BrightonSEO – April 2019 Recap

BrightonSEO is one of the best conferences in the UK and in Europe. It is the place to learn about news and what you should be doing in online marketing, not just SEO, but paid search, competitive analysis and social media. Read some of the takeaways from these speakers at BrightonSEO.


Driving Meaningful clicks with enriched SERPs

Izzi Smith from SixtUK and SixtUS,  was first up on the main stage at Brighton.

Izzi said that 72% of searchers on mobile resulted in no clicks and 34% on desktop because of these enriched SERPs.

In 2019, you need to focus effort on:

  • Enriching your snippets and SERP feature presence to increase CTR
  • You need to bring the right kind of clicks
  • Avoid time wasting on no click queries

There are a lot of searches that are satisfying on the SERPs.

Izzi Smith

Then Izzi started to talk about CTR as a ranking factor.

When you click a link on Google, Google will factor this in for rankings, BUT are many different schools of thought.

Even if CTR is not a ranking factor need to spend time on it

If it was a ranking factor then:

  • Google would not tell you
  • People would manipulate it
  • It would be far too unreliable.

Your job as an SEO should not stop at ranking high for keywords. You need to bring relevant users to your site and have them fulfil a purpose.

  • Satisfy users intent, not just CTR.
  • Bring the visitors you want to your site.
  • Using a rich search you outrank others. And it is good brand awareness.
  • There is a lot we can learn about searcher intent from SERPs.
  • Search intents in their purest forms:
  • Transactional – carrying out a specific action, spending cash money.
  • So SERP feature is paid shopping and knowledge graph


  • Need fast answer
  • SERP feature is knowledge cards, panels and featured snippets


  • Looking for more information.
  • SERP feature is a featured snippet, carousels


  • Looking for a service or geo- modifiers


  • Videos, inspirations and how to
  • SERP feature, images and videos

Fresh news

(so many slides)

You need to identify intent based on the SERP features not just keywords.

Do not forgot to combine intent either.

Stop wasting time chasing the no click queries.

SO avoid pure answer intent like when was Jurassic park released.

When it comes to 2019 Keyword targeting strategies

  • Forget pure answer intent no click queries
  • Check if the intent can be met directly in the SERPs
  • Mid to Longtail is getting more lucrative

Understand how Google reports position data

  • Aim to rank above the fold as a benchmark
  • Be present and produce in local intent SERPs.

Getting into the local pack requires love

  • The obvious stuff claim and create your GMB
  • Enriched products (relevant images)
  • Strong on page optimization
  • Amount of reviews
  • % of reviews responded to (esp negative)

Structure Data is your friend

  • It provides machine readable meaning to our delicious content
  • Structured data helps build rich results
  • Bounce rate is less, then time on site more
  • Structured data also feed into Google’s knowledge graph
  • Own your entities

Build associates (entity carousels)

  • Align your data
  • Claim your knowledge panels via GSC
  • Social Profile alignment
  • Organization Structured beta on home page
  • Band naming conventions

Target and win Featured snipes that have transactional intent

  • Research and transactional, then you can drive traffic that will convert
  • Use buzz words in the headlines, compressed and relevant images
  • Comparison queries are perfect

Build out list with additional steps (eg to win tasty chicken)

Read all the details for yourself on Izzi’s site


You can provide on page optimization that help your page.

  • What content is the PPC team using in their ad copy with a CTR.
  • Mobile image thumbnails are on the rise, so in best now.
  • HTML tables are epic for snippet optimization – help for enhancing classic snippets.
  • Site links are a great, achievable snippet.

See Izzi’s great slides on slideshare.

Incorporate SERP enriching strategies into content briefings and page templates

Emily Potter from Distilled was up next and gave us an in depth presentation about featured snippets.

Emily from Distilled


  • Featured snippet is the small box that appears in the box when ask a questions.
  • Why do people like featured snippet?
  • So can go to the top of the SERPs, position 0.

