The Top Search Terms for the last 30 Days are

I think it was Rand Fishkin at SEOMoz who started the tradition of pulling back the velvet curtain and showing the goodies. I find it very interesting trawling through the past 30 days keywords of a relatively busy site.

Traffic for has taken a nose dive during the past year due to my not blogging. But, interestingly people still come to it using the most odd search terms. Pleased to see “linkbait articles” in at number one, but “linkerati” in at number 2. I think I cracked off one blog post about that ages ago, it either got a lot of links or there are few people searching through it. Clever people with way too much time on their hands could actually work out how much traffic I get from the keywords generated.
“Seo forum list”, again I never really expected for that to be consistently high, but it has been.
But what gets me is “cornwall seo semiology”. I have written about semiotics and semiology at some point anyone who wants to understand latent semantic indexing should. But why are people searching for that.
Very few bloggers share their keywords, and I understand why, it can be embarrassing and maybe too revealing.
I think I will do a “which sites send the most links next” list, that’s always fun and it’s always nice to throw a bit of recognition back to the websites that send you traffic.

So, here is the top search term list for the past 30 days, 2011

linkbait articles
seo forums list
seo forum list
h1 tag
cornwall seo
h1 tags
list of seo forums
social bookmarking and seo
cornwall seo semiology
social bookmarking list
h1 tag seo
example of a headline
headline examples
social bookmarking for seo
example of headline
headline example
seo cornwall
social bookmarking lists
what is social bookmarking in seo
forum: seo related lists
how to use social bookmarking for seo
multiple h1 tags
seo conference
seo forums
seo h1 tags
top 25 keywords
what is social bookmarking seo
ed dale
forum list for seo
how many laptops do you own
link building service
seo conferences 2011
seo h1 tag
social bookmarking new list
avatary grunge
best seo forum lists
bookmarking sites list
evan carmichael
forms list in seo
free article list
free scocial bookmarking sites list
going viral definition
h1 tag example
h1 tag for seo
h1 tag google
how to social bookmark for seo
kurt von. hammerstein
linkbait ideas
linkbait services
lyndon antcliff
lyndon at cornwall seo offers 200
megan fox nude
megan fox nuded
most popular wordpress plugins 2010
multiple h1 seo
seo company uk
seo forum
seo forum site list
seo fourm list
social bookmarking seo
social bookmarking site list
social bookmarking sites for seo
social bookmarking sites list
three way link exchange
top stumblers
uk seo companies
what is an h1 tag
what is h1 tag
what is linkbait?
ben sykes”” seo””
going viral”” definition
1 day social media training
100 linkbait headlines
2011 seo conferences
3 way link exchange
3 way links exchange sites
3-way link exchange
h1 tag
about multiple h1 tags
adult nofollow blogs
akon satanic
allintitle:content based link building
an example of a headline
andy hagans games
are quadzilla any good ?
article coffee bar marketing
article site with 4 to 5 page rank
article sites list
article submission sites with pagerank
articles as linkbait
articles link bait
ask for retweet
asking for a retweet
asking for retweets
avatary z grunge
bait list
better than reddit
blackhat wicked cool php
blogging is stupid
blogging stupid
bookmark site list
bookmarking list
bookmarking lists
bookmarking submit
bookmarks lists
britney spears pillow
business directory & search engine
can barnicles slow down a ship?
can i add a holding page to moonfruit website
ccbill triggers fraud
companies with 0 pr
complex link building questions
content link building
cornwal seo
cornwall blog
create compelling spectacles
create h1 tags
dan raine internet marketer
december payday 26t
definition of going viral
digg “”try again””
digg revolt
digg votes
discussions+how link baiting works
does social bookmarking work for seo
dumb people who become successful
ed dale mankini world
example h1 tag
example headline
example headlines
example of categorization in headline
example of subheading
example on strapline headline
examples of a headline
examples of headline for handphones
examples of headlines in magazines
examples of the headlines
fake nude megan fox
fat association
feed your enemy
firefox keyword tool
follower twitter
forex market
forum : seo related lists
forum list: seo
forum seo lists
forums :seo lists
forums list for seo
fox nuded
good idea to use title tags ?
google h1 tags
google insight for research
google insight research
google report dangerous site
google seo forum
google seo forums
grunge avatar
grunge avatars
guy who smash people’s faces
h1 tag content
h1 tag examples
h1 tag meaning
h1 tags and seo
h1 tags in seo
h1 tags seo
h1-tag example
headline for chocolate
headlines examples “”explore””
holmes furniture
hoster problems?
hotel headlines
how do i ask someone to retweet
how do you send pages on stumbleupon
how does
how i find forum list seo
how important social bookmarking for seo
how many digg votes front page
how many laptops do you have
how many laptops do you have?
how much does it cost to market a eebsite
how much is content worth
how social bookmarkings help in seo
how to do 3 way link exchange
how to get in dmoz pay
how to report dangerous websites to google
how to send a page to a stumble uponer
how to seo poker site
how use twitter examples

