I head to #MozCon 2013 in Seattle

So, I’m setting off on a 12,400 mile round trip to Seattle from our offices in Leeds. I’ll be honest; I’ve been wanting to go to #MozCon for years to see how our American friends at Moz run what is widely regarded in the industry as ‘the best search marketing conference in the world’.

There seems to be a distinctly different attendee list between the US and European conferences, which isn’t really surprising considering the distance! This is great for me personally because although I’ve met some amazing marketers in Europe, I’m always eager to meet new people and learn more (and everyone loves talking shop at MozCon, right?)

After helping to organise and speak at the highly successful SEO conference, I know just how hard (and rewarding) a conference is to run. For those marketers who have never attended a search marketing conference, I can’t recommend it enough. It’s easily the most productive environment to learn new SEO techniques and action changes to your strategies to ensure that you’re constantly future-proofing your campaigns.

Over the last few years the algorithm updates have become more frequent, and more punishing if you’ve been working on sites which have been highly SEO’d in the past. As the Google updates (sorry Bing – I do actually really like your search engine and use it religiously on my Windows Phone but, as we all know, it’s mostly all about Google) continue to reward brands such as Amazon (who, post-Penguin 2.0, seem to be in the top 3 organic SERPs for everything from greenhouses to green t-shirts), search marketing is harder, but for me personally more enjoyable than ever before. This is one of the reasons why I’m looking forward to talking to like-minded marketers across the pond.

What’s going to be the hot topic at MozCon 2013?

At ionSearch in April one of the most interesting topics for me personally was Google penalties and link removal. In fact, the subject of spam and link removal has led to a new friendship with Sha Menz, head of product development at Rmoov, with whom I spoke as part of a seminar about bad backlinks and how to remove them.

As I’ve mentioned before, if you’ve been affected by the Google Penguin updates, it can be quite a complicated process to devise a strategy to get you back on track. Whether you have a Penguin-related issue, or, still fairly commonly, a Panda problem, you need to know what you’re dealing with – whether it be a manual spam action, or an algorithmic devaluation – before deciding on a course of action.

We’ve been removing Google penalties and undertaking link removal from long before the launch of the Penguin update in 2012. We’ve helped companies, including well-known household names, recover their websites on an international scale. One of the hardest parts I find is educating companies who have dabbled in cheap link building in the past as to why they need to change their attitude to search marketing.

I’ve been ‘banging on’ about this for years, but a modern, successful organic search marketing campaign isn’t just about link building. Sure it’s important and makes all the difference, but what’s the point of getting the traffic if you have a poor website that doesn’t convert? I’m sure that much of the discussion at MozCon 2013 will centre on a holistic approach to online marketing, and I can’t wait to see if speakers there share the same opinions as many at this year’s ionSearch. If you’ve not seen them yet, I strongly recommend watching the free videos featuring keynote addresses from the conference.

Following MozCon, I will be speaking about “Google penalties and what’s the next step” at two events; firstly in Seattle and secondly in San Francisco. You can get a ticket to the link removal roadshow on Eventbrite.com

If you’re heading to MozCon, or would like to come to the link removal workshops run by link removal software company Rmoov, drop me a tweet or send me an email.

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