The best of Brighton SEO

The bi-annual Brighton SEO conference took place at the Brighton Dome on Friday 12th April and it’s fair to say it was bigger and better than ever before. For the first time it was multi-track, giving us a choice of sessions. Unsurprising the Write My Site team made a beeline for the content track, so this ‘best bits’ write-up will have a certain bias to it …

Ex-Googler panel discussion

There’s only one thing better than asking questions to people who work at Google, and that’s asking people who used to work at Google. Even though it’s possible to get some frank answers about content optimisation from Google’s employees, there’s even more candour from people who are no longer bound by the code of secrecy that surrounds the Google algorithm. Fili Wiese, Jonas Weber and Alfredo Pulvirenti all used to be part of Google’s search quality team and all are now working as (probably very successful) SEOs.

After the panel discussion about how to avoid getting Google penalties (summary: don’t buy links) the floor opened to questions.

We asked:

“What kind of content helps websites to get better Google search rankings?”

They answered:

“Nice long articles that solve people’s problems.”
Fili was kind enough to elaborate by explaining that Google wants to see content that doesn’t simply promote the products and services of the person or company writing it, but that actually helps the user solve their problem in a meaningful way. He used the example of a company selling holidays, and said that a brief piece promoting a particular hotel would fare more badly in the search rankings than an objective in-depth article about an area and its attractions.

Lauren Pope – Bread and Butter Content

Lauren is one of our favourite content marketing speakers because after spending several years on the uSwitch content team she really knows her stuff. Like the Ex-Googlers, she takes the view that good content is about helping people and answering questions, and she gave a very welcome presentation about the ‘slow release energy’ bread and butter content that offers genuine value to users, as opposed to the ‘sugar rush’ content that brands create in order to try and get noticed through social channels – even when that content has only a loose connection to their offering.

Bread and butter content generates traffic, revenue and advocacy. In other words, produce decent on-site content that gives helpful information and builds the relationship between users and your brand, instead of sharing cat videos on Facebook! This premise can be summarised thus:

Lauren Pope image

Brighton SE-yO

We can’t write a ‘best of Brighton SEO’ piece without making due reference to Neil Walker’s rap, which is better showed than explained … enjoy!

See you again in September for the next Brighton SEO conference!