I have attended ‘Congreso SEO Profesional’ a few times (both in Valencia and Madrid). The event is organised by ‘Marketing Online Valencia’, an agency that takes pride in using analytics at the heart of their online marketing strategies. Sadly the last one took place in 2019, as the 2020 event got cancelled.
This SEO conference outstands from most of the mainstream conferences in Spain in that it is a guerrilla-based, tactical SEO conference on steroids.
With only two consecutive years running, the Congreso SEO conference in Valencia, has become popular amongst industry professionals for its transparency towards all sorts of SEO tactics. That is, blackhat SEO presentations are encouraged as much as other types of instructional or educational sessions, eg: advanced analytics. The requests for speaking are carefully scrutinised by the organisers to ensure all presentations are of high value.
Who were the speakers?
There were speakers from all sorts of sectors and levels: from consultants and freelancers to SEO agency owners and from small business owners running a one man show (Juan Palomo) to in house SEOs working for small and medium-sized businesses. All of them are professionals willing to tell and show their case studies (real life projects) either of their own or that of their clients. So what’s said in the conferences doesn’t get shared.
You can read about the programme and the full list of speakers following their enewsletter.
Who were the attendees?
Typically this section is always left for the end of the post, but I am going to mention the attendees first because it is with them that I learned the most and shared the best moments of this conference. The first night before the conference I was lucky enough to catch up with a group of lads with very diverse profiles ranging from white to black. It was a fantastic start to building lots of interesting contacts (and links of course).
The next day during the conference, I met many more SEOs some of whom I only knew via Twitter.
There are sessions of all colours at the Congreo SEO Profesional: blackhat, white and any colours in between, but most of them are highly educational. If any, you need to have an adequate knowledge of the Spanish language to take advantage of all goodness going on.
I feel that I can classify the sessions into five different buckets:
- Informational & Educational
- Strategic & analytical
- Case studies
- SEO tools.
The informational sessions were to say highly informative in the sense that they were going to the point with the ‘meat’ of the topics.
Strategic & analytical
Equally fulfilling are the various analytics and strategy sessions by the hand of different professionals that go to the stage to present case studies
As I said earlier, many of the sessions have a blackhat component, but at the same time they are all highly instructional too. It is up to the participant to decide what to do with the knowledge acquired and how much of the naughty stuff you want to implement.
There were great case studies on websites affected by different Google link, content updates or Core updates
SEO Tool demos
Often times there are SEO Tool showcase sessions instructional too to the point that they all contained an element of case study and taught us not only how to use the tool, but what aspects of competitor analysis to focus on and what data to extrapolate to help draw conclusions on actions.
The secrecy dimension
The organizers make it very clear from the beginning to keep some of the content quiet and refrain from letting some of the sensitive stuff out: the names of the companies used through the case studies, details on the blackhat tactics or methodology mentioned by the presenters.
They try to keep the uniqueness of the content to the attendees and due to this atmosphere of exclusivity, everyone seems to be more prone to give you their best tips and tricks both through the sessions and outside, during coffee, drinks or other networking times.
The networking and the ‘linktonics’
If you decide to make the move to Valencia (perhaps in Madrid next year?) and join one of these conferences, you will not only enjoy and learn from the sessions but also the networking. Which of the two gives you more value? I wouldn’t be able to choose between the two.
The sessions are great, but it is through the networking on all conference that you always exchange, share and discuss viewpoints, strategies and tactics that may or may not work for each sector or business model. If you look to learn blackhat, I’d say that it is through the networking where you are more likely to learn than during the sessions.
On the ‘Congreso SEO’ the bonus is that people go around looking for opportunities to exchange links. They are all keen to proposals that entail collaboration on content-supported links, straight link exchange, and any kind of link-building collaboration.
Nearly everyone runs their websites and boasts a number of blogs and websites, some even large numbers of blogs. In turn, mostly everyone I met encouraged and supported the idea of collaboration based on a safe one-way link approach.
‘Congreso SEO’ is a highly recommendable SEO event, which I thoroughly enjoyed and would not hesitate to recommend. Whether you work for an agency or work in-house, or a small enterprise environment or for an international organisation, if you speak and understand Spanish and want the best of an SEO event in Spain, this is the place to go.