Brett Tabke - The Search Community Honors You

Mar 5, 2018 • 7:08 am | comments (3) by twitter Google+ | Filed Under Honor An SEO/SEM

Brett Tabke

This is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series - feel free to nominate someone over here.

Brett Tabke is 55 but no one would guess it. He lives in Austin, Texas with his wife and two girls ages 10 and 3. In fact, he met his wife, Erika (aka: Hawkgirl), at PubCon in London in 2002 and has been married to her for 13 years. Just look at the happiness in that photo above (I am sorry for the bad cropping job).

Brett is one of those people who would be considered a hall of famer in our industry, if we had a hall of fame. I would also consider him a founding father of the space. He has countless people who are not only grateful to him for their success but many would say they got their start because of Brett. I would strongly doubt there are many people like Brett who has helped so many individuals on so many levels in the industry. It is a true inspiration and it is honestly humbling to see.

Personally, he gave me my first big speaking gig (well, not paid but still a gig) at a PubCon Vegas over a decade ago. I was a kid, young 20s, and he put me up on stage in one of the "super sessions" with over 5,000 people in the crowd. I spoke about the early days of blogging and it was a blast and honor. PubCon has been a stepping stone for countless individuals in our industry and I bet there are thousands of stories like mine.

WebmasterWorld, the forum he started, sold, reacquired, is a place we source here numerous times per day. It is a real community, run really well and a model for other online forums. Brett has online forums running through his veins - it is what he lives and breaths. It clearly shows.

I can go on forever about Brett, but let's here what some others had to say.

Melissa Fach wrote:

Everyone knows how Brett has contributed to this industry; this is no secret. But there is a different side of Brett that most people don't know and that side has been a huge confidence builder for myself and many other women I know. Behind the scenes, Brett encourages women to speak at conferences - women he knows are great at what they do, but might be a bit nervous to get out there and speak. It was at Pubcon that I spoke for the first time and he has always been encouraging. Brett isn't a bragger and doesn't try to tell people how great he is, but his encouragement to women in this industry has meant a lot to many of us. I started working with Pubcon in 2015 and he has been nothing short of amazing. He is encouraging and kind and helpful to me in every way, and I see him behaving the same way to others. While I wish he would brag on himself more, he won't, so I will :). He is an amazing person and I have seen how much he does behind the scenes to fight for the women in this industry and for that a deserves a very special THANK YOU!

Donna Cavalier wrote:

Of course, Brett Tabke brought us both WebmasterWorld and Pubcon, and both were instrumental in educating SEOs. I remember meeting Brett at Pubcon one year, and I was a little shy about meeting him, but he made me feel welcome and a part of it all. I appreciate all that he's given to so many over the years.

Brett Tabke Bio: I love helping people learn about what is current in search and social media marketing. Running Pubcon I get to stay on the leading edge of all marketing, tech, and the leading search engines. I spend 3 hrs a day just reading tech blogs in order to stay current. Turns out - that's just table stakes on todays fast paced every changing hyper competitive Internet. I am bless that we can tap into experts in every major marketing and tech field to share the latest and greatest at Pubcon. That means I get to hang out with the hippest, coolest, rock stars of marketing. At last count, I had 50 good friends that have written books on everything from SEO at IBM, to the death of QR codes.

I built Pubcon to be a platform for what is new, what is cool - what is workable - what you can take home and apply. We started in a Pubcon in a London Pub in 2000, with 125 people sharing tips-n-tricks to getting the most out of Internet marketing. From there we went on to have more Pub-conferences with leading edge speakers on topics that matter to marketers.

My path to get there, started as a Commodore 64/128 assembly language programmer that jumped into web marketing out of need. We just had to figure out how to get to decent levels of traffic to our websites. So then SEO, then Forums at the super WebmasterWorld (sold in 2012 – bought back in 2017) and finally, the big conference machine.

Favorite thing about the SEO community? It is a community. Many of these sectors in the digital space are just disconnected fragments of vertical niches where people do not communicate. I have some friends I have known in the space for over 20 years. Some members I feel are like family: they came to my wedding 14 yrs ago, some send me flowers on the birth of my girls, and others I have flown around the world just to hang out with and have a pint or two. No other space I have been in has withstood the test of time like Search Marketing.

One piece of advice to the SEOs out there? I think we have superseded the word “SEO” quite some time ago. SEO is not the end game. The game is site traffic and conversions. Whatever tools you have at your disposal to get that job done for yourself or for a client is the thing to do. Whether it is building links, fixing html, or joining an affiliate program, that is what an “SEO” does. This whole nonsense about “white hat” and “black hat” SEO is sideshow noise. What you do on the confines of your own site is between you and your webmaster.

Favorite things in general?

  • Fav color – I guess I am in my white period. My last 4 cars have been white. Currently cursing a white Panamera.
  • Fav food – I love a good steak, bread pudding, a roast beef sandwich. (Gee thanks Barry – Now I’m hungry!)
  • Fav thing to do – aside from computers? Current hobby is crypto mining. I have 5 gpu based rigs and 4 asic bitcoin miners running for about six month.
  • I love SciFi, but not most “fantasy” based stuff. It po’s me that they often lump “sci fi and fantasy” into the same category. Consequently, I love Star Trek and mildly tolerate StarWars. For TV series – I am currently a fan of StarTrek Discovery, Black Mirror, Travelers, and Blacklist.

What you want to be known for in the SEO space? That we have always looked out for those that couldn’t look out for themselves. We want to be there for mom & pop even when they can’t be there for themselves. It is why Pubcon is about 33% SEO and 66% all the other stuff that people should be doing. They come for the sizzle (seo) and stay for the steak (general marketing knowledge). I just keep reiterating that if we are stuck on just SEO, we are just stuck.

To learn more about Brett, check out PubCon, WebmasterWorld, connect with him on LinkedIn or follow him on Twitter.

This is part of the say something nice about an SEO/SEM series - feel free to nominate someone over here.

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