SES Chicago 2007 – Seth Godin Keynote on 14 Trends to Avoid a Meatball Sundae

Seth Godin SES Chicago 07

Day two at SES Chicago opened with a keynote speech from Seth Godin talking about Meatball Sundaes.
So what’s this Meatball Sundae all about?

Let’s break it down first: The meatballs are the core of the organization whether it’s products, services or traditional marketing.

The sundae, the whipped topping, nuts, sprinkles and cherry is what new marketing provides including channels like social media.

I’m sure we can all agree that a meatball sundae does not sound appetizing, but they’re being created across organizations with marketers trying to force traditional messages into new online channels.

Seth encouraged the audience to embrace what the web wants and architect your messages accordingly.

60 Minutes with Seth Godin and a Meatball Sundae


The Search Engine Strategies conference in Chicago is coming up in just a little over a month and I was given the awesome opportunity to participate in a call with Seth Godin and Kevin Ryan of Incisive Media yesterday where Seth discussed in his new book, Meatball Sundae.

What is a Seth Godin Meatball Sundae you ask? Basically, a meatball sundae is “the unfortunate result of mixing two good ideas”. There are abundant opportunities with today’s online mix of tools that include everything from social networking to social media, SEO, blogs, behavioral advertising and viral techniques that have performed well on their own, but combinations without thinking about the consequences can be disasterous. The problem is that many companies try to use these tools without first getting their organization and products in sync with them. The result is what Seth Godin calls a “meatball sundae”, ie a big, ineffective mess.

Seth Godin and On-Page Off-Page SEO

Seth Godin takes a pass at flavoring search engine optimization as: passive vs active SEO. There’s nothing horribly bad about what he describes, it’s just not entirely spot-on accurate. There’s nothing really passive about SEO. It’s pretty active and ongoing. He compares passive (aka on-page optimization) with active (aka link building) and does make a good point about not having the same person do both.

In our SEO practice, on-page search engine optimization typically starts with keyword research, web site and competitor analysis and a content creation and optimization strategy. Title tags, meta, page text, anchor text links and overall site link structure as well as technical/code optimization fall into the “on-page” category as well.

The off-page tactics Seth mentions as “active” I think are right on actually:

Friday Search Marketing Nuggets

Conversion Optimization: Picking Up Where SEO Leaves Off, via ISEDB
Seth Godin on Passive vs Active SEO. AKA Content and Link building.

John Jantsch adds 14 new blogs to the Duct Tape Marketing network. Press Release.
Aaron Pratt does an excellent Interview with Bill Slawski

Marketing Sherpa marketing blog voting goes awry and switches to survey monkey. Please vote for “Top Rank” here.