SEO Community Spotlight: London

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Written by Rebecca Liew –

London’s SEO community is a vibrant, thriving one.

With so much ground to cover, we did some serious digging to showcase the city’s best SEO speakers, conferences, and meet-ups.

London’s search community was nascent but sizable from the early noughties. By around 2010, small SEO meet-ups were happening with fair regularity across the city.

As the search space flourished, some meet-ups gained enough traction to organize namesake conferences, including LondonSEO XL and SMX London.

There’s a meet-up for every kind of SEO professional. Here are some notable ones:

Search London

Search London has been around for over a decade.

For context, co-organizer Jo took over Search London in October 2010. Back then, the meet-up was known as “SEO, SMO and PPC” and was run by Judith Lewis—who today owns advertising agency Decabbit Consultancy.

The meet-up is open to anyone in SEO, PPC, or social media—and offers marketing professionals and first-time speakers a safe, supportive space to share their industry knowledge and experiences.

Credit: Search London via X

The group has ramped up its online and offline meet-ups in the past year—these typically take place once a month.

Search London speakers also occasionally broach broader and more diverse topics, such as how to be an LGBTQ+ ally in marketing, or handling workplace stress.

Search ‘n Stuff

After moving to London and attending several SEO meet-ups and conferences around the city, Yagmur founded Search ‘n Stuff in June this year. She even held a poll to gauge potential interest:

Unlike your typical SEO meet-up, each (paid) session takes place in a fireside restaurant with around 12 marketers. Expect sharings centered on strategies, campaigns, and other relevant topics.

Fledgling as Search ‘n Stuff may be, the group’s already held gatherings in Brighton and Istanbul. And Yagmur has bigger plans—including organizing a namesake conference that will bring together a diverse range of voices and insights.

Online Marketing London 

What started as a personal project for founder Gus in 2010 has since evolved drastically: Today, Online Marketing London brings together the city’s top SEOs and marketers through quarterly networking events and workshops.

Credit: Online Marketing LondonCredit: Online Marketing London

Topics of discussion revolve around the evolution of marketing, the future of work, and more. You can also join their Slack channel, Tech London—though it isn’t SEO-focused.

In 2024, Gus and Michael plan to organize more regular events for their members.

London SEO Meet-up

If you’ve heard of LondonSEO XL, you may know that the annual conference is an extension of this meet-up by SEO agency Blue Array.  

Since 2018, its mission has been to elevate the industry by promoting strong SEO practices and speakers. 

Before moving into a more casual networking session, its bimonthly meet-ups typically kick off with sharings from experts—past speakers include Nick Wilsdon, Paige Hobart, and Search London’s Jo. 

PPC Live

PPC Live is relatively new to the SEO scene: After noticing there weren’t any PPC networking events around the city, Anu founded the (ticketed) meet-up in April 2022.

Events take place once a quarter, with the next one slated for Jan 2024. Each session is a casual get-together over drinks and food as four speakers share their expertise. Expect a solid lineup—past speakers include Rand Fishkin, Crystal Carter, Holly Kelly, and more.

SEO conferences in London

Search conferences across the UK are aplenty—but you’ll find some solid options within London, too

(Not from around here? We rounded up the best SEO conferences from elsewhere.)

WTSFest London

Women in Tech SEO (WTS) began in 2019 as a support network for women in the technical SEO space and has grown to 6,000 members across Facebook and Slack.

Founder Areej AbuAli has since organized three editions of WTSFest—an annual full-day conference whose speakers come from all areas of search. WTS also runs workshops, a mentorship program, and even a podcast and newsletter. 

LondonSEO XL Conference

LondonSEO runs meet-ups, as we mentioned earlier—but their conferences are really a culmination of the Blue Array team’s hard work. (Ahrefs was even a headline sponsor for LondonSEO XL in 2022 and 2023!)

Credit: Blue ArrayCredit: Blue Array

For a taste of what to expect, you can access speaker slides and replay videos from this year’s conference here. Speakers included Barry Schwartz, Chima Mmeje, Ahrefs’ own Joshua Hardwick, and many more.

