SEO consultants, geeks and believers from across the UK and further afield arrived in Brighton in the early hours of Friday 12th April for the latest Brighton SEO event. The enthusiastic crowd are generally looking for SEO inspiration and to see if they are ticking all the right boxes for Google whilst discussing the latest SEO thoughts, topics, tactics and tools.
The conference history goes back to 2009 where organiser and experienced SEO enthusiast Kelvin Newman arranged a meeting of SEO consultants from across the South East to discuss SEO topics current at the time. The free event and interest in SEO has now grown to a point where this event now sells out to hundreds in just a couple of days….it may not be long before they do away with the ‘free ticket’ policy.
This year’s Brighton SEO event was broken into 3 different areas across the Brighton Dome Concert Hall, the Corn Exchange and the Dome Studio Theatre so choosing which talks to attend was really the only big decision of the day….apart from which of the many Brighton restaurants and cafés to go for lunch (we chose a very good Thai…).
Brighton SEO also gave us the opportunity to speak with a few of the suppliers for reporting and analysis software that we hadn’t previously had contact with and see first hand where there may be possible additional value for RAD SEO.
A selection of take aways from Brighton SEO 2013:
• Implementing the rel=author tag in your site could be key to your future success.
• The content you’re writing should seek to solve someone’s problem.
• If you’ve previously removed spammy links and you can’t see them, you should still include them in your reconsideration request when trying to wipe out a Google penalty.
• A journalistic approach to content strategy can result in a big increase in traffic if distributed in the right areas
• If you want to piggy back on the back of breaking news you have around 30 minutes to get your content out there and socialise it.
• Evergreen content (this is the content that sticks around and not just based on current topics) requires smaller risk and has more chance of long term momentum in search results.
• Almost everything in the English language can be expressed in four words, consider using four word anchor texts?
• Over 3 out of 5 informational videos show up in the first page of search results. (really)
• Google+ is now a major ranking factor when used with author tags, even more so than Facebook where Google struggles to correctly scan all of the data.
• A flurry of backlinks could be a sign of negative SEO practices, carry out a regular check in webmaster tools or via various SEO software tools
• Link building is tougher now than in previous years. Google is more intelligent and can identify bad links much easier, backlinks however are still very important to rankings.
• Backlink variety is critical; too many exact match links can be seen as unnatural, links to bad domains can have a negative impact.
• Using local SEO distance is the highest ranking factor followed by relevance, then prominence but none of this matters if you don’t get your ‘NAP’ right at the start.
• The priority of tasks for large sites is very important and should be measured by how much impact each task will have and offering the largest return on investments.
• Site speed is very important for Google and site users get this wrong and you may as well throw in the towel.
• To achieve your goals as an agency you must outsource part of the work (I think you have to be careful with this one)
If you are managing an SEO team, looking to break into SEO, you are a seasoned agency professional or SEO is just part of your role then this event biannual event is well worth putting in your calendar and is a firm favourite of the RAD SEO team. The next Brighton SEO conference takes place in September so make sure you keep your diary free.
If you missed the event you can check out some of the sessions via recorded video here