The following post written by guest author, Grant Crowell, of Grantastic Designs, a well-known search engine marketing (SEM) and design firm.

Just the other day, I was talking to Grant about the various conferences and events that are available this year for online video. Being that both of us are search engine marketing professionals at heart, with an added focus on video, we looked at the various search engine conferences to identify those that would have the greatest coverage for online video marketing and search. To our surprise, video still seems to be something that lacks sufficient focus at these conferences. In fact, at what I consider to be one of the best conference series for search, SMX, and in particular, the upcoming Search Marketing Expo – Social, there is not a single session that addresses online video search or video sharing. Social media marketing without any attention paid to video sharing?

Below is Grant’s commentary regarding SMX:

Lately I’ve been receiving a barrage of advertisements from the folks over at Search Marketing Expo, both in my email and snail mail boxes, touting their upcoming conferences – (April 22-23) and (June 3-4). I’ve noticed in their mailings, in their “Who should attend” groups, they have included “New Media Specialists.”

Now for disclosure, I write a monthly column on for Search Engine Land (SEL), which is published by Third Door Media, which also produces the Search Marketing Expo conference series. SEL does dedicate a weekly column to the video search space by 4 individuals including myself, and a healthy share of posts on video technology, SEO, and SEM/Search Advertising, and are very dilligent on reporting breaking news in this space for their online publication.

So you might think from that information, the folks organizing the SMX conferences would be giving some real attention to the video search space in their conferences? So out of their two upcoming conferences I mentioned above, which they’ve been heavily advertising to the “New Media professionals”, take a guess at how many total panels are going to be about video?

Here’s the answer – ZERO.

That’s right – ZERO, nunca, none. The SMX series this year, which likes to consider itself as at the forefront of New Media, has not dedicated a single panel on video search. You can’t even find the word “video” mentioned anywhere in either conference’ agendas. Not even once in a single session description, for any session. How peculiar is that, considering that video and video search is one of the best suited topics, if not THE best, for either the “social” or “advanced” classifications? How peculiar is that, consider that SMX Expo’s head conference organizer, Danny Sullivan, has been touting the all week the explosion of online video and video search space on his own podcast show, the Daily SearchCast? (Albeit, the tone in Danny’s voice, the longer he discusses video subjects, seems to switch from any sense of enthusiasm to apprehension.)

Truth is, the only thing at an SMX conference that has even mentioned video in a session title was a single panel at their February SMX West conference – “Video, Images, and Blended Search Results.” I was in the audience for that panel, and quite honestly, as someone who considers himself to be fairly knowledgeable of online video and video search, it was embarrassing. The only person on the panel that even gave a presentation on video SEO was not even a search marketing professional, but an account manager. (And believe me, I do know that real video search experts have been applying to be speakers at these conferences, so SMX’s lack of programs, and selection of speakers, for the subject of video search marketing, is in my opinion, troublesome.)

So why the huge disconnect? I have my own opinions. One of them I’ll share here is that most search marketers do understand on some level the increasing urgency of incorporating video into their SEM and SEO strategies, but are not really ready to do more than just give it lip service. To them, video is a whole new ballgame outside their area of “traditional SEO” expertise, so they pay it mild, safe attention; but are not yet really willing to accept video as a member of the SEO family. Yet at the same time, some of those same SEO notables are branding themselves as the providers of the latest and greatest purveyors of information on “new media” such as video. Sorry, but SMX’s claim to that title is sorely disputed. They record so far shows that they’re still not really willing to bring on real video SEO experts. Not just talkers, not just account reps — but people who have been and are currently, heavily engaged in the video space from a production and application side with real case studies, and not just commenting and pontificating on the latest news which everyone else can get. Otherwise, they are really going to leave their audience short.

Alright, I’m joking with that, but SMX should take that as a sign that they themselves need a video search optimizer to help themselves out, and better understand the video space. Or if they’ve got a skimpier budget on promotion as I’ve heard lately, here’s some advice for them: it’s not too late to include panel of real video SEO experts, and I’m sure the folks at SMX can get themselves some free consulting.

Thank you Grant for the post.

What do you think, are they missing the boat? We certainly think so. Let us know in the comments below.