MeasureCamp London

Conceived in 2012 by Peter O’Neill, MeasureCamp is a (free!) digital analytics conference that now takes place in 24 cities around the world.

The idea behind the conference was born of casual meet-ups among a group of developers, product managers, and social media users. Peter leveraged the growing network and organized the first MeasureCamp conference in Mozilla’s London office in Sep 2012.

At MeasureCamp London 2023, experts from the likes of Meta, Conductrics, and Measurelab discussed everything from full-funnel growth to measuring email performance.

SearchLove Conference

SearchLove is a marketing conference conceived in 2009 by Distilled founders Will Critchlow and Duncan Morris. The conference today takes place in London, San Diego, and Philadelphia.

Credit: SearchLove (via Facebook)Credit: SearchLove (via Facebook)

In its most recent San Diego edition, the two-day conference saw 200+ marketers in attendance to glean insights from the likes of Dr. Pete Meyers, Aleyda Solis, and Will Reynolds.

Search Marketing Expo (SMX) London

This well-loved conference series by Search Engine Land has been around for 15 years (!), and brings together some of the best-in-class marketers. 

Credit: SMX London (via Facebook)Credit: SMX London (via Facebook)

Despite its name, the conference is open to everyone: developers, PR reps, and social media marketers. Each edition has multiple tracks no matter your level of experience, so you’re bound to leave with fresh takeaways and an expanded network of contacts.

SEO professionals in London

You’ll find a slew of talented search professionals residing in the city—and attending meet-ups and conferences too. These include:

Areej AbuAli, Crawlina

Areej is best known for founding Women in Tech SEO. This community champions diversity and inclusion for underrepresented voices in the tech industry. She’s also the founder of SEO consultancy Crawlina, whose services span technical and on-site SEO.

Will Critchlow, SearchPilot

Will is the founder and CEO of SearchPilot, a server-side A/B testing platform. He previously co-founded Distilled alongside Duncan Morris. The pair are also the brains behind SearchLove Conference.

Chima Mmeje, Moz

Chima is a senior content marketer at Moz and a contributor to Zenith Copy, Search Engine Watch, and more. Before this, she worked on content strategy projects for the likes of Aura, Pace, and First Page Strategy.

Judith Lewis, Decabbit Consultancy

Judith has over 25 years of digital marketing experience, with a focus on SEO. She founded and currently helms advertising firm Decabbit Consultancy.

Anu Adegbola, PPC Live

Anu is the CMO and founder of PPC Live, a London-based meet-up. She’s served in various paid search roles and was previously global CMO at Brainlabs. She also hosts and produces a podcast called #PPCChat Roundup—give it a listen here.

Gus Ferguson, Ascendant

Gus is the co-founder of venture consultancy Ascendant, where he looks after its growth marketing efforts. He is also a co-organizer for marketing meet-up Online Marketing London. Prior to this, he served as partner at growth agency Salience.

Yagmur Simsek, Philip Morris International

When she’s not organizing meet-ups for Search ‘n Stuff, Yagmur is an in-house SEO at Philip Morris International. She’s also the co-founder of cybersecurity firm CGS Network, and previously worked in SEO strategy roles at digital agencies including Re:signal and Optdcom. 

London is home to a high concentration of search-focused agencies—among them Blue Array, The SEO Works, GenieCrawl, SEO Works, Crawlina, Brainlabs, and Make Agency.

Then there’s Screaming Frog, which you may know (and use!) thanks to its site crawler and log file analyzer tools. They also have an offshoot agency that offers SEO services and beyond.

Another popular (if slightly more niche) company is SearchPilot by Will Critchlow, whom we mentioned a little earlier. His company’s SEO A/B testing platform is built for businesses across retail, travel, ecommerce, and more.

Final thoughts

With the wealth of search events and meet-ups around London, it’s never been easier to expand your network or get involved—many groups are on the constant lookout for first-time speakers, organizers, event spaces, and sponsors.

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