Contact Details for Cornwall SEO

i maki driven you
incongruent juxtaposition company uk
inurl:social bookmarking site
it’s not networking
its about the conversation
kepentingan social bookmark dalam seo
key word tracker for fire fox
killer headline samples
killer headlines
kurt von hammerstein equord
latest book marking lists
link bait ideas
link bait service
link baiting ideas
link building content
link-bait articles
linkbait best examples
linkbait content creation service
list of articles sites with pr
list of forum sites seo
list of seo companies
list of seo forum
list of uk companies established in 2007
list of uk seo company
list seo companies
list seo discussion forum
living without google
local cottage business
look magazine target audience
make grunge avatar
mark mcguinness
mark mcguinness marketing
marketing a coffee shop
megan fox fake nude
megan fox nude google
megan fox nude websites
megan fox nufe fake
merry christmas glen allsopp
minke whale cornwall
mistakes are proficient. it is only those who never do anything, who never make mistakes.
moonfruit company number
moonfruit seo company
more than one h1 tag
most used wordpress plugins
multiple h1 google
multiple h1 tags wordpress
naked bath
naked in the bath
naked twitter
new list of social bookmarking
new list of social bookmarking sites
pagerank articles sites
people who think they never do anything wrong
person who never makes mistakes
poker joe hall
popular wordpress plugins
powerful headlines examples
ppc search engine internet marketing london and seo strategies
quadzilla seo
refreshthing optimization forums posting site
reporting dangerous sites
reputation management ryanair
safes london
sample question headlines
seasonal website seo
seasonality seo
selling seo services
seo and social bookmarking
seo approved forums list
seo articles lists
seo blog
seo blog posts multiple h1 or h2
seo blogs
seo book marking list free
seo companies list
seo company all uk
seo company norwich
seo conference 2011
seo confrenses
seo forum sites list
seo forums “”forums””
seo forums list rapidshare
seo high lane resell seo services
seo how to use h1 tag
seo keyword research detail
seo link building crack
seo multiple h1
seo optimization h1 tag
seo ranking companies in uk
seo seasonal
seo social bookmarking
seo sosial bookmark
seo stron tag vs h1 tag
seo stumbleupon
seo twitterati
seo uk
seo using social bookmark
seo working for agency
services of organic seo+blogs
social book marking lists
social bookmark list
social bookmarking for seo.
social bookmarking good for seo?
social bookmarking in search engine optimization
social bookmarking in seo
social bookmarking list] social bookmarking seo versicherungsmakler
social bookmarks lists
social media consultant cornwall
social media training cornwall
someone who never makes mistakes
stop blogging
stumbleupon hardcore
stumbleupon seo
systematic seo approach to content creation
tag h1 en google
the linkerati
the truth about internet marketing
those who don’t make mistakes
those who never make any mistakes never learn anything
tony montana
tony montana best of
top seo forum uk
twitter buzz campaign
twitter recommendation
twitter software ed dale
u.k seo company
using google insight
videosift press release
von hammerstein
water fountains
website link baiting
what is a three-way link exchanges
what is h1 tags
what to put in h1 tag seo
what’s a pink link?
which seo confrence
who is ed dale
whsmith brand 2010
whsmith social networking
why blogging is stupid
why don’t nice things happen to nice people
why is bmw website so crap?
woman delivers own baby while skydiving
wordtracker firefox
wordtracker plugin firefox
world of warcraft meltdown
www.bookmarking maximizer
xrated stumblers
recommend that any reader of your post take it with the tiny grain of salt it hardly even worth
cornwall seo conference
examples of headline
linkbait real life examples

Link Building is like Planting Potatoes, Simple, Boring and Hardwork

Link building is Like planting potatoes

Link building is Like planting potatoes

Although in the past I have been known more for my link baiting skills, for the past 6 months I have been hunkered down and concentrating more on less prosaic building of links. The down and dirty stuff that does not glisten in the sunlight like a finely crafted piece of linkbait.

