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February 19-20, 2020
San Jose Convention Center

Optimize your online presence with fresh SEO insights from the experts

Search engine optimization (SEO) is an indisputable cornerstone of online marketing, but the shape and scope of SEO have evolved tremendously over recent years. Gone are the days of keyword-stuffed copy and a coveted place among 10 blue links. Successful content must be optimized for a vast array of mediums, including video, apps, and voice search. Mobile is more important than ever. Structured markup, JavaScript… it’s a massive landscape, and just when you get your footing, it changes.

You understand the importance of an optimized web presence. You’re serious about staying fresh on the latest SEO tactics and how to implement them. That’s why you should attend SMX West.

Join us February 19-20, 2020 in San Jose, CA for two full days of SEO sessions specifically designed for professionals like you. Major players will be there to share firsthand advice on exactly what they’re looking for when it comes to outstanding content.

Together, we will dive deep into the areas of online marketing that matter most to you and your bottom line.

SEO Sessions

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Site Speed Is A Crucial Ranking Factor. Here's What You Need To Know

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand why it's not one number, but a time continuum, that Google cares about
  • Walk through each metric and describe what they each mean
  • Audit your page speed by replicating specific examples
  • Successfully talk to developers and product managers about page speed

Speakers

Moderator

Chris Sherman
Partner & VP Event Programming, Third Door Media, Inc., @CJSherman

Future-Proof Your Sites For Google Core Updates

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand why you shouldn't diverge from your site's core profile
  • Determine how the tone of your website impacts your authority and true intentions
  • Think more holistically about authority and consider the overall alignment of purpose, use of UI elements, and so on to deal with Google's new approach to content

Speakers

Lily Ray

Director, SEO, Path Interactive, @lilyraynyc

Moderator

Barry Schwartz
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land, @rustybrick

In-house SEO Strategy: From Big Picture To Implementation

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Structure your team for faster implementation
  • Build a team that allows each member to showcase their individual strengths
  • Arrange your team around product ownership and get in line with your entire organization
  • Help your project manager get buy-in from the organization to allow product recommendations to be executed
  • Understand how to build trust across your organization to support SEO initiatives
  • Get everyone in your organization to think as they are part of the SEO team

Speakers

Masaki Okazawa

SEO Specialist, AutoZone, @saksters

Heather Mezzetta

Director of SEO, The Gap

Moderator

The New NoFollow And Snippet Rules

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand nofollow and snippet rules
  • Describe what has changed with these attributes and what you should do with them
  • Know whether or not people are adopting the new tag (ahref data)
  • Speculate how Google may use the data
  • Determine how Google may have to drive adoption

Speakers

Patrick Stox

Product Advisor, Technical SEO, & Brand Ambassador, Ahrefs, @patrickstox

Moderator

Barry Schwartz
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land, @rustybrick

SEO Site Clinic

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Overview

During this hands-on, PowerPoint-free Q&A session, you'll be able to:

  • Volunteer your site to be audited in real-time by a panel of experts
  • Discover the root causes of your challenges and actionable steps to overcome them
  • Ask seasoned SEO veterans your burning questions on all-things organic

Speakers

Chris Silver Smith

Founder & CEO, Argent Media, @si1very

Christine Churchill

President, KeyRelevance, @keyrelevance

Moderator

Chris Sherman
Partner & VP Event Programming, Third Door Media, Inc., @CJSherman

Behind The Scenes With Google Search Console And Bing Webmaster Tools

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Implement SEO best practices for crawling and site architecture
  • Understand Webmaster Tools to get the most out of Bing search
  • Know what's new and coming up in Bing Webmaster Tools
  • Understand recent launches from Google

Speakers

Sandhya Guntreddy

Principal Program Manager, Microsoft, @guntreddy_05

Daniel Waisberg

Search Advocate, Google, @danielwaisberg

Moderator

Barry Schwartz
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land, @rustybrick

Solving Complex JavaScript Issues And Leveraging Semantic HTML5

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand that Google's index before render is important in the face of JavaScript-driven websites and apps (e.g. React, Angular, Vue)
  • Avoid indexing problems by knowing how Google applies filters and limitations before rendering
  • Deliver different HTML per page, even other page attributes (page URL, title, canonical, etc.), since Google won't render pages with limited differences

