Last night I gave my first ever public presentation on SEO at Triumph Brewing Company in Philadelphia as a part of the monthly meetup, SEO Grail. I had been to 6 SEO Grail meetups prior and was extremely impressed by the level of knowledge each speaker possessed. And the beer was pretty good, too.
My presentation was on free SEO tools that focused on building fast, spider-friendly websites. Eppie Vojt closed the show with some insight into his excellent new tool, Link Detective. His latest post on SEOmoz about Link Detective is a must-read.
Presenters from around the Philadelphia area bring a wealth of SEO information to each event. The presentations are educational, actionable and even entertaining. Ideas that I did not employ directly sparked new ideas and pretty soon more and more of my WebiMax coworkers were joining me in Philadelphia, including Jeremy Niedt, Rob Kaufmann, Richard Ortiz and Dale Harley.
And I'm thankful because the networking at the SEO Grail is amazing. I've met some of the industry's most influential SEOs, social media experts and paid search gurus: Bill Rowland (who runs SEO Grail), Bill Sebald, Eppie Vojt, Mike King, John Doherty, Ian Howells, Anthony Moore, Mark Kennedy, Nick Eubanks and a host of other genuinely awesome people. The opportunity to learn and grow in SEO is just over the bridge in the City of Brotherly Love.
Nick recently posted a great Q&A session with Philly SEOs, many who are mentioned above and it was an honor to be included among them. Reading the answers can give you a small taste of the SEO knowledge and personalities that the Philadelphia area is quickly becoming known for. (Be sure to read the comments there as well as on Inbound.org.)
And as cool as SEO Grail and other meetups in the city are, Philly was thirsty for something more. On March 15, 2012, Wil Reynolds and the SEER Interactive team quenched that thirst by hosting their first public SEO event with none other than Bill Slawski. Bill's presentation on search and social patents was one I would have gladly paid to see and the "search church" was is a great venue. The conversation continued at a local bar where we geeked out over SEO while enjoying some quality food and drinks.
Maybe it's time for Philadelphia to get its own search conference. Until then, we'll keep the awesomeness to ourselves.
Thanks to all of the SEOs who influence me and I'll see you at the Grail.