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Matt Cutts and I

Posted on Monday, August 17th, 2009 by Print This Post Print This Post

Categories - SEO

Matt Cutts and Tanya

Matt Cutts and Tanya

I hate to admit, but I had a lot of trouble coming up with a blog topic after 3 days at SES.  There were a lot of interesting things that came up around SEO from “SEO is dead and social media is the new king” to “the future of SEO and its indispensability to the user experience.”  Most of what I gleaned reinforced what I already knew: make sure that your brand and your website offer something to the consumer and you will a) charm the communities you want to reach in the social networks and b) create a relevant site that will be ranked (with a little help from your linking friends) by the search engines.

And then I met Matt Cutts.  My background is in entertainment and I’m used to celebrity, but I must admit that after I pushed through the crowd angling to get him to diagnose their websites and handed him my badge to sign (I tried to get him to autograph my program, but the slick surface resisted), my hands shook.  I was giddy! Over a blogger!  Aryn Kennedy of Sound Money Matters said I was her idol and I believe her, because as I struggled to get the picture I asked the nice guy in the orange shirt to take of me and Matt (see! First name basis!) onto my Facebook page, I walked into the men’s restroom. Strangely enough, I think some guy actually held the door open for me, but once I saw urinals and not the neat doors and ordered sinks of the ladies room, I screamed, which caused the dozen or so guys doin’ their thing to whip around in horror.

I beat a hasty retreat into the supply closet and then eventually out the door, but I learned a few important things:

  1. SEO’s are incredibly helpful but not always right. Case in point, the gentleman who helped me in the men’s room (had this gentleman been an employee of The Search Agency, this would have NEVER happened). This can be remedied with communication. Had the gentleman stopped to ask me a few vital questions before I walked in, he could have assessed my problem and helped me find a solution that was agreeable to all parties.
  2. When you find yourself in a sticky situation, stop, assess and THEN move forward, instead of into the linen closet. This can be applied to finding yourself in the wrong place at the wrong time or to your site being penalized by the Search Engines or by the Social Media Community you’re trying to target.
  3. Facebook is dangerous if used indiscriminately. In my case it was a matter of timing and not message, but in other cases, brands might want to think things through carefully before they act in the Social Networking sphere.  Granted, my restroom incident was not the only contributor to these valuable lessons, the great panelists and keynote speakers at SES also hold some responsibility, however, it is a great story to emphasize a strong message, as discussed during my last session of the day, “Storyteller Marketing: the Art of Storytelling Matches Up with the Business of Marketing.”

On a side note, if you are one of the unfortunate gentlemen that I interrupted, like any good social network user (blogger), I hereby offer my official apology via a social media site (blog) for my faux pas, I am now off to “listen and learn” by monitoring the web and responding directly to the parties I offended per our learnings during the conference.

If you want to download any of the decks from SES San Jose 2009, go to www.searchenginestrategies.com/sanjose/presentations.php.

I attended these sessions:

  • Search Where to Next?
  • The Next Wave for Online Video
  • Integration: The New CMO Imperative (Wadda ya want?  I got lost.)
  • Meaningful SEO Metrics: Going Beyond the Numbers (Ray “Catfish” Comstock was on this panel.  If you have not Googled a picture of this man, do so now.  Right now.)
  • Launching a Global Website
  • Igniting Viral Campaigns: From Links to Generating Content
  • Converting Your Visitors to Customers
  • Social Media: Managing Conversations
  • Social Media: White Hat vs. Black Hat
  • Extreme Makeover: Live Site Clinic (Matt Cutts!  Squeal!)
  • Brand, Trademark & Reputation Management
  • Advanced SEO Roundtable: What is it Really? And Where is it Going?
  • Storyteller Marketing: the Art of Storytelling Matches Up With the Business of Marketing

If you have any questions or want to chat about any of these sessions, feel free to shoot me an email at Tanya@thesearchagency.com.

About Tanya Gill

Tanya is an avid fan of search marketing and the arts. As an SEO creative editor for The Search Agency, she has been able to blend the two for 2+ years.

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3 Responses to “Matt Cutts and I”

  1. Barbara says:

    GREAT post: unique, informative, great analogies and very funny. And I’m glad that happened to YOU and not to ME.

  2. Tanya says:

    I couldn’t believe it happened! I figured lemons = lemonade. Glad you liked it!

  3. You Lee Kim says:

    Clever and witty :)


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