Speakers

Russ Jeffery

Director of Strategic Integrations, Duda

Moderator

Detlef Johnson
SEO for Developers Expert for Search Engine Land and SMX, , @deckarts

Amazon SEO Clinic

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Overview

During this hands-on, PowerPoint-free Q&A session, you'll be able to:

  • Volunteer your site to be audited in real-time by a panel of experts
  • Discover the root causes of your challenges and actionable steps to overcome them
  • Ask seasoned Amazon SEO veterans your burning questions

Speakers

Tony Verre

VP of eCommerce, The Integer Group, @TonyVerre

Brittany Page

Assoc. Director of SEO, 3Q Digital, @3QDigital

Moderator

Kathy Bushman
Director, Events Content, Third Door Media

Google BERT: What SEOs and Marketers Need to Know

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand what Google BERT is and where it came from
  • Discuss how natural language understanding is developing and how you can utilize co-occurrence to disambiguate your search strategy
  • Know how search engines may be utilizing Google BERT and its implications for search marketers
  • Understand why you cannot optimize SEO for the Google BERT algorithm update
  • Harness the power of Google BERT as a tool to improve your SEO efficiency and contextual relevance (complete with real-world examples)
  • Understand BERT's successor ALBERT

Speakers

Dawn Anderson

Managing Director, Bertey, @dawnieando

Moderator

Barry Schwartz
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land, @rustybrick

Revisiting Google's Quality Raters Guidelines

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand why the Quality Rater Guidelines are crucial
  • Know what Google considers to be signs of both high and low quality sites and pages
  • Describe what Google's quality raters are, why they uses raters and what impact they have on the live search results
  • Define E-A-T (expertise, authoritativeness and trustworthiness), articulate why is it so important and why Google cares
  • Understand the importance of reputation for websites and Google's new emphasis on creator reputation
  • Know what Google considers to be Your Money Your Life pages (YMYL), and what Google wants for these types of pages to rank well

Speakers

Jennifer Slegg

Editor, The SEM Post, @jenstar

Moderator

George Nguyen
Associate Editor, Third Door Media, @geochingu

Optimizing For Voice Search: How Brands And Agencies Deliver Real Results

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand various paradigms of non-curated and curated voice search and understand the value of each
  • Build and deploy a voice search solution, measure its impact, and continuously optimize for performance with case studies and reports
  • Understand common use cases (as well as negative use cases) for voice SEO
  • Leverage existing local SEO efforts to capture potential high-value voice queries
  • Integrate voice search across the entire customer journey

Speakers

Sam Ruchlewicz

Vice President - Digital Strategy & Analytics, Warschawski, @samruchlewicz

Sathya Krishnamurthy

VP of Product, Milestone Inc., @sathya_speaks

Moderator

Greg Sterling
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land , , @gsterling

SEO For E-commerce Category, Product Detail Pages

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the key differences between (1) on-page SEO for product pages and (2) product detail page SEO for e-commerce sites like Amazon, Walmart, and others
  • Apply best practices gleaned from original, large-scale research on the real-world viability of ranking for e-commerce categories, faceted search and product detail pages
  • Apply actionable tactics for each key SEO factor to help achieve optimal product detail page SEO and show up in search against big e-commerce competitors

Speakers

Tony Verre

VP of eCommerce, The Integer Group, @TonyVerre

Jill Kocher Brown

Director of SEO, JumpFly, @jillkocher

Moderator

Chris Sherman
Partner & VP Event Programming, Third Door Media, Inc., @CJSherman

How Link Building Has Changed: What You Need To Do Now

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Overview

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand why link building is one of the biggest ranking factors for Google... and one of the hardest things to do
  • Avoid shortcuts that can get you in trouble, methods that are no longer suggested, and techniques that can get you penalized
  • Measure and report on the value of backlinks
  • Create and market content that can earn backlinks

Speakers

Jim Boykin

CEO, SEO, and Founder, Internet Marketing Ninjas, @jimboykin

Moderator

Barry Schwartz
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land, @rustybrick

