Lee Odden

SES Chicago Keynote with Danny Sullivan

Keynote Day 2 of Search Engine Strategies with Danny Sullivan

Danny says keynotes should be inspiring.

How are we (search marketers) viewed? 
Shows photo of guy wearing spam shirt and drinking a beer.

Shows quotes from various sources characterizing SEOs as:  Worthless, shady, criminals, cockroaches

Who to blame?  

Blach Hats:
Blog spamming, keyword stuffing, content thieves, cloaking

But consider some contradictions:

  • Some news sources are allowed to cloak
  • Large respected pubs selling links
  • Web site of respected blog software maker hosting spam pages

White Hats:
Algorithm ingnorant, simple tips overselling, industry best practices


  • Simple tips aren’t simple to people who don’t know
  • Working with designers and others to do content SEO is a skill

Black arts dabbling, unldear line waslking, low margin grubbing, non paid search practitioners


  • Paid search is boring with no creativity
  • There’s something other than search such as WOMMA
  • Successful organic puts people in the prime position that money can;’t buy

Search Advertisers
Machine driven, money rules all thinkging, getting all the search engine attention, new to the market,


  • Paid search isn’t fickle about algorithm changes
  • Without paid search, search engines might not be able to offer organic for free
  • Paid search is so measurable

United by Search:
Gives example, movie "Stripes" – audience doesn’t get it

We’re all very different people
Search is made up of black hats, white hats, organic, paid, and subsets of that

It’s a good time to be in search

  • Search in all forms is high in demand
  • Search marketers are having difficulty in hiring search marketing staff
  • Search marketing popularity now is not a bubble:
  • Search is a fundamental advertising medium like TV, radio, print and outdoors
  • Search will continue to evolve and become more and more pervasive – which means

Increasing opportunies for search marketers
Search is not going away, it’s just going to get bigger and bigger


  • Mailing lists:  I-Search (dead now), SEM 2.0, Search Return
  • Conferences:  SES, Pubcon, Ad:tech
  • Forums, WMW, Digital Point, SEW, HighRankings
  • Blogs: SE Roundtable, SEO Book, Threadwatch
  • Organizations: SEMPO, SMA, Dallas, Atlanta

Cites Ian Turner who went missing at an Atlanta Pubcon. People responded en masse to act. Cross community effort.

Who else is part of our community:
  Yahoo, Google

Shows example of Barry Schwartz who asked his giflfriend to marry him via Ask Jeeves.

Community Rewards:

  • Weather reports are getting more regular
  • Things like nofollow to give more control over our pages
  • Google sitemaps
  • Yahoo site explorer
  • Google sitemaps stats
  • Google base

Danny loves all this, but he wants more:
Blogging community can monitor new links in Google blog search – why isn’t that possible in regular web search?

  • Yahoo Site Explorer should allow export of more urls
  • URL feeds are fine, but expand into content feeds
  • Ad reps should be friends, not foes – Ad Reps taking accounts away.

How Outsiders Recognize the Community

Shows example of Bruce Clay – looks like a mug shot. Article "hawking" seo
Another example of Lucas Morea as a successful entreprenuer. SEO different, but unusual

Search Engine Ad Rep Problems Remain:
Despite gains, some will still see search marketers as "used car salespeople"

Two challenges:  

  • Scummy companies
  • Trespassing content

End to comment and link spam – not just blogs, but anywhere adding a link does not add value. Say no to FFA, guest books, etc
– Google page rank lunacy article by Mike Grehan

Shows example:  memorial guestbook viagra

Search Marketers are the Foot Soldiers of Search
You are search marketers, hear you roar, in numbers too big to ignore


  • Put yourself "on the map"
  • 2006 is promising
  • Pick a day for "Search Marketing Day"
  • NYC SES is "Search Week"

Danny thinks there should be a "SEM Apprentice" – names Frederick Markini as the "Donald Trump of
Search" Need to raise the reputation of search.

Tags: SES, SES Chicago 2005, SES Keynote, Danny Sullivan, Search Engine Strategies

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Lee Odden About Lee Odden

@LeeOdden is the CEO of TopRank Marketing and editor of Online Marketing Blog. Cited for his expertise by The Economist, Forbes and the Wall Street Journal, he's the author of the book Optimize and presents internationally on B2B marketing topics including content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely running, traveling or cooking up something new.


  1. Online Marketing Blog » Blog Archive » SES Chicago Day 2 Wrap Up says:

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