The London distilled conference has become a good occasion to catch up with the recent trends in the ever changing industry of Search and to socialize with some really cool people – some top Search professionals are also top people full stop. Before I even start going through my personal highlights of the event, it is worth noticing this was the last Link love – Search love is the next natural step forward it seems, for the cleverly conceptualised conference as well as the world of Search more broadly.
In the last few years, Wil Reynolds has been one of the highlights of the event for me – apart from the exceptional knowledge, the guy has also got unbelievable enthusiasm for the job – very rare and indeed a breath of fresh air compared to some other participants (second speaker comes to mind). There is a (very) good reason why they start the event with Will – enthusiasm is an essential part of our job, one where SEOers have to swim against the tide of algorithms, changes, limited budgets, difficult clients and the list can go on. So good to get off to a good start!
Overall, the general feeling across the board is that the landscape is changing radically – a change that can be summed up by the phrase ‘It’s becoming easier to make it than to fake it’. In other words, there is less and less point of trying to games Search engines – the algorithms have become so sophisticated and it’s so expensive to work against them that is is now more sensible to focus on those ‘eternal’ values, such as brand, content and natural link growth. Sorry old school die hards!
Naturally, links are still part of the game, but a more holistic approach is needed nowadays in order to succeed at the art of optimisation. Considerations such as using psychology concepts to create content that attracts links and complex tools for link profile analysis all of a sudden make us realise the overall complexity of being a Search professional in 2013 – and it will only get harder as we move along. The big SEO party is over! And this is probably a good thing, since only the best professionals will be able to continue in the current settings and beyond.
Other personal highlights included how to SEO for small businesses on a 350£ budget per month, which looks like a brave idea that seems to work for some local setups. The main conclusion I’ve drawn is that most of these professionals speaking at the 2013 Distilled conference have managed to find their personal way of approaching Search, their own style if you like, and this seems to set them apart from the crowd.
‘Search’ is the new term – Will Critchlow illustrated the new online marketing landscape perfectly. Most of us could be busy cleaning up link profiles in the near future, but in the long term only viable, coherent link building strategies will be worth SEOers’ time and money, lots of it.