Last week SEOmoz wrapped up their 2012 MozCon inbound marketing conference in Seattle. I understand that not everyone can budget or make time to make it out to these things, nor may they have the experience to put much of what's said at these events into context. So, I started out with the intent of distilling ten of the takeaways as much as I could into one post, but after it reached page 10 with no end in sight, realized it had crept far into tl;dr territory. So that stuff's been archived, maybe to emerge in the form of a boatload of blog posts later (sorry). This would probably be better at holding your attention.
So instead, I wanted to write a simple review. While there are many similar conferences, MozCon has repeatedly been described to me by other professional SEO's as far more "advanced" than the alternatives. Although SEOmoz's blog has been in my SEO reading for about as long as Rand's been blogging, and I do use their fantastic pool of search engine data, I was once a bit of an SEOmoz hater.
It's not their fault though. The reason is that I was seeing this:
Too many of the 'white hat' SEO blogs are guilty of throwing a whole lot of untested theory your way. Specifically, I've found that these sites will publish content that any practicing SEO would say nope! ... and then prove very simply why that blogger had obviously never tried anything they preached.
SEOmoz struck me this way for a brief while. Even though they did once consult, the content just struck me as not all that actionable (namely, the "hooray white hat!" and "your white hat isn't white hat enough!" type evangelistic stuff). Maybe I wasn't the only one that felt that way; as Paddy Moogan pointed out last week, it was once very common back in 2004-2007 for none of Rand's posts to see a single bit of commenting/thumbs-upping (ha). And now, seeing how much the industry has taken a turn towards doing #RCS or nothing, maybe we all should have been listening to Rand a bit more.
As time has gone on, I've watched SEOmoz creep past the better "practicing" SEO's, and reached a level to where they can blow my mind on the regular thanks to a pretty disgusting pool of search data that they're able to pick apart. I do still frequently catch items where I disagree with conclusions (especially from many of their YouMoz bloggers), but in general, it's become some of the very best (not to mention a fairly actionable, considering how under-developed this space is to start with). More importantly, this led me to keep tally at MozCon- how many speakers were practicing SEO's, and to what degree.
Pretty much all of them, depending on your definition. And smart ones at that. Nearly every other presentation was of a caliber that could be described as industry-changing- ranging from the weather forecasting of algorithm updates to SEO Excel scripting with half the complexity of the whole Google ranking process. SEOmoz has earned their place as the hub of our industry, especially in recent years. I will definitely be back to MozCon for as long as the conference is around.
One Final Note
On an unrelated note, July 27th also marked another important event around here: it's been exactly 1 year since this site was launched, and I started this agency. While Carter and Kat have been doing an amazing job keeping this blog flowing with wonderful stuff (which is great, because I'm a firm believer in practicing what we preach), I've been laying the groundwork to make this whole thing a lot bigger and better.
That also means that I haven't been blogging as much as I first intended.
You may have noticed that I've also been posting around a few of the top marketing blogs, and that we've started hiring. I've also been refining our marketing process and immersing myself in the fantastic challenge that is applying it to all kinds of different companies doing all kinds of different things (although, it seems that the majority continue to be data centers and managed hosting companies). It's been quite a ride, one that feels like it's still just beginning, and I have a lot of people in the industry, and amongst old friends from my time in the hosting space to thank.
So, to everyone that's had a hand in helping this little venture out in the past year, thank you!