The conference was created by Danny Sullivan, founder and former lead editor of Search Engine Watch. The first SES conference was on November 18, 1999 in San Francisco, California and marked the first formal occasion that site owners had met with search engines.
The conference expanded internationally in 2000 when the first SES UK was held in London, England on April 27, 2000, followed by Denmark in 2001, Germany in 2002, and France, Sweden, Canada, Italy and China until 2006. The growth of the industry caused the creation of special niche SES Conferences such as SES Multimedia & Mobile Edition and SES Latino. Where SES Latino 2006 and 2007 was moderated by conference chair Nacho Hernandez.
Just over a year after the purchase, Sullivan announced his resignation from guiding the series on August 29, 2006 after a contract dispute but later agreed to run two further shows in the US and speak at a third during 2007.
In 2015, Incisive Media sold SES, Search Engine Watch, and ClickZ to Blenheim Chalcot.
- Search engine optimization
- Social media optimization
- Search engine marketing
- Internet marketing
- SAScon (UK search conference)
- Jefferson Graham (August 14, 2006), Google search ads find momentum, USA Today, retrieved March 8, 2008
- Search Engine Strategies '99 Homepage
- SES returns, August 20–23, 2007 SES San Jose 2007 Coverage, Aug 23, 2007.
- Goodbye Search Engine Strategies!, Aug 16, 2007, Search Engine Land
- Loren Baker (April 21, 2004), Search Engine Strategies Conference Heads to Canada, Search Engine Journal, retrieved March 8, 2008
- WebProNews (September 30, 2004), Meckler Announces Search Engine Strategies Conference In China, WebProNews, retrieved March 8, 2008
- "SES Latino — Interview with Conference Chair Nacho Hernandez". Search Engine Watch. Retrieved 2007-07-19.
- Sale of Search Engine Strategies trade show and ClickZ.com Network of Web sites, incl. SearchEngineWatch.com, Press release by Jupitermedia Corporation (Nasdaq: JUPM), August 2, 2005
- Leaving Search Engine Watch Archived 2012-01-23 at the Portuguese Web Archive, Aug 29, 2006, Daggle: Danny Sullivan's Blog
- Daggle, Oct 23, 2006, Daggle: Danny Sullivan's Blog
- "Incisive Media's ClickZ, SES & Search Engine Watch Acquired By Blenheim Chalcot". Marketing Land. 21 April 2015. Retrieved 2015-05-06.