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April 16, 2013

The MozCon Experience

Published: 16 April 2013 

Mozcon 2013 is coming. Why is that exciting?

Mozcon 2012 changed everything for me. I mean EVERYTHING.

I’ve been a pro-member of SEOmoz for 3+ years, something of a lurker, paying attention, learning while not being very noisy, applying what I learned and being rewarded with results for us and our clients.

There is much love here for SEOmoz, enough to justify getting up at 4am (in Australia) to watch webinars.

Before Mozcon 2012, things were not fun. Penguin had hit, more on that another day, and our strategic approach wasn’t much more than pairing tactics and creating hybrid tactics. Strategy was the last thing to get budget because we are results-driven!

I’d thought about “Inbound Marketing” as a bit of a gimmick label for the same old tactics but at mozcon, I saw it in action, and realised that the entire SEOmoz company live and breathe this stuff.

Doing that “stuff” for us and our clients was as simple as listening and thinking about all the marketing that’d been played out at and before MozCon.

It took me back to my MBA. Thinking about marketing and business at a different, more strategic level. Planning and replanning, I even dug out a favourite book from my MBA, the entrepreneurial mindset.

Before MozCon, we were too busy to plan...

...not any more. Everything changed.

What The Attendees Had To Say

I was fortunate enough to meet some brilliant SEOs who turned out to be brilliant people as well and some of them were kind enough to answer some questions for us about their experience at Mozcon 2012. Here's what they (and I) had to say.

Who Are You?

Mike Rotkin, SEO Champion:

We are a Las Vegas based Internet Marketing Company, that has serviced clients worldwide since 1999 in reputation management services, online business development and structure planning, social media development, branding and search engine placement.




Cameron Bailey, NMIT:

I am the Inbound Marketing Coordinator at NMIT.

NMIT is a Vocational Learning college in Melbourne Australia, we have 6 campuses and teach in over 500 courses and 100 different areas of study ranging from business to TV production to fish farming and horse breeding.

I started out in online marketing as an online video producer creating hours of content every week for businesses in Australia. I moved to pure SEO and in recent years have included SEM and PPC advertising as well as social in my skill sets.

I am currently project managing the rebuild of our institute website a project worth in excess of $300,000.


Paddy Moogan, Distilled:

I work as an SEO Consultant for Distilled in their London office. I'm currently on sabbatical, living in New Zealand. I recently authored The Link Building Book.






Cade Lee, Iniquitous Incorporated:

I run an online marketing agency in Denver, Colorado and have years of experience managing web development projects and delivering SEO and AdWords campaigns for a wide range of SMEs





Ben Maden, Matter Solutions:

Originally lived in Cornwall in England, Lived in London for a long time and have lived in Brisbane Australia for almost 7 years.





Did you enjoy Mozcon 2012?

Mike Rotkin,

I very much enjoyed Mozcon 2012 and was very impressed by the speakers, information, structure of the ballroom and colorful design and the SEOMoz team, who was very knowledgable and friendly.

Cameron Bailey, NMIT:

I really enjoyed it.

The opportunity to visit HQ was great and everyone was so nice.

Paddy Moogan, Distilled:

Yes I loved MozCon. It was my first time in Seattle and it is a great city. Everyone at the conference was so friendly which made the social events really cool as well. I was surrpsied too how for such a big conference in terms of people in attendance, it never felt like it was too busy or that there were too many people.

Cade Lee, Iniquitous Incorporated:

I did enjoy Mozcon 2012, I just wish that there were some more technical training or speaking sessions. I appreciate the big picture that was presented with many of the speakers, but a more in depth perspective as to how some of the experts approach projects would be interesting to learn about.

Ben Maden, Matter Solutions:


Did you meet anybody exciting? Who?

Mike Rotkin,

I met a lot of great people from the USA and Australia. Also I had a great opportunity to meet Rand, CEO of SEOMoz and the wonderful Moz team.

At the after party at the garage, I enjoyed seeing the Moz team having fun during some song sessions. I was fortunate to speak to one of the engineers, who took me around and introduced me to other Moz team members, who are very intelligent and were very helpful.

Cameron Bailey, NMIT:

The CEO of Advanced Web Ranking was cool.

Paddy Moogan, Distilled:

I met a ton of people. I was fortunate enough to be speaking so I was able to meet many of the other speakers at some point. I got to meet a bunch of the attendees too which was amazing because I love learning about peoples backgrounds and how they came to be an SEO.