Here are a few thoughts on the subject:

Link building, as we know is a process.

A process that can be replicated.

Correct implementation requires the correct methodology.

So it’s really just of case of find what works, make it as efficient as possible, construct the process in a way that’s easy to scale and then implementing. Easy until you realise that it’s the implementation that can be the tricky part.

It’s not difficult to find what works, but it does take time and concentration, hence my hiatus from regularly blogging and Tweeting in 2010 . You need to run your own tests to confirm the effectiveness of any link building.

It’s important to realise that you can only confidently know what has worked in the past and even then it’s very tricky to be absolutely definitive. Only by repeat testing and observation can you really have any idea of what really works, and of course you have to constantly test to see if what worked yesterday is working today.

Past performance does not guarantee future performance.

Causation and correlation are two words you need to get to know intimately.

We know what happened in the past, but this is no guarantee of what will happen in the future. But, we do have a very good idea. Or should know if we heavily test.

Some people say that certain techniques work and certain ones don’t. I’ve found that people tend to say some techniques do not work simply because they do not implement correctly. I don’t like to say you should only ever do one technique, if you have time and resources do them all. Constantly testing to see which works and which doesn’t.

Many times I have heard people claim a certain technique does not work only to find on the next blog that it does. You only really find out when you do your own tests.

My wild theory and it is only a theory is that everything works. That every link will benefit your ranking, but sometimes that benefit will be minute. I certainly don’t know for sure and it’s probably impossible to be absolutely sure.

Take blog commenting for example. You drop a link, leave some juicy anchor text with some witty comment. The link is of course nofollowed. I have done numerous tests with this but find it difficult to isolate the results so I cannot be entirely sure, but my informed opinion is that commenting on blogs directly effects your rankings.

Note, I did not say how much the effect is, nor did I say how the effect actually comes about. Because a nofollow link is not supposed to pass Google juice. I cannot for sure say why it has an effect on rankings, but I believe it does.

If you think the only purpose of a link is to pass Google juice you are missing a trick.

Because humans click on the links in comments, and humans give links and sometimes they give links that let the Google juice flow like Niagra Falls.

As a webmaster I have clicked on every link that has been posted in the comment of my blogs and assume most other bloggers do the same. You go and check out the blog of the commenter, it’s what humans do.

There have been many times I have done this and it has led to me linking to the blog. The blog comment initiated the sequence of events that caused me to drop a link. Of course it helps if you have linkable content, which is easy enough to produce if you have the time, money or the right skill set or peferably all three.

Now, I could have said that perhaps the Google bot sometimes has an electronic sneeze and accidentlly follows the links by mistake. But, I have absolutely no way of confirming this. And doubt any of the representatives from Google are going to give me any answer unless it’s wrapped in dense fog which slightly smells of sulfur.

But it’s a nice thought and that’s the problem, sometimes hope can infect thinking.

And of course you have to factor in that the landscape is constantly changing, the variables that influence where you end up in the rankings seem to be constantly in flux.

If you hold the premise that every link has an effect it simply becomes a matter of scale. Which in turn becomes about logistics, who can implement in the most efficient manner and on the largest scale wins.

It’s scale which can negate the flux, if you can do enough of what works, or what you think works and keep from becoming a target of the Google spam team then I think you can influence your ranking.

And that’s why link building is like planting potatoes, plant enough of them, water and weed them and enough should survive to bring you a good harvest. However, it’s really hard work and it’s really boring to implement on such a scale that you know it will work.

I am of course talking about competitive industries which is where I work.

So over the past 6 months I been testing out anything and everything, been very surprised at some of the results and been able to build a link building machine made up of systems and process which any of my employees can simply crank up and start planting potatoes.

Not as fun as writing linkbait, but it’s scalable and it’s easier to predict the results.