Attempt 1

  • First Emily went to find keywords with featured snippets.
  • She went to research what is required into getting into the featured snippets.
  • Lesson 1.
  • Google is the enemy as they introduced an update and removed the queries for the featured snippets.

Attempt 2

Then Emily went to see what the competitors are doing. Are they answering the query better? What format are they using? Are they using headings?

Next lesson, Emily learned was that she does not like featured snippets because:

  • They steal clicks. They are reducing CTRs.
  • Featured snippets increase no click searches.
  • Featured snippets create confirmation bias.
  • They are unsophisticated. When enter “what is a mother’s Day message”, it says for you sister or friend.

So Emily set out to prove that featured snippets are over rated

Studies suck, they have misleading headlines. And Misleading percentages.

So Emily created her study

  • Owning a featured snippet does not increase CTR.
  • Data sours – STAT and Google Console.
  • Included impressions over 60

Featured snippets improve CTRs.

Emily Potter

Emily said she found that CTR increase lower than existing studies. Featured snippets work.

They do improve traffic.

Monday morning actions:

  1. Find keyword you rank for with featured snippets (you can use a tool)

Avoid keywords with commercial intent because they are swapped out with Google Shopping

Flag where you rank higher

  1. Look for low hanging fruit – steal headings (esp when you rank higher)

Join 2 points together with “However”

  1. Add on-page content for well performing pages
  2. Reformat your content to match that of current owner (turn paraphrase into lists, lists into tables etc)

Check out the slides for yourself on slideshare:


A structured Data Case Study – How to make your Websites Standout

Kenichi Suzuki came from Tokyo to share his tips on how to make your site stand out. He works for Faber Company inc, who make heat maps.

Kenichi went through different case studies of rich results and showed us the benefits from structured data.

Case studies

Rakuten recipe

Structured Data

After they introduced structured data, they saw a big increase in traffic and session duration.


  • Saw a 115% increase in organic traffic
  • 270% increase of new users registrations from organic traffic.
  • 15% lower bounce rate
  • All this after implemented rich snippets

Brainly saw a 15 to 25% increase CTR after implemented rich snippets

Types of Structured Data for Rich results

  • Articles, they can be seen as top stories in the carousel.
  • Rating and offer, this was called rich snippets but now rich results it is called.
  • Events – these are helpful those looking for activities
  • Breadcrumbs is also rich results
  • Restaurants lists – shows many results
  • Structured data is used in image search. Images are given a badge that there is a receipe behind it.
  • Badges are also given to products.

New rich results in the experimental stage

How To – Slack is taking part in this.

FAQ – it may seem similar to Q and A, but there are clear differences between them. FAQ need to use a single question per page. Q and A is more for quora sites and stack overflow.

What Structured Data does Google Support?

Nearly 30 results are available and the number is expanding

Which Structured data is suitable for my site?

  • Google gives the answer on the help page.
  • If you have a static product then implement it for product and review

Hidden Benefits from Structured Data.

  • Google supports all types of properties of
  • Rich results are only a small part of the benefits you can obtain from structured data
  • The critical role is to help Google understand your content better.
  • Add as much structured data as possible (as long as it is closely related to your business)

Key Takeaways

For more information about Kenichi’s presentation, read his full deck on slideshare:


One of my favorite talks at BrightonSEO was Areej’s presentation on:

Restructuring Websites to improve indexability

Areej Abuali started her presentation by saying a client wanted to work with Verve because they are good at outreach and link building. But their website was struggling. They had seen a 80% drop in organic visibility year on year.

The client was a job aggregator site. It is important to fix the fundamentals, the tech first before doing any outreach. Therefore their plan was to spend 6 months on the tech and then work on the creatives.


Areej then shared what worked and did not work.

