Let the parties begin…

By the end of each day at the conference your brain can begin to feel a little RankBrain tormented, so to relax and unwind we have some networking events planned that will make your night one to remember!

The networking events at UnGagged are personal, chilled, open, and fun. Not only are contact details swapped, but business plans are put in motion. All sponsors/exhibitors, speakers and attendees are welcome. We look forward to seeing you there!

Here is your party planner for the conference:

Monday November 14, 2016

Event: Networking Bar

Tonight’s your chance to network with your fellow attendees outside of the classroom. A relaxed and open environment is created, offering you the perfect opportunity to exchange contact details and make future business plans with your fellow attendees. WebCertain will be sponsoring this event, so it’s definitely not one to be missed!

When: 6:00pm – 8.00pm
Where: Trinidad Pavilion
Sponsor: WebCertain

Webcertain Networking Bar

Monday November 14, 2016

Event: After Party

It’s party time! Now that your pocket is full of new business contacts, it’s time to unleash your inner viking spirit with the Internet Vikings. A delicious buffet is offered; tempting you to angus prime ribs, leg of lamb, seasonal vegetables and more; all where you can enjoy seated at the tables situated around the room, with your new found friends.

When: 8:00pm – Late
Where: Havana Room
Sponsor: Internet Vikings

Internet Vikings After Party

Tuesday November 15 2016

Event: Networking Bar

Be sure not to pass up this invaluable opportunity to meet people you may not have socialised with before, discover new business opportunities and share a night of fun with the UnGagged clan. There will be a backlit bar sponsored by 1SEO.com, open and ready for you to visit at your leisure. A delicious buffet dinner will be served, creating the perfect sit-down meal situation to further network with your fellow attendees.

When: 6:00pm – 8:30pm
Where: Trinidad Pavilion
Sponsor: 1SEO.com Digital Agency

1SEO.com Networking Bar

Wednesday November 16, 2016

Event: Farewell Drinks

The time has come to say goodbye, but not without a farewell party! Make the most of your last chance of networking with some of the greatest SEOs, Digital marketers, entrepreneurs, and CEOs all gathered together under one roof. SEO.io is sponsoring this event, so it is sure to end your experience with a celebration. So long, farewell, auf Wiedersehen, adieu… until next time!

When: 3:00pm – 5:00pm
Where: Trinidad Garden
Sponsor: SEO.io

SEO.io Farewell Drinks

James Bavington started his career in web design and now 10 years on he is the Director of his own agency, StrategiQ. After giving a talk at UnGagged London earlier this year on technical SEO for small businesses, James will be joining us at UnGagged Las Vegas. Prior to his session, James gave an exclusive interview with UnGagged.


UnGagged: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got started in SEO.

James Bavington: My career in digital really started after I graduated in traditional Graphic Design, specialising in digital design for the web. After joining a small agency who specialised in building websites for local businesses, I naturally moved into SEO as the golden age of SEO was in full swing.

From the moment I launched my first client’s website, I had a fascination with search rankings and a curiosity for how they could be improved by tweaking the website and building links. I remember seeing results quite quickly for all of my clients back-then and it was very rewarding and addictive!

Having worked in digital for over ten years now, my background has seen my role evolved from website design, to front-end development, technical SEO and now consulting as a director and partner of my own agency.

UnGagged: What will you be speaking about at UnGagged?

James: My session at UnGagged shares up-to-date, actionable tips that we at StrategiQ leverage for our small and local businesses. With my specialisms being around conversion, technical SEO and strategy there are of lot of amazing tricks, tools and services out there that I don’t think marketers are aware of or have the confidence to implement.

Alongside the lesser-known light-side of SEO, my talk also shares a few darker strategies that wander a little closer to the grey-hat line that work, or in some cases must be avoided!

UnGagged: In your niche sector, what’s the most annoying SEO misconception?

James: That SEO is simply link-building and off-page. I personally believe that technical and on-page SEO is an equally important factor that should be up-to-date, on-point and can drive fast, real results for clients. I know this because we’ve done it for countless small business who work with us at StrategiQ.

Whether it’s a sitemap restructure, pagespeed improvement or simply improving content, solid on-page SEO is the cornerstone and foundation of any digital marketing campaign for our clients.

UnGagged: What is your current favorite SEO tool or platform?

James: Whilst there are so many I use, HotJar has to be my favourite at the moment. Their heatmaps, recordings, funnel analysis and polls really help marketers to analyse the traffic they’re working so hard to drive to the website.

