opening of our Hong Kong office right between that and SES London.

So, I’ll be back on the road for weeks again by the way it looks.

Webmaster World Conference was a lot of fun, as ever. And you may not believe it, but it’s absolutely true. Who was the first person I bumped into as I entered the conference venue?

I think Bill Hunt is on my blog more than I am!

The night before the conference started I got together with my long standing buddy, Fredrick Marckini. He’s not only one of the most seasoned and successful search marketing gurus in our industry, for me he’s also the funniest.

At some point during the event, Fredrick and I ended up back at his city apartment. Here (along with a very cute cat) he has his musical room with keyboards, guitars, the lot. So inspired by a mixture of Merlot and Cabernet we attempted to tune the guitars. Fredrick was much more successful than I was and even managed to blast out a Beatles number (and not too badly, either). Personally, my fingers could only find a long series of misshaped chords which sounded a lot like Fredrick’s cat walking up and down the keyboard. Merlot one – fingers nil!

On the first day of the conference, I was due on the organic panel, as usual. It was supposed to be moderated by Jessie Strichiola but for some reason she couldn’t attend. So Captain Brett asked me if I’d stand in and do the honors. I was more than happy to do that and it gave a chance to get some fresh blood on the panel as stalwart Bruce Clay was joined by Aaron Wall and Todd Malicoat (AKA Stuntdbl).

It was a good session. No photo’s though as my camera and I were separated a couple of times during the show. I did get a nice surprise when I was introduced to Andy Hagans (AKA Mr Angry for a short period). We had a couple of drinks and a chance to catch up on stuff. Mainly current happenings in China and the developing market place. Here’s Andy with me and Aaron Wall.

I met a new friend who was speaking for the first time at WMW (I think). Elisabeth Archambault runs her affiliate business up in Canada. She certainly knows the affiliate game inside out, that’s for sure.

It has to be said that, the highlight of the first day was eventually getting my long overdue interview with search engine superstar, Matt Cutts. He and I chatted for just under an hour covering a lot of topics. Matt is such a nice patient guy and has time for everybody (even if it takes almost two years, in some cases šŸ™‚

He’s an absolute natural when it comes to being interviewed. I’ve listened to the rough cut of the interview and it sounds really good. But it’s not going to be available for a couple of weeks. I still have part two to complete with him. And I won’t be back in the UK to edit and package it until I get back, a few days before heading to China again. Which reminds me. I also have two good interviews with Thomas Bindl and Alan Webb, respectively, with their views on SEO from a European perspective.

I did my usual basic links session on day two, ably supported by the “Moses” of linking, Eric Ward. As well as Jim Boykin and Bill Hartzer. Jim’s presentation was jam packed with actionable do it now data which I thought was just great. And really well presented. And similar from Bill, even if he did start with a joke even cornier than I would come out with! Having said that, there is no doubt I’ll probably use it myself at… er… all right Bill, I was just yanking yer chain a bit šŸ˜‰

And after that it was a special birthday lunch with Search Engine Watch forums editor, Elisabeth Osmeloski, not looking a day older than the 21 she is šŸ˜‰

I sat next to her in the restaurant and insisted that she did the full thing. A huge lobster followed by a huge dose of chocolate desert washed down with a few Bloody Mary’s and the odd Pinot Grigio or two. Elisabeth used to work up in Maine with Anne Kennedy and the Beyond Ink crew. And so it was that the “deliciously slinky” Alex Bennert, very kindly took care of the bill. I left the restaurant with Alex who seemed to get sucked into Sephora (next door to the restaurant) and hasn’t been seen since I understand šŸ™‚

It wasn’t until got to Logan airport I realized I’d left my wooden stick in the restaurant as we’d gone there directly after my session and I was still wielding it. What wooden stick is that, Mike.

Well… You’ll just have to come to a conference to find out.

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