Initial findings

  • Worked on a tech audit and link audit.
  • 72% of backlinks came from 3 referring domains.
  • No site maps
  • Canonical tags not set up correctly.
  • They are a job aggregator site, so the site is like a  search engine
  • Every single search could be crawled and indexed.

Crawling and indexing not the same.

  • Crawling is the process of gathering
  • Indexing is then adding these crawl pages to the index.
  • It was impossible to crawl the site. Returned 2.5 million URLs.
  • If their pages could not be crawled then could not be indexed correctly.
  • Crawling, indexing and ranking – needed to fix this.
  • Google was wasting crawl budget crawling thin pages.

Needed to create customized framework on what to do and not to do

  • Limiting indexable pages
  • Or not limiting indexable pages.
  • Areej would use search data and pass the search query through a keyword combination script.
  • If the job is available then make it not crawled. If it is available then make it crawled.
  • – use this tool.
  • Set the search volume as 50. If the search volume is more than this, then the page is created crawled and indexed.


  • Recommended to create the site maps and split them up. Make sure have blog site map in one.
  • Also helped them sort out the content. Even if they were only indexing high search volume page, then changes to rank are minimals.
  • They had the same H1, 2 and meta data.
  • Competitors automatically generate optimised meta tags.
  • They need to create pages targeting category search terms. They had no core content research. They wanted to see what content would work for them.

Four months later, the client confirmed all had been done.

  • By that point we had started working on creating creative content and outreach
  • BUT then the traffic dropped more.
  • Areej went through the 50 list of recommendations and 29 were not implemented.
  • Google was choosing only 20% of the submitted sitemap.
  • Crawl bot is precious, should not be wasted.
  • The client had added canonical tags and felt this was enough,
  • They were basically asking google bot to:
  1. Crawl pages
  2. Find canonical tags
  3. Then implement

But bots do not always do this.

You main goal is to maximize crawl budget, cannot do canonical tags to implement this.

So what did Areej do?

  • Put a face to face meeting, discussed each task one by one.
  • Re-priotised all tasks.
  • Very good meeting but the implementation was hard.
  • Maybe Areej should have delivered one single recommendation, then once it is done, then implement it.

Verve also did 6 creative campaigns for them. Got coverage on many sites but barely any impact. Client asked Areej why are the rankings not improving. Areej said cause of incomplete tech recommendations.

Getting the basics right is so fundamental in SEO. Areej will update us another time on the results, still work in progress.

To see her great slides, click here on slideshare.

I went to a few more sessions in the afternoon, more write ups to be featured here in the week.


Become a Local Hero – PPC Tips to Boss Your Neighbourhood

Oliver Ewbank gave an insightful presentation at BrightonSEO. It was a popular talk and I only managed to get a seat at the back of the room so I have written some of the takeaways from the talk.

[slideshare id=140211902&doc=oliverewbankbrightonseofinalv8loadtoslideshare-190409190947]

More than 20% of searches are for local products, or places.

59% of customers research online before making a purchase in store

82% of smart phone users user a search engine when looking for a local business.

Basically local PPC is very important.

Oliver then shared 19 ways to be the “wolf of your street”

  1. Google Map Ads

How to do this

  • Set up and verify Google MyBusiness
  • Set up Location Extensions in Google Adwords
  • Use Location targeting and Bid By Location
  • When targeting location, create UK national campaign.
  • Include some location keywords

2. Google Display Network

How to do this

  • Exclude apps
  • Run regular placement reports
  • Add, edit and remove managed placements
  • Implement GDN location extensions

3. Store visit conversions

How to do this

  • Have multiple store locations and receive thousands of clicks and viewable impressions
  • Verify Google MyBusiness for each store and link GMB account to Google Ads
  • Ensure location extensions are active in Google Ads
  • Contact your Google Ads rep.