If you want to do the same it can be done, you simply have to invest the time, money and focus to build your own system. However, a lot of people are very good at selling widgets and not developing link building machines and so come to people like to myself and others like me to help them.

Why Using own Voice to SEO blog may Offend but Increase Credibility

I have taken the decision to re-brand this blog, or rather take it back to its roots of being an independent SEO blog that does not try to be anything other than a collection of views, thoughts and opinions of the world of seo, social media and the wider world of online marketing and web development.

I have decided that authenticity and credibility are more important to me than building business partnerships within the industry and creating a conventional business. It’s really how this blog started off in 2007, by being honest, passionate, highly opinionated, not afraid to poke fun at industry icons and sharing as much knowledge as I myself gathered, I quickly made a success blogging.

But this wasn’t instant success. I had previously spent a couple of years blogging without success, then one day I decided not to care if anyone gets offended and simply tell it like it is.

If you follow this ethos, you will instantly make friends, but also you will instantly make enemies. Usually the people who get pissed off are the people with power and influence, this is the same in any industry.

It’s impossible to have credibility and not annoy people. For example if you come across an seo tool which you know doesn’t really do the do, you have to be honest if you review it, and if it’s a steaming pile of bull excrement it’s essential to state that.

The problem is, as you get more connected within the industry it becomes harder to do this, because the guy who makes the seo tool may have offered to do you a favour and if you piss him off it’s not going to happen.

Do you go out and deliberately look for trouble, not at all. But I think causing trouble should not be a reason for me to “play the game” and keep quiet when I spot a steaming pile.

Naive? Possibly? Bad for business, in the short term yes. But the audience I want for this blog is not the movers and shakers of the SEO world. It’s not the head corporate agency who drives the fancy, expensive car that I wish to attract. It’s the one man band web masters who are grafting away online, carving out a living in the dry dust of the World Wide Web.

This blog is for The seo engineer who is working at the life sucking, seo factory that is some seo agencies, not all but some are like this. I know because I talk to seo engineers all the time, these are the guys and girls who do the actual work, they share horror stories and confide in me, which of course always is kept confidential.

Not all SEO agencies are like this, but some are apparently.

I want this blog to be somewhere that you go to get the real stuff, not that there aren’t other great seo blogs out there, there are quite a lot of great seo and social media blogs I read regularly. To know that when you read stuff here it’s not because I have aligned myself with a certain group or clique, but because it’s what is on my mind. Not that there is anything wrong with being in a gang, it makes good business sense to do so. I would advise others to do this as you can really get a boost from great networking.

But, it’s not for me.

I look at other people who are having great success whilst retaining credibility and authenticity. Sure, you may hate them or they are not your cup of tea but they are people who realise they may give reason to have people despise them, but at the same time give voice to those who perhaps have no voice, who resonate with groups of people who get ignored.

People such as:

Jeff Jarvis
Jason Calacanis
Gary Vaynerchuk

Not everybody’s cup of tea, and they do create enemies and sometimes attact derision. But they do have their on voice and they also have their rabid fan base, which is the point.

I mean come on, Jason Calacanis turns up at an SEO conference to announce that SEO is snake oil, although completely wrong you have to admit that’s some cajones.

As an aside if you Google “jason calacanis seo snake oil”, the results are rubbish. The SEL article is the one I wanted and should not be buried behind 3 posts from the JC blog.

You need big balls for this kind of blogging, you also have to have the kind of personality that does not mind coming out with stuff that people hate and get offended by. Unfortunately, I have this manner about me. I say unfortunate as it does burn bridges, lose friends and alienate people. As Mike Grehan of Search Engine Strategies pointed out.

You may not like or even agree with what I will say. But, it’s going to be my honest, straight up opinion. If I don’t do this then what’s the point? This is the skill set I have. Brent Csutoras once blogged that I should STFU and stop letting it all hang out and it some part he has a point. Most people are not up for following such a high risk strategy and it does close doors and can be seemingly bad for business.

So, I have made a conscious decision not to pander to any particular group or individual, or have any association with any online business apart from my own link building agency, which as I want to keep boutique, small and effective and doesn’t really need me to make powerful friends. I have no real ambition to create a huge agency and simply get by on my ability to provide my small amount of clients with a brilliant service.

