SMX West 2013 & My Adventures in Silicon Valley

SMX West was this week in San Jose, California. SMX is the Search Marketing Expo put on by Search Engine Land. I had the opportunity to attend this year, and it was fabulous.

I walked away with actionable ideas for improving the work I do online, but also I was able to reconnect with some old industry friends, and made some new friends and acquaintances as well.  I love the SEM industry!

Check out these pics from my awesome adventures in the Silicon Valley, then read on for some people I met that I recommend you follow on the social networks.  Oh, and I may come back in and add some key takeaways to this post I’d like to share later on, so stay tuned for that.

Google Sign

Here I am, visiting Google Headquarters in Mountain View, CA.

Google Self Driving Car

We spotted a few Google self-driving cars while we were there that were being tested. Disappointingly, there were people in the driver’s seats. I did notice that they would often look down for extended periods of time. Cool. If you’re like me, you will not be able to focus on the rest of this post as your mind goes nuts thinking of how Google’s self-driving cars will change the world.

SMX Speaker Panel

Matt Cutts of Google and Duane Forrester of Bing keynoted with Danny Sullivan on Monday. Matt was rocking a red hat (on backwards) as you can see in the pic.



Danny Sullivan Grady Burnett


Danny Sullivan interviewed Grady Burnett of Facebook on Tuesday.

Matt McGee SMX West






Matt McGee moderated a session on Link Building with Adam Audette, Rae Hoffman, Debra Mastaler, and Arnie Kuenn.

Matt Cutts with Stuart Draper

I had the chance to speak with Matt Cutts in between sessions. He is an incredibly personable and kind person. The kind of advocate that any company would love to have on their team.  Google is so lucky to have him.


List of SMX West 2013 Top Attendees

Here are some of the people I had the chance to rub shoulders with. Some I got to know really well. Others, I just enjoyed what they had to say, but never got to meet in person:

Andrew Shotland – Local SEO Guide

Kent Lewis – Anvil Media

John Rampton – Search Engine Journal

Rick Galan – 1-800-Contacts

Brad Geddes – Certified Knowledge

Derek Ostler – Rocky Mountain ATV

Garrett Stembridge – Extra Space Storage

Matt Siltala – Avalaunch Media

Matt McGee – Search Engine Land

Steve Morse – Omaha Steaks

Cody Tusberg – Bing

Matt Cutts – Google

Duane Forrester – Bing

Adam Audette – RKG

Greg Gifford – Autorevo

Todd Hartley – Search him on Google+

Matt Traphagen – Search him on Google+

Grady Burnett – Facebook

Scott Nickel – Home Depot

I’m sure I missed people and I got really tired of adding all of those hyperlinks. I definitely wasn’t going to take time to go look up everyone’s twitter url’s to check for accuracy so the links just go to their sites.

Here is a great write up/ live blog of one of the SMX sessions with Matt Cutts that you MUST refer people to that have an outdated understanding of SEO that was written by Katherine Griwert of Brafton.