Online Marketing Blog

Quick Recap Of PubCon 2007

RedFly PubconPubcon was really great. I got a lot more value from it than I thought I would not to mention winning the cost of the trip a few times over at the Wynn. Unlike previous conference recaps I have done, I’ll keep this as short as possible. It should be noted that this is more of a “link love” post than a professional editorial.

The evening we arrived was relatively quiet. The whole journey there was long and tiresome. Myself and SEO Richard checked into the Las Vegas Hilton where the average guest age was ~75 years old. We ate and headed to the Wynn bar early where we met Stephanie and Eric for some early drinks. Stephanie is a very smart girl and I think she would make an excellent blackhat ;) Met lots of others the first night but decided to head to bed at about 2am to prepare for the coming week.

PubCon Day 1)
Day 1First day of PubCon was pretty good. The sessions were high level enough to keep interest. The one thing that I noticed was that while the sessions were good, considering the relatively high level of knowledge of most of the attendees, the sessions would be more suited to junior SEOs or regular marketers moving into the search field. With that said, I really enjoyed the Social Marketing 101 session with Rand Fishkin, Neil Patel, Michael Gray, Cameron Olthuis. Neil’s presentation was simple, funny and I will be stealing some of his techniques. The quality score session was also great even though there was at least one very rude person in the audience. The guys at efrontier really know their quality score too. Looks like MSN are also going to be getting pretty transparent with their QS factors. That night, I played Poker at the Wynn for the rest of the evening. Thanks to Richard Kershaw for introducing me to the biscuit beer.

PubCon Day 2)
Day 2Day two of PubCon was decent too even though I only attended one session, SEO and Big Search. Maile Ohye from Google got a pretty hard time in the Q&A (and rightly so) about international targeting and the right way to go about it with Google. As usual, no definitive answer was given.

That evening was absolutely fantastic. The “meet the Google Engineers” was a little weird but I finally got to meet up with Glenn “Don Juan” Reeves, Adam “I’m an entertaina” Green and Chris “I’m the brains behind the operations” Kata. These guys really know their stuff and it was a pleasure spending the rest of PubCon with them. Also got to meet the guys from the Rubicon project who were just plain nice. Thank for the invite to the party guy, sorry I didn’t make it… you can blame Tim Mayer!

Next up was the fantastic SEOmoz werewolf game. This was incredibly valuable and I got to meet, and kill the lovely girls Carrie and Mary from Blizzard Internet Marketing. Also got to “win” with the most talented black hats of them all, Tim Dineen (The irony here is that Tim is as white hat as they come). Sorry Michael for accusing you, all is fair in love and war ;) Made the “winners” table where I got accused and killed by Rhea “turncoat” Drysdale. Until next time my worthy advisary. Thanks to Andy for the image.

Back at the Wynn bar I finally got to meet Lisa “sevens” Ditlefsen who I have to say is probably the nicest person I have ever met in the search marketing world. Also got to meet Rob “I’m a dodgy geezer” Kerry. Don’t forget our deal Rob! I also had the pleasure of meeting the lovely Jane Copland, Ciaran, Stephen, Gareth Cheryl and Nicola and the other fantastic search marketers from the UK. (Thanks for picking the scarf Ciaran, your fashion sense is questionably above par).

PubCon Day 3)
Day 3Day three of PubCon I only attended the “tools of the trade” session and went back to bed.

The PurposeINC charity poker event. This was an absolutely brilliant event and was great for networking. Unfortunately, many players had never played poker before and I was knocked out with 3 tables remaining. (Who calls an all in with an 89 off suit?!!!). Dave Klein, you did a really great job. It was a pleasure meeting you and your lovely wife. By the way,my back is still in bits! Congratulations to Dan who won the tournament.

That night I had the pleasure of meeting Todd “it seemed like a good idea at the time” Malicoat, (what’s talked about in Vegas, stays in Vegas) Dave, and Lauren “twelves” Vaccarello as well as Mr Disco and Stephen. Pleasure meeting with you guys and Happy birthday CK. Clubbing in tangerine and less than healthy breakfasts are the future of PubCon. Thanks Todd for picking up the tab.

PubCon Day 4)
Day 4After two hours of taxis around Vegas, I finally found the PubCon networking event. I stayed for about 20 mins, said my teary goodbye to Richard Hearne, finally got to meet Julie and went for Dinner with Anita and Andre and Mike from WordTracker. It was a pleasure sharing sushi with you guys. Anita, you are one of the smartest people I have ever met. Rob and Lisa, next time, be a little more “European” and stay awake.