The interface is so easy-to-use and now that it’s available as a built-in Tag within Google Tag Manager, it takes minutes to install. Although we have a premium account, you can sign-up and leverage all of the tools for free. If you’re interested in conversion as much as driving the traffic, this tool is so easy to adopt and utilise.

UnGagged: What is the best thing about UnGagged?

After recently attending UnGagged in London 2016, what really stood out to me was how much the speakers are comfortable sharing because the sessions are strictly not recorded and delegates are not allowed to take photos either. You really have to be there to absorb the content that world-leading marketers are happy to share when the camera’s not rolling!

Because of the discretion, I noticed a lot of the speakers were also happy to share real-world examples of their recommendations (and sometimes failures) without fear of their talk contents reaching the outside world. I’m very much looking forward to attending Vegas this year!

This year’s US Search Awards was held in Las Vegas on the 12 October, at Caesar’s Palace. This particular awards night turned out to be better than ever before. Why? Because some of our legendary UnGagged speakers were featured amongst the 2016 winners.

We would like to take this opportunity to say a special congratulations from the UnGagged team to our winners; Paul Bongers, Director of Sales US East at Searchmetircs; Marty Weintraub, Found of AimClear; Eric Enge, President of Stone Temple Consulting, and Larry Kim; Founder of WordStream.

As this event is the biggest celebration of search, PPC and digital marketing in the US; it is an honour and great privilege to be able to have these winners as speakers at our upcoming UnGagged Las Vegas event.

To see what these celebrated company’s and individual’s have won, their awards are listed below;

Wordstream & Firstline Locksmiths – Locking up the Local SERP
Larry Kim

Wordstream & insightCuba – Setting Sail for New Travel Markets
Larry Kim


Searchmetrics Inc – The Searchmetrics Suite
Paul Bongers

Aimclear – PR Earns Inc. 5000 Again!
Marty Weintraub

Aimclear Marketing Agency
Marty Weintraub

Stone Temple Consulting
Eric Enge

Mitch Larson, Ad Operations Analyst, Aimclear
Marty Weintraub

Eric Enge, President, Stone Temple Consulting
See the exclusive UnGagged interview with Eric Enge here!

We look forward to welcoming these winners back into their natural habitat in November this year, speaking at what will be another successful, cutting-edge event at UnGagged!

2016 has been a busy year for Eric Enge, CEO and Founder of Stone Temple Consulting. Not only did he win the US Search Personality of the Year, but he also won Search Marketer of the Year from Search Engine Land. Ahead of Eric’s session this November, UnGagged had the pleasure of sitting down with him for an exclusive interview!

UnGagged: Tell us a bit about your background and how you got started in SEO.

Eric Enge: Well, I graduated in 1982, so I’ve been working for a few years. Most of my early career was very technical (hardware design, software engineering, managing software dev teams, …) but eventually I drifted into business  and marketing, as I was one of those engineering types that could explain things to people.

I’ve been in SEO since 2002. At the time, I was doing business development consulting for people, and it was going quite well. But, a friend of mine took over as the CEO of a DVD De-tailer, and he asked me help him out with some biz dev.

After exploring that for a few weeks, I went to him and suggested that we try to get traffic from search engines. Like a good CEO, he said to me “great idea, you go do that!”  So I did. One year later, we were doing about $3M per year in sales from SEO.

So seeing that, I realized how big SEO really was, and decided to shift my career focus in that direction!

UnGagged: What will you be speaking about at UnGagged?

Eric: I’m going to be speaking about the impact of content quality on SEO. I know, I know, that sounds obvious, but I’m going to take it further and show how you can use things like Term Frequency / Inverse Document Frequency analysis to identify gaps in your content when comparing it to the pages that currently rank in the top 10 for your critical search query targets.

It’s a really cool technique, and it works really well in terms of improving page content quality, as well as search rankings.

UnGagged: In your niche sector, what’s the most annoying SEO misconception?

Eric: There are so many misconceptions to choose from! I think one of them is that many people believe that RankBrain has taken over the whole Google algorithm, and it’s just not true. RankBrain exists for purposes of better understanding user search queries.

It’s able to do that because it has done a comprehensive analysis of language usage across the web and has increased Google’s understanding of phrases, when and where certain words matter, and when they don’t, and other such things.

People don’t appreciate how incredibly complex that achievement already is, and the idea that the very same algo would take over other factors is, well, just a bit nuts. I’ve built machine learning algorithms (I do still do technical things), and because of that, I have an appreciation for why you wouldn’t have one algo do both language analysis,  and evaluating other ranking factors at the same time.

UnGagged: What is your current favorite SEO tool or platform?