And you know what? It feels bloody good to sit here and tell it like it is and not to worry about not being liked.

Maybe it’s not really re-branding, but more going back to the original brand and ethos. Ironically one of my original goals when I set up the blog was to speak at a top SEO conference, which I have done on a number of occasions.

I expect my RSS subscriptions to plummet, but at least I will be having a good time.

I also am going to do little editing of these blog posts, it can be a little clunky to read a stream of consciousness, but I find it more authentic and a lot more easy to write.

Is there a danger of me coming over like a bit of a plonker, oh yes. In fact I can feel the eyeballs rolling as I write this.

What Mike Grehan of SES Incisive Media Should have said

Yesterday I thought I would start 2011 hitting the ground running and start blogging again.

Little did I know that I would incur the wrath of the Vice President of one of the biggest publishers and conference providers of the SEO industry.

When I wrote a few lines of my experience of SES London a couple of years ago within my post about Which SEO Conference should I go to. I didn’t think for one minute I would get such a histrionic response from such a high up executive from one of the largest B2B publishers that is Incisive Media

Indeed, as Mike pointed out in his comment quite clearly, he is the Vice President of Global Content which seems to cover leading industry websites such as SES Conference Expo, Search Engine Watch and ClickZ. Making Mike one of the most powerful movers and shakers in the SEO world.

In contrast, I’m very tiny, smaller than a “tiny grain of salt”, which Mike said is how my post should be taken. Although I run a small but highly effective link building agency and am very good at what I do, I do not have the power and connections which the Vice President of Global Content at Incisive media has.

So it was to my surprise that such a high ranking company executive would come to my humble blog to rant and rave about how insignificant I was. Fortunately I have an Elephantine thick skin and such school yard nonsense rolls like a water off a ducks back. In fact, I found his bombastic comment to be highly amusing.

But something niggled.

What if I wasn’t so dismissive of such boorish behaviour? What if I didn’t have a thick skin? And then I realised that Mike was actually displaying classic bullying tactics. Not that I felt in the slightest way bullied at the time, it really was and is a storm in a teacup. But, when you wield so much power in the industry you need to behave a little different than if you were in a World of Warcraft chat room.

Another blogger may have been quite intimidated at such comment, which resulted from mild criticism of an SEO conference which happened two years ago.

And that is what niggled.

I don’t like bullies.

I don’t like people who throw their weight around and get on their high horse to gob on the little people. Because other more sensitive bloggers are going to read this and think twice when giving a negative, but honest opinion of an SES conferences. You hardly want Mike and his gang turning up in your comments with verbal baseball bats if you are a meek and mild waif from Chipping Sodbury.

Apparently Mike does have previous form for this kind of behaviour, when I tweeted about this yesterday a few people DM’d me with juicy stories.

Which I’m saving for a future post.

And that is the point.

Social media has created a new playing field.

Gone are the times when powerful executives can instantly silence critics with a few aggressive words.

It’s changed the dynamic of reputation management.

What’s important about this is not how I feel, who gives a toss, right. But how quickly a brand can be tarnished with the erratic behaviour of one of its representatives. Not that I feel that Incisives’ brand has been tarnished. It’s far too big and powerful a corporation for that.

But, what gets posted on the Internet, stays on the Internet.

Such negative outbursts can have a drip drip effect on your brand. Although I doubt anyone took my comments that seriously. They were after all one persons view of London SES and ironically I think SES London does a fine job of putting on a conference and has some great speakers. I simply wished that more of the speakers of the conference I went to were British and less of them American, which for some people seemed to be an heretical opinion.

After that first post on my views of the conference I was half expecting to get the, “after we saved your asses in World War 2 you should be grateful.”

And of course this comes after the Gulf disaster when millions of gallons of British Oil became polluted with American shrimp.

For those who didn’t get it, the above two sentences were ironic and not meant to be taken seriously.

But the problem remains, how do you respond to negative criticism of your product, service or brand online.

This leads me to the headline of this post.

What Mike Should have said.

