We’re at the SMX Advanced conference here in Seattle this week. It’s been very interesting, fun and educational.
The two keynote interviews were mentionable.
First on Tuesday morning, Danny Sullivan interviewed Kevin Johnson, the President of the Platform & Services Division at Microsoft:
Johnson spoke about their new Live Search Cashback  program (this offers rewards back to consumers a cash back rebate for purchases made online). Johnson stated that they felt the future of online search marketing was headed in that direction. He also mentioned a number of times that Microsoft is dedicated to the concept of multiple choices in the marketplace for software and search services — something which made a lot of audience members chuckle a bit.
Related to Microsoft’s Cashback program, Microsoft has just today announced  a “Search and Give” program which will donate one cent for every search (up to 500 per user) to a charity. Many of Microsoft Live Search’s promotions such as the cash back program, Search & Give, and previous things like the Ms. Dewey promo  are all engineered towards getting usage and usership of Microsoft pumped up.
SMX ended the day with the second keynote interview, this time with famous Googler, Matt Cutts, head of Google’s web spam team:
The Q&A with Matt was very interesting and revealed a number of interesting tidbits, not least of which was how he and Google view some of the less-ethical link-building strategies that some others suggested at the conference.
I’ll probably post more details on various conference learnings in upcoming days.