Eric: There are so many great tools out there.  The Enterprise SEO tools (Searchmetrics, Conductor, Brightedge, SEO Clarity) all have a lot to offer. Then there are a ton of specialty tools for things like link analysis.

We also build tools in-house at Stone Temple, which we use to cover gaps we see between market needs and what’s available in the market. For example, we have our own web crawler that will happily crawl hundreds of millions of  pages.

UnGagged: What is the best thing about UnGagged?

Eric: I’ve never been before! But, from what I’ve heard, UnGagged does a great job of getting speakers to go deeper than they normally do in public presentations. As the conference is tailored to the more advanced digital marketers, we’ll be able to get down into more of the nuances of what makes something work, and that’s exactly what I plan to do!

As an affiliate marketer, you’re in the weeds far more often than the talking heads, so undoubtedly you’re sick and tired of seeing the same ideas wrapped around new terms in order to sell a course or ebook (unless of course, you’re the one selling that course or ebook). Influencer marketing is at risk for being viewed in the same light. Just as SEO -> inbound marketing -> growth hacking -> content marketing, isn’t influencer marketing just social media outreach + sales? Yes, yes it is.

By my definition, influencer marketing is just having someone else tell your story for you. What makes this insane trend a bit different is in the early days of social, we didn’t yet have the ability to granularly tie social activity to sales to appropriately track ROI. Now we do, and so now the channel can be treated more like a grown-up marketing channel similar to paid search, native, or display.

What trend? This one:

Google Trends Influencer Marketing Graph

That’s a Google Trends graph on ‘influencer marketing.’ Granted, since you might know me as Cygnus the Black Hat SEO, it is possible that the first thought that crosses your mind is “maybe Cygnus is just manipulating the query volume.”  Not a bad thought really, but I don’t even have to. Sit on a few marketing Twitter streams for a day and you’ll see that as a proportion of word count, the term is exploding in usage. Everyone seems to have a different opinion on what influencers are and how to use them. I’m not into the fluffy feel good Dr. Phil definitions, so I prefer to focus on where the money is: my influencers are real people with audiences somewhat relevant to the products and services I need to sell; they are peers to my buyers, which allows me to use buyer personas to determine.

Without making this long article even longer than it already will end up being, I won’t go too deep into a few areas (namely goal setting and buyer persona setup), so here are some quick references.

  1. How to establish the appropriate goals (as an affiliate I’m hoping this is a CPA of some sort)
  2. Why you should be using influencers and how to use existing data for buyer personas
  3. Consumer behavior factor filtering to get more exact buyer personas

If I can assume that you’ve read up on how to determine your ideal buyer persona to match the goals that matter most to you, we can now get crazy by finding some peers that match one of your buyer personas. I wouldn’t be shilling if I didn’t say “just use Intellifluence”, so yeah, just use Intellifluence. Do you like that big UnGagged splash page? 75% off if you use the code. A little BlackHatWorld and UnGagged love goes a long ways.

Otherwise, let’s do this the hard way and head over to Buzzsumo. I don’t know what niche you’re in, so I’m going to pick something random…like fashion.

Buzzsumo Influencers

Buzzsumo is claiming 3120 pages worth of influencers relevant to ‘fashion’; take this with a grain of salt as they are essentially just scraping bio profiles without performing any higher level analysis. Still though, that is a significant number of people to work with.

Now what?

If you’re trying to get someone in the fashion industry to send traffic to your affiliate site, you need to start filtering down. One quick and dirty way would be to view links shared – do you have a handy competitor list? You better. Have a subscription to Ahrefs, Majestic, or Moz? Good.

If you are exporting this all into Excel or MySQL, you can quickly loop through to determine who is sharing links and which of those people is sharing links on lower quality domains – I don’t mean to be dismissive in saying lower quality; what sharing of lower quality domains indicates is the potential influencer is more willing to explore “new” brands and sites…which you can position yourself as.

Stalk Your List

The next logical step is to perform some outreach on the influencer so you can pitch them. The AdSense spammer approach would be to just direct message them all on Twitter since you have the handles and ask them to share an article.

*Yawn* Boring.

You’re a sophisticated affiliate though. If you read some of the earlier links, you’ll see I’m fan of indirectly influencing people in order to result in a chained decision tree that results in an action. This is no different. You have a targeted list of people you really want to start pimping your site. So how?