Cade Lee, Iniquitous Incorporated:

Ben Maden and several of the speakers of course. Mainly other SEO professionals in different markets.

Ben Maden, Matter Solutions:

Rand. I had to shake him by the hand and thank him - Fanboy. Jennifer Sable Lopez. It was great to meet Eppie of Link Detective Fame. Rhea Drysdale, see below.

I was just in awe of the #RCS presentation from Wil Reynolds at Seer Interactive.

What have you changed because of what you learned at Mozcon 2012?

Mike Rotkin,

Since Mozcon, we have looked into guest blogging, with networks such as and Buzzstream, as well as using our own blogs, for guest posters as well.

We reviewed and revised our social media branding, while applying RCS, which Wil Reynolds suggested during his session, as websites are companies and companies need to always think of real company practices, before engaging their brands online for expansion and exposure.

Cameron Bailey, NMIT:

Not a lot to be honest but the experience and exposure it gave me was excellent. Some of the ideas have been applied to the business creating small iterative changes rather than big game changes.

Paddy Moogan, Distilled:

Personally, I've rethought link building and how we should be doing it in the long term. Even though my presentation was very tactical and focused on getting links, I started to think more strategically about links rather than just looking at tactics to hit numbers. Instead, I've started to think more about links that make an impact to the bottom line of a business rather than increasing counts on Open Site Explorer etc.

Cade Lee, Iniquitous Incorporated:

Our link distribution and what we are doing onsite, we have changed this a lot. So we are focusing on our own network more than ever and content as always, that did not change.

Ben Maden, Matter Solutions:

Everything. Much more strategy in our thinking and much more clarity of the separation between strategy and tactical thinking thanks to Mozcon and Rhea's excellent Whiteboard Friday on the difference between being a consultant and vendor.

Will you be attending Mozcon2013?

Mike Rotkin,

I will be going to Mozcon 2013.

Cameron Bailey, NMIT:


Paddy Moogan, Distilled:


Cade Lee, Iniquitous Incorporated:

If the gods allow for it, then I will definitely be there.

Ben Maden, Matter Solutions:

Yes, For Sure.

What other conferences have you been to, or plan to go to?

Mike Rotkin,

Other conferences I have attended include Pubcon and Search Engine Strategies, which was the first experience I enjoyed as a newbie many years ago. BlogWorld is a good conference as well, which I have been to twice.

Pubcon 2012 in Las Vegas was great, as it was good to see and listen to Andy Beal, Michael Gray and many others. I enjoyed many sessions at Pubcon Vegas and took a good amount of notes.

Pubcon is a great conference to attend and they always do a great job and are a leading visionary in the industry. I try to attend two conferences a year.

Cameron Bailey, NMIT:

None at present.

Paddy Moogan, Distilled:

I was at SMX Sydney in April where I presented. I've been to lots of conferences over the years including SMX, SES, MozCon, SAScon, LinkLove, SearchLove and Think Visibility.

What do you hope to see more of (or less of) at Mozcon 2013?

Mike Rotkin,

I would like to see more on how agencies brand for local and corporate companies on social media platforms and what platforms do the major companies look to be on, within the top 25 social platforms.

It would be nice to understand how large corporations market and make their online brand decisions and what parts of the executive teams make up the decision process and how nationwide internet marketing companies help to assist.

Would be great to see more on reputation management and what opportunities there are for agencies and SEMs and what areas agencies can compete for business and work.

All in all Mozcon was great in 2012.

Cade Lee, Iniquitous Incorporated:

I would really like to see more about promotion. So, what are other SEOs doing to promote their site. So I guess I am just a sucker for technical tips.

Ben Maden, Matter Solutions:

More of the same please!

Networking Gold

I’ve met SEOs here in Australia before. It’s a strange yet interesting experience. A cross between camaraderie and rivalry. Sharing the pain when things don’t work and understanding the excitement of getting a win for a client. With a good selection of clients each you are likely to be battling with one another over impressions and clicks for many clients.

At Mozcon I was one of just a small handful of representatives from Australia which meant networking and discussing war stories with SEOs from around the world was particularly compelling.

Now We Have A Plan

I leapt of the plane from Seattle. We had a plan. Not everything has gone to plan but we have metrics to show we’re heading the right way for us and our clients.

What Next?

Inbound Marketing needs evangelists. Inbound Marketing in Australia needs evangelists.

That’s us.

Tag: seomoz

Ben Maden

Read more posts by Ben

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