The modern SEO’s toolkit - my rant about learning to code

Spoiler alert:

What follows is my searchlove deck. If you are joining us in NYC next week (and you should be) you probably don’t want to spoil it by reading my deck just yet.

However, I’m sharing it now because it contains a bunch of links and resources and I know that people are very keen to check out. Without further ado, here is my rant about how every technical SEO should be capable of building their own hacky little tools and combining existing tools to do new things. Enjoy:

PS I’d love to hear any feedback on speakerdeck (the tool I have used to embed this presentation). I love it - I think it’s really pretty - but I’d love to hear what you think. If you want to follow the links in the presentation, I recommend downloading the PDF as the easiest way of doing that.

Will Critchlow

Will Critchlow

Will founded Distilled with Duncan in 2005. Since then, he has consulted with some of the world’s largest organisations and most famous websites, spoken at most major industry events and regularly appeared in local and national press. Will is part...   read more

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  1. Wow! That's a lot of tools!

    I'll clearly ask my team to test some of those! Thank you Will!

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  2. Hey Will,

    Amazing deck! I'm having problems accessing the links, for instance the Python tutorial slide's links. Any chance you could list them or re-upload the deck?

    All the best,
    Alexander Pokorny

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  3. seems like a great presentation would love to see a video of it after its done!

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  4. Andre

    Looks awesome as always Will. Whats the best way to get to the links that you featured in the deck?

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  5. Will Critchlow

    Hi guys. Those links are working for me in the PDF (available to download on speakerdeck). Give me another shout if they're still not working... Thanks

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  6. Ahhh, more sleepless nights coming up with "but I wanna try one more of these tools, just 10 mins more...." ;) Great, absolutely great presentation :)

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  7. Great presentation!
    Thank you Will!
    Useful as you always!

    Presentation looks and work very well for embed object!
    I downloaded PDF and already start testing some of this tools! ;-)

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  8. Super interesting will, thanks for that. I've been thinking of learning python myself lately. Just wondering, did you know coding before or did you learn it for SEO Purposes? If so what path did you follow and what would you advise to get started?


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  9. Will Critchlow

    Hi Gael,

    I played around a bit with C and Java at college but no formal training there. Then we started out as a web design company so I ended up hacking around in PHP / HTML / CSS a fair bit in 2005/2006. But I started with Python pretty recently.

    I would say if you have a logical mindset, you will be able to get going and get to something useful yourself...

    Good luck - let me know how it goes.

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  10. Thank you Will for an interesting presentation.

    You did well on the head to head as well, it was nice to see your thoughts on real cases.

    Keep up the good work!

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  11. I am def going to bookmark this and take a look during the week. I am from an IT background. Have an hons degree in Computing Science and spent 4 years out of college programming in Python, Unix, Perl and PHP for a couple of companies before changing to online. I have found the tech background has been a big plus for on-site SEO, but haven't played around with writing my own tools. In terms of ROI, I just haven't found it the best option, especially with the amount of tools / resources available to us. Sometimes I think SEO's tend to over analyze data etc (and I LOVE data) and just not get cracking on building their own sites or for clients building quality content + links
    Looking forward to seeing how I should be using my dev skills.

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  12. Will Critchlow

    @Kieran - you're right - it's easy to get carried away with this stuff. I just want people to have this stuff in their toolkit because too often I see people taking really slow routes to what they need because they don't have the tools in their toolkit.

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  13. Will Critchlow

    Also - two new links since I gave this presentation in London:

    The HTML5 infographic is now live.

    A great post that I agree with 100% from Fred Wilson on a similar theme to this presentation:

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    • Chris Thompson

      Will, where can I find the link for downloading the pdf for this presentation? I figure it would be easier to follow the links with the pdf. Thanks and thanks for a well written article.

  14. Will Critchlow

    @Chris - you should be able to grab the PDF version here

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