After a nearly 10-year absence, the Google Dance — Google’s annual gathering for search marketers — happened once again at the main Google campus last week.
About 500 people, attendees at our SMX search marketing conference, traveled by bus from the conference venue in San Jose to the Googleplex in Mountain View for the three-and-a-half hour event.
Arriving on the campus, they were given Google Dance t-shirts (something I never thought I’d see again), drinks, light snacks and a chance to mingle with Googlers and see demos of Google products.
For many, perhaps the best thing was simply being able to visit Google for the first time, the company that’s so dominant in the work they do.
Google also gathered about 50 SEOs for a special meeting. The details were off the record; generally, it was a chance for SEOs to give feedback about how Google interacts with publishers — a good in-person discussion all around. I was especially heartened to see Google make the time for this. I was also impressed at the detailed, high-level feedback that the SEOs provided.
Another surprise was the appearance of Matt Cutts, the former head of Google’s spam team and a well-known spokesperson for Google to the webmaster community. No, Cutts isn’t returning to his role. Rather, a veteran of past Google Dances, he wanted to see the latest one. Plenty of people enjoyed grabbing photos with him.
Huge thanks go out to webmaster trends analyst Gary Illyes and search quality analyst Nathan Johns. They were instrumental in the return of the Google Dance. Without them, it wouldn’t have happened. And big thanks to all the Googlers who rallied around to support the event and make the search marketers there feel welcome.