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PubCon’s Brett Tabke and Joe Laratro Bring Out a Packed House for DFWSEM

If your business caters to search, social and content, you need to attend PubCon. Brett Tabke and Joe Laratro, both of Pubcon, share why at a recent DFWSEM.

PubCon 2013Brett Tabke (left) and Joe Laratro (center) of PubCon answer questions before speaking At DFWSEM in September 2013.

To hear Brett Tabke tell it, were he to start a web-based business from scratch today, he’d do things quite a bit differently than what most people are currently doing.

“I’d pretend Google didn’t exist [and focus on social media],” says Tabke, CEO of PubCon. “No matter your niche, there’s a platform out there that speaks to it…. Find your users and speak to them.”

Tabke and fellow PubCon board member Joe Laratro and CEO of Tandem Interactive were in Dallas, Texas, on Wednesday, Sept. 18 to share their insights at the Dallas-Fort Worth Search Engine Marketing Association’s monthly meeting, held at the Hyatt Regency North Dallas in Richardson, Texas.

The duo, well-known for their tag-team approach, drew a packed house, with everyone singing the praises of each speaker while talking up the importance of PubCon, one of the largest, most recognized search marketing events held each year.

Held annually in New Orleans, La., and Las Vegas, Nev., PubCon brings together thousands of exhibitors and attendees from across the world to hear renowned speakers in the areas of SEO, social media, Internet marketing, and online advertising.

The events are a big deal, which makes each time Tabke and Laratro speak a must-attend affair.

“Brett Tabke has always been a fan of DFWSEM,” says Brian Medina, DFWSEM president. “He really appreciates what local search engine marketing groups are doing in their community, so we’ve partnered with him over the years with Pubcon…. Our community can benefit from Brett and what he knows about search engine marketing, since he has his pulse on it.”

During the DFWSEM event, Tabke spoke more broadly about trends in the web marketing space while Laratro took a more tactical approach, delving into how the SEO landscape has changed in recent years.

Here are some key takeaways from each speaker.

Brett Tabke


  • 96% of all U.S. adults have a mobile phone within arm’s reach at all times.
  • On average, people reach for their smart phones 150 times a day.
  • 5 million teens in the U.S. send more than 3,000 SMS messages (texts) per month.
  • 1 million female teens send more than 5,000 texts per month.
  • 17.4% of global web traffic is mobile.
  • 91% of all U.S. citizens own a cell phone.

What’s Hot

  • Snapchat (the real-time photo- and video-sharing app) is hugely popular.
  • 90% of Snapchat users are under 25 years of age.
  • 300 million photos/videos are shared on Snapchat each day.
  • Snapchat could eclipse Facebook for daily photo/video shares, which stands at 400 million, by the the end of 2013.
  • Snapchat is currently valued at $2 billion yet is only two years old.

Wearable devices

  • Includes Google Glass, but also takes into account items such as jewelry, rings, and clothing.
  • Parasitic wear, or items that could function as a wearable item but also double as a car key, for example.

Design Trends

  • Pinterest-ication of the web, where most sites are now making use of mini-boxes.
  • Mobile-first application. Everyone is thinking mobile today.
  • Infinite scroll. “People are using it to consume everything. It’s taking over.”

Tabke’s last takeaway was somewhat surprising.

“The hottest thing in SEO is content,” he said. “Forty-five percent of the 600 proposals for PubCon were content-themed. Content is the last stand for SEO.”

Joe Laratro

Laratro’s presentation was a witty distillation of the current state of search engine marketing.

  • Take the SEO out of SEO. “If it looks like SEO and smells like SEO, don’t do it.”
  • Instead of focusing on link schemes and worrying about whether or not guest posting is a good idea, spend time getting to know the people who would be a part of the community that could help your business. “Build relationships with writers and editors,” he said. “Focus on quality over quantity.”
  • He also shared an interesting opinion and assessment of the changes Google continues to make to to thwart spam. “SEO is not dead. Link building is not dead. If anything, the changes Google continues to make gives [white hat SEOs] job security.”
  • “I love content marketing. Content marketing is great, but link building is not going anywhere. Find interesting ways to innovate around link building.”
  • “SEO’s must adapt or die.”
  • “You have to determine your own link tolerance. What are you willing to risk?”
  • “With social, be relevant and expand. You’ve gotta be engaged.”
  • “At an absolute minimum, make sure your site [follows Google’s rules for mobile compliance]. Don’t worry about your mobile app. Worry about your mobile site. If it’s not compliant, guess what? You’re going to get kicked out of Google.”

PubCon Las Vegas will be held October 21 – 24, 2013 at the Las Vegas Convention Center. For more information visit the company’s website.

DFWSEM is hosting the State of Search Conference in November. The event covers SEO, PPC, and social media marketing, and features some of the biggest names in their respective industries, including Rob Garner of Advice Interactive Group, Rand Fishkin of Moz, Duane Forrester of Bing, Wil Reynolds of SEER Interactive, and Mackenzie Fogelson of Mack Web Solutions.

Mike Stewart of SMB SEOMike Stewart of SMB SEO talks to a fellow DFWSEM member during a recent event.

“This group does a lot of great things for the businesses in the Dallas business community,” says Mike Stewart, who heads SMB SEO, a Dallas-based SEO firm. “Being a part of DFWSEM is one of the best ways for local businesses to stay on top of the latest trends, share information and find out who’s hiring or who needs help in any given area. The group does some great things for the local business community.”

The event will be held Nov. 18 at the Hyatt Regency North Dallas in Richardson, Texas. Visit for more information.

Category SEO
Ronell Smith Director of Strategy at Advice Interactive Agency

Ronell Smith is the Director of Strategy for Advice Interactive Group, a full-service digital marketing agency with offices in Texas, ...

PubCon’s Brett Tabke and Joe Laratro Bring Out a Packed House for DFWSEM

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