I’m so happy to attend the NY SES Conference and Expo. Thanks, Mike and Incisive Media for inviting me as a guest and making my presentation possible. I had the opportunity of making new friends and business contacts. Below are some talking points.

My Impressions About this SES

Mike Grehan and Incisive Media put a lot of good work and effort to make the event a success. I have the opportunity to chat with the real movers-and-shakers of the industry, again (Mike Grehan, Bruce Clay, etc…). It is good to see again all these old friends.

SEO/SEM is moving slowly but steadily toward integrated marketing research, with statistics and few flavors of real Science, as it should be. They are still a long shot to that. The driving forces toward that are many: web analytics, metrics, and of course, Google and Bing.

I remember the days during my doctoral work (1988-1995) wherein back then we talked all the time about expert systems and IR systems. We were discussing cluster analysis, dimensionality reduction algorithms, sequential simplex optimization, chemometrics, fractals, chaos, markov chains, diffusion-limited aggregation, etc.

It was not until I got my PhD at ASU (1995) where I came across few articles talking about search engines. To my surprise, we were talking about the very same thing, only that using different nomenclature. Those days are gone now!

We are getting old and smarter cookies.

Well back to my SES summary. I hope the next few lines do not hurt any candy heart.

Room for Improvement

In general, speaker presentations were fine, with few exceptions. Here I’m providing some suggestions:

Power Point Slider

My slider did not work as expected. I thought it was just me. Then later on, when attending other sessions some speakers have problems sliding their presentations. I believe this technical problem will be resolved in future SES.


Definitively, this area needs improvements. Some speakers insisted in embedding multiple sentences within slides. This is contra-productive as forces the audience to read the text while the speaker is talking. This is a NO-NO. Presentations are not reports. One should use figures, graphs, tables, diagrams in presentations to make a point, not lengthy sentences.

Adding insult to injury, some speakers used font sizes hard to read pass the third row of the audience. I assume they tried to comply with the SES template, which suggested a Calibri font size of 16 for the body.

To prevent this from happening, in the future a larger font size for the body, like between 24 to 28, should be used for SES templates. Personally, I prefer large font sizes. Using a large size, not only should allow the audience to discern any text, but will also prevent speakers from trying to stuff too many long sentences in a single slide. It will also help the audience’s attention to go where it should be: on the speaker and not on reading long sentences with tiny text.

To my surprise, I found some slides with text in white over soft-colored background and others with dark color over dark-colored backgrounds. Exactly. Many in the audience were not able to read them. Surprisingly, some veteran speakers were making these rookie mistakes. And even others didn’t worry about fixing many obvious typos. This was kind of disappointing.

Statistical Graphs

I found several graphs presenting percentages, without specifying the reference base. Other simply stated that the base was “various sources”. This is a NO_NO and should be avoided altogether.

Digital Media Coverage of the Self-Weighting Model (SWM)

I’m planning to put online some demos, tutorials, articles, etc about how SWM can be used. In the meantime, enjoy the following links.

SES Magazine, New York – March 19-23, 2012


Full-page version: http://issuu.com/sesmagazine/docs/sesmag_ny12/1?mode=a_p

SES New York Kick-Off: Search Marketing Errors Uncovered, by Clarissa Sajbl


Bruce Clay’s SES – Day 1 Report, by Virginia Nussey


Sycara’s blog March 15, 2012 by Steve Sasman