He should have said something like,

“Whilst I respect your right as a attendee of SES London to express your full and frank opinion I absolutely and utterly disagree with your characterisation of what you experienced. Whilst it may be true you saw what you saw, the majority of the conference attendees found the overall experience of London SES to be useful, interesting, and well worth the admittance price. We value every attendee who visits our conferences and attempt to deliver the best possible conference experience we can muster.

Please accept our apologies for any deficiency in our desire to deliver the best SEO conference experience London can get and give us another chance to show you how good we are. To this end I am sending you two free passes to a show of your choice.”

Can you see the difference between that and, “I recommend that any reader of your post take it with the tiny grain of salt it’s hardly even worth.” Which is part of the comment which was left.

When dealing with a critic never get personal, it’s silly and will make your organisation look shabby and purile.

It’s simply a case of being:

  • Courteous
  • Firm
  • Clear
  • Professional
  • Open to all criticism
  • Expressing a desire to deliver amazing customer service
  • Valuing all opinion (even when it’s from a numpty like me)

If you have mission statement of striving for customer excellence, then make sure it’s known.

Absolutely confront your critics and even post on their blog, but the aim is to negate further negative comments and ultimately turn the critic into a raving fan.

By using social media you can quickly and effectively nip in the bud any tarnishing of your brand, but it has to be handled in a specific way and not like your some drunken gob-shite in a bar room brawl.

A few people may respect you if you come over like a rabid fan at a cage fighting expo, and indeed the tone of my blog can be that of a scabrous old hag who nips away at its targets with the one snaggled tooth left in her head. But, that’s this blog. I don’t represent a huge publishing corporation.

If anyone thinks, “who the hell are you to be gobbing off with your manky old blog?” You are probably right, I am but a humble blogger who has a very small, but highly effective link building agency. This blog is absolutely a skanky example of someone who does not have the time nor inclination to update the design or properly implement SEO on it.

But I feel I don’t really need to.

I have no problem with being honest about my own and my blogs failings. What’s important to me and I think to a lot of people is credibility and authenticity.

The immediacy and hard light of social media enables us to sniff out the bullshitters. You can actually get quite far in life by bullshitting and crawling up the odd arseole, but I don’t have the skill set for that.

So I simply have to rely on telling it how it is and hoping people take it on face value. Of course I am not naive to believe that you can’t get somewhere in life by not greasing the tracks, one has to only cast a quick gaze and the sycophancy and cliques that inhabit the SEO world to see that it helps. As it does in any other sector, it’s human nature to gravitate to people who share similar opinions and who only say nice things about you.

But, nepotistic behaviour exists to negate excellence.

And people do notice.

Now, some may say I am simply going to “lose friends and alienate people”, as Mike mentioned in his comment. I am not sure if he is saying,” be friendly towards me and don’t alienate me and I will give you goodies”, which appears to be the subtext of what he is saying.

And indeed, I do seem to be getting out the can of petrol and burning bridges, which will probably get banned from SES or at least never invited to speak at SES London.
But, is that really who it works? I would have thought people were chosen on their ability to deliver a highly rewarding and interesting presentation than on their ability to kiss ass and make friends. Isn’t that how a great conference experience is created.

If I’m told, “well you really are a crappy presenter and know nothing of what you speak about”. Which is a point that some may agree with, although I have spoken at a number of SEO conferences such as SMX London,twice, plus I gave a one and a half hour training sessions on social media at SMX, also presented at A4u and SASCON and been invited to hold numerous social media and link building training workshops.

So, I’m not really worried in that side of my ability. But I guess I am not going to win the kiss ass of the year award.

I have written quite a few words on this subject, mainly because reputation management is crucial in this “instant publish” world of social media we live in and I hope I have highlighted and interesting case study on how not to behave when you feel you are under attack.

Mikes’ comment did raise a number of issues that are quite interesting and need to be explored. So in the next few days I will be regularly posting regarding this subject and as London SES is coming up, highly topical.

To be clear, please don’t let this post affect your decision to go to London SES or any other conference. My reaction is simply about the way my view was handled. It’s a great SEO conference and a lot of respected people speak there and share good stuff. It can be a highly valuable experience and a great networking experience and as I said in my post, the good stuff gets talked about in the bar afterwards as the presentations tend to give away knowledge you can pick up on blogs, which I hardly think is a revelation.

But, who has time to read SEO blogs?

