Lee Odden

YPN Party – Boston Pubcon

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.

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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 integrated content, search, social media and influencer marketing. When not at conferences, consulting, or working with his talented team, he's likely on a beach somewhere doing absolutely nothing.

Comments

  1. Great coverage Lee, gives a newbie like me something to shoot and look forward to.

    Question how do you all party so much and make it to the sessions the next day, lol, I think I am becomming a lightweight in the party arena.

  2. cpdohman says:

    you said “They(Aaron Wall and Andy Hagans) were grilling him on user data and Matt was as specific as Matt ever gets – that Google does not use toolbar data for rankings.”

    first off, do you think matt is telling the truth on that? and if so, then what do you think they use that data for? maybe discovery of new sites, crawler priority, …other? they have plenty other sources of user behavior data too including basic search data (keywords, clicks, no-clicks, time spent) and other apps like sitemaps and analytics, do you think they factor any of that into rankings?

    thanks,
    chris

  3. Hey Chris,

    On my way out of the conference today I ran into Matt and he wanted to clarify that, “it doesn’t make sense to use toolbar data because it could be manipulated.” Basically, he said that at this time, Google is not using toolbar data.

  4. Hello Lee,

    Nice summary!

    Steve

  5. Thanks Steve, it was good seeing you again!

Trackbacks

  1. Search Engine Journal » Yahoo Publisher Network Pubcon Boston Party says:

    […] Like the rest of the Search Engine Optimization and Marketing world, Lee Odden is at Boston’s Webmaster World PubCon and has the lowdown on liquored up SEO’s blabbing to a Sprite drinkin’ Matt Cutts, YPN’s open bar, and a who’s who of the web publishing world: 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. […]

  2. […] At last week’s WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference in Boston, I had the opportunity to talk to Matt Cutts from Google a few times and when I posted my recollection of comments about Google and user or toolbar data for rankings he wanted to clarify. That presented an opportunity for a mini interview about Google’s position on toolbar data. […]

  3. […] The major item I want to clarify is about is privacy in communications I have with people in person, via email or IM. In the past year I’ve met some amazing people at conferences and industry events. What really got me thinking about this was when I blogged some comments from a conversation I had with Matt Cutts at the Boston WebmasterWorld Pubcon conference. In that conversation I had not mentioned to Matt that I might mention his comments in a blog post. He later asked to clarify, which I did via a mini-interview. […]