SMX London 2007

Here’s a tip for first timers at an SMX conference like myself, don’t rush out of the bathroom without drying your hands and then say hi to Danny Sullivan for the first time trying to explain that the moisture on your hands is water and not some other liquid.

My coverage is not the live blogging variety which the most excellent Tamar Weinberg and Lisa Barone serve up. I hadn’t been online since travelling to London as the internet access did not work in my room and I am sure that my mouse hand is suffering muscle wastage.

Suffice it to say Internet access was not the hotels’ best point. The food was superb though, and that goes a long way.

So what I thought I would do is give you my initial perceptions first, then follow up with more posts after I consult my notes.

I have been building websites and sending people to them for ten years, so names like Danny Sullian and David Naylor are very familiar and there is a level of excitement in getting to meet them.

Although not as star struck as when I found myself in the same cinema as Francis Ford Coppola, but exciting none the less.

During my eleven month stint as a blogger at I have made connections with quite a few people and was quite chuffed at meeting up. People like Simon Heseltine who presented the Reputation and Brand Management Strategies session, which unfortunately I missed.

Dixon Jones who was on the panel of a number of sessions and insisted on dressing like a milkman, not just a white hat, but white all over.

I had the privilege of hanging out with the delightful Jane Copland who was representing seomoz and presenting a session on linkbait.

Mostly people were very friendly, even the so called A listers, although a few of them simply grunted and had the look of a constipated gorilla trying standing in line at Tesco buying jumbo sized toilet paper, as I introduced myself and said hi.

Hooked up with Kelvin Newman and Eloi Casali from Site Visibility, Kelvin presented at the social media sesssion. His presentation was improved by saying nice things about me.

Good bloke Rob Kerry AKA Evil green monkey sponsored an open bar at a pub round the corner. A pub so old that you were asked not to jump up and down at the same time, else it might fall down. I kid you not, see Jane Copland for photographic evidence.

Seochicks were in attendence, handing around quality chocolates from Marks and Spencer. Lisa Ditlefsen gave an excellent presentation on facebook, which got the old gray matter working with ideas for clients.

Met Andrew Girdwood representing Big Mouth Media, interesting chap.

Matthew ?Chewy? Trewhella, Customer Solutions Engineer, Google who looked as if he had just got off the stage at Glastonbury. My theory is the scruffier the tech guy the bigger his brain. We had a quick chat about the interesting stuff you can do with Google maps and the new Google Sky. Generated a lot of ideas for linkbait.

Fortunately the Google guy didn’t lose points by banging on about Open Social, which in my opinion is not going to be a success. Yahoo pipes anyone?

I had a few people say they didn’t like the word linkbait and wouldn’t use it in front of clients. I asked what they called it and they mumbled something inaudible and looked at their shoes. The closest I have got to making it respectable to present to straight faced, suit wearing, upstanding members of the business community is “viral content creation”, doesn’t really scan well does it.

Language evolves. Meanings change instantly. Words come in and out of fashion, for example I heard a new meaning to an old term this week. “Muffin Tops”. When I think of muffin tops I think of Seinfeld, but the new meaning is attributed to girls in the UK who wear hip hugging jeans with a skimpy top allowing a nice fold of flesh to dribble over the top of the jeans, where I guess it looks like the over hang of the top of a muffin.

OK, I am trying to stay on topic here.

I met a lot of young lads working as in house seo’s who don’t seem to be vauled. One guy, whose name I shall protect was given a machine gun delivery of how to become and seo consultant by myself and Tom Critchlow. If I were you I would put Tom and the Distilled agency on the “Who to look out for in 2008. Danny, if you’re reading, get the young punk to present a session next year.

It’s interesting to note the number of young guys who have only been in the business for a year or so who show a prococious understanding of the industry. Once you have some knowledge and experience under your belt it’s all about methodology and attitude.

Was it worth it, going to London SMX. Definately. I picked up quite a bit of business, made contact with some very interesting people, developed ideas and possible joint ventures with others and came away with some very interesting insights and tips. So now I’m thinking, SMX West.

