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Brighton SEO – one hell of a FREE Search Conference #BrightonSEO

19 April 2012 BY

Friday the 13th, a packed schedule, awesome speakers, 20 x 20 Pecha Kucha, a new use for Pinterest, Street Fighter, Swingball, Magicians, and the launching of a new website on stage… closely followed by Chips, Beer on the Pier and Karaoke can only mean one thing – yup – Brighton SEO!

Brainchild of State of Searcher Kelvin Newman, Brighton SEO kicked off on the Thursday with a series of training workshops including; PR Link Building (Chris Lee – VP of Digital, Emanate PR) , Advanced GA (Dara Fitzgerald – Head of Insight, FreshEgg), and an intro to coding (Dom Hodgson – CEO, Ember Ads). The conference itself took place on Friday with a format of one-speaker-after-another, meaning that you could sit through all talks, in comfort, nipping out for complementary coffee as and when.

This was the first time I have been to Brighton SEO and what a lovely surprise! Firstly, I was lucky to get a ticket seeing as they ‘sold’ out in a record number of minutes, secondly the conference had the same level of speaker that I have seen at many other paid conferences (but this one was FREE and friendly), and thirdly, this all took place in the beautiful Georgian building that is the Brighton Dome – let’s face it, sitting in a darkened theatre on plush velvet seats adds an atmosphere and charm that is unrivalled on the conference circuit. Combine that with pre lunchtime cabaret in the form of Magic Sam and you have your perfect seaside weekender!

Speakers:

Panel - Ask the Engines with Pierre Far, Dave Coplin, Martin McDonald, Rishi Lakhani & Tony Goldstone
Phillip Sheldrake – Future SEO Vistas – the Semantic Web and the Internet of Things
Sam Noble – How to launch or re-launch a brand or product online effectively
Adam Lee – Killer Market Research for Peanuts
Glenn Jones – Microformats and SEO
Roland Dunn – Searchbots: Lost Children or Hungry Psychopaths? What Do Searchbots Actually Do?
Charlie Peverett – It’s only words? Working with Content Strategy
Lexi Mills – How you can get BIG links from BIG media sites
James Owen - Maximizing your SEO Agencies
Natasha Davids – A Starters Guide to Display for SEOs
Stefan Hull & Gary Preston – Search marketing – from Panda to Black Swan

20 x 20 Pecha Kucha Sessions:

Kevin Gibbons – 20 Tools You May Not Have Heard Of, But Should Be Using
Chelsea Blacker - Sell the Sizzle, Not The Search: Tactics for Appeasing Marketing Directors
Tony King - Enterprise SEO Titties
Craig Lister - SEO & PPC Working Together in Harmony – on Pinterest Slides!
James Carson – I Believe Authors are the Future
Nichola Stott - Mobile Serendipity: How Google Plans to Send Search Results to Users, Before You’ve Even Thought to Look
Dom Hodgson – I appear to have started a sweetshop (and advertising company) [no link slides - ahem]

The Sessions

I did not attend every session but here is the run down of the ones I did!

Ask the Engines with Pierre Far, Dave Coplin, Martin McDonald, Rishi Lakhani & Tony Goldstone

Many topics covered including the now regular debate of whether SEO as a term or industry is soon to be a thing of the past, what’s with the de-indexing and how to work out the good and bad links, how to shape a content strategy, Google re-designs, Bing and Social media, and not provided. Bing even updated their home page with a picture of Brighton Pier for the day.

Main Takeaways: As with many panels of late the answer to ‘is SEO dead?’ is a big fat NO! With no industry standards of qualifications SEO may have to re-vamp its own image to attract graduates into the industry and to move forward, we still aren’t sure if rich snippets are a ranking factor, do we really care about Google re-designs, and in most peoples experience, Webmaster Tools cannot be trusted – even though Google says they can!

How to launch or re-launch a brand or product online effectively – Sam Noble

Fellow State of Search blogger Koozai Sam took us through the trials and tribulations of re-branding using the experiences Koozai had with their own re-brand. Sam covered reasons to re-brand, what to think about with visual identity, sub brands under your main banner, different audiences, the importance of research, working with specialists, how to come up with a name, trademarks and domain names… all that in 20 minutes – Go Sam!

Takeaways:

● Do your research
● Engage a specialist!
● Choose a name, make it memorable
● Secure the Trademarks
● Register everything, social entities, domain names
● Don’t keep checking your domain or it might mysteriously be registered under your nose
● Register all the domains even if you aren’t going to use them – someone else might
● Avoid Fridays for Go Live
● Keep up with negative press

http://www.slideshare.net/Koozai/final-final-relaunching-a-brand-online-brighton-seo-v2

Microformats and SEO – Glenn Jones

A technical rundown of schemas micro data, microformats, RDFa, with examples of code, and published examples of Yorkshire Pudding recipes.

Use the Google Rich Snippet Tool to test code and watch the slideshare file to get your hands on the example code!

http://www.slideshare.net/glennjones/microformats-and-seo-12527640

The following talks, I only caught part of, or they were too fast and technical to write down, but you should get plenty from the slides!

Future SEO Vistas – the Semantic Web and the Internet of Things – Phillip Sheldrake

Searchbots: Lost Children or Hungry Psychopaths? What Do Searchbots Actually Do? – Roland Dunn

It’s only words? Working with Content StrategyCharlie Peverett

How you can get BIG links from BIG media sites – Lexi Mills

20×20 Pecha Kucha

If you’re not familiar with Pecha Kucha. The participants are required to use 20 slides with 20 seconds on each (a more recent version ‘bettakulcha’ requires 20 slides of 15 seconds each!). This results in fast paced informative sessions and a lot of information in 40 minutes!

Dom Hodgson stole the show by spending half of his slides talking about a winking squirrel, the rest talking about his accidental sweetshop click n mix, and announcing the launch of his new venture Ember Ads on stage with Party Poppers (to the horror of the venue cleaners) – great end to a great day!

I have linked to the slides as otherwise, we’ll be here all day :-)

Kevin Gibbons20 Tools You May Not Have Heard Of, But Should Be Using
Chelsea Blacker - Sell the Sizzle, Not The Search: Tactics for Appeasing Marketing Directors
Tony King - Enterprise SEO Titties
Craig Lister - SEO & PPC Working Together in Harmony – on Pinterest Slides!
James CarsonI Believe Authors are the Future
Nichola Stott - Mobile Serendipity: How Google Plans to Send Search Results to Users, Before You’ve Even Thought to Look
Dom Hodgson – I appear to have started a sweetshop (and advertising company) [no link slides - ahem]

A Big Thank You

To Kelvin for an amazing day and more fun than one can shake a stick at! Roll on next years’ Brighton SEO – make sure you are on the mailing list or you could miss out when the tickets are launched!

For photos of the event

Silicon Beach have also recently put up videos of Brighton SEO

AUTHORED BY:
h

Jackie Hole is an Award Winning Search Marketing consultant specialising in Paid Search, Conversion Improvement and Organic Search / SEO for the USA, Canada and European markets. Starting out in Multimedia & Interface Design, Jackie has over 15 years experience in online marketing and was recently awarded European Search Personality of the Year. Jackie is Company Director of 22M
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