Leveraging Schema And Structured Data For Maximum Effect

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Overview

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Understand how search engines render and see your content and extract structured data to power rich experiences
  • Discover tools and resources that can help you to easily generate and test structured markup
  • Increase the likelihood of you content displaying as rich-results, which have been found to increase click-through rate
  • Fully realize the role semantic markup plays in determining the searcher experience and what types of schema you should use for best results

Speakers

Cata Milos

Principal Program Manager, Microsoft, @catam

Abby Hamilton

SEO Associate Manager, Merkle Inc., @abbynhamilton

Moderator

Chris Sherman
Partner & VP Event Programming, Third Door Media, Inc., @CJSherman

Optimize Ranking In AnswerBox/People Also Ask

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Overview

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Identify featured snippet and People Also Ask (PAA) opportunities
  • Understand featured snippets/PAA's impact on Google search result pages
  • Develop a system for building out SEO strategies aimed at winning featured snippet/PAA opportunities
  • Track and measure the effectiveness of your efforts in wining featured snippet/PAA opportunities

Speakers

Paxton Gray

Executive Vice President of Operations, 97th Floor, @paxtonmgray

Moderator

Kathy Bushman
Director, Events Content, Third Door Media

What SEOs Need To Know About The New Evergreen Googlebot & Bingbot

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand how search engines are evolving from a crawl to a push model by adopting Bing's content submission API, which crawls both top websites and content management systems
  • Plan for the new evergreen Bingbot, which is now rendering all webpages using the same underlying technology already used today by Googlebot, Google Chrome, and other Chromium-based browsers
  • Understand limits with crawling and rendering JavaScript– including with the new evergreen Rendering Engines from Bing and Google

Speakers

Fabrice Canel

Principal Program Manager, Bing, @facan

Brian Ussery

Director of SEO, SapientRazorfish, @beussery

Moderator

Barry Schwartz
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land, @rustybrick

Getting Reports Right

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Spend less time reporting and more time analyzing and finding insights
  • Minimize the effects of a cookie loss in an ITP world
  • Reduce the fractured nature of reporting with a clear measurement strategy
  • Use CAM methodology (Contemplate, Automate, Mitigate) to improve your reporting
  • Know what's really hot (and useful!) in reporting

Speakers

Samantha Barnes

Associate Director of Data Analytics, Bounteous, Inc, @SamanthasData

Abigail Matchett

Manager, Analytics & Insight, Bounteous, @abbymatch

Moderator

Matt Van Wagner
President, Find Me Faster, @mvanwagner

UX And E-A-T: More Connected Than You Think

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Define Peter Morville's UX Honeycomb and understand why it crucial
  • Understand how E-A-T directly corresponds with specific parts of the UX Honeycomb
  • Implement actionable tactics that support overlapping E-A-T & UX Honeycomb items
  • Implement tactics to improve your site's overall E-A-T and user experience
  • Create a web presence that is positive for both the searcher (user) and by extension, the search results provider (Google)
  • Know the importance of (1) being up front with who you are and what you can provide (expertise), (2) only providing information your user needs and wants on topics you can cover authoritatively (authority), and (3) spotlighting feedback from real people (trust)

Speakers

Shari Thurow

Founder & SEO Director, Omni Marketing Interactive, @sharithurow

Mary Davies

President, Beanstalk Internet Marketing, @beanstalk

Moderator

Barry Schwartz
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land, @rustybrick

Google My Business: Optimizing Images, Content And Q&A For Ranking Visibility And Engagement

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Make the most of the Google My Business listing with photos, content and question an answer (Q&A) features
  • Effectively optimize images in your GMB listing including the use of captions
  • Understand what types of images to upload and the how often to upload new ones
  • Determine what types of content to use for your business description and how often to change it
  • Know what to post in the questions and answers Q&A feature and tips for keeping them fresh during critical moments such as events and holidays

Speakers

Niki Mosier

Sr. SEO Manager and SEO Practice Lead, Two Octobers, @nikers85

Greg Gifford

Vice President of Search, SearchLab Chicago, @greggifford

Moderator

Greg Sterling
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land , , @gsterling

Technical SEO For Digital Commerce Clinic

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Overview

During this hands-on, PowerPoint-free Q&A session, you'll be able to:

