I was lucky enough to be in Brighton UK last month for the increasingly influential Brighton SEO search marketing conference. There was a wide range of attendees, the majority seemed to be from London and the south (naturally) with a handful of Northerners and overseas attendees. And much talk that the 1000 tickets for the event sold out in 13 minutes!
Organiser Kelvin Newman introduced the first panel, which was also one of the best, ‘Ask The Engines’ which included Pierre Far from Google Europe, Dave Coplin from Bing UK, Martin MacDonald from Expedia and outspoken independent consultant Rishi Lakhani.
The organisers already have video archives of the conference live.
Plenty of questions were raised like is SEO doomed? How does it need to evolve? With responses like “seo will never die, its constantly evolving”, “it’s very much in its infancy, much more fractured organic marketing and skills will evolve”.
Rishi was quick to point out there needed to be a more formal structure to SEO as there is no real recognised industry body, no standards and no ethics board and the people practising SEO services were unqualified.
Bing’s Dave Coplin also pointed out that there was a real passion for SEO and that practitioners were ‘alchemists’ with no rules or career paths.
Google guy Pierre was eager to warn against link buying schemes, warning that Google search algo’s use over 200 ‘signals’ to filter out spam in search results. There was talk of ‘rich snippets’ becoming more important.
Philip Sheldrake was up next and delved into ‘the Semantic Web and the Internet of Things’. Things got a bit ‘geeky’ at this stage as the stage echoed with discussion of ‘Web 3.0′, RDF’s (Resource Description Framework’s) and Tim Berner Lee’s four principles of linked data. I left for a coffee break with the term IPv4 spinning around my head.
Samantha Noble from Koozai digital marketing was next with great pointers on relaunching a brand online. She said branding was more to do with the customers perception of the brand and a strong example of a great brand was Virgin, with multiple business ventures but one brand name. When she brought up the question of who had trademarked their brand, only around 10percent of delegates raised their hands.
One of the most useful practices to protect your online brand is to make sure you buy up all the top level domain names. Another great tip she mentioned was to reserve your brand name on all the major social networks using social profile search tools like Knowem.com.
I used this trick for my Buzzsonic brand and dominate all the SERPs. A unique brand name is key. Consider that some of the biggest online brands, Ebay, Amazon, Google, Yahoo, Facebook are known for the brand name, not the keywords in the name.
As I scribbled away on my wirebound reporters notepad the people either side of me were stroking their iPads like extra’s from ‘Minority Report’.
Black Hat Microformats? Oh My God!
Thanks to the brilliant Katie at iSayDigital for sparing me one of those magic Wonka tickets!
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