Searchlove 2013 – Recap

Finally after some months – Brandkraft is back with a whole new english category – International search! Enjoy the next weeks and let´s get started with Julia Webber with the Searchlove 2013 recap.

Last week, the Searchlove conference took place in London. Organised by the nice guys from distilled, it was definitely one of the best conferences I’ve been to (not only because the food was super yummy). As it was only one track, you did not have to live in constant fear of missing the best presentation of the century because you were sitting in the wrong room…

(Distilled, Searchlove 2013, photo:

Overall I really liked the broad topical approach. Topics reached from Story Telling to Culturability, Mobile Optimisation, Ontology and international SEO, reminding us once more that the work of us search marketers has become much broader than it used to be.

Never trust your gut feeling

Amelia Showalter was one of the first speakers to hit the stage on Monday morning. As the Director of Digital Analytics for Obama’s 2012 re-election campaign, she did not focus on the big data topic like so many others before her, but shared her experience with online testing approaches and results. Her recommendation: Test absolutely everything, from subject line to images, text, layout etc. and, most importantly, never trust your gut feeling. Keeping a test calendar is a good way to have an overview over past and future tests. Amelia also emphasized the importance of fostering a culture of testing in your company and to circulate the test results afterwards.

Big content promotion

Next up was Simon Penson, founder and managing director of Zazzle Media. He talked about the new rules of big content promotion, i.e. the components of a successful seeding strategy. Major takeaways were the recommendation to create personas in order to have a clear picture of the target group and then find out what they are interested in and on which type of websites and social channels they mainly hang out. For successful outreach, one should use an integrated approach by including paid as well as earned media, owned properties and social platforms. Make use of an almost forgotten but super-efficient tool for outreach: the phone! (This pro-tip came up various times during the conference by the way…)

Informational architecture

Another very interesting and memorable presentation came from Abby Covert a.k.a. ABBY_THE_IA. “Lessons from an ontology nerd” explored possible misunderstandings of meaning and what this implies for search. Ontology can be defined as the study of meaning and is one of three critical components of information architecture. The other two components are taxonomy and choreography, which try to answer the following questions: Have you provided logical structures that bring meaning to what you present? (taxonomy) and How is meaning affected across various channels, over time and through usage? (choreography). Abby pointed out 5 main points regarding meaning:

  • Meaning is subjective
  •  Meaning is socio political
  • Meaning is psychographic
  • Meaning gets lost in translation
  • Meaning is not talked about enough

So in order to provide the customer with a good user experience, having a foundation of shared meaning is indispensable. This is not only important when you are planning to expand your business to other countries and have to make sure that you use the appropriate terms for your products, but also inside your own company. Different departments might use different terms for the same thing, risking that the meaning will get lost in translation. One way to tackle these problems is the creation of a so-called ‘alien dictionary’, where you define a term and then go more into detail by further defining all the terms that are necessary for the definition.


Abby ended her presentation by urging us all to at least remember one sentence: Know what you mean when you say what you say!

These three presentations show only a small part of the wide variety of topics, of course. Aleyda Solis, Wil Reynolds or Craig Bradford –to just name a few- also shared interesting insights with the attendants and contributed to an overall very nice and informational conference.

So if you want to take a closer look yourself and see what else was talked about at Searchlove, head over to Slideshare where you will find most of the presentations:

Posted on November 12, 2013 in Headline, International Search

Responses (2)

  1. Arthur
    November 12, 2013 at 17:21 ·

    Nice recap.
    Now I’m loving the searchlove.
    Next year I will also join the conference. 🙂

  2. Norman
    November 12, 2013 at 17:43 ·

    I share the love for search with you.

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