The International Search Summit conference came back to London on 28 October this year. I was invited to speak about my experiences doing SEO for a non profit in the form of a case study for the British Council. Hence the title of the presentation: Global SEM in an international non-for-profit.

International search summit London 2010

My slide deck has been uploaded on slideshare. You can view the presentation on the embedded slides or download it. Feel free to repurpose it for your own use if you find them useful, but if you do please be kind and remove all British Council branding and imagery.

It is difficult to convey the same ideas and concepts on these slides without the accompanying speech, but the top messages are there.

The main areas I spoke about were

  • the British Council’s mission and objectives
  • the web network model,  the diversity of the projects we work on
  • the challenges we face as an public body international cultural relations organisation
  • the much needed marketing resources
  • the deficiencies of our technical platform and CMS
  • the simple but effective low cost SEO strategies that bring benefit to the organisation
  • the importance of giving credit for the achievements
  • a couple of tools I use for the management of SEO projects.

One of the top messages that I tried to send across was to do with how the power of a big brand can make the simplest of your SEO strategies successful, how the absolute industrial strength of our sites can support longtail strategies by realising our internal linking power, and how the added support of simple link building strategies like niche directory submissions can give us the needed edge to achieve search engine visibility for competitive terms.

Updates like the MayDay or Vince in the past may seem to have brought opportunities for brands and/or losses for smaller businesses.  My experience of doing SEO for an organisation with recognised brand status and positioning is that whatever the various updates that may have taken place on the Google other international search engines the advantage of having a recognised brand can result in garnering amazing opportunities to gain links. This in turns impacts positively on the SEO strategies if the value of those branded links is used efficiently via internal linking structures that work and avoiding critical mistakes like javascript navigation structures.

If you would like to read more about the event, Gemma Birch, from WebCertain wrote a piece on the Multilingual Search Blog where they present Inway Ni owner of one of the most successful gaming sites in China: as the winner to the Medallion Speaker at the ISS.

You can find coverage of the event at other sites: Yandex, Baidu and Google competition on the Freshegg site and several live blogging sessions at State of Search where you can read all related posts by Louise Venter, of which I particularly like the one by Mark Hauksson on IP addresses and GEO targetting .

Did you happen to attend the ISS in London too? please feel free to comment on the presentations you found useful and/or enjoyed the most.

Reader Interactions


  1. Wow, promoting 560 sites with duplicate content is a phenomenal challenge. I like the pragmatic approach to SEO for the British Council. Keep up the good work!

  2. Ruben, thanks for commenting, let me add that I dont take part in consulting or implementing for all those many sites… those are the rough No of sites that exist in the British Council network. My role is mainly to develop a corporate strategy, deliver training and advice on technical SEO… saludos!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

amet, vel, accumsan quis, non sit