From 21 through 24 October, 2013 in Las Vegas one of the grandest online marketing conferences Pubcon took place. During three days over 2500 people visited the conference and in 9 sections over 300 speakers gave the presentations, including Matt Cutss, Ann Smarty, Jason Calacanis, Scott Stratten, Tim Ash, Dennis Yu, and others.
Pubcon is famous and popular among the internet marketers working with English-speaking clients since it gives an opportunity to establish a lot of useful and interesting contacts. For example, in the evening before the conference official opening Pubcon throws a preparty, where attendees and speakers are able to get to know each other in more informal and relaxed atmosphere. On each next day’s morning the organizers finish their intro speech with advice to the audience to make acquaintance with three people sitting near. All the guests and organizers of the conference are very friendly and open, which creates a unique atmosphere of this event. The audience interest in presentations and engagement were proved by the number of tweets with conference official hashtag. Each day there were over 5 000 tweets.
The first day was marked by Jason Calanis’ speech (ex-CEO CEOMahalo.com). Jason told about current state of media business, tendencies, and surely he shared his views on future of online games, apps, TV, newspapers, books, magazines, traditional advertisement, films and radio. Jason predicted that Google will buy NFL digital rights, Apple will launch its own TV channel and buy Netflix, Crowdfunded newspapers (like Huffingtonpost) will be replaced by local newspapers, and Spotify will grow from streaming data service to recording label. Jason speech was also remarkable by his open critique of Google search guru – Matt Cutts and the Google corporation.
“Matt Cutts and Google killed SEO and the ability to build a brand with SEO”
“Matt Cutts is a charming man, he can, smiling, take away your business and flush down the drain 5 years of your life”
This speech particularly amazed the audience also because the next day’s keynote speaker was Matt Cutts.
After the Jason speech finished, the audience dispersed between conference 9 sections, including: social media optimization, search engine optimization, paid methods of online promotion, local search optimization, conversions and a/b testing, affiliate marketing. The Promodo company representative Paul Ryazanov showed his presentation in the conversion optimization section. He told about psychologyof modern online consumers and how to use this knowledge during landing page and website forms creation. Watch the presentation.
In the search engine optimization section very useful were presentations from Carrie Hill about Schema and from Bing’s representative, Duane Forrester about linkbuilding. In the end of her presentation Carrie shared the Google-tables which were created by her company with detailed instructions on what markup code for which goals is better to use. You can copy these useful data from these links – markup for localbusiness, the example of ready to use markup for restaurant website. Duane’s presentation had the following memorable quote:
“Try to stop yourself from going on a link building spree as only one or two links usually get you ranked”
Duane also shared some useful instruments useful for link sources search. The links can be found in her presentation here.
The next day of the conference began with presentation from Google-guru Matt Cutts. Matt told about the work that has been done in Google search team and about their future plans. Among the most recent and important events, Matt mentioned new algorithm Hummingbird, Panda algorithm softening (Matt told that algorithm has been improved in order not to punish too severely websites which are on the edge of what is allowed by Google), the further development of authorrank, mobile search development, strengthening the aggressive impact of Penguin algorithm (Matt told that after Penguin 2.0, they monitored comments on blackhatseo forums, and found out that some webmasters boasted that their websites have not been hurt by Penguin at all, so they decided to make the rules more strict and launched Penguin 2.2). What we should from Matt Cutts’ team in future:
- The completion of the algorithm which will decrease in rankings websites excessively using ads in the first window, Matt promised to pay special attention to the websites in the Russian and Arabic languages.
- Probably, the right to use Rich snippets markup should be earned. Google is thinking about depriving low quality websites from right to markup their pages with Richsnippets.
- Google Chrome will soon have new update which will allow the users to fill in the forms in one click. Matt advised the webmasters to get prepared and check whether their website forms support requestAutocomplete function. This function exactly will let the users to fill in the forms in one click in Chrome browser.
Surely, Pubcon guests were waiting for Matt Cutts public response to the negative critique which Jason Calanis gave the day before! Matt said that he understands Jason’s feelings quite well, because his “child” has been destroyed by Panda algorithm. However, he explained that he still doesn’t consider Mahalo as a quality source, because posts written to drive traffic which would click on ads links. As a proof, he demonstrated a screenshot from one of the articles from the source with the heading “How to pour milk?”
After Matt’s speech the attendees again joined different sections. Very energetic and informative was Jim Boykin’s speech (InternetMarketingNinjas) about how we should build links in the Penguin era. He encouraged marketing agencies not to claim that they do white hat SEO only and at the same time promise that they can easily promote the rankings of any project by high volume short search queries by getting lots of links with anchored keywords from forums, directories or guest posts. What Jim suggested instead:
- Properly and regularly work on link popularity, review it, clean, send bad links to disavowtool;
- Focus on creation of real, deep academic articles in your niche with brand mention;
- Attract authorative authors, cooperate with them;
- Diversify the content: create manuals, downloadable guides, infographics, video;
- From time to time draw attention to the project and create info reasons by running contests, organizing different event, giving away products and services;
- Work on creation of community of loyal to your brand subscribers, clients, buyers. Establish and maintain real connections and friendship with such community.
Very useful appeared to be presentation from Arienne Holland (Raven Tools) about planning and proper development of content marketing strategy. Talking about content creation plans, Arienne advised to make annual calendars listing all the events, holidays, seasons and cycles. It can act as a basement for annual plan of marketing materials posting. Then, on the basis of annual plan you can develop quarter plan, specifying sources where you would like to be featured. The third step is monthly planning, which includes regular posts and time for rest and inspiration. The editorial budget is another instrument for planning and an important document. It is necessary to create the posts topic table in order to keep the content consistent. For each post in the table should be stated SEO aspects, methods of distribution and usefulness for brand. Her presentation you can check out here.
The final day of the conference was started by fantastic speaker Scott Stratten (Unmarketing), he is being considered as one of the top 5 the most influential personas in social media marketing. Scott used negative examples to show how it is better not to do – he showed many funny examples of how branding and marketing should not be executed.
Scott also told the history of his project creation of – one-page website Noooo, which is likely to be known among internet-geeks, he told how the project became amazingly popular.
Some advice from Scott:
- There is no need to invest thousands of dollars and hundreds of hours into ideal logo or design creation if the service is not good. Nobody will say “The guy at the reception was rude, the prices are overly high, but, oh my God, have you seen the logo!?”
- Don’t use QR codes, if you decided to use them anyway, think about where you will place them and how people will scan them (Scott gave several silly examples of how QR codes were put on public transport bamper, in the magazines on the plane board, etc.).
- The answer speed is very important in the social media, if you respond to negative feedback in 20-30 minutes, you will solve the issue, having responded in a day or (sometimes) in 3 hours, you can make the situation or impression about brand even worse.
In conclusion, the high level of Pubcon conference and level of speakers’ expertise cements the event status as one of the biggest online marketing conferences in the world, not to mention that new useful contacts are a great bonus to this.