Incase you haven’t heard by now, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer will be a keynote speaker at SMX West next week (March 2-4, 2010) in Santa Clara. Mr. Ballmer has agreed to sit down with Danny Sullivan for a “fireside chat” to kick off the event next week. This will be Ballmer’s initial speaking engagement that is aimed directly to the search industry and community. As Microsoft’s highest ranking officer, Mr. Ballmer will discuss Microsoft’s evolution in search and what he sees happening in the future.

With the deal between Yahoo and Micorsoft in the books does Mr. Ballmer’s appearance foreshadow a commitment to keep up with Google in algorithmic transparency and support for SEOs? Timing would indicate so, considering the CEO is personally delivering his message to internet marketing community through one of the most recognizable SEM conferences just as the Yahoo to Microhoo alliance begins. It makes sense considering when completed, Microhoo could account a 30% share of searches. This is still a long way from Google’s current 65.7%, but it without a doubt accounts for a big slice of the pie in search.

There is still this mystery behind why exactly Mr. Ballmer will be attending and speaking at SMX West. Perhaps this is some sort of courteous gesture by Ballmer to reach out the SEO community or perhaps this could lead into Microsoft partnering up with the SEO community. With the dominance of Google and them reminding us that we aren’t included when it comes to any other search marketing activity other than AdWords. In a snap of the finger the Google maps team has previously removed Web Designers and now SEO from the local One Pack in search results. This raises a flag as it would appear human commerce is more important to Google than the SEO and Web Design industry. Perhaps Mr. Ballmer will address this and how he plans to change the future of search.

Ultimately, what is Mr. Ballmer going to say next week that has prompted him to make such an appearance? You can guarantee one thing, this keynote sections is going to be packed with the who’s-who in the SEM/SEO industries. Mr. Ballmer is coming to directly speak to the search engine marketing community, just as his influence in search increase. What this signifies at this point is left to speculation, but come next week the whole industry will be glued in on what it is he has to say.

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