4. Campaign Structure

  • Create a UK nationwide campaign
  • Then create city campaign.
  • Campaign 1 – for the national campaign – use keywords such as “spa hotel Brighton’.
  • Use modified broad match
  • Campaign 2 –  for the city campaigns use more generic terms with a location, like spa near me.
  • Two types of searches convert differently.
  • Set budgets based on each conversion rate and search demandf

How can you do this?

  1. Use Google Ads Editor and paste campaigns
  2. Use “append” to add location to the end of your generic keyords
  3. Use keyword wrapper tool

5. Location settings

Over 36% accounts Oliver audited, were not using advanced location settings properly.

  • You need to use location settings to:
  • Reduce wasted sepnd
  • improve quality score
  • reduce inflated irrelevant impressions
  • increase location relevance

Run regular user reports to see where people are coming from.

Use negative locations when appropriate

  1. Location layered bidding

Always good to have bid adjustments in different are codes.

Locations will convert differently and require different bigs

How to do this

  • Run a user locations approach to see where people are coming from.
  • Gather a list of your store locations and competitor store locations
  • Then add all the locations as layers on your Google Ads campaigns
  • Monitor performance then adjust bids accordingly
  1. Keyword strategy

There has a been 500% growth in “near me searches” that contain a variant of “Can I buy” or “to buy”  so include these in local campaigns.

How to do this

  1. Why use these keywords? Competition lower so cost per click is lower.
  2. These are generic so have them in radius campaigns, use
  3. Exact and modified broad ad groups
  4. Run regular search Query reports.
  5. Use Google suggest to find variations

8. Ad Copy

It’s all about location, location, location

Make your ad text hyper-relevant to the location you are targeting. Sounds simple but it is really important to go to that level of granular detail


  • Increase click through rate
  • Prove relevancy to the searcher
  • Improve quality score and lower cpcs
  • Location extensions are very important. For local campaigns.

Improves quality score.

How to do this

  • Include the location in the ad headline as a priority
  • Include the location in the description and display URL if possible
  • Try Ad Customisers to dynamically update ads
  • User headline 3 to update all ads in bulk quickly.

9. Location Extensions

Oliver said there is a 10% click through rate on ads that use location extensions

How to do this

  • Link Google My Business to Google Ads
  • Filter out old stores or head office
  • Review performance regularly
  1. Call extensions – very important

This drives phone calls, increases CTR and improves quality score

How to do this

  • Add at campaign, ad group or account level
  • Use campaign level if you have multiple locations
  • Set “interaction bid adjustments”
  • Schedule with advanced settings
  1. Message extensions

This allows you to dynamically extend your normal text ads with an option to click and text message you directly.

This reduces the steps needed to contact your business, drives valuable communication and is the same CPC

How to do this

  • You need a mobile phone
  • You must have the ability to respond
  • Ideal for small businesses
  1. Landing page optimisation

Making your ads super relevant to your location isn’t enough on its own. Your landing page needs to continue the journey and be just as relevant to the locations you are targeting, ideally with an individual page per location.

It is important to do this to increase conversion rates, better user journey and it also aids organic traffic performance.

Use Unbounce as a tool to create landing pages

Test the speed of your landing page with

Aim for 7 out of 10 Quality score.

  1. Call only campaigns

Create call only campaign (can use the same keywords as regular campaigns)

These campaigns decrease the user journey steps and it is ideal for businesses with short consideration periods.

How to do this

  • Create call only campaign
  • Use the same keywords as your regular campaign
  • Create “all visitor” RLSA audience
  • Apply RLSA “Targeting”
  1. New local campaigns – new format.

This is a new campaign type that runs a variety of ad formats, using machine learning to drive the most store visits from your budget.

Good for driving footfall and ideal during promotions or sales. It is also ideal for store openings and it promotes your stores when competitors open nearby.

How to do this

  • Need to run for minimum 30 days and 10 locations
  • Must target 10 or more locations per account
  • Meet eligibility requirements

Oliver went through 5 more campaigns, all details can be found on slideshare:


  1. Structure for success
  2. Utilise store visit data
  3. Run regular user location reports
  4. Run local inventory ads


Search is Stagnating – it is time to explore more biddable diversity

Matt Whelan – from the Specialist works gave a presentation about the changing landscape of PPC.

