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Brighton SEO Slides September 2017 & Key Takeaways

We took the long but ‘worth it’ journey down to BrightonSEO Europe’s largest search conference last Thursday. Here are our key takeaways and a list of slides from BrightonSEO September 2017.

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Stacey MacNaught  Tactical, Practical Keyword Research for Today’s SEO Campaigns

Stacey always provides tactical advice for improving your search strategy. A few takeaways from her talk which you can implement today are below:

Interview customers to identify triggers from customers.

These comments and data are invaluable for interrupting the search journey an example is understanding why people buy a washing machine:

Customer research questions

Use this information to inform your strategy and tactics to get consumers to your site.

Using Amazon’s question and answer section to make sure you are answering these yourself as a brand.

This is a gold mine of understanding your customer’s considerations when buying.

Identify common positive adjectives from reviews and create word clouds.

These positives reflect the importance of these factors within customers buying decisions, so including them in on page copy around your products is probably going to help convince.

Sophie Coley Answering The Public: How To Find Top-Notch Audience Insight in Search Data and How To Apply It

Sophie started with a thought provoking comment:

Have you ever asked Google something you can’t ask someone else?

An interesting thought here is that is Google data who we really are and social is how we want to be perceived? And how can we apply marketing to these pieces?

Use labels to further understand your audience

The above led nicely into understanding how audiences identify themselves. Are the someone who reads? Or do they identify as a bookworm? Within this example, people search for all kinds of stuff that match with their deep-rooted identity e.g. 'tattoos for bookworms' 'careers for book worms' The ‘for’ arm in answerthepublic’s data is great for this.

Dawn Anderson Generational Cruft in SEO. There is Never a ‘New Site’ When There’s History

What is Cruft?

Dawn explored a topic that isn’t really documented within the SEO industry ‘cruft’ which distilled down is the fact that once something is created it is there forever and this can snowball to brands having a lot of unnecessary rubbish associated with their site. A few things to keep an eye on here are:

SEO cruft

Understanding the history of your sites

One other key point for business is to ensure there are handovers and a full understanding of the history of your sites. As internal teams can churn as well as external agencies. Ensure you have all the documentation and versions to hand and passed down employee lifespans would be a good place to start. Dawn's slide deck is a hefty one but a real eye opener backed with comments from Googlers and data.

Interview with Google's Gary Illyes

There is obviously a lot of interest around Gary and what he has to say on the inner workings of Google. Some takeaways that came out of this interview session:

  • Google have been looking to work better with publishers to help quality publications. Which could or could not lead to  a ‘subscription tag’ being implemented within search results.
  • Gary confirmed that the algorithm update labelled as Fred is not a single algorithm but it is more the ongoing tests Google implement every single day (around 2 to 3)
  • Fluctuations will always happen in traffic due to these tests but if a brand is creating content that is highly cited and being talked about on social media then it can only be positive.
  • Confirmation that Mozcast usually gets algorithmic changes right but the scale between Moz findings and Google’s own can be very different.
  • Rankbrain uses historical data to make predictions about what satisfies users. And uses the example of Python within personalisation. Whether people are looking the snake, programming language etc. Rankbrain works this out through an individual’s click data.
  • Penguin hasn’t been updated for a while and is running in the background. Stating that “If it makes you feel better use the disavow tool” But in the same breath. “disavow is a very powerful tool”
  • Google still applies manual actions against buying links and he’s quite happy when this happens.
  • There is value to fixing broken links but you must keep context in mind.
  • No update on mobile first index but with mobile indexing Google will look to crawl amp versions of the page and they are working hard to not rely on webmasters for labelling.
  • There is a tiny boost for sites on https currently (basically a tie breaker of quality) but may increase in the future.
  • If rankings don’t stay stable on a site migration then it probably will be something wrong on the webmaster side. However, Gary was interested in seeing moves from http:// to https:// that haven’t gone smoothly.

We are sure there are some more gems from other talks which we didn’t make but we will be reading through over the coming week. The video stream and current list of published slides are below:

(And you can check out the event's website here if you're interested in all other news to do with BrightonSEO and future events)


Danny Richman – The small tweaks you need to be making to boost your existing rankings

Ric Rodriguez – The SEOs Guide To JavaScript 

Nicole Bullock – Managing Multi-Location Listings in Google My Business


Online PR

Shannon McGuirk – News hooks: what are they and how can you make the most of them in your digital PR and link building strategies?

Sophie Everett – How to package and pitch a story to journalists

Bobbi Brant – How to Get Top Links With an Unknown Brand and No Budget


APIs in Search

Yiğit Konur – Connecting APIs without Coding Skills to Create Your Own Dashboards

Kostas Voudouris – Performance-based optimisation using Google Search Console API

Stephan Solomonidis – Using Natural Language APIs in SEO


Paid Search

Jeroen Maljers – Top 10 AdWords Tactics for B2B Lead Gen Campaigns

Saija Mahon – How to use remarketing tactics to activate and enhance client retention

Anu Adegbola – Excel Formulas PPC professionals need

Affiliate Marketing

Helen Southgate – Affiliate Marketing – what’s it all about?


Ranking Factors

Christoph Cemper – Increase your search engine traffic by up to 500% with this simple trick

Jo Turnbull & Daniel Furch – A different perspective on Ranking Factors

Duane Forrester – Markup, User Driven Change and Your Future: Do this today for success tomorrow.


Javascript & Frameworks

Bartosz Góralewicz – Can Google properly crawl and index JavaScript? SEO experiments – results and findings.

