Jerusalem is Far in my Israeli perspective, so Far that in the last three years only the closest thing to a middle east SMX conference gets me there, This and Jerusalem nearby weddings.
Getting to Jerusalem was OK, got out at 06:10am, took the fast toll highway 6 and got to the Inbal at 08:40 after 50 slow traffic minutes entering town. Said hi to few peoples, colleagues and friends and sat down to hear some paid Search Tips, Olivier Amar who moderated (filling in for Mr. Chris Sherman) was hungry, so we had to bring him some cookies.
On the Panel, folks from Usearch, PPCPROZ (Dan Perach) , J-town (Charlie), Refined Labs, WEBSEM (Asaf Paz) shared few of their cookies. I’m not a PPC guy but I do it. fighting with Google over Quality scores, affiliate links, ads content and overall ROI became a full time job and the new changes and tweaks given could really help, I’d summarize them in a Kunle Campbell link.
Next up was the Hebrew SEO Panel moderated by me (Gilad Sasson), Oren from SEO Israel presented a nice view over Bing and Adir from gim gave a very interesting talk about instant (not everything works instantly, try cutting Adir when he speaks ? ), I talked about Hebrew IDN domains, this is the PPT :
Rest of SphinnCon presentations will be out soon, If Barry said he’ll email links, he’ll email links.
After the presentations we had a long Q&A + overtime table discussions with many interesting topics, we’ve discussed the Microsoft not so aggressive approach change, the importance of keyword in the URL factor, the state of Israeli SEM agencies flood and more, this is how it looks from the Panel (remember the perspective thing?)
Next was Lunch Break, again, talking with great folks, new, old and some, and after that – The Link Builders Panel, Panel was fun (the parts I understood at least, most of that was in English you know) I went up first talking about building links to a non existing site or service, I tried to help people understand what a real link fight looks like and to always think about the things you CAN do rather than crying over the things you can’t.
Note: MR. Kaspar Szymanski, a very nice Search Quality Startegist from Google was in the crowd during the panel so panelists had to stick with *fictional samples and *old ancient methods just to be on the safe side.
Olivier Moderated, Ofer Dascalu from Wise Impact talked about buying textual ads instead of links, Gab Goldenberg shared very interesting data about Delegating and Scaling Link Building, Dixon Jones, well – sold his really cool majestic seo tool over a flash presentation and Branko Rihtman, showed, again, how spam works (@neyene, enough with this already, not everyone needs to know everything)
This is a quick pic from where I sat:
We got a lot of good reactions just after the Q&A and we were pretty Happy, I was especially happy because of my “formal” part ended for and I could sit back and hear the sessions as an observer again. after the Break I got into the Mobile & Local Tips Session where the dominance of local results and the ‘dead fingers walking” IYP were discussed, Olivier, Yam Regev, Menachem Rosenbaum and Barry Schwartz gave a very interesting point of view about the near future (some say present) of local and mobile serps, I think that search engines’ SMB approach lately been very curious.
Last Session was One on One with Kaspar from Google, I think Google are doing the right thing (thinking about themselves) sending the webmasters to the google groups and improving tools, Kaspar said he doesn’t have any Red Button (I know a guy who sells Google Bowling machines, If you need one DM me ?), the funniest moment of the session was while Ofer Dascalu asked why Google are doing not so good with bought links and urged Kaspar: “You must Improve, This isn’t good enough”. Kaspar is a solid, friendly and welcoming guy (remember he’s from Europe so kudos) and at the end of the session I managed to see that he got “cuttletts” of his own, way to go.
Jerusalem dinner, long drive back, 4-5 emails, hit bad, that was a Long day…
I really enjoyed and am proud to take my little part in this growing community, when is next time? C U
Gilad Sasson, @algoholic
More side notes:
One: Sorry I missed: Eli Feldblum, Uri Breitman, Sam Michelson, Yehoshua Coren, Ziv Dascalu, Miriam Scwab, Gil Reich, Shira Abel, Dan Gerstenfeld, Menachem Rosenbaum, Daniel Waisberg, Ophir Cohen, Kevin Gibbons Tal Siach and Kelly Brown
I heard really good reactions about the presentations, I also heard very few not so good reactions about some of the content– Please send all kinds of requests and specific critique to mister Barry Schwartz , he’s the adult in charge and he can make changes if needed.
Two: Never ever go to FaceBook on a free wifi non secured conference hub, wifi was poor but if you got into facebook while it was on, someone probably got some of your data and this is a good opportunity to change FB password.
Three: I’ve asked many people about their laptop computers while at sphinncon, decision made and ordered, thanks for the help everyone.