SMX Sydney 2014 (Search Engine Marketing Expo) – Malika Sharma Experience

SMX Sydney is Australia’s best Search Engine Marketing conference, it’s been running for seven consecutive years and brings together a wide range of people from business owners, marketers, industry professionals and thought leaders from the worlds most impressive internet organisations.

It’s a great place to train and learn new things, and brings together marketers, professional men and women, and of course your SEO nerds.

The conference runs over a two days and is a really stimulating and rich environment where people from all corners of the industry can bounce off each others knowledge, attend presentations, speeches and keynotes. It’s a great opportunity to network, meet liked minded people, gain industry insights and learn new ideas, tools and better ways of doing things.
Over two days, event goers can choose any of the 40+ sessions and keynotes that suit their needs. These sessions are geared towards intermediate to advanced skillsets, with the advanced SEO Training & Advanced PPC Training workshops covering many of the technical aspects and insights of SEO & PPC.

Pure SEO’s Digital Woman – Malika Sharma, attended the SMX Sydney as our SEO and Link Building Guru, here is what she had to say about the experience:

Why did you go to SMX Sydney 2014 and what is it about?
SMX offers something for everyone who attends! Its programmed by the sharpest minds from the most experienced teams in search marketing. Search Engine Land editor-in-chief Danny Sullivan and executive editor Chris Sherman have covered the topics, interviewed the newsmakers and educated generations of search marketers. Read what you can expect from an SMX conference here.

No Sales Pitches
A variety of viewpoints
Carefully structured and prepared sessions
A great experience and networking
A conference that is driven by the people who come to it.
Prepare to be engaged!

What was your favourite part?
My favourite thing about this expo was that people/speakers took the real initiative in researching and experimenting. These people had already played around with things and were able to provide us with the advanced information. I gained knowledge about topics that I knew existed but wasn’t aware of the ins and outs of it. For example, Twitter Cards, OpenGraph, Schema.org, knowledge Graph and other such things. It’s nice to learn from people who have already been there and done that. One of the speakers was from Disney – Jeff Preston – Senior Manager at The Walt Disney Company talked a little bit about how they do SEO and promote their products (movies, cartoons, pictures) online. It was nice to hear from someone who works as an SEO expert in such a big brand.

What were five things you learned?
Each and every moment spent there are SMX Sydney I learned something. It’s hard to pick 5 things that I learned but here are few things that I got impressed with:

Knowledge Graph and Answer boxes – I had been watching these appear for big brands. For example, put in a search query – How old is Bill Clinton, you will get information served right there on the first page of Google.

The idea behind knowledge graph is to have relevant information displayed on the Google page so users don’t have to navigate to some website for information.

Also, at the same time a user can have a look at other related things/people/topics: Hummingbird update and conversational search, Schema.org, OpenGraph and Twitter Cards.
How ‘not provided’ is not the end – How we can use data from Google webmaster tools, connect the dots and get keywords list
Optimising websites for mobile

Who were your favourite speakers and why? (Or people you met).

Every speaker at SMX Sydney had something to offer. I really enjoyed Cyrus Shepard’s presentation as he talked about Hummingbird, Knowledge graph, entities, conversational search. In his talks, he helped us to understand how Google is thinking ahead of us and wants the user to have a better experience. Take for example, conversational speech. Google can now show you results based on your last search(s). For example, you use Google now and ask “Who is the president of America” and you get Barack Obama as the answer. Next, if you ask “who is his wife”, Google will automatically understand that you are referring to Barack Obama from your last search and will tell ‘Michelle Obama” as an answer.

Malika Sharma & Cyrus Sheppard

Then there was Jeffery Preston who talked about how they manage their online campaigns and do SEO for their websites. He talked about using structured data. Jeff showed us some examples from some of the Disney websites, how implementing structured data helped telling search engines, Facebook and Twitter what information we want to be displayed. I learnt how to use Schema.org, Twitter Cards, Open Graph and how Jeffery does it for Disney websites.

Jeff Preston & Malika Sharma

SMX is a great event offering many insights into the industry and allowing those in the field to develop our skills and understanding of concepts and how to do our jobs better.

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