Posted by gillian
Last week, as the
I had a great time! I haven’t felt such excitement, vigor, and potential in a long time. SEOmoz sponsored the water bottles. Chris Sherman took a shot of me showing it off before the keynote speech.
I was going to post a standard review of the conference with stats, etc. but Shor wrote an admirably thorough review of the state of search in China and Chris posted a solid review and his thoughts of SMX Nanjing. So today, I’ll focus on things I came away with from the conference and on the financial market activity, what it means to the Search industry, and how I see it being perceived and responded to by our colleagues in
The Business Climate in
I met about 300 people involved in search, software, and technology at the Nanjing Conference and Exhibition Center (Chris got a great shot of the complex the day before the crowds arrived). Attendees were privileged businesspeople involved in a growth industry with sufficient expendable capital to attend a 2-day conference. The mayor came to open the event and Microsoft sent Zhaohui Tang, Principal Group Program Manager, Microsoft AdCenter, to demonstrate their suite of marketing and ROI-improvement tools. We’re not talking about reactions from the ‘man on the street’, but I think there is value in what I heard and saw.
On the surface,
Some Observations from SMX
Baidu is still the most popular search engine in
Pay per click campaign management is still the major focus of concern for attendees. Making the financial case for SEO over SEM seems to be the biggest problem facing both in-house and independent SEOs. Pay per click provides a clear cost and ROI for business owners. SEO is more difficult to track. Not much different than the concerns of their counterparts around the world, is it?
Many indicated that they are involved exclusively or primarily with companies seeking to export their products to the
I was asked if SEOmoz would translate our tools’ interface to make them easier to use. Although some expressed interest in getting data and support for reaching other markets, they primarily requested US-centric data. With the meltdown in the
Everyone expects a short term bumpy ride, but no one was considering holding back on their efforts to sell products to the
What the Market Activity Means to SEO
We are in for a recession. Not a depression, but definitely a recession. Smarter people than I argue about the length of time it will take, so I won’t ruminate about it. As companies tighten their belts, traditional media (print, radio, TV, even tele-sales) are already seeing a decline. Matt McDougal twittered about noticing that the economic slowdown is already pushing more advertising online. I’ll stick my neck out here – I predict that not only will this trend continue, but when things pick up, online advertising gains will continue to hold their ground and continue to increase. Furthermore, as SEM becomes more costly with more competitors for keywords, SEO will see a boon as well. I’ll revisit this prediction in the future to see whether I should get that Fortune Telling parlor set up.
Some basic business advice: when times are good, increase your market size as well as your market share. When times are tough, do it even faster. Stephen Noton has been consulting in
And now, Just for Fun…Seen and Heard at SMX
On the first morning, crowds of attendees were delayed as our cars, buses, and taxis drove to the convention hall and again as we all passed through security screenings, had our bags x-rayed, and presented our badges for inspection. The mayor of
- Inway Ni, on the same subject later: “We don’t have time even to argue with each other. We are too busy doing business!”
- Irene Wang, Alldao
“Can you say something for the camera about the importance of our business?” China:
"I don’t know your company.“
"But we provide services for export companies to get their products to the
. It’s not about our company, just say something about the importance of the work we are doing!” US
- TR Harrington: “Tell the man in the yellow shoes that the man in the yellow glasses said hi.”
- Unknown: “Look, SEOmoz and Google are on the same line and same size.” Well, there’s a moment to capture!
- Taxi Driver en route from the airport: “
is ancient! Nanjing is new! Look! [at the new 7-story shopping mall rising behind the city wall, circa 1038]" Nanjing
Pictures of SMX
Booth babes and giant spotted dogs were popular:
An amazing array of items are sold using cartoons. This cartoon is selling parental control software:
And finally, I’ve never been photographed so often by so many people in such a short time. Here I whipped out my camera and had a game of dueling cameras to the amusement of people nearby.
More: continued here