Emily Grossman – PWAs and New JS frameworks for Mobile

David Lockie – Using Open Source Software to Speed up your Roadmap


Future of Search

Daniel Rowles – Using Advanced Social Listening Techniques to Drive SEO

Saeley Jnr Johnson – Speak Easy – The rise of Voice Search

Vikas Arora – Psychology of Search



Ammon Johns – The Myth of Domain Authority

Myles Anderson – Harnessing your Online Reputation to win New Customers

Ben Harrow – Quality PR Linkbuilding – with Terrible Budget


Advanced Keyword Research

Stacey MacNaught – Tactical, Practical Keyword Research for Today’s SEO Campaigns

Sophie Coley – Answering The Public: How To Find Top-Notch Audience Insight in Search Data and How To Apply It

Kelvin Newman – Scary SERPs (and keyword creep)


Influencer Marketing

Allyson Griffiths – Why micro influencers are a knee jerk reaction to poor influencer marketing

Sophie Bishop – Field notes from my PhD on Zoella

Mindy Gofton – Don’t Call Me Bae: Are You Engaging or Annoying Your Customers?


On Site

Chloé Bodard – SEO quick wins from a technical check

Sébastien Monnier – How Google Tag Manager can help your SEO

Aysun Akarsu – On The Road to HTTPS Worldwide



Stephan Spencer – How to Hire an Insanely Great SEO

Dorothy Agnew – Surviving the transition to the General Data Protection Regulation

Chris Munch – How to Triple Your Client Close Rate Using The Kings Rule



Cécile Monty – International SEO – Optimizing Your Site For a Global Audience

Gemma Nortcliffe – Why International Doesn’t Always Mean Multilingual

Gavin Colborne – Web Governance in Multi-nationals


Content Marketing

Amy Harrison – The Customer Disconnect: How Inside-Out Copy Makes You Invisible

Chelsea Blacker – ROI Measurement in Content Marketing

Sam Charles – Blogging advice that’ll make your job easier – guaranteed!



Tim Stewart – Convert with Intelligent Analytics


Lunch Keynote

Crispin Sheridan & Seth Besmertnik – Is Your SEO Getting Enough Credit? Build an Attribution Model that Works for You



Emily Mace – Technical SEO for Ecommerce at home and abroad

Samuel Dean & Vlassios Rizopoulos – What we have learnt from indexing over half a Billion products

Ann Stanley – Top tips for using Google Shopping ads


Technical SEO

Peter Nikolow – Quick and Dirty Server-side tweaks to improve your SEO

Dominic Woodman – Advanced Site Architecture – Testing architecture & keyword/page groupings

Dawn Anderson – Generational Cruft in SEO. There is Never a ‘New Site’ When There’s History


Email Marketing

Philip Storey – How to revolutionise your customer lifecycle with email marketing



Hannah Jane Giles – The distinct SEO advantage: messaging apps and bots

Emilie Reynaud – What I have learnt from launching a chatbot

Jonathan Seal – Creating more human experiences with chatbots


Paid Social

Duane Brown – Video: The Next Frontier in Marketing

Susan Wenograd – Facebook Ads: Turning on the Faucet Without Drowning

Matt Beswick – Ridiculous to Sublime Paid Social: The story of the million dollar dog


Link Building

Fili Wiese – Linkbuilding 2018

Dixon Jones – Creating Workflows for Link Building

Greg Gifford – Righteous Tips for Building Totally Excellent Local Links


Content Strategy

Jade Tolley – Hub, Hygiene and Hero: The Three Content Types You Need

Laura Hampton – Kick-Ass Strategies for a Customer Focused Content Plan

Alan Cairns – The shortcomings of data for content strategy



Jonathan Pascoe – What short form content means to ITN Productions

Sam Hanni – The Youtube Potential: Why marketers are losing money from ignoring YouTube as a traffic source


Onsite Content

Jes Stiles – Marketing in 360 degrees: Photos, Videos and VR

Rebecca Brown – Why you Should Scrap your “Content” Budget Line

Jon Myers – Links, Log Files, GSC and everything in between



Olga Andrienko – Agile marketing: A step-by-step guide

Andi Jarvis – The 7 questions you need to ask before you start digital marketing

Chris Simmance – What makes a good SEO strategy?


Crawl & Indexation

Chris Green – Robots: X, Meta & TXT – The Snog, Marry & Avoid of the Web Crawling World

François Goube – How to optimise your Crawl budget?

Cindy Krum – Understanding the Impact of Mobile-First Indexing


Market Place Optimisation

Darren Ratcliffe – Getting a competitive advantage on ebay

Prabhat Shah – Amazon Sponsored Ads – Beyond Basics

CJ Rosenbaum – Avoiding and Recovering Marketplace from Suspensions



Aleyda Solis – Setting AMP for Success

Jon Henshaw – Forget AMP – Make Fast Sites!

Danni Lapham – R-AMP Up Your Mobile Content – The Accelerated Mobile Pages Roadmap



Marcelle Antunes – How to produce creative campaigns worthy of BBC coverage.

Hana Bednarova – The missing link – How make sure Journalists include links in their coverage

Simon Brisk – How you can use automation to personalise outreach?



Luke Knight – Does the Trump card always work on Social Media?

Allegra Chapman – Measuring the ROI of Social Media Marketing

Hannah Dempsey – Broadening your social listening beyond your brand


Keynote: Chat with Google’s Gary Illyes

Chat about Google Search, Search Console, and everything SEO