Matt speaking about PPC

Matt said that search growth is stagnating (see the Google trends reports). It is a more competitive landscape, which is not good for Google either.

  • Google is rigging the game, changing the eco systems to increase the yield.
  • There are more ads but we have more bids cause CTR has fallen.
  • Google takes away our control so can maximize its yield for search.
  • No more exact match.
  • You could decide what devices you could use but no more. Now it is dynamic.
  • Google is now taking way the term “words” we are not bidding on keywords, doing things by audiences.
  • Search is a place where there is no growth without a disproportionate price.
  • Cannot maximize our own performance.

Search sales is v efficient but how can we replace those?

Matt has come up with some suggestions and how to turn search into a biddable environment.

Is Facebook the answer?

  • Facebook has brilliant data, from people telling Facebook what people are .
  • Facebook has most impactful ads.
  • Look and see what is going on in Facebook and what is thee most effective
  • Video works so well on video on Facebook. You can activate a new type of targeting. You can see how much of that video that person has watched.
  • You can use the videos to find audiences.

Eg contact lenses, how can you target these people. Facebook might know if you wear glasses. But cannot actively select.

Put a video out there and see who watches it for 10 seconds. Curating an audience to show intent.

Two stage marketing isn’t rocket science.

Get the max yield can get, buy views, see who is using it then have the retargeting. Calculating the ROI for whole piece (look at the slides of the pink table)

No such thing as a one touch conversion. Eg the head search term.

  • Video works, so YouTube must work for everyone. This is not the case.
  • With YouTube ads, you do not start thinking “oh I am interested” YouTube trains you that the good stuff is to skip the ad.
  • But need people not to skip.
  • YouTube – no in built content control.
  • Making YouTube work:
  • So targeting – keywords are less granular.
  • Affinity targeting is too broad.
  • Channel is the best but it is tough to scale.
  • Buying – Don’t look beyond trust review
  • Programmatic display – Online display does not work.
  • Business results – look at a macro level for brands using online display. No brand says that my sales are cause of banner ads.


Leveraging E-A-T for SEO Success

What does Google Say about search quality guidelines? August 1st, 2018, there was a core Google algorithm update which underlined the importance of the importance of quality content. Those in SEO and online marketing really need to ensure that the factors such as authorship, reputation, copy reading levels and information sourcing are optimised.

Lily Ray and her team at Path Interactive decided to analyse 100 websites and how they were affected by the algorithm updates of last year with some very interesting results.

Lily from NYC

It is important that websites are transparent with your users.

“Ask the dentist” website states on their site that there are some ads they make a little of money from ads. It is important to be transparent with your users. They did not see a major change in their rankings and performance after the updates last year.


Dr Steven Lin – best selling author and has extensive citations, he has a lot of media coverage, robust, expert content. And high quality comments. He allows users to provide questions and comments.

Last year he had 316% increase in organic traffic. Google rewarded his site


Google does talk about ads. We expect ads to be visible. BUT pages with ads that distract from or interact with the user should give a lower rating.

Trusted reviews site – they have so many adverts.

Users are not happy with the way they ran ads. They say a 41% drop in organic traffic since Aug 1, 2018.

Then Lily went to explain a tale of 2 websites, both of whom had sites.

One was Holly from Spend Pennies who saw a 151% increase in traffic. The other mom blogger was penalised as she had too many ads and pop ups and also there were paid link schemes.

External reviews:

  • Use reputation research to find out what real users as well as prospects think about a website.
  • Travelocity – lets you book flights and rental cars.
  • It generally has 1 star out of 5 rating. This is because people do not like the site. Therefore after the updates last year, Travelocity saw a 49% drop in traffic.
  • Charlotte Russe is an ecommerce site and they had very bad reviews from 3rd party sites.
  • And because of this then they had a 38% drop in traffic since Aug 1, 2018.