That night, myself, Mike and Andre played more poker at the Wynn. I won $4150 (on a 1-3 table!) and cashed out. Unfortunately all first class seats home were taken but at least the cost of trip was more than covered.


All in all, I had a really amazing time. It was fantastic to be able to “talk shop” while in a social environment. Getting so many search marketers together in a city like Vegas is sure to be fun, whatever way you look at it. While I do not think I would pay for a conference pass the next time, I will without a doubt be attending the next PubCon. I had a really great time and I want to thank everyone who made it so. Sorry if I missed anyone.

Normal (useful) posting will resume shortly.

  1. Stephanie Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 3:46 pm

    How very nice of you to say that I would make a very good blackhat!
    You were very lucky in Vegas… I’ve never seen anyone gamble with so much confidence.
    It was seriously a pleasure meeting you and I only wish that we could have hung out more.

  2. Dave Davis Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 3:49 pm

    HAHA! There is a difference between a calculated risk and a gamble. Confidence is key to the calculation ;)

    I wish we could have hung out more too. Hopefully the next event. Next time, I wont get so personal with my conversation!

    Oh, and you would make a very VERY good blackhat. (“put it on room 2199”)

  3. Stephanie Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 3:57 pm

    Ohh yeah… that.

  4. Julie Joyce Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 4:50 pm

    It was nice to finally meet you too…although I hate that I didn’t take the chance to get drunk with yet another Irishman. I would agree on Anita’s smarts and did you happen to notice that she also happens to be stunningly perfect? Actually I hate Anita now that I think about it.

  5. Lisa Ditlefsen Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 5:01 pm

    aweeee you’re so great. I love you =)

    Although I’m a bit worried that it was all a typo, instead of “nicest person…” did you mean “drunkest person…”?? =)

    We have to hang out again soon mate!

  6. Dave Davis Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    @Stephanie, yea…THAT! Don’t worry, my lips are sealed ;p

    @Julie, Agreed. You seem like the person that could handle it. Next time for sure, but make sure you bring Mr. OrangePants too though. RE: Anita, that too but I didn’t want to get too personal. Besides, brains are more important right?

    @Lisa, that comment was meant for someone else I think. Seriously though, next time I put my hand on someone’s back, I’ll think of you. Even if it’s yours! I’ll probably see you at SES or at that London thing you are supposed to be organizing. Stay in touch.

  7. Julie Joyce Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 6:14 pm

    Mr. Orange Pants is always happy to come along for the festivities…in fact, when we were having the drink-along with Mic back in February, Jay was wearing the orange pants!!! They get him into a lot of trouble.

  8. Dave Davis Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 6:57 pm

    Hahaha! I imagine so. They certainly brighten up any casino. Love the way you call it a “drink-along”, here we call it a “session”. Will you be at SES in London in Feb?

  9. cK ! Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 7:05 pm

    Great meetin ya, too… and thanks for the b-day shoutout!

    Sharp lookin’ site, btw!

  10. Julie Joyce Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 7:16 pm

    I hope we will…if not formally, we’ll probably come up there for a few days to see everyone. You going?

  11. Dave Davis Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 7:31 pm

    @CK: Thanks! That means a lot. Hope you’re having (had?) a good birthday. Stay in touch and I’ll certainly see you at the next PubCon.

    @Julie: Yea, I’ll pick up my conference pass next week. Only going to the sessions because I have never actually been to an SES. Will certainly drop by whatever drink-along is happening around then though. I might even get to buy you and Jay a drink this time.

  12. Dan Perry Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 7:54 pm

    Thanks for the congrats; I really appreciate it. It felt kind of funny; beating Shoemoney, who the audience was clearly rooting for. Oh well… The $2600 made up for it nicely. :)

  13. Dave Davis Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 8:06 pm

    I was rooting for ya Dan! I don’t remember who knocked me out but I was gutted. He called my all in with an 89 off suit preflop, noone left in the hand and the pot odds were brutal for him. He hit a set on the flop! Turn and river were useless to me at that stage. I guess that’s poker! Hopefully I’ll get the honour of playing at your table next year, I assume there will be a bounty on your head.

    Hope you had fun for the rest of the week.

  14. Adam G Says:
    December 13th, 2007 at 8:33 pm

    For the record… again… I am not Tony Clifton, I only manage the guy and since performing at the poker tournament, he has gone awol. I think I saw him talking to those dudes handing out “entertainment” flyers on the strip. Dirty dirty Tony!

  15. Tim Dineen Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 12:16 am

    Nice recap – you sure had a busy week!! It was great meeting you!

    For clarification, let it be known that I was only playing a Black Hat for the game! I’m purely White Hat the rest of the time.

