BrightonSEO 2014 – takeaways

BrigtonSEO is a very good conference. It has good speakers, the venue is good and there is plenty of accommodation in Brighton. My advice though is to think of coming by train, parking can be a nightmare.

At the conference last week (Sept 2014) there were three sessions with three concurrent tracks. Each session comprised three 20 minutes talks so there was quite a range of topics covered. As always, there are often two talks on at the same time that I wanted to go to but that is just life. Most talks are available to participants fairly soon after the conference so I am hoping I can catch up a couple that I was really sorry I missed – Ian Miller’s talk on the Predicting the future of Google created quite a buzz!

 So these are my Brighton takeaways

In no particular order, some are restatements of things we just need to keep in mind, some more innovative.

  • Persistence – keep telling clients the same thing if it isn’t happening
  • Video – if you haven’t got video on your site yet, do so now (good example for persistence)
  • Rework old content – this means updating popular content or revisiting ideas for content that have worked in the past – use analytics to make sure you know what your audience likes and gives them more
  • Cannibalisation – this is a real problem – if you have multiple pages on the same topic make sure they support each other not cannibalise each other. This generally means identifying one page as the main page for that entity and then link all the other pages to it supporting it
  • Semantic flux – this can occur when Google realises that two sites are related, they might just be owned by the same company. Increasingly Google takes note of this and you may find that pages on completely different domains are cannibalising each other
  • This is the golden age of technical and on page optimisation
  • Local search is all set to change in the UK very soon, expect Carousel to come over from the States and much much more
  • Google is increasingly able to take unstructured content and restructure it – this is not to say it wouldn’t be silly to ignore rich snippets
  • The Knowledge Vault is going to be big – it’s like the Knowledge Graph but on super steroids. Google’s aim is to catalogue all knowledge, no mean feat.  Google’s days as ‘just’ a search engine may be numbered.
  • Mobile is the internet of the future – look at how mobile results behave and look like now and this is what all results will look like in the future
  • Responsive design is the way to go – Google wants a result to render well whatever the device the user views it on
  • Forget keywords, think entities – the SERPS for say ‘vegetable dish’ and ‘vegetable recipe’ are converging
  • Entity rank is coming!
  • Bring all aspects of online and offline marketing together – PR should support SEO which should support email marketing which should print etc etc
  • Context is the new king (but without content there is no context)
  • Content needs to be longer in general
  • Hummingbird is when the lexicon got some grammar

But my reassuring takeaway was from the speaker who said he woke up a in cold sweat every mornings realising that he knew even less of what there was to know about SEO than he had one when he went to bed – that is how fast SEO is expanding. And I thought it was only me.


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