Trust issue

  • When there is a disagreement between what the website says about itself and independent sources, Google will trust the independent sources.
  • For example, a website called Dr Alex, features a doctor called Alex and he says food is medicine. He has low ratings on external sites. He has a lack of medical credentials and there are customer service issues. And also lack of scientific consensus.
  • So he saw a 84% decline in organic traffic last year. He used to have a massive share of the medical search market, but no more.

About us Page

  • Google says every page belongs to a website and it should be clear who is responsible for the websites.
  • 90% of the top performing sites have a robust about us pages.
  • Comments and user generated content
  • They can enhance content quality.
  • Very well fit and very well family. They made some EAT changes to the site and they made some changes and saw a better performance.
  • How does Google measure all this stuff?
  • They were vague but then they said there is connection to Page Rank and backlinks.

Why EAT matters

  • Google is relying on your help to make the internet a better place.
  • EAT can help all efforts not just SEO

5 quick tips to improve EAT

  • Improve your online reputation and reviews on 4rd party sites
  • Don’t overwhelm your users with ads or trey to deices them
  • Disclose who your brand is, who your authors are
  • Cite credible sources
  • Make sure your YMYL (Your money, your life) content is supported by scientific evidence.


 6 Things Your Boss Thinks You should Know about SEO

Lukasz Zelezny was up next to share more insightful tips with the audience.

Lukasz Zelezny

  1. Your boss expects you can find low hanging fruits

  • This is for websites that are established in the market.
  • Lukasz says Google Search Console gives you just 999 rows.
  • So he uses Google Data Studio with Google Search Console.
  • It is a free tool, you can do so much.
  • Connect Search Console with Google Data Studio.
  • Choose the property you want to work on.
  • You need to go on scale.
  • Go into excel, then do pivot by urls and add all metrics.
  • You can see the term and the clicks and the sum of impressions and the average CTR. You can see where you rate ranking too.
  • So then optimise your title tag and add paragraph text.
  • Lukasz has client from Netherlands, they have students that are optimizing the website. There was a workshop. They are now on 100% growth on revenue. It was not a small shop. Lukasz does not speak Dutch.
  1. What your boss expects you to deal with on page optimisation like a boss.

SEM Rush – Lukasz says it is simple but his clients love it. The warnings in SEMrush is one of the steps. Trying to make sure they are close to as 100% as possible. Lukasz says it is important to have a weekly call with them. He then optimises like pages have low text and HTML ratio.

  1. Your boss expects you can merge subdomains into sub folder.

Client 1 had a blog that was on this URL:

Then they 301 redirected the blog  to

So the client moved the subdomain to the subfolder. This worked extremely well.

If the client has an old blog then merge it.

So forums.domain,com and moved to

  1. Your boss expects you to build through brand

Track your brand, you can do so through many social media monitoring tools.

  • Talk Walkers
  • Brand24
  • Fresh Web Explorer
  • Google Alerts

Check when you go home how many links is pointing to social media profiles. You will be surprised who is linking to you.

  1. Your boss expects you to know these plugins.

If you are using WordPress you should know these:

  • WPA Seo Auto linker – it uses the same anchor text between pages.
  • Gonzales plugin – make your site faster
  • Autoptimize look at this.
  • Apend Link on Copy.
  1. The cloud
  • Good server
  • Invest a little more money.
  • Siteground it is good. Site ground cloud very good cause have solutions for WordPress performance.

Lukasz‘ slides can be found on Dropbox.

SEO Success Stories

Marcus Tober from Searchmetrics was up in the main auditorium after the break sharing a few SEO case studies.

