Talking AdSense with Larry and Sergey

I spent last week in San Jose for Search Engine Strategies, where one of the most popular after-hours events is the yearly Google Dance hosted by Google right at the ‘Plex. This year Google also hosted “Meet the Engineers” at the Dance where guests would get the chance to corner their favorite Google team engineer and ask specific questions, whether it was the AdSense engineer on a targeting issue, or the ever-popular 302 redirect engineer. And all these engineers were mobbed right until their meet-and-greet ended at 10pm. And that was when Matt Cutts offered DaveN, Chris_R and myself a private tour of the plex.

After the private behind-the-scenes tour, we ended up sitting outside a microkitchen chatting on some sofas. After sitting for a few hours chatting about anything and everything Google, who wandered down to join us at 1:30am but the original Google Guys themselves, Larry and Sergey. Larry stayed for about half an hour, while Sergey chatted with us for well over an hour.

Yes, AdSense was one of the many subjects discussed, but the entire conversation was off-the-record, so I can’t go into specifics. But it was definitely one of those once-in-a-lifetime opportunities!

Larry and Sergey are very much the down-to-earth kind of guys you read about in articles. It is obvious they are still very much hands-on when it comes to Google, and are extremely passionate about what they do.

It is also very obvious why people love working for Google. Whether it is the killer smoothies at breakfast (yum!), leather massage chairs positioned conveniently in every building (I tried them out a few times!) or simply the fact you can bring your dog with you to work if you want, it is easy to see why it is such a hot place for people to work… if you manage to pass all the tests to get hired!

Thank you to Matt & Aaron for our tour, as well as the many other Googler’s I met and chatted with earlier Tuesday evening. And a special thanks to the AdSense optimization team & other AdSense team members I had the opportunity to speak with on Thursday too! And of course, thank you to Danny Sullivan, for if it hadn’t been for his SES San Jose, none of this would have happened!

Want to read more? DaveN’s blog talks about our evening at the Google Dance as well (I also attended the Tim Mayer Yahoo! campus tour he talks about as well).

All in all, the best conference I have ever attended.

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