Posted by on Mar 14, 2013

I had the pleasure of going to Brighton SEO 2011 on Friday9th September thank you Kelvin Newman for organising this Brighton SEO event. Also a big thank you to the speakers, they were excellent with lots of information given away.

Information about Brighton SEO

Where it was?

Marketing Conference
12A Pavilion Buildings
Church Street
BN1 1EE Brighton And Hove


9th September 2011 – check back here shortly to find our when the next event will be.

Who runs it?

Kelvin Newman from Site visibility

How much is the event to attend?


What do you need to take with you?

Pen and paper will do but as it is a techy event so you should look cool with tablets (not the iPad though)

What the event is about?

Brighton SEO basically covers everything from SEO, SMO, PPC, Clients, Analytics, Marketing plus more.

Who attends this event?

It is a local based event so mainly people from and around Brighton and London. However there is a few that travel from Manchester, Leeds, Doncaster. Aimed more for the Agency side people, however if you are in-house like I currently am, you can still learn a great deal from the event.

What is the atmosphere like?

People at this event are really friendly and anyone will talk to you. There is a few breaks during the day where you can either talk to other visitors or go and chat with the sponsors, either way I am sure you will find plenty to talk about and gain lots of useful information.

Want some cool stats?

65% of people attending the Brighton SEO are not from Brighton, not bad to say it was just a local meet up when it started, with the furthest person coming from Manchester. A whopping 30% are female much higher compared with some other events. You will also see later that if you have an iPhone you have more sex (slightly unlucky if you’re like me and actually don’t like the iPhone). Brighton SEO sold out in 26 minutes. If you are one of the people who missed, here is a summary of the day:

Google Panda Case Study: Review Centre

Jonathan works at Review Centre which was affected by Panda earlier this year. He spoke about how they tried to combat the effects Panda had, although he did not succeed, it was interesting to see the thought process and the trial and error used.

Trying to rectify the loss in visits caused by Panda, Review Centre tried the following:

  • Redesigned their website
  • Reduced the amount of AdSense above the page fold
  • Placed more content above the page fold
  • No indexed weaker content
  • Removed duplicate content.

Unfortunately none of this saw a positive result.

Comparing Review Centre and Trip Advisor, which were hardly effected, Jonathan believes the reason the two sites were effected so differently was that Trip Advisor is a brand were as Review Centre is not. (Although there is no evidence to prove this currently).

This talk was really good and shows you just how hard panda has hit sites and that there isn’t just a quick fix for it. Jonathan said that it could be upto six months before you start getting traffic back, however he was on his third month and there still wasn’t much improvement, so it could take even longer.

Building a Private Blog Network

John spoke of the benefits of building a private blog network (we have done this ourselves on a much lower scale and it has worked). It has the potential for monetisation, and you have the intellectual property, as you are creating content for your own network rather than using content for other peoples’ sites.

John also mentioned the importance of creating new domains, installing wordpress for easy management of all your different sites, as well as to always use original content (never spin or scrape).

Other tips were:

  • Only use and
  • Use different hosting (depending on your scale as we use the same company)
  • Use various IPs
  • Mix up server names
  • Use pro themes to make your sites look more authentic. (Although you are going to a lot of effort to make a site look real so why not just have real websites instead.)

There was a massive cost to what he suggested when you crunched the numbers, however if you started on a small scale and work up then you may find this easier. And as I have stated don’t try and make it look like a real blog website have it as a real blog website.

This caused quite a stir during the break. There was mixed reactions, not sure if it was because of the effort and cost involved, which would only see a return a lot further down the line. However as John stated, he’s doing it for the long haul not just for a quick fix of links. These methods do work however, but I don’t think you need to go to such lengths with IP’s and hosting, as the costs will just keep mounting and mounting.

Attracting Links

Dave aka SharkSEO shared his experience with linkbait. This is what he recommended:

  • Use a news angle for leverage ( depending on your niche this maybe something you cannot do)
  • Fail fast and move on
  • React quickly – Chartbeat has real time analytics.

I enjoyed this talk and if I was in a niche where I could pull it off I definitely would do, as you get a massive increase in traffic and if you work with adsense for example it would definitely increase. Also if you create a great article fast, when some current news surrounding your niche happens, it will generate you lots of links from people copying from your website and give you accreditation.

