Yahoo threw an invite party at “Saint” in Boston last night and it proved to be a good time. It was a good thing they were letting in “guests” of people on the list or I think there would have been only half as many people there. Good for you Yahoo in doing this as Microsoft has really shot itself in the foot at SES conferences by being uber strict with their “invite only” events.
LOTS of great conversations at this party. Thomas and I got there around 7pm and it was a nice, cozy little event with an open bar, (extended to 10pm) and a wide variety of hors d’oeuvres. Many familiar faces too: Todd Malicoat, the super cool guys from BOTW.org, Mike McDonald of iEntry and Jeremy Zawodny, my co-presenters for this morning’s PR session Robin Liss and Lawrence Coburn, Brandy and Daron Babin, Roger aka Martinibuster and many others I cannot remember right now because I’m supposed to be practicing my presentation.
Unfortunatley, I had a brain cramp when trying to recall Elisabeth Osmeloski’s name when meeting her in person for the first time. Oops. I also finally met Joe Morin in person and checked out the cool pistol grip type, video camera I always see him with.
Tim Mayer from Yahoo gave me some great Boston restaurant suggestions which I promptly wrote down on a napkin. Tim thought it would be fun to invite Matt Cutts to the YPN party and of course, Matt showed up. I spotted him several times drinking loads of Sprite listening to the well-lubricated SEOs tell their tales.
I talked with Matt Cutts earlier in the day with Aaron Wall and Andy Hagans. They were grilling him on user data and Matt was as specific as Matt ever gets – that Google does not use toolbar data for rankings. He mentioned that it certainly didn’t help that in the “Meet the Crawlers” session at SES NYC, the MSN rep suggested that MSN “might” be using user/toolbar info. That suggests the other search engines do as well. Matt also said that user data would be too easy to spam to use for rankings.
Sorry, no photos this time, but there were nifty YPN T-Shirts on the way out.
Thanks for a good event Yahoo.
Update: I would add that when talking to Matt about toolbar data, he did provide several reasons why it does not make sense to use that kind of information for rankings. At this time Google is not using toolbar information for rankings. I don’t get the impression that there are plans to do so, but I would also say it’s not an impossibility either.