Marcus Tober

  1. Learning from sensitive markets

  • Google has :your money, your life: markets.
  • They want that only good authority sites have a a good ranking.
  • Then Marcus started comparing the performance of some health site.
  • For example, Medicine net. com they were very old and had big market share. Then 2018 fell and the site Very Well Health came onto the market.
  • Higher number of pages indexed does not mean higher rankings – has a lot of pages indexed, 1,500,000 pages indexed. Very Well Health has 38,500 pages indexed.
  • has a pop up asking people for their email address. This is not good.
  • Then they also had a super slow loading page for the video. Their page speed overall was slow and the rankings were lower. Total Byte weight, if you have uncompressed images and v big videos, then it is not good. Means there is one site with good ranking and quicker to loads.
  • Very Well Health loaded so much faster.

SEO is moving more towards product management. Have to deal with UX and tech and business.

  • Use Google Light house Features
  • Use the first meaningful paint.
  • SEOs should not follow everything they see.

 Comparing online Performance – Finance

  • Nerdwallet and Bank rate.
  • When look at averages, number of internal links – how many chances are there for a user to find an action and go to a page on your site.
  • Nerd wallet had 497 internal links, way about the average.
  • Bankrate had 186 links on average.
  • Looking at performance data. Nerd wallet has average ranking of 2.4
  • Bank rate has average ranking of 6.7


Google Light house – built in audit tool in modern chrome browser. A little tab called audits.

Use Google’s own server simulate the speed. Makes every website comparable.

Why is it important?

If you do this on scale, have arguments to talk to product managers – eg all these players do image compression.

  1. Technical features – good correlations.

  • Minified CSS – Most pages (96% of all pages analysed used minified CSS), When run a test and not using minified CSS you could achieve big things in screen improvements.
  • Same with minified Javascript
  • If you use minified javascript, it tells you what files to compress.
  • Why is it so important?
  • SEOs are in this phase to find excuses.
  • You get a lot of insight cause it is your own mess.
  • No one is too big to fail.

3, Content Features

  • Google light house has content features, can download it all.
  • Use text compression

4. Security Features

  • Everyone Is more aware of this now.
  • Walmart is running number 1, then run the lighthouse audit, no issues with security, so did everything correct.

SEO is becoming product manager

The user is the key for good rankings

Following ranking factors without applying them to your business with lead to failure

Go and run your own studies with Google light house

How to Drive big site SEO Impact in Google’s linkless algorithm

Chris Liversidge from Query Click started his presentation by saying that sometimes Google gives us a sneak peak into what is going to happen before it is announced. For example, Gary Ilyes was at a conference last year and he said when you are thinking about SEO value, Google will look at content that are not links and treat them like links. Then in Jan 2018 we had confirmation of that from Google.

When creating content, most of it is limited, basic or inconsistent. (72%)

For SEOs the nice neat way to do that is to see what content works well. And pick those areas where content is good for SEO.

How can we bring data back to the party and pre qualify content?

Tendency to engage , we use key phrases as our foreign key. We have backlinks and referring domains, we care about online mentions and social mentions and social engagement.

But need to look at Performance context – competitor content and social engagement. You can pull data from sites like buzzsumo and pulsar. Do not just look at links, combine with social data.

Look at Social Media

  • Winning in mid term and long term by taking social into account.
  • So look at short term.
  • There is always stuff you can do today that can deliver return quickly. Make sure that is part of your strategy.
  • Are you getting the clicks you should get for the position you are in?
  • If not, then you need to be doing something.

Short term you want to look where you are in good position but not getting the clicks.

  • Four years ago, Query Click was working with Tesco, They were asked to do SEO by magic as they were not allowed to touch the site. They could only change the meta data and they drove up organic SEO revenue by 6.7 million GBP in 6 months.
  • This is by seeing the position you are in and if good, how you can amend this.
  • Think about the intent of your term and use data to tell you where it is going wrong.
  • Win short term this is a high impact strategy.

Cannibailisation – take this search console data, use the key phrases and see what doing in PPC. Filter out the PLAs.

