SMX East: Search Grows Up To Claim Its Birthright

Greetings from late afternoon @ SMX East. It struck me covering the Ad Agencies & Search Marketing panel for SEORoundTable, that this conference crowd is a bit different. Yeah, the groovy old school search community-of-origin I love is here–pioneers, bloggers, the very roots of our industry. They’re crawling all over the place speaking, hanging out, blogging for trade pubs and meeting clients.

Still, the crowd at Jacob K. Javits Convention Center on West 34th Street center is different,  teeming with folks at their first conference right along with the usual seasoned vets’. These first-timers seem extremely deep, show tremendous possibilities and are here to drink up as much actionable insight as possible. The increasingly rapid influx of of new search professionals is quickly converging on our little SEM think tank. Search has grown up in a huge way.

We’re entering the third age of SEM, which is about the the entire big-agency world folding into search, social, paid and content. Holistic and effective integration, driven from top-down-creative-think, is becoming the norm more and more.

Been Here All Along
Even more fascinating are the individuals and SEM agencies we’re meeting who have been in the business forever and never been to a Danny Sullivan/Chris Sherman conference, PubCon, post-Danny SES or any other gathering of search insiders. The entire world is folding into search, from traditional electronic media to the most stony brick marketing channel.

The world seems to have figured out that search can “advise” nearly every facet of advertising and has a crucial seat at the table for many serious creative and/or technical tasks It’s stunning to see (literally)  thousands of in-house, independent, agency, emerging thought leaders, and publishers converge on our industry here. It’s beautiful, exciting and a serious harbinger of things to come.

Yes, search is growing up to claim it’s rightful place at the table, as the 800 LB gorilla. Thanks to the pioneers. Freaked out techno marketing nerds in the early nineties, the geeks have taken over. Yup, the “historic” SEO crowd is still here: Wolfhowl, Randfish, Danny, RustyBrick, Eric (who is particularly thoughtful today) and many many others.

Welcome to the newcomers. SMX East is off to a killer start. Tomorrow I’ll speak on the social media ethics panel and Wednesday about advanced keyword research. We look forward to seeing you.

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