What’s New At SMX West 2013

January 14, 2013 by Chris Sherman

Most experienced online marketers readily acknowledge that change is probably the one constant in their lives. But how much change can you effectively deal with, yet still have time to achieve your goals? How do you keep up with all of the important new developments (products, services, tools, tactics) and then also know when to let go of practices and techniques that have become stale, or worse, frowned upon by the search engines, or even worse, might be alienating your existing or potential customers?

That’s one of the major challenges we addressed when programming SMX West 2013, taking place at the San Jose McEnery Convention Center on March 11-13, 2013. Our goal: to deliver first-rate, essential knowledge while at the same time making sure that all attendees get exposure to cutting edge tactics refined by some of the sharpest minds in the industry.

To get a sense of how much really has changed over the past year, consider a few top news stories from March 2012, the last time SMX West ran in San Jose – and then consider what’s changed since then:

Then: Too Much SEO? Google’s Working On An “Over-Optimization” Penalty For That

Now: 50 Million Pages Removed From Google This Year Due To DMCA Piracy Reports

Then: Microsoft’s adCenter Improvements Rolling Out Fast And Furiously

Now: Yahoo Intros Cost-Per-Lead Search Ads, First New Format Under Marissa Mayer

Then: How Serious Is Facebook About Search?

Now: Facebook Gets Into Local Search With “Facebook Nearby” For iOS & Android

Then: Google Faces “Innovator’s Dilemma” As It Prepares Response To Apple’s Siri

Now: Grokr & Expect Labs: More Mobile Search Insurgents Appear

These are just a few examples of how rapidly the online marketing environment is changing. I could literally fill pages pointing to similar stories, with examples digging deeper into more specialized areas like enterprise SEO & SEM, analytics, voice search, mobile advertising… it can seem overwhelming at times. The good news: as the universe of new features grows, so do opportunities – and challenges – for marketers. We’re here to help.

How We Design SMX Conferences

Each SMX event is designed from the ground up, after we solicit input from the online marketing community and have intensive editorial discussions and debates about the most important issues that need to be on the agenda. Some sessions are “evergreen,” meaning they have been run at previous events. Similarly, some speakers who have shared outstanding content and have been rated highly by attendees are invited to participate again.

But the majority of sessions at an SMX event either incorporate new, fresh content, or feature speakers with innovative insights and viewpoints that will be new even to SMX veterans. And even for returning sessions, we ask speakers to update their presentations with their latest and greatest thinking – and to share it freely and openly with attendees.

The bottom line is that each SMX event offers a wealth of valuable information for anyone, whether a newcomer to online marketing or an experienced pro looking for ways to sharpen and enhance their chops.

What’s New At SMX West San Jose 2013

I’ll be doing a comprehensive preview of the entire show in a couple of weeks, but first wanted to offer you a taste of some of the new content and focus we’re bringing to SMX West for 2013. This isn’t comprehensive – just a teaser for what’s to come.

Harnessing The Power Of Semantic SEO. The web is moving away from an unstructured, freeform collection of documents toward being a more organized data source where things like structured markup, authorship and authority are displacing traditional SEO techniques such as link building and a focus on web page elements. Google is spearheading a number of groundbreaking efforts to take advantage of this evolution, developing new interfaces and tools that savvy SEOs are embracing before slower-witted competitors catch on to the advantages they can provide. In the Semantic SEO Track our expert panelists take a deep dive into many of these new SEO goodies, including:

The Best Of SMX Social Media Marketing. Last year, we launched SMX Social Media Marketing, which is now our fastest-growing conference. For SMX West, we’re reprising the best social media practices and tactics that were shared in Las Vegas, in sessions with a distinctly search-oriented focus, including:

Riding The Mobile Tsunami. Local search provider and online ad network YP says that 30 percent of its overall query volume and lookups now come from mobile devices. And it’s not just smartphones that offer huge new opportunities for advertisers: reports from Marin Software and IgnitionOne say that paid search spending on tablets is now surpassing smartphones.

But successful mobile advertising requires more than just tweaking an AdWords or adCenter campaign for a smaller device. Mobile users have different needs and your campaigns need to be tailored to satisfy those needs. SMX West shows you how to be agile with your mobile advertising, with sessions including:

New Session Formats: Conversations & Debates

Some of the most interesting and valuable information at SMX conferences emerges during question and answer sessions that follow each panel. At SMX West, we’ve “formalized” the give & take by introducing non-powerpoint sessions that let you ask questions and offer your own insights for discussion and debate with our panel of experts. These are no-holds-barred sessions so expect not just to be enlightened but also entertained!

SMX West 2013: Something For Everyone

Even with the rapid pace of change (or maybe because of it) we’re very excited about what’s shaping up to be an outstanding conference. With a carefully selected blend of fundamental content with cutting edge strategies, tactics and techniques, the three-day, five track event offers something for everyone. I hope this taste of what’s planned whetted your appetite – for more details, check out the SMX West 2013 agenda. And remember, SMX events go beyond just great content and the wide range of product and service providers in the expo hall – be sure to see what we’ve got planned for in-person networking during the show.

Ready to go? Register now and take advantage of the special early bird rate – but don’t delay, as this rate expires February 1.

Looking forward to seeing you there!