If I missed anyone out, apologies. I am going to write up my notes from the sessions over the next few days.

I am writing this in a very nice first class carriage hurtling towards Cornwall and thinking it’s time for a nap.

More later.

25 Replies to “SMX London 2007”

  1. Apparently ‘muffin top’ started in Austrailia and recently spread to the UK. I’ve an Australian friend who said they use it all the time down there… anyway…

  2. Nice write up, Lyndon. I was planning on gate crashing SMX London up until the last minute when I picked up some work which was a bummer. Would have been great to put a face to the..ermm..face.

    Interesting point about the young bucks. I wonder if their enthusiasm and understanding is as a result of not being tempered with the old ways of thinking. SEO as a whole as moved on dramatically in the last few years and, as a result, become a lot more exciting than it used to be.

    BTW your spam protection. Not fun trying to add up numbers after a few beers. Hic…

  3. Excellent SEO lessons to be learned just by reading this conference recap.

    While there are no old pubs in Santa Clara (SMX West) it’s sure to be a good time.

  4. Nice round up Lyndon! Was great to finally meet you in person (and a whole bunch of other seos) – even if you did refer to me as a “young punk” 😉

  5. Andrew, It would definitely been worthwhile having a chat with you. It seems the nature of a conference is you just cannot give everyone the time they deserve. I’m probably going to London SES, but I assume that will be even more manic.

    Tom, I know you know I meant “young punk” in a positive way. I can understand why us older, more grizzled and gnarly toothed gits who have been in the biz before even and 14k dial up, get a bit pissed off with guys who are younger and been in the biz less time and yet seem to know it all.

    I think it comes down to the nature of the industry we are in, although life knowledge can still be very useful.

    Basically, if a young guy wants to make it in this biz the only thing stopping him is himself, or herself. We really could do with more estrogen in the biz.

  6. Thanks Lyndon for the great advice you and Tom(distilled) gave me. I now have some great ideas in the pipeline…

    Me and a lot of the other “young” SEO’s were also really impressed on how freely you gave “link bait” advice (but as you said it?s a far greater thing to actually be successful with it.)

    I think I personally learned more from speaking to you than some of the sessions!

    Thank you

  7. Danny that’s great to hear. My philosophy is the more you share with people, the more people share with you. And for people with the right attitude there is more than enough work to go around at the moment.

    The sessions were great, but obviously it wasn’t aimed at the “advanced” crowd. I guess SMX advanced is for that, which I am definitely up for going to.

    Good to meet you Danny and hope to see some interesting stuff from you in the future, stay in touch.

  8. Hey Lyndon,
    It was great to meet you and the rest of the crowd over there. It was a refreshing change to get to know the UK based crowd, and to hear the presentations from a slightly different perspective.

    BTW – It’s Heseltine 😉

  9. Heh Lyndon

    Great to meet you and everyone else who attended London SEO after SMX London.

    I don’t think I’ll ever forget you and I being admonished over breakfast by 2 “respectable” seniors next to us for being too loud in our conversation on linkbait and seo…. still chuckling now (but I bet the fella was writing down all your tips and tricks!) LOL

    Heres to the next one! 🙂


  10. Well that was a hectic few days!

    Thoroughly fuelled up on new projects, but first need to sleep off the excesses of spending the last week in London.

    Yeah, it’s 4 a.m. on Tuesday – I arrived home only a couple of hours ago…

  11. Hey Lyndon, Nice little write up. Great to speak with you in the sports bar, although mixing the grape and the grain did start to get to me :o)

    Looking forward to catching up in the future, hit me up about the FB stuff.

  12. I am still not quite sure how to take your initial comment to me, something like:

    “”Hmm. Oh hello. I can’t remember if you’re the one who writes the stuff that I really like, or really hate. Are you one of the Moz-bashers?””


    Did you manage to work it out in the end?

  13. Glad you attended a search/social conference. It’s really amazing to get together with so many great minds in one place! SMX is definitely a great series.

  14. I can understand why us older, more grizzled and gnarly toothed gits who have been in the biz before even and 14k dial up, get a bit pissed off with guys who are younger and been in the biz less time

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