search engine optimization, video sharing

SEO Fundamentals: Moderated Session at SphinnCon

8 Comments 07 March 2010

I’m a SphinnCon Israel, a conference about SEO and search marketing, and live blogging the sessions. The first session is a moderated panel entitled SEO Fundamentals. The panelists are Eli Feldman (RankAbove), Menachem Rosenbaum (TENS Technology), Uri  Breitman (TBWA Digital), Itay Paz (, and moderated by Barry Schwartz ( and RustyBrick). OK folks, this session may be a bit techy, but hopefully by capturing this information for you, you’ll gain some information about how to use search engine optimization to help your blog, website, cause and brand! Let the live blogging begin:

Eli Feldman: The old way of thinking about search engine results = above the fold on Google search results, and everyone will look “above the fold.” Now: there is “fully integrated universal results” and it takes up spot from the SERP. Live results are added. Videos are groups on first page. The big changes – get all types of results on the first page, options to search by types of search, and lots of different kinds of search options.

Major change for video is coming: Google has started grouping video results in the regular search results. You see them in packs of two or four on the page. If the video makes it to the front page, you’ll get better rank all the sudden because of this. It doesn’t matter if your video was ranked 89, because if Google shows it with a high-ranking video on the Google search page, your lower video’s rank is pulled up.

How to get video to come into the Google results and take advantage of the “packs:” utilize the video sitemap (like an XML sitemap), liste in sitemap index, include new tags (content, player, thumbnail location, categories, if family-friendly). If your URL is too long, it won’t show up in Google search – it must be less than 60 characters. Will only show up if it is family-friendly.

We are seeing Google show live results, latest news results, on search returns. You can go to and see the latest news trends/news results. If you are in a newsworthy area, your company may come up on the trends results.

Add content into this media, or around this media, as much as you can. Example: put up an image, add text to it with context and captions, tags, comments, translation. In YouTube video, you can add transcripts. For Flickr, you can add info about the type of camera used, and other meta data.

Rules for Video SEO: optimize every aspect of the video (title, description, tag), look at internal backlinks from you tube (comments/groups), external backlinks.

Itay Paz: SEO tips, tricks and fundamentals

Important to have good tags, of course. However, it’s all about content nowadays. Valuable content = traffic generation. Hard to trick search engines with lots of mediocre content. Site maps are critical: build as many site maps as you can – Google likes it. Write about trending topics and “hot” news, which will help bring traffic to your site and help you with rank. Google likes WordPress – a lot, indexes it almost immediately. Use the SEO plugs inside WordPress for SEO – there are a lot of ones to choose from. Incoming links: have to have valuable links pointing to your website. Friendly URLs – keywords inside a URL is a good idea. Control outgoing links – think about the number of outgoing links and not having too many outgoing links. Be SOCIAL – if you put out a lot of content on networks, you’ll gather incoming links and traffic. Blogs give great traffic and links into the website.

Uri Breitman: Talking about keyword research – it’s important to do keyword research for everything, even to prepare to meet with an SEO team. Use the Google Keyword Tool and use it every day – it’s amazing. Then, go back and research using the keywords you found. Find new keywords in the search, then go back to the Keyword Tool, and it involves re-thinking and re-researching. Check the guys who are ranked above you because they know what they’re doing. Prioritize with what you should do with main keywords.

In order to figure out keywords, think about this: Who am I? What is my core business? What would I search for if I were going to search for my company? What would a client look for? Call clients! Ask clients how they found you, and how they found your competitors.

Google Keyword Tool is great. Using that, check the “broad match,” the “phrase match,” and the “exact match.” ALWAYS check the exact. Look at what the competition is doing, and the prices for top keywords in AdWords. Can be a good indication of what’s going on in the organic search field. Beware of keywords that attract a lot of competition, but don’t generate SALES.

Prioritize: most popular keywords, most suitable keywords. Go for regional keywords which may have best conversion. First-step keywords (the ones you thought about at the very first of your keyword search) may not have been the best keywords.

Finalize your list:  make a short list, have modest objectives, (don’t get into street fights over keywords!), it will take time to move your site up, prepare to make changes, and use web analytics for keyword traffic data so that you can monitor every small change, check rankings using 3rd party tool (not your own computer which will give you the wrong results!)

Menachem Rosenbaum: How to judge link building success? What happens if you are building links and you don’t see results? How to judge results quickly? Google webmaster tools is how Google sees your website on the internet. Look at the diagnostics crawl stats in webmaster tools for crawl information. If we want Google to crawl as many pages as possible. Each website has a and a URL. Make sure that you have a that redirects to the one with the www. in the beginning to get the most crawling of the site from Google. Bottom line: the more often Google comes back, the more authority you have. Lower crawl stats, or crawl stats not improving, it reflects in your ranking.


1. Video search returns in Google can be a huge boost for your video. Optimize for a higher chance that will happen.

2. Social search within Google is huge, and will continue to grow.

3. Google Keyword Tool is great, and critical for your site. Use it as a guide.

4. Content is still king. Good incoming links are also incredibly valuable.

  • The point that I was trying to make was how you can get feedback from Google in crawl stats section in webmaster tools, this is by watching the changes in the crawl stats over time.
    One of the examples I showed was that you can see you “waste” Google crawls if you don't use a redirect from non www url to www url.
    Bottom line: if you do not see an increase in pages crawled by Google over time your rankings that you gained will not hold.


  • Hi Debra,
    Great post, very nice to see the summary on the web.
    You might want to add a link to TBWA DIGITAL's official site ( or to our mother-company website (


  • Thanks, Uri. I'm more than happy to hyperlink to your official site. You were awesome, by the way, in the presentation. Very funny, kept my attention, conveyed great SEO tips.


  • ericafiller02

    SphinnCon Israel is the premier networking … SEO Fundamentals – This session gives those new to SEO a best practices …


  • annawoods04

    I really enjoyed your presentation at SphinnCon Israel today. Of all the sessions, I learned the most from your presentation during the reputation management session. I honestly hadn't looked at the ROI of an Answers strategy for brand reputation, which is a great point to consider. Plus, you supported your entire presentation with relevant stats and case studies that brought home the importance of considering an Answers strategy for clients and customers.

    reputation management


  • Anna, glad you enjoyed SphinnCon. I also enjoyed the Answers strategy presentation the most, as well. Like you, I hadn't considered the ROI of Answers at all prior to the presentation.


  • Great blogcast, I wish I could have made it to this Sphinncon, hope to see you guys in January!


    Debra Askanase Reply:

    I wish that I could be at the January Sphinncon. I was asked to speak, but unfortunately I can’t make it to Israel for that conference this time!



Debra Askanase is an experienced digital engagement strategist, non-profit executive, and community organizer. She works with mission-driven organizations to develop digital strategies and campaigns that engage, create trust, and move stakeholders to action. Debra speaks at conferences worldwide on the intersection of technology, social media, and nonprofit organizations.

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