When I heard that David Naylor, AKA DaveN, was going to be a part of the SEO Rehab & Intervention session at San Jose SES, which was how to deal with your SEO addictions, I found it pretty amusingâ€¦ after all, of all the SEOs I know, I would rank Dave as being the one Iâ€™d put at the top of my list for being most addicted to all things SEO. Whether it is poring over logs for hours (yes, unadulterated raw logs that cause most SEOâ€™s eyes to glaze over after about 5 minutes), checking PageRank, looking at rankings in a bunch of different geotargeted countries, or even just plain old mucking about with his blog entries for hours on end to get the perfect description snippet to appear in Google, there is no one else I know with as much passion for SEO as DaveN.
Which of course, begs the question, what is an SEO Addict doing telling others how to get off the high of repeatedly checking all things SEO?
Having spent time in Daveâ€™s office as well as sitting around his laptop at more conferences than I can count, he is an SEO who thrives off that high that only the top SEOs get when it comes to seeing the success of their labor â€“ not to mention the thrill of showing off to other SEO types who tend to gather around when heâ€™s got his laptop open on a table with any open seats. Iâ€™ve even been a guest at his house when heâ€™s brought up serps on his big screen TV, under the guise of showing off how Windows Media Center works with the internet. You know, the kind of all-consuming passion that most people wished they had.
And as a matter of fact, it was this SEO addiction that nearly made him late (yes, with just one minute to spare) when he was on his way to present on the SEO Rehab & Intervention session at SES San Jose this year. I was helping Dave with his SES presentation, since while his optimization skills are top notch, his grammatical skills can sometimes leave something to be desired, as any reader of his blog will no doubt be aware of!
So I present a day in the life of Dave Naylor at SES, on a day he has a session after lunch and no PowerPoint completed.
The morning began with my wake up text message confirming our breakfast plans (he will argue it was at the ungodly hour of 8:30am, but in my defense, he chose the time the night before). We met down in the hotel restaurant and while we had a buffet breakfast, we talked a bit about what should be included in an SEO Rehab presentation and how people should get off the desire to check their rankings every 20 minutes. And ok, I admit, I may have rolled my eyes once or twice (Hello, Pot? This is Kettle!)
Breakfast ended with plans to sit down somewhere with his laptop, when Dave thought it might be a good idea for a quick jaunt through the expo hall to pick up any swag that 6-8 year olds would love… after all, the session isn’t until 2:45, that’s lots of time, right? And if you know Dave, he loves nothing better than to talk (and talk and talk), so the quick trip into the expo hall resulted in spending about an hour wandering around and stopping at booths here and there, based upon either what they were offering or how good their swag was.
Then another Â½ hour goes by at the Microsoft booth (where an unnamed Microsoft Live Search guy showed off how awesome their stuffed frog slingshots were by firing a ribbitting frog off into the nearby Google Analytics booth). Then comes the requisite visit to the Webmasterradio.fm booth where we chatted with Brasco while making sure we registered for that nightâ€™s Search Bash. Then came the inevitable visit to the Best of the Web booth, where longtime SES attendees know as the real gathering place at the conference, at least prior to an acceptable â€œletâ€™s go grab a drinkâ€ hour. All said and done, a good two or more hours passed between the times we wandered into the Expo hall for a quick visit and the time we actually walked back out again.
Now, we actually sit down at his laptop to do his presentation, which is less than two hours away by this point. But first he wants to show off some of the new in-house tools he has developed or enhanced for his clients since he last showed them off to me at SES New York, and I admit being envious over a few of them. So another hour or so passes while he shows me some new SEO analysis tools, link tools and blog tools, as well as some new client stuff, while I do the requisite oohing and aahing. And of course, there is another decent chunk of random serp checking for client sites thrown into the mix, of course, since serps can look wildly different between here and the UK.
Which, of course, brings us to less than an hour before the session, and PowerPoint is finally launched on Daveâ€™s new laptop. So we talk a bit about what should be included, and after about three atrocious grammatical and spelling errors on Daveâ€™s part, I take over the PowerPoint writing job (is this the intervention part of SEO Rehab &Intervetion?) while I translate what Dave is saying into something most Americans can understand, while throwing in my own two cents of course. And more tools are run, this time on generic sites or Dave’s blog instead of his client sites, while grabbing screen shots to paste into his presentation.
Times flies and a quick look at the time shows the session starts in ten minutes. Some final edits are made, a last screenshot is taken and the presentation is saved onto a USB stick that reminds me of a piece of lego. We make it to the session room (which of course we had to look up which room it was in, as we walked through the conference area) and Dave hands over his USB stick with about a minute to spare.
Want to see the presentation we whipped up after all this? You can download Dave Naylor’s SES PowerPoint here, complete with the tool screenshots. And now you know exactly what goes into a typical day in the life of DaveN at a conference, at least prior to the acceptable â€œletâ€™s grab a drinkâ€ hour