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Tuesday, July 28, 2009

The Coolest Search Peeps Ever!

In my many years in search marketing I have come to know a lot of people in the industry. Some are well known and some not so much but are rock stars in their own right. This post has been a long time brewing in my head. I have wanted to do a shout out to all the people that have been around for many years and have influenced not only myself, but others as well. To keep the list from getting too long I stuck with those I had photos of on-hand. As some of you know I am always the one behind the camera taking pics of multiple events in the search industry so naturally I had photos of each and every one of these cool search peeps. I also kept the list alphabetical so as not to make anyone feel bad for being at the bottom of the list (sorry Rand and Todd, it just ended up that way).

  Aaron Goldman 

I have known Aaron for a few years now through from his writings for Media Post, including the table topics he had gathered for the past couple of years for the Search Insider Summits. Aaron was the VP of Marketing & Strategic Partnerships at Resolution Media for nearly 5 years before breaking off with Connectual as a Managing Partner bringing together buyers and sellers of digital marketing solutions. Aaron also serves on the Executive Board of Directors for the Chicago Interactive Marketing Association and is a frequent speaker at SES, OMMA, and Search Insider Summits. Aaron's propensity to wear shirts with funny phrases such as "Google Me" and "Who Tweeted?" leads to great conversations about the power of natural search and social media. You're shirts inspire me Aaron!

Dan Perry 

One of the best In-House SEO's I have had the pleasure of working with in planning the In-House Day for the Search Insider Summits. Dan's collaboration and ideas have driven the agenda to a finely tuned and informational day catered to the issues that only In-House SEO's face. Dan has been the SEO Manager for Cars.com for over 3 years in which he has managed the organic direction. Big kudos go out to Dan for his recent weight loss. I have got to say I didn't even recognize him at the last Search Insider Summit. Yay Dan!

David Berkowitz 

With over 7,500 followers on Twitter, David has been an influential participant in the search marketing industry. Having been a speaker at over 80 events, appearing on CNBC, and quoted in the NY Times, Ad Age, and many other publications David continues to educate and influence the search (now social) industry. I have known David for a few years and have always enjoyed the conversations about search and most recently share a passion for social media marketing. David recommended the book Groundswell over a year ago and since then I have been focusing on social media strategies in order to drive search rankings. David always has time to give great advice and has been a huge advocate as I work with Media Post on the Search Insider Summits and a great source to bounce ideas off of. David has a smile that seems to get larger the more he drinks and is always willing to watch my purse while I take photos. Thank You David!

Gord Hotchkiss 

Having served as the Programming Chair for the Search Insider Summit for several years now Gord has been a great support in every crazy idea I come up with in planning or promoting the summits. I first met Gord at SES NY in 2006 and had a chance to talk to him in more depth with the idea for the In-House Day at the Search Insider Summit while walking the beach on a remote island with the rest of the "dolphin" tour group ("dolphin" is in quotes because I have yet to see a dolphin on the tour). Gord and I talked about the struggles In-House SEO's face and after introducing me to Dan Perry we began putting the agenda into affect. While Gord gets out from time to time with the rest of us, he somehow manages to get up bright and early each morning to kick off each day's discussions. Keep those panels going Gord!

Janel Landis 

What can you say about Janel? When I first met Janel she was on a panel of mine a while back and I was told before meeting her that she tends to be a bit quiet. I don't know where this person got the impression that she is quiet because Janel is anything but. She has always been there through the late nights as we talk SEO by the harbor with the rest of the cool SEO Peeps. Janel has a lot of great ideas and has brought insight into every panel she has spoken on. I never leave the room after she has spoken without a little bit more in my database of SEO knowledge. Janel has been the VP of Search Marketing for SendTec for over 4 years. She has spoken at numerous conferences and writes for Media Post regularly. I always enjoy Janel's panels but have to say the discussion on RFP's Fundementaly Broken Moderated by Aaron Goldman was by far my favorite as it was great to see the trials and tribulations our vendors go through to write proposals (that video can be viewed here). Thank You Janel!

Olivier Lemaignen 

Almost 10 years at Intuit brings Olivier a wealth of experience and knowledge. Olivier has gone from Senior Marketing Manager to Group Manager of Online Acquisition in the Small Business division and is now the Group Manager for Global Search Marketing. I met Olivier while working on the agenda for the In-House day at the search Insider Summit. He has not only spoken at the Summit but has spoken at SES and is on the Board of Advisors for SEMPO. Olivier always has a lot to offer when it comes to the In-House agenda and is always a delight to talk to while at the Summit's various activities. Olivier is always willing (with some arm twisting) to continue the networking with his appletini in hand. Keep 'em coming!

Rand Fishkin 

5 years ago Rand Fishkin started SEOmoz.com which has since grown to over 150,000 members. Rand has become a Rock Star in the SEO community with close to 9,000 followers on Twitter (even though he doesn't get the fascination people have with Twitter) and so many friends on Facebook he can't keep track. When Rand isn't posting for the T_Max Twitter handle (and you thought it was Todd) with myself and his wife he is speaking at one of the many search conferences around the world (despite his pitch for SMX East getting turned down). Rand has a great insightful point of view when it comes to search marketing on the SEOmoz Blog which has over 40,000 readers. Rand has always been very dapper and manages to maintain his composure even when his wife is cutting a search marketer down (and you know she will).

Todd Friesen 

AKA Oilman (a nickname for searchengineforums.com he used while he was an accountant for Chevron Canada), Todd has been a key player in the SEO industry since 1998. Before his current position as VP of Search at Position Technologies he was the Director of Search at Range Media. If you haven't heard Todd on WebmasterRadio.fm you can find him speaking at conferences such as Search Engine Strategies, SMX and Media Post's Search Insider Summit. I first heard Todd's name after I left Visible Technologies as he had briefly taken over the Search team there. Since then Todd and I have been through discussions from how he thinks H1 tags actually effect your rankings to arguing with Rand about how Twitter is cool. Todd is very passionate (to say the least) about SEO. Get him on the right topic and he will convince you to see it his way before letting you go anywhere. Take a Valium Oilman!

  Topher Kohan 

One of my favorite SEO's Topher is the Search Engine Optimization Coordinator for CNN.com. Topher came highly recommended by Dan Perry for the In-House day this last May 2009 and added great value to our panel representing the large corporation as an In-House SEO. At one point he even stumped Jeremiah Andrick to the point where he was focusing on what Topher had said. Topher is always a delight to hang out with and his tweets never fail to educate and amuse. Keep it up little buddy!