November 5 - 7, 2024
Las Vegas, NV
Dori Friend

This is the 13th SEORockstrars! 

Here’s the wild ride of how it all started.

SEORockstars was never meant to be an annual gig. Seriously, I had ZERO plans to do it more than once. It was supposed to be a one-off, a customer appreciation event to crack the Google code for my clients who lost their rankings and were devastated.

You see, on February 27, 2012, Google dropped Panda 3.3, and everything in SEO changed! And it was hell for anyone doing any link-building!

This is the day when the practice of any Link Building went from being considered White Hat (ok, maybe gray hat, lol) to totally Black Hat. 

Now, you might think Panda had nothing to do with links. Panda 3.3 flew under the radar for most of the industry then and even now. But buried in Google’s long list of Panda updates (which started in 2011) was this tiny paragraph:

Link evaluation. We often use the characteristics of links to help us figure out the topic of a linked page. We have changed how we evaluate links; in particular, we are turning off a method of link analysis that we used for several years. We often rearchitect or turn off parts of our scoring to keep our system maintainable, clean, and understandable.

Here is a screenshot of it that I used at the first SEORockstars to explain the start of Google’s algorithmic change to link evaluation.

Most people thought Penguin was what killed link building back then. But I’m here to tell you, Penguin (which launched on April 24 of that same year) was just a follow-up to what Panda 3.3 started.

Anyway, we needed to figure out what the heck was going on and how to fix it!

At the time, I was one of twelve SEOs that were a part of Perry Belcher's (of Digital Marketer and T&C fame) private SEO mastermind group. So, when the link apocalypse hit, I called up these guys, invited them to speak, and help us solve this catastrophe.

Long story short, SEORockstars was born.

Not only did we figure out what had happened with Google’s linking updates, and what to do about it, everyone had a great time! The event wasn’t even over before I started getting requests to do it again the following year.

Back then, there weren’t any other conferences focused solely on SEO. Sure, other conferences might have one or two SEO talks, but that was it. This was the first one all about SEO! 

And SEO’s wanted more!

So, I said okay to the next year. And then the next, and the next... until now, I've said yes 12 more times making this the 13th year we’re all getting together to “figure it all out,” once again. Oh and to have some fun as well. ;-)

This year, my business partner in the SIA (SEO Intelligence Agency) Clint Butler is taking the reins and it will be him that will say yes for the next 12 years. This will be my last SEORockstars as its host. :-)

Dori :-)

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