Brighton SEO 2012 was held on the 13th of April and attracted upwards of 900 people (although it should have been 1000, many people didn’t turn up). Rather than do a huge write up I wanted to list just the key things that I have taken away from this years Brighton SEO. Links to the currently available slides can be found at the bottom of this post.
Ask the Engines – SEO Panel
1. Bing uses Social Signals and the rate that information / content is shared as a large part of it’s algorithm. Having hundreds of thousands of followers and “sharing” something does not give that shared item a greater benefit to its target.
2. When discussing reconsideration requests (not re-inclusion requests as Pierre stated), Rishi mentioned that a record of everything should be kept including a log of all the emails sent to site owners requesting link removals. In the event that no response is given or the web site owner refuses to remove the link you have clear proof that you have tried and been unsuccessful, this should be included in the reconsideration request.
3. Bing is openly happy about giving away a little more than Google when it comes to questions regarding ranking factors. Google’s representative consistently went on the defensive whereas Bing’s representative was clear, top the point and helpful in his answers. Although it was said that SEO is not a checklist it does help that knowing what is good or bad.
Microformats and SEO
4. Microformats are currently the better schema for Rich Snippets in the Search Results due to them being somewhat simplified over Microdata & RDFa. That being said there are situations which may call for a specific Microdata or RDFa schema format to be utilised and when required they should be.
NB: Not in the numbered list but, Glen mentioned that Schema mark-up is not just beneficial for rich snippets, it helps the search engines find and extract structured data to build better user experiences in the future.
How you can get BIG links from BIG media sites
5. Lexi told the crowd that following three twitter hashtags will enable us to find potential PR oppurtunitiues. These hastags were; #prwin, #prfail and #journorequest, having been following these for a few days now I can see how beneficial this can be, specifically the #journorequest hashtag.
6. Lexi also went on to mention that if BusinessWire is a site used for press release distribution, dont’t fill in the site URL and Blog URL boxes, this allows you to achieve followed links within the press release itself (loving this tip!).
7. Use the phone! Emailing just doesn’t cut it in todays big business link building, contact the Journalists themselves and if they cant help you ask for their superior’s number and call them. Being confidant and happy (smile!!) can get you a long way with journalists.
Maximizing your SEO Agencies
8. This tip seems somewhat foreign to me, I have long been a believer of being absolutely transparent to clients and I felt that providing an average ranking position to clients is somewhat covering up the truth but James puts a positive spin on this.
Average Keyword Rankings can benefit the client if the worst case happens on the last day of the month. Position 1 for 29 days and then position 5 on reporting day, reporting on the average or graphing the monthly ranking by day can show the client that its potentially a blip and you that something needs investigating.
Searchbots: Lost Children or Hungry Psychopaths? What Do Searchbots Actually Do?
9. Roland’s talk was by far the most interesting at this years Brighton SEO, working with Server Log files is something that I have been, slowly, looking into doing for a while now. I wanted to see what the correlation between what Webmasters Tools Crawl Rate said and what I could assertion from the logs and wether it matched up.
Roland went one step further and showed us that sometimes Googlebot gets lost and spends more time indexing unimportant, less visited pages than it did the important “big hit with the users” pages.
I firmly believe after seeing this talk that understanding what the search engines are doing behind the scenes of your site is somewhat more important than what information you put on your site! If Googlebot, or any other search engine, is not finding the content it is a waste of resources / misinterpretation of the website and these would need to be addressed!
I Believed Authors are the Future
10. James’s presentation was part of the 20×20 sets and was somewhat pressure filled however, James delivered and brought up some great points. When using the rel=author tag only write about one topic is by far my favorite tip. If Google recognises that you are a leader in SEO and suddenly you pop up while writing about the carrot farming industry you cannot reliably be delivered in the search results as a rich snippet for SEO.
Below I have linked to the currently available slides:
- Future SEO Vistas
- (Re)Launching a Brand or Product online Effectively
- Microformats and SEO
- Searchbots – Lost Children or Hungry Psychopaths?
- It’s Only Words? Working with A Content Strategy
- Advanced Search Queries for SEO
- 20 Tools You May Not Have Heard of But Should Be Using
- Sell the Sizzle Not the Search
- SEO & PPC Working Together in Harmony
- I Believed Authors are the Future
- Mobile Serendipity: How Google Plans to Send Search Results to Users, Before You’ve Even Thought to Look