  1. Take the list and feed through Full Contact to get LinkedIn accounts.
  2. Systematically view each of these influencers profile every week or so; as time progresses a certain number of these influencers will add you to their professional network…game on.
  3. The game is on because by reaching out to you, they’ve given an implied permission to respond; in that response, thank them for adding you and begin your pitch – don’t be a dumb animal and just link spam. Be nuanced. Explain that you read them on Twitter, enjoyed a piece they recently shared, and say that you’ve writing similar pieces. Leave it at that.
  4. With luck, most of those LinkedIn adders will ask you for a link; provide it and ask for feedback, stating that you’re just now in the process of trying to grow and looking for ambassadors. Many people will willingly help out an industry “peer”, which you’ve now established yourself as – some will even pitch you on what they could do, and what they’d be willing to accept for it. You’re done at this point.
  5. Each time you have a piece live, be sure to share the crap out of it on as many appropriate networks as possible – even better, when you’re sharing it, hashtag jack your other targets, so they see that their peers are sharing something relevant.
  6. For a second pass you can now go back to Twitter. Since you’re injecting into the hashtag feeds and getting indirect looks, start to engage and get bolder with the remainder of your target list. Retweet their stuff, even if it is for a competitor, comment…act like a real brand manager.
  7. After a sufficient amount of engagement, make your move. Now you can DM the individual which you’ve already stalked on LinkedIn and have provided positive engagement for; explain that you think they’d be perfect as a brand ambassador for you and gauge their interest.

I don’t think this sort of slog is rocket science; it is just hard work and is something you can always be doing, but as affiliates, we like to work in multiple dimensions and get as much result for as little effort as possible. Plus, we spend money to make money.

Looks Like…

If you’re a heavy Twitter user you’ve been exposed to a variety of ads; I enjoy looking into who targets more (or doesn’t add me as a negative) and what they are attempting to accomplish. A few ideas for you then, since at this part of the campaign you’ve now been getting the reviews you want from peer influencers to your buyer personas.

  1. ExxonMobil promoting NFL tweets to a national audience w/ pre-roll ad – granted, this is a difficult tactic to mimic in its entirety on an affiliate marketers’ budget. You don’t have to though; you just need to understand what is occurring. Big oil understands that no one cares about their tweets, but they do know that the majority of Americans care about football, so they pay to amplify NFL tweets as a means to treat their exposure in the same way they might purchase television commercials. In your case though, you have a list of reviewers that have shared something positive; you can simply pay to promote their tweet. You can do this to just their audience, or something more interesting…
  2. Lookalike audiences are so great; many of you probably use them on Facebook, but don’t exclude Twitter. If you have a list of buyer email addresses, it is nominal to load them as a target list and try for a lookalike. Too small? What about when you were building out buyer personas and grabbed a few thousand possible names/emails via LinkedIn – these possible peers of your buyers could make for great buyers and engagers with that reviewer content. Want to get dirtier? Let’s assume you have a killer fashion review from a known name – go buy an email list such as ‘known buyers of high-end fashion’ and load it up as a retargeting list and go nuts.

As you can probably tell by now, there are a variety of ways that you can weave influencer marketing into your overall marketing plans both as a sales channel and as a content marketing concept. Anything that can handle multiple pieces of your plans is valuable and not overlooked. Want to learn more? I’ll be speaking multiple times at UnGagged this November; look for my session on compulsion marketing to see how you can pair influencer marketing with other concepts and use psychological triggers to make your product irresistible.

This post was sponsored by Intellifluence.

What make’s UnGagged different than other events? Our speakers have complete freedom of speech. You may not be aware that many events are restrictive, telling the speakers what they need to speak about to ensure the core message that is being sent backs what their sponsors are selling. As UnGagged are independent and advertiser supported, but not lead, we actively request that our speakers openly discuss their latest ideas throughts and processes – no matter how controversial they are. Thus giving you an advantage not available at other events.

But why listen to us? CloudMovesTV caught up with some of our speakers at UnGagged London 2016, the headline event of London Technology Week to get their thoughts on UnGagged. “Speakers have the ability to really speak their mind and tell the audience what’s really going on in the industry,” says James Murray, Search Advertising Lead at Microsoft. Steve Bartlett, CEO of Social Chain (Europe’s largest social marketing agency), explains the idea behind UnGagged as he see’s it is “being able to say those things that you don’t get to say at other events because it’s too risky.” He’s 100% correct by the way.

All you need to know for moving to HTTPS is presented by SearchBrothers.

HTTPS is a ranking factor, make it work for you!

Google has made user security a ranking factor and now they are prioritising it. Sites not yet fully switched to HTTPS increasingly face a losing battle for SERPs. Switching to HTTPS has at this point become a business critical necessity, which is why ever more sites, especially in competitive niches dare the challenging step.