Which SEO Conference should I go to

This post began as a comment on The 5 must go to UK SEO conferences in 2011, but the comment soon grew too large, so I decided to put it here.

Having spoke at a few of the conferences on the list and been to others, I quickly found out that each one is good for different things. Although, I don’t schlep to many conferences these days they can be great fun and a great way for a service provider to pick up a few clients.

The post covered a poll on the following UK conferences.

1) SES London – February 22nd – February 25th
2) Sascon – May 19th – 20th
3) ProSEO – TBC (October 2011)
4) Think Visibility – March 5th 2011
5) A4U Expo – October 2011 (TBC)
6) International Search Summit – May 2011 (TBC)
7) Ad-tech – 21st/22nd September
8) SMX London – 16th/17th May 2011

As a way of learning it can be very tasty, but don’t get too excited over presentations, which are mostly rehashed blog posts or a sales massage for the speakers services/product/. You can easily get the knowledge elsewhere and there are better ways to fill your knowledge sack at an seo conference.

If you are a business seeking to sup from the cup of secret SEO knowledge, use the conference to get a free consultation. As soon as the speakers finish rush the stage to grab the ear hole of the guru/expert/meister and lay down an ego smoothing bit of flattery, it’s amazing how well this works (especially with me). And then hit them with a specific problem you are having with your online marketing.

The thing is, the real seo knowledge hounds are not in it for the money, they love solving the problems and love being thrown a bone to chew on. Remember, a lot of these guys charge £150 plus an hour for their time and most are picky about taking on new clients, so whatever time you get with them is going to be worth the conference fee.

The next step is to find which watering hole the speakers are going to be sucking up the booze. You will find there are always a hard core of speakers hanging around and these guys love to chew the fat and give away the juice over a pint. You mean they don’t do it in their presentations? Of course they bloody don’t, do you really think an unpaid speaker is going to dish the goodies onto your lap all hot and sticky. They keep those tasty morsels for the guys who pay them £10k a month for SEO services.

Another thing to look out for when choosing a conference is that the most expensive is not usually the best. A lot of conference speakers are chosen by mutual arse scratching rather than their ability to wrap complex issues into a 10 min presentation and make it simple enough for someone who sells something like Chocolate Cheese online.

Another tip is to do research on the speakers and pick the ones that you really like and shoot them off an email saying you are looking forward to seeing them. Don’t try to get an hours worth of consultation for the price of a coffee (if you get the label of a cheapskate it wont disappear quickly), but think of it as laying the ground work for a longer term relationship. Just like in any industry the good service providers are constantly busy and so you need to sell yourself a bit to get them to take you on as a client.

Switching back to those of you who want to carve out a nook in the crowded SEO agency space, a conference is a great place to go to help develop your brand and sniff out who really knows their stuff. For networking I would recommend the smaller, Northern conferences. If you are a Brit you will get more out of the ones not dominated by the Americans. If you are an American it’s a great way to get a tax free trip to the UK.

The point being, if you network with the British rather than the Americans you are more likely to bond and see the people again, making it more likely that they will do you a solid. I remember sitting in front an SES London keynote panel and realising everyone one of the 5 speakers were American and then when going to break bread at the London SEO bash that night, seeing a bunch of our colonial cousins hunkered down having a private dinner. Wagons circled, natives shot on sight.
Meanwhile, at London SEO the party was in full swing and it was a great opportunity to network with people who live just down the road.

And lets face it, Americans are just British people with irony removed and lots of guns in the pick up truck (boy, you’re going to hell for that one). Hmmm, I seem to have been reading too much Jeremy Clarkson lately.

For business and for service providers, don’t get star struck. I realise some would like to stroke the hem of Rand Fishkins’ garment or feel the huge knowledge sack of Aaron Wall, but most of the uber gurus get quickly swept away in a messianic, Pythonesque crowd surge. Whilst others mutter, “He’s not the Messiah, he’s a very naughty boy”.

And of course, a lot of these guys are popular because they are brilliant at SEO and marketing, it’s just a conference is not the best place to schmooze the uber guru.

So, back to the question, which seo conference should I go to? It’s really a question only you can answer as it depends on what you are after.

But to be honest, the best SEO conference to go to this year is the Cornwall SEO Conference of 2011 😉