This is my third year attending SES Toronto and even more so this year then my first year of attendance I am attending each session with what I refer to as the "So What Factor". Asking as I come out of each session with real takeaways? Takeaways that will not only help me understand the industry and search landscape better... but has anything been said that will help me deliver result for my CLIENTS?"

I am excited to attend this first session "Search Now and Then - What is the same? What is new?" Not just because Mr. Jeff Quipp is a keynote speaker but because I am looking for very specific "So Whats":

1. What have we learned from understanding the history of Search and how are these learning's relevant today?
2. What is going on today in search and what does the near future hold?
3. How can any of this be monetarily capitalized?

All three presentations had one similar takeaway:

1. Search Engines have the same function today as they did in the the early days:
a. They Index Text
b. They Follow Links to Serve Users Relevant Content

This basic function will not change in the near future.

But it was not until Shari Thurrow gave her presentation that user behavior and web conversions were mentioned.

Shari's presentation drove home the simple fact "that no matter what you do online you will be successful if you just give the user great content using the keywords that means the most to them." But how they search and find that content has changed dramatically. Users (Google Users) are now pulled into universal search and local search results and that in order for a website to truly compete online on-page optimization with video, images and text must be considered.

But how do we (meaning my clients) make any money with any of this? Jeff Quipp made it simple for us:
1. Do Not Try and Trick Google
2. Work to Your Compnay's Stenghts
3. Offer Great Value to Your Users
4. Develop Useful Content
5. Use Content to Build Links

By utilizing these 5 principals and keeping the users at the core of your strategy, not just the search engines, your site will continue to ride the Google wave.

So there you have it ladies and gentleman, a great session, moderated expertly by Amanda Watlington with some excellent insight from our speakers - Anne, Shari and Jeff.

Stay tuned as we continue to post live from SES Toronto 2009.