How To Set Up and Run a Meetup Group

I have recently been asked about what it is like to run my own meetup group, Search London.  SEOGadget are sponsoring my next event on Tuesday and I wrote a post on their blog about “Never Underestimate the Value of Networking”   I have been the organiser of Search London for just over 2 years and in that time the number of attendees has grown from 200 to over 1100.  It has been a fantastic 2 years and 2013 will see Search London continue to grow. I have really enjoyed being the organiser of this meetup group and I encourage anyone with a passion in a particular field to set up and run one too.  Here are some of my tips on how to run your own meetup group:

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2013 SEO Predictions from Andre Alpar

I met Andre Alpar from AKM3 while I was in Germany last year as part of the Euro 2012 State of Search Roadshow.  Andre is certainly a busy guy, he has a English podcast, is one Partner of AKM3 and also has an online cigar store.  I asked Andre (remotely) about what he thought 2013 means for search.

Looking back at 2012, what has been the major change in SEO that you have experienced?

Two things were very easy to observe. One is internationalization – many of our clients are active in many countries. That made us, as an agency, diversify, so we can deliver high-quality content and link marketing campaigns in 20 countries now.  Another major change was a very strong shift to quality which came through Panda and Penguin, both being massive updates.

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Be Careful with WordPress – Hacked Sites

2013 was going to be a great year for the website SEO Jo Blogs.  It turns 4 years old next month. However, last Thursday I found out both this site and my travel site (using wordpress themes) had been hacked into due to the themes I was using.  I will write a blog post about how I found this out later, I just wanted to let everyone know that this current theme is only temporary. I really liked the old theme wpzoom- but unfortunately it was hacked into.  If anyone can recommend a great theme they have used before, let me know.

Search London – January Meetup with Google

At the next Search London meetup we are lucky to have Pierre Far from Google.  Pierre is a webmaster trends analyst,  speaking about Google’s Recommendations for Smartphone Websites.

The event will take place on:

  • Date: Tuesday January 22nd
  • Time: From 7:00pm
  • Location: 19/20 Great Sutton Street, Clerkenwell, London, EC1V 0DR

Pierre attends many search conferences and I first met him at SMX London in May last year.  He follows industry trends in SEO and web development in order to help different Google teams build better tools for webmasters and improve search quality.  He will be providing valuable insight to the first Search London event of 2013.

Pierre also writes for the Webmaster Central Blog and participates in Google and external forums, helping site owners troubleshoot search-related problems and get the most out of Google Webmaster Tools.  Prior to joining Google, Pierre held several roles in the technology sector, including community and product management, innovation consulting, and online marketing. He has a Ph.D. in bacterial genetics from the University of Cambridge.

2013 will see a few positive changes to Search London.  Instead of going onto as before, please register and “buy” your ticket through the Search London event brite page.  All future events will need to be registered via eventbrite and not through


Free Search Events in Q1 2013

2012 was an exciting year and I was fortunate to be able to attend many conferences, including SMX, Link Love and Search Love.  However, attending conferences can be very expensive.  There is the cost of the ticket, plus the hotel and sometimes even the flight.  There are however, many events and meetups that provide audiences with valuable insight and case studies and one of the best parts, is that they are free (or cost just £5.00). Here are just some of them taking place in Q1 this year.


I thought January was supposed to be a quiet time of year, but there are many meetup groups holding their events this month, I have only noted down 4 taking place in London:


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Working Down Under – Digital Agencies in Sydney

I wrote a post about Search Down Under  earlier this year about the opportunities available in Australia.

There are many place to work in Perth, Melbourne Sydney. Australia has not been hit by the GFC which is short for the Global Financial Crisis (and is how Australians refer to the recession in Europe).  Sydney and Melbourne have the highest number of digital agencies, although Perth was named Australia’s top E town in August, due to the number of online businesses set up in 2012.


For those searching for a job in digital in Sydney, there are many companies on the look out for fresh talent.

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SEO Predictions for 2013


Sun Sets

As the sun sets on 2012, I wish you all a very Happy New Year and look forward to the developments in search for 2013.  So what does 2013 have install for search?  I was inspired by Hannah Smith’s post on SEO in 2012 on State of Search and it made me reflect and think that so much has happened this past year, how can we begin predict what will happen in 2013?.  I held a Search London event on 27th of November about SEO in 2013 where Richard Baxter and Lee Smallwood give their predictions for the next year. Based on what has happened this year and also from key professionals in the industry, I have a few thoughts of what will take place in 2013:

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Merry Christmas 2012 from SEO Jo Blogs

2012 has been an exciting year.  Bas van den Beld asked the State of Search bloggers what our highlights have been for 2012.  I started thinking what my greatest achievements have been this year and what my plans are for 2013.

Christmas Tree

1) Working for SEO Jo

I have been working freelance for just over two years and one year full time.  I spent the first 3 months of 2012 in Australia, staying with my sister Ruth and her husband Matt  (who both took part in the 20km Rottnest swim).  I worked for a search agency in Perth, WA, helping them with some of their key accounts. I also did some freelance SEO work for a couple of agencies in London.  I really enjoyed working across different accounts, in the different cities.

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Search London – SEO in 2013

The last Search London event for the year took place on November 27th in Shoreditch and we had two great speakers talk about SEO in 2013.

I would like to say a thank you to the speakers Lee Smallwood and Richard Baxter.  Richard came on the day that his company SEOGadget opened a new office in San Francisco, so he has been pretty busy.  Richard Baxter, has uploaded his presentation onto slideshare.  Lee Smallwood’s presentation is also on slideshare.

Search London continues to grow and this event was the largest to date with 291 RSVPs.  This was also the first time there was a Search London organising team who had helped put on the event.  I was pleased to have a Search London organising team on board as the number of members has grown considerably.  I was actually looking back at the number of members and in January 2012 and there were 592 people and now there are over 1,107. It has almost doubled in size in just 12 months.

Search London Team with Lee Smallwood and Richard Baxter


Luella Ben AzizaTim Sheed and Mike Chidzey and of course myself make up the Search London Organising Team.  I am currently in Australia and therefore will miss out the next event in early 2013.  However, I will be back in March for another great Search London meetup.


Thank you to everyone for their support and continuing to come to Search London, which seen the meetup double in size in 2012.  Lets hope the growth and interest continues in 2013.

I hope you all have a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year.  As soon as the details of the next Search London event are confirmed, it will be announced.