    It was kinda surreal acting as a Black Hat under the watching eyes of the real Matt Cutts.

  16. Purposeinc Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 2:56 am

    I apologize for not making it to the conferance on Thursday, and hence never having a chance to look at your back. :)

    Please send me an e-mail, and I will help you sort it out. Also, I have a feeling I will be seeing you this summer. More about that to come, so stay posted.


  17. Dave Davis Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 11:17 am

    @Adam: Why am I not surprised, Tony is a dark horse. But I guess, he will survive.

    @Tim, It was a pleasure meeting you too. I edited the post to make the clarification. I think BH three times in a row is a sign mate! See you next time.

    @DK: Not to worry, just sitting here in a back brace waiting to do my physio excercises ;)

    Summer event sounds interesting, please do elaborate…

  18. Lisa Ditlefsen Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 4:12 pm

    Eh? Are you saying I’m not the nicest person :( damn…I was all excited, no one has ever called me nice ;) Crazy, yes. Drunken, yes. But never nice, and especially not nicest….Feck it, I’m going to pretend you didn’t say it was meant for someone else. I’m so nice ;)

  19. Dave Davis Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 4:24 pm

    Go on then, I’ll meet you half way. You’re the nicest person I have ever met in the online marketing industry. How is that?

  20. Lisa Ditlefsen Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 4:30 pm

    ah that’s better….I’m nice =)….

  21. Tim Dineen Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 4:57 pm


    That’s funny – I hadn’t thought of that. I DID pull a BH card 2-3 times and the Danny Sullivan card once… never a White Hat card. It seemed a good fit – that night anyway.

  22. Gavin Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 10:09 pm

    The photo for Day 4 says it all Dave. Congrats on the winnings too, always a plus.

  23. Chris Hooley Says:
    December 14th, 2007 at 10:48 pm

    Hey buddy thanks for the beer at the Wynn! It was nice meeting you

  24. Dave Davis Says:
    December 15th, 2007 at 2:16 pm

    @Tim, I know, I thought you were cheating. The first two times I pulled a BH card (and the time we had the faulty moderator) and it was way more fun than defending myself as a WH. I’d say they will do that again next year.

    @Gavin, yea, a little glassy eyed all right! When are you going to start posting again?

    @Chris, It was nice meeting you too and it was a pleasure to meet your lovely (although slightly crazy) lady. Next time maybe you can leave the rascal at home and join us in the bar instead of being “escorted” out :)

  25. Ciaran Says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 2:59 pm

    Dave – great to meet you; I hope that you managed to get yoru upgrade.

    Re your comment “Thanks for picking the scarf Ciaran, your fashion sense is questionably above par”
    Did you mean unquestionably?!


    Hope to see you on one side of the Irish Sea or another very soon.

  26. danielle Says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 6:02 pm

    that was a great re-cap, the caliber of networking is more than i can even fathom… and yes tangerine is fun and breakfast at 6am in vegas after a long night of partying is the best. especially if pancakes are involved

  27. Dave Davis Says:
    December 17th, 2007 at 6:48 pm

    @Ciaran, thanks for stopping by. It was great meeting you too. I am honoured to have met one of the brains behind some of the best TV advertising I have ever seen. About the scarf comment, I think both hold true. ;)

    I’ll see you at SES in London.

    @ Danielle, as far as I can recall the breakfast was greasy and totally appropriate. Tangerine was full of cowboys dancing to R&B, not really my scene but we stayed out on the “balcony”. You better be there next year.

  28. Cher Says:
    January 3rd, 2008 at 12:29 am

    Hey Dave,

    Excellent recap! It was nice meeting you as well. Hopefully those of us on this side of the pond can meet up soon for round 2!

    Happy Holidays!

  29. Admission Essay Says:
    January 9th, 2008 at 6:34 pm

    I enjoy mixing around with those people! It’s a great even, they should organize it more often :) Guess which one is me :D

  30. Dave Davis Says:
    January 27th, 2008 at 1:03 pm

    Hey Cher, sorry it took so long! Yea, it was great meeting you too. Oh, and happy belated birthday! Are you coming to SES in London? There seems to be some sort of party being held on the 21st ;)

  31. Organic SEO consultant Says:
    February 8th, 2008 at 4:00 am

    Are any of you going to attend SMX West, it is going to be THE SEM conference of the year! I’m hoping that you can make it, we are going to be handing out some fun t-shirts as schwag. Let me know, would love to hook up.

  32. ashley Says:
    August 12th, 2010 at 6:33 am

    Uhmm. Seems you really enjoyed the PubCon Day.