Switching to HTTPS does not have to be a big challenge for your online business, though. Former Senior Google Search Quality and international SEO consultant Fili Wiese has published the Ultimate HTTPS Guide – including all you need to know to benefit the making switch. The free guide addresses all related questions including all relevant how-to’s like the approaching the switch from an SEO point of view, allocating required resource, drawing up long-term planning and preparation, overseeing watertight execution and evaluating possible risks.

Beat your competition and reclaim your SERPs by leading your vertical by example! Read the Ultimate HTTPS Guide now!


The Lead Generation Ecosystem: From Traffic Sources to New Customers is presented by Straight North.

Online lead generation is more than just creating SEO, PPC and social media campaigns, and the reason why many companies don’t produce the results they want is because they don’t see how all of the online marketing components work together.

The “Internet Marketing Lead Generation Ecosystem” infographic created by Straight North, an SEO company in Chicago, serves as a visual guide to help marketers understand how the components of a campaign work together throughout the lead generation process. Additionally, it works as a blueprint to aid marketers in:

  • Understanding how multiple Internet marketing sources, such as SEO, PPC and email marketing can be integrated into one lead generation campaign to maximize sales and leads
  • Recognizing holes in your current campaign that can be causing poor results
  • Identifying new ways to improve your current lead generation campaign



Google’s announcement of a new mobile-friendly update has businesses that aren’t mobile optimised, second guessing their marketing strategies for the future…  Luckily, CEO and Founder of MobileMoxie, Cindy Krum and side-kick Emily Grossman, are ready and waiting.

Unsure of what the future of mobile holds? Click here to prepare your business with industry leading experts…

UnGagged, the world’s first SEO and Digital Marketing UnConvention, offers the perfect open and friendly platform for the two mobile experts to advise and prepare those businesses wanting to get ahead.

Now’s the time to act and join us for the Mobile Marketing Masterclass with MobileMoxie at UnGagged Las Vegas!

The Las Vegas masterclass will run over 1 whole day that consists of individual sessions that are focused on different areas of mobile marketing and SEO training strategies

When and where? The 13th of November 2016, the day before the 3 day UnGagged UnConvention at the Tropicana Las Vegas. A perfect introduction, to the cutting-edge UnGagged conference!

What’s included in the workshop?

  • Introduction to the Mobile Landscape & User Demographic: Learn who mobile consumers are, what they want, and how they are accessing it. This introductory part of the training will set the stage for subsequent discussion by giving demographic and psychographic information about mobile traffic…
  • Fundamentals of Mobile Site Development & Architecture: The training will jump right in on the technical level – to explain how modern mobile web experiences are crafted, and what makes them succeed or fail…
  • Mobile UX & Conversion Optimization: Mobile users have different expectations of your mobile content. Whether they are on a website or an app, users expect fast, interactive, customized experiences that are more deeply intertwined with the real-life mobile experience, and not just 100% replicas of the desktop experience…
  • Using Mobile & Social Media To Your Best Benefit: Mobile visitors are social visitors, but for many companies there is a vast disconnect between the social teams and the mobile teams. This part of the training will give you what you need to know to get the social team working effectively with the web and app teams, so that all aspects of social brand engagement are easy for your fans and followers…
  • Page Speed Optimization & Auditing: Page Speed is one of the biggest determinants of mobile site success and it has nothing to do with the visual design of the UX – it is all about the back-end technology. It will outline tools and goals that can be used to evaluate mobile websites and apps and explain the nuances and dependencies of critical path rendering and how that impacts rankings and conversions…
  • AJAX, JavaScript & Single Page App Optimization: The new trend in mobile site design is ‘web-apps’ which live on the web, but look and behave much more like apps. This is generally accomplished with more sophisticated code that engages and pulls content from the server in an on-going way…
  • App Store Optimization & Google App Pack Optimization: There have been massive changes in app optimization (ASO) and marketing techniques in just the past year. This part of the training will cover the Best Practices for driving top search results for apps in Google Play, the iOS AppStore and Google App Packs. How the various app search platforms differ from one another? What are the best strategies for leveraging ASO to your best advantage? Come to this part of the training to find out…
  • Deep Linking, App Indexing & Optimization for Apple Search: Rather than users having to open an app from the equivalent of the ‘home page’ and always navigate to their desired place in the app, it is now possible to navigate specifically to deep screens in an app, much like we are used to doing on websites. Beyond that Google has begun allowing users to choose whether they would like to open certain content in the website or in the corresponding app…

Don’t miss out on this opportunity to best equip your business for the upcoming changes in the internet marketing industry. Join us for UnGagged 2016!

Originally published 2 June 2016.