The Google Dance Google Party at the Googleplex was great as usual, with excellent buffet BBQ, the most prized T-shirts in the business, and a lot more. Having trouble with Flickr uploader so I can’t put up all the photos I took yet but this really is a great event. It was fun this year to attend with my college bound son Ben and 4th one with my great pal John though I had to keep reminding Ben that Google is not your typical corporate environment, even in his chosen field of computer science. Of course he’s got four years to go and a lot’s going to happen in that time, though if the extravagance of the party and healthy conference booth attendance are any indication Google’s going to be the big player for some time.
Last year they had “Candy Bars” where you could fill a bag with all sorts of great candy. I brought one home for my daughter who now dreams of going to a Google party.
The Google Dance has been going on for several years as part of the SES Conference series. Held at the Googleplex the party features a huge buffet, food, wine, and beer stations all over the Google commons. For those who can’t separate work from leisure (which would be most tech folks), there are demonstrations of new technologies from Google and a “meet the engineers” face to face talk that is always very enjoyable.
Greg over at Search Engine Watch (which is SES’s blog and forum), has a tidy summary of sessions at the conference here. Although he’s tagged sessions with ‘advanced’ or novice content in my experience at conferences like SES you never really know if the content is “advanced” or not. Generally I find the speaker is more important than the topic, and top SEO folks like Dave Naylor, Aaron Wall, Greg Boser, and several others – regardless of the session and preferably at the bar – are going to give you better insights into search algorithm mechanics than official company representatives are allowed to do.
In terms of internet search the really big and influential conference is – without a doubt – SES San Jose.
WebmasterWorld Pubcon and the new SMX Conference series by Danny Sullivan (who more than anybody was the architect of the SES empire) offer similar content, SES remains the key conference venue for search marketing professionals.
I’ll be live blogging the conference and I’ll even try to get a few real time pix out from Tuesday night’s Google Party hosted at the GooglePlex. In many ways the “Google Dance” is the highlight of the search year, when Google hosts conference attendees (including folks who just sign up for free exhibit passes), as well as tons of Google employees. The food is great and it’s hard to beat free beer, ice cream, sno cones, and candy but the real highlight is chatting with Google search engineers who with a few exceptions like the amazing Matt Cutts, … don’t seem to get out much.