Query click worked out with Air bnb that they were doing 4.2 cannibalisaion of paid media.

Keyphrase as a foreign key approach.

If you start looking at these categories, sum up the value and group into categories and devise an enterprise strategy, pic k out the hero products and join together all great things want to be doing.

Align your PPC account with your SEO.

  • Finally- every considered the impact of volatility?
  • When think about the search result behavior, look at the top 3.
  • If you are not in the top 3, what chance do you have if results are not coming ot of the top 3.
  • So they are looking at how frequently do the results in the top 3 change. Gives you the ability to rank. How strong are they?

Great presentation by Chris, download the slides from Query Click:


John Mueller – Keynote.

Hannah Smith, Head of Creative at Verve Search was asking John Mueller some great questions for the closing keynote.

Hannah and John

Hannah asked:  “What is the role of Google?”

John replied: “We try to connect the internal search team with those externally making good websites.

If we make changes, we let you all know. Sometimes a little too quickly. But also to get feedback from you all in particular to see where things are breaking where you get stuck.”


“Is there anything you would like to do differently or improve in the future?”


“We try and be as direct as possible to inform you and let yo know ahead of time.’

He wants to have more webmasters and publishers.


“How will your role change a year from now?”

It depends on what is happening internally. One shift I am noticing is split between technical SEO and less technical. Both sides are valuable but there is a stronger shift in that they are growing on their own. We are talking with more front end developers instead of SEOS.


“How does the internal PR team feel about you?”


“ I think we have a tricky role, the PR teams they like to prepare the messaging. BUT at Google, we are in a situation where something new homes out and we have to give them an answer. So we say stuff that PR may not have prepared. That makes it interesting.”



“Everyone can understand and appreciate the need to show accurate information (your money or your life) But about a transactional query – want to buy some contact lenses., how do you know the results you have ranked first is the right one?”


“A lot of times we do not know. For many of these queries there is no right or wrong. There are multiple answers.”


“Many SERP features, like position 0, they are “stealing” their traffic. What is the Google view of this?”

John says:

“I wish I had my PR team to help me. John says that the one thing he sees is the web evolves, things change over time, it is something where if you have one line of text which is the only reason to go there, then we learn that this is an objective answer to who directly.


“But it is not your answer Google.

A search term like how to boil an egg, the instructions are in the answer box. A user has no need to click through to a website. Google is serving ads on that page. Google is removing the ability for this person to make money from this content page. But removing my ability from earning a living.”

John gives a political answe

“On the one hand where a lot of this information is objective information. There is also a big aspect is that these short answers highlight the website. The snippets are not complete answers. A lot of times, these feature snippets give the user information what he would pick up from that web page.”



“Rel equals next, can you tell us about this change John/”

John said “What happened there is we stopped using rel next, rel previous, it never came up. Someone asked us about this like why is this not working. John said we realized we have not bene using this for a while. So put out a blog post that not using it anymore.


“Many sites are doing no follow links (new sites) How dod this impact the link graph?”

John says “ So on the one hand this is something that does affect our link graph and pick up new and fresh content. So it is a shame, it is not necessary. Theoretically news sites could do it that make sense for the webs.”

Hannah: “Many SEOs go to these site and say I need this link.”


“I can see how these new sites think it is a hassle dealing with the link issues. So we will solve it for us and so that is short sighted thinking cause to find useful content on the web, links play a role in it. Google cannot find the cool new content. It is hard for John to say to these sites to follow every link in the editorial content.”

There are a limited number of authoritative sites on the web that you want links and coverage from. In the last 12 months, you are seeing this close down . makes Hannah wonder links are still are a ranking factor right?

John said:

“Yes we still use them.”  So there we have it, Google admitted that links are still a ranking factor and that sometimes Google does not always know what they are dong. A fantastic BrightonSEO, as always, really well done Kelvin and team.




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