Distilled LogoHey all, On Friday last week I went to an excellent conference about “Backlink Building” put on by the guys at Distilled. This was my first ever SEO Seminar, and it was brilliant. It was great to see soo many industry professionals all under one roof. Not to mention meeting Rand Fishkin !!

Edit: I have recently added a new post referencing a point Tom Critchlow made at this seminar, please read my post on how to “build yourself a network of professionals“.


About The Seminar

The aim of the conference was to discuss “Backink building” and how to think about and plan a Backlinking strategy.

The first speaker was Wil Reynolds who introduced us to some of the link building mistakes he has made in the past and told us certain things to pay attension to and to avoid. One thing I would take away from his talk is that “Diversity of backlinks is very important”. What he means is that they shouldn’t all be from High Quality sites, and shouldnt all contain the same Hyper Text. It might sound odd but it actually makes sence. The Backlinks will appear more “Natural” If they are very diverse.

Follow Wil on Twitter hes a good guy, www.twitter.com/wilreynolds.

The 2nd speaker was Jane Copeland, Ex SEOMoz employee. Her discussion was about Competitor analysis, and how to analyse what your competitors are doing with their link building strategy. She was explaining how important it is not to try and replicate your competitors backlink profile, as this will by very time consuming and virtually impossible. She spoke about how to analyse your business sector and to also pay attention to competitors who’s sites are quickly moving up the search engines.

The 3rd Speaker was Russ Jones, I really liked Russ he was honest about his techniques including his Black Hat knowledge!! (Although said these techniques shouldn’t be used). He discussed the benefits of social media, and directed us to the right social sites and told us what to spend our time on. We also compared certain similar Social Media sites such as DiggDelicious, Plime etc… The most important site he mentioned (In my opinion) was Reddit. One tip I would take away was to use “Clicky“, this is a real time analytics software. It is important when using social media to be able to track what is being discussed here and now, and ultimately respond to it.

The 4th Speaker was non other than Distilled’s own Tom Critchlow, He was possibly one of the best speakers I have ever seen at these events. Very enthusiastic, an inspiration to others. He gave us an insight into what it’s like to work for a Top SEO company such as SEOMoz. And gave up a huge list of tips and tricks to get us all thinking along the right lines. His most important tip may have been to develop a network of people around you, with whom you can bounce ideas off and gain extra knowledge. Follow Tom on twitter for more great tips, http://twitter.com/tomcritchlow.

The 5th Speaker was Paddy Moogan, Paddy gave a very important talk on the problems with “Outreach”. What to avoid and how to contact people for back links. He gave a great tip about planning your outreach, knowing what links you need is essential to success. A big part of his presentation was about “creating content for link building”, discussing info graphics in particular. He also gave tips for when contacting others for links, including “Be Personal” “Offer Something In Return” “Go After Big Hitters First”. Follow Paddy on Twitter for more excellent tips. @PaddyMoogan.

The 6th Speaker was Rand Fishkin, who had the most difficult job of the day. He was asked to give a talk on “The Future Of Link Building”. A big part of his talk was about “Social Signals” and the use of sites such as Twitter to help promote a sites “brand”. He also gave away a huge list of 30 tips, he also mentioned using cross domain canonical links, which act as 301 redirects. This is because 301′s get over used. Follow Rand on twitter (@randfish ) and also Join the SEOMoz community if you haven’t already. Rand makes some awesome posts in the SEOMoz blog, be sure to always check out his “Whiteboard Fridays“.

The 7th Speaker was Martin MacDonald from http://seoforums.org. Martin gave an awesome talk about “Lessons From The Darkside”. Black Hat techniques that work but are very risky and shouldn’t be used in the ethical white hat world. This again was an interesting talk because it gave a good insight into the darker side of SEO, a side which is generally frowned upon by most people in the Industry. Ultimately Martin made us understand that Black Hat techniques are for “Short Term Gain” and shouldn’t be used in a long term strategy. I especially liked his quote “An SEO who doesn’t push the boundaries isn’t a true SEO”. He also gave us a useful “Google Penalty Work Around”.

The 8th and final speaker of the day was Distilled’s Will Critchlow, He spoke about “Scaling White Hat SEO”. This was a very in depth talk about scaling site content to achieve great SEO results. He has written an excellant blog post on it, Scaling White Hat Link Building. I would suggest reading this as a start point as it is very difficult to explain.

Seminar Summary

All in all and excellent day out in London, plenty of great tips, which im sure I will be able to benefit from. The price of the ticket was totally justified. A great job done by a great SEO company. If you are thinking of attending any of the Distilled or SEOMoz seminars in the future, I would highly recommend that you do.

Also if you are in New Orleans GET YOU ASS TO THE SEMINAR !!! Info on the Distilled site.

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