Happy Birthday Search Engine Strategies!

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For the first time in years, I'm not heading to the Search Engine Strategies San Jose show — its 10th anniversary edition (Gasp).

Yes, it feels wrong, but client and travel schedules did not align so well this year, and so I will have to live vicariously through blogs, videos and images posted by others this week.

6,000 search engine marketers. Yes, 6,000 of my closest search engine marketing friends are currently gathering in San Jose this week.

80 sessions. Enough said.

The first annual SES Awards. I can't think of a better means of highlighting good work. Here's a complete list of nominees.

A quick snapshot of the landscape. The SES San Jose tradeshow floor has always been a good temperature check of the service and tech providers in our space. Given the current economic forecast and continued consolidation, I am curious as to which firms will forgo a booth, and which will upgrade to a 20x20 spot.

Launches. Sure, the majority of press releases are non-starters (“Acme is presenting! Joe is speaking!”), yet a few folks came through with some meatier news. Jeff Eisenberg, for example, is launching a new book, “Always Be Testing: The Complete Guide to Google Website Optimizer.”

A domain auction. This one really got me. Moniker will hold a live and extended online auction of search-focused domains. I'm secretly hoping that the auctioneer will sport Western wear and that there will be cotton candy for the kids.

Jobs. Outrider, a division of GroupM Search and winner of the 2008 Yahoo! Searchlight Award, is hosting a Career Center at SES San Jose with on-site interviews for senior, mid-level and entry-level positions at its Career center. Others will be sniffing out new roles over drinks.

Parties. Ah, yes, the parties.  I am hoping that someone grabs me a Google Dance Glow in the Dark t-shirt so that my collection can be complete.  Other events include The Internet Marketer's Charity Party, SearchBash and numerous private parties, including backyard BBQs at some local search pros' homes.

The inside scoop. Last, but not least, the scoop had in the halls and over drinks frequently outweighs the learning going on the conference rooms. (No offense to the speakers). Those of us on the outside will only little clues left in photos with the SES San Jose 2008 Flickr tag and our colleagues' Twitter feeds and Facebook status.

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