Dr Social Love

I did not understand this one, as we are only just starting with social media. However if someone who attended BrightonSEO would like to comment on this seminar then I will happily add it to this article.

Choosing & Implementing Friendly URLs for Ecommerce

Presented by Erika, who works for the lingerie site, Boux Avenue.

She explained her experiences of negotiating with developers to get a SEO-friendly site. Also stating about how much better friendly urls are.

She stressed it was important to:

  • Understand the developers’ challenges
  • Demonstrate why you need what you’re asking for
  • Work together to solve problems
  • Compromise.

There were some good questions asked about duplicate content at the end as bras can’t really differentiate that much except for bra size and colour.

This talk was okay but working in eCommerce the things she was pointing out where kind of basic, but you could also see how they could be overlooked and are overlooked on a lot of eCommerce websites.

How to win at SEO with Duplicate Content: Featuring Pippa Middleton’s Arse

Malcom Cole explained how you can get multiple entries for Pippa Middleton’s bum in the SERPs for a short period at the height of its power. This was interesting and best used with word press but was less useful unless you just blog about trending topics all the time.

If you want a really successful blog then I would recommend trying this. However you have to be quick with it and I would definitely recommend having ad sense, if you’re sending them by the thousands or event tens of thousands

Links: SEO Value vs Client Expectations vs Cost

Missed this presentation due to it not being relevant for me at the time. Again if anyone attending the event would like to leave a comment about it, it would be much appreciated.

What Can Social Learn from Mad Men?

Again something I missed but the bit I did catch made no sense for me. So please leave a comment at the bottom as to what it was actually about thank you.

James Bond: Architecture Critic

This was a really good presentation, unfortunately I could not explain this presentation to do it justice, you had to be there to understand it.

However Mark Chalcraft got the gist quite well: “Toby Barnes focused his presentation on attitudes towards the future – the point he powerfully made being that the SEO industry should embrace change rather than resist it.”

My Hack Day Addiction

Who doesn’t love a hack day? Dom’s talk was about how to run a successful hack day event. Basically you need:

  • Massive amounts of WiFi
  • Caffeine
  • Food.

He also encouraged everyone to learn how to code!

I have since then decided to start to learn code and a good place to start is I have joined up and have started learning ruby and rails for zombies. Its not too difficult if it is something you enjoy or actually want to learn. I would one day like to go to a hack day as they sound frickin awesome. (note from the editor: I don’t think ‘frickin’ is an actual word but its Mat’s choice, not mine)

Brighton SEO then did a 20/20 however I did not make notes for this as it was too quick and I would have missed too much information.

Summary of the event.

Brighton SEO was really easy to find, it is smack in the centre and you cannot get lost,(sounds like a challenge) although most people do have sat navs in their phones now to make it really easy to find.

The event was really well laid out, okay maybe some of the sponsors could have been set up a bit earlier, I struggled to talk to some during the breaks. However before the event started when we was aloud through the doors that would have been a perfect opportunity to grab a bit more information from them.

How did it compare to previous years?

I have only been to the one before when it was just down the road and slightly smaller. Think this time was a lot better, there was more room and a bigger area to meet people, before it felt like you was squashed into little groups during the breaks.

I enjoyed the morning sessions most mainly because they were easier to understand and were more relevant for me at the time. I know some people would not agree with me about the network of blogs but I thought the speaker made it sound complicated and expensive.

People should attend events like these because you get to meet some great SEO’s that are really good at their jobs and are willing to share tactics and even help. So not only are you picking up information and new ideas from the speakers, but whilst you are chatting you are also creating a network for yourself, so if you need a hand you may meet a freelancer or have a problem some developer maybe there that can help.

Firstly people will kill me for saying this, but i would prefer an earlier start, 9am would be better and then finish slightly early. This way people could go for food and then attend the networking event after. Not everyone can network all night so if you turn up late you may have missed the people you wanted to talk too.

Overall Brighton is a great event, a lot better than last year and a lot bigger. If you get the opportunity to attend I would recommend that you do especially if you live in that area. However if your not local it still works out as one of the cheapest conferences of the year.

Next event we promise to structure this better and provide more information and images to go with the post. Plus we will be one of the first to post a review not the last

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