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Croud take to the stage at Brighton SEO3 min read

3 min read

The Croud team recently attended BrightonSEO, the most popular and respected organic search conference in the UK. With 3,500+ experts and marketing professionals who attend every year from across the globe, it’s no wonder it’s now the largest SEO conference in Europe.

Croud’s visit to BrightonSEO would be made especially memorable as our very own Ric Rodriguez would be taking to the stage and making his debut, taking a look at ‘The SEO’s Guide to JavaScript’.

The talk was aimed at SEOs who have notoriously shielded themselves from JavaScript, a famously tough nut to crack.

On the day of the conference, we woke bright and early, lanyards in hand, and took a moment to soak up the atmosphere whilst being bombarded by a barrage of merchandise and networking opportunities, bumping into faces both old and new.

As we waited for the sessions to begin, thumbing our conference schedules, the room quickly filled to capacity of 150+ attendees. Ric emanated an air of confidence and calm while the Croud team readied their cameras and phones to capture the moment.


Ric took to the stage and was greeted by a flurry of frantic typing and scribbling of notes. He delighted the crowd with his charisma and intelligence and tackled weighty subjects with clarity and ease. Complex points were made simple, with the overarching theme of the talk being “if Google isn’t there to see it, it can’t know what happened” – a memorable and meaningful point which gave the audience food for thought.

The top takeaway for me was Ric’s point of “only use JavaScript when needed, to make user experience better”.

Key points of Ric’s talk

  • JavaScript is used because it’s fast, ubiquitous and engaging – and we need to understand it
  • It is used to enhance parts of a page or build whole pages
  • Frameworks are different ways to apply common JavaScript principles
  • Audit pages using inspect element (so you can see what’s included once code has loaded)
  • Use server-side rendering to make sure key elements aren’t missed
  • Clearly define each page and stick to the fundamentals – make sure crawlers can see the parts that matter
  • Embrace Javascript – it’s faster, it’s better and it’s here to stay!

The talk ended with an eruption of applause offered from both the audience and speakers. We left the room with our heads filled with knowledge and a feeling of pride. See Ric’s slides here.

Stacey MacNaught

In the quick gap between talks, we eagerly debated which talk to see next. With so much choice on offer, it was difficult to decide but eventually, we decided on the ‘Advanced Keyword Research’ talk. The speakers were excellent, with a special mention to Stacey MacNaught, who gave some first-rate advice and some great insight into the tools we could potentially use in the future.

Greg Gifford

We headed out for lunch, enthusiastically discussing all we had heard that morning, what we liked, what we didn’t and what we were eager to put into practice. At lunch, again the recurring subject of which conference we should watch came up. There was plenty of debate, but Ric convinced us to go and see the ‘local SEO guru’ Greg Gifford.

Greg Gifford did not disappoint. His presentation had a unique spin, as he talked through eighty slides, each one with an ‘eighties movie’ reference. One minute he had the audience laughing, the next furiously scribbling down his expert tips. His creative approach really got the room talking; it was definitely a talk we would not forget.

It was with a heavy heart when the conference ended, but we knew we would have plenty to talk about on the train ride home.