  • Discuss a variety of approaches to solve your biggest technical SEO challenges
  • Collaborate with other technical SEO experts in answering people's questions
  • Determine the best way to measure if a technical SEO project was successful

Speakers

Dan Leibson

Vice President of Search, Local SEO Guide Inc., @danleibson

Matthew Edgar

Consultant & Partner, Elementive, @MatthewEdgarCO

Moderator

Detlef Johnson
SEO for Developers Expert for Search Engine Land and SMX, , @deckarts

How To Understand and Beat Your Competitors

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Design the perfect customer experience by combining the "Job To Be Done" theory with conversion rate optimization best practices
  • Create offers that customers would be willing to pay a premium price for
  • Unearth the true motivations that persuade a customer to buy from you or walk away

Speakers

Purna Virji

Senior Manager, Global Engagement, Microsoft, @purnavirji

Ayat Shukairy

Co-founder, CCO, Invesp, @ayat

Moderator

Brad Geddes
Co-Founder, AdAlysis, @bgTheory

When Your Inventory Changes: SEO Tips For Changing Product Pages

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Use step-by-step procedures to prepare your digital store to accommodate shifts in inventory
  • Future-proof your product listings and their informational silos by understanding the pros and cons of nested brand/category URLs, and the importance of logical navigational paths to the success of product-category and brand-category pages
  • Optimize product-category and brand-category pages to accommodate shifts in inventory by creating experiences around topics and creating "evergreen" product and category pages that help with the retention of rankings and traffic while guiding users along their product discovery journey

Speakers

Arsen Rabinovich

Director of SEO / Founder, TopHatRank.com LLC, @tophatarsen

Aleyda Solis

International SEO Consultant, Orainti, @aleyda

Moderator

Chris Sherman
Partner & VP Event Programming, Third Door Media, Inc., @CJSherman

SEO Insight: SERPs: Your Most Under-Utilized Conversion Tool (11:30am-11:41am)

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Overview

After this session, you will be able to:

  • Write a title tag that captures attention and drives clicks
  • Write a meta description that maximizes CTR
  • Strategically align URLs and breadcrumbs for maximum SERP impact

Speakers

Stoney deGeyter

Digital Marketing Consultant, Stoney deGeyter, @StoneyD

Moderator

George Nguyen
Associate Editor, Third Door Media, @geochingu

Optimizing Your Day, Optimizing Your Month - Roadmap Of What You Look At When

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Use filters to quickly find and eliminate trouble spots, specifically placements and search terms reports
  • Know when you can aggregate data to make decisions and move forward and when you probably shouldn't
  • Implement automated alerts/tools to notify you when enough data has accumulated to make an informed decision

Speakers

Robert Brady

Founder, Righteous Marketing, @robert_brady

Moderator

Brad Geddes
Co-Founder, AdAlysis, @bgTheory

Maps, Verticalization And Spam: What Local Search Marketers Need To Know

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand how Google views the "spam ecosystem" and how that differs from what marketers see
  • Implement tactics that can be used to fight spam for yourself and your clients
  • Know what to NOT do when fighting spam (i.e., what is a waste of time, what's valuable, etc.)
  • Understand Google's strategic shift toward a greater verticalization of the consumer experience for local maps
  • Know how Google's verticalized experiences affects hotels and travel, service professionals, and restaurants
  • Implement actionable tactics that require special attention outside of standard GMB optimization for key verticals

Speakers

Damian Rollison

VP Product Strategy, Brandify, @damianrollison

Ben Fisher

Co-Founder, Steady Demand, @TheSocialDude

Moderator

Greg Sterling
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land , , @gsterling

SEO Insight: Get More Organic Traffic And Visibility With Image Optimization (11:43am-11:54am)

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the image search landscape and maximize your opportunities
  • Optimize, mark up and load images for maximum search traffic
  • Audit image media on your pages and on your site at scale
  • Analyze and report on image search performance

Speakers

Romain Damery

Senior Strategist/Technical SEO Lead, Path Interactive, @RomainDamery

Moderator

George Nguyen
Associate Editor, Third Door Media, @geochingu

SEO Insight: Optimizing Your Videos For Google's Video Carousel and Beyond (11:56am-12:07pm)

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Optimize your YouTube video's metadata to rank for your target keyword
  • Create a compelling video thumbnail
  • Get your self-hosted videos in Google's video carousel

Speakers

Joey Daoud

CEO, New Territory Media, @C47

Moderator

George Nguyen
Associate Editor, Third Door Media, @geochingu

Making Your Case For More Budget, New Tests: How To Communicate What Matters And Get Buy-In

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand the playing field you're on — what your competitors are doing and which possibilities you should examine
  • Demonstrate how to structure your digital investment to generate the highest possible ROI
  • Know when to expand your spend and when to hold the line and save yourself headaches

Speakers

Moderator

George Nguyen
Associate Editor, Third Door Media, @geochingu

Video And YouTube In Google Search: It's A Really Big Deal

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Create a video first content strategy to double your amount of unique content
  • Implement YouTube SEO techniques to rank your videos in both Google and YouTube search and drive more traffic to your site
  • Design a system to consistently produce video content for any budget

Speakers

Joey Daoud

CEO, New Territory Media, @C47

Aleyda Solis

International SEO Consultant, Orainti, @aleyda

Moderator

Barry Schwartz
Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land, @rustybrick

SEO And SEM Teams: Why Sharing Your Data Matters

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Evaluate SEM and SEO Data as one data set to impact overall performance
  • Replicate examples of how other companies' SEO and PPC teams are collaborating to help them set up cadence for working together
  • Make recommendations to standardize metrics between SEO and SEM
  • Create meaningful SEO and SEM reports for stakeholders
  • Understand the impact of on-site technical updates on paid search (positive and negative)
  • Understand the impact of content updates on paid search (positive and negative)

Speakers

Corey Morris

Vice President of Marketing, Voltage, @coreydmorris

Moderator

SEO Insight 1: (3:30pm-3:42pm)

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Overview

Speakers

Moderator

Chris Sherman
Partner & VP Event Programming, Third Door Media, Inc., @CJSherman

Experts Tips For Creating Killer Cross-Channel Reports

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand why it's critical to align customer vision, goals, buyers' journeys, marketing strategies in RACE format, and expected KPI impact
  • Determine what KPIs you need to measure across the customer journey
  • Create reports showcasing critical KPIs and a combination of various channels to show full customer journey maps

Speakers

Benu Aggarwal

President, Milestone, INC, @benuaggarwal

Moderator

SEO Insight 2: Entities: The Single Most Important Concept In Search (3:45pm-3:57pm)

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Understand what entities are as they relate to search, based on Google patents
  • Understand the rise of machine learning (specifically the BERT algorithm) and how entities impact its core functioning
  • Apply entities knowledge when creating content and executing SEO with word orders, hierarchies and schema

Speakers

Dave Davies

CEO, Beanstalk Internet Marketing, @beanstalkim

Moderator

Chris Sherman
Partner & VP Event Programming, Third Door Media, Inc., @CJSherman

SEO Insight 3: Create High Quality Product Detail Pages That Rank Well (4:00pm-4:12pm)

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Overview

After this session, you'll be able to:

  • Develop high-quality product detail pages that delight customers, increase conversions and rank well in search results
  • Know how to structure and lay out information in product detail pages for maximum utility
  • Have a model of the functionality and elements users and search engines expect from high-quality product detail pages
  • Understand various types of keyword research that go into great product detail pages

Speakers

Brian Ussery

Director of SEO, SapientRazorfish, @beussery

Moderator

Chris Sherman
Partner & VP Event Programming, Third Door Media, Inc., @CJSherman

SMX Highlights: 30 Ideas In 30 minutes

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Overview

Don't leave before it's over! We've compiled some of the most fascinating takeaways from SMX West into an entertaining and highly-informative closing session. A handful of our speakers will share their top ideas, tips and techniques to remember as you return to the office and implement the knowledge you gained at the show. It's the perfect way to wrap up two incredible days of learning!

Speakers

Greg Sterling

Contributing Editor, Search Engine Land , , @gsterling

Moderator

Kathy Bushman
Director, Events Content, Third Door Media

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