Live Blogging SMX Israel 2012 with Kahena Digital

We’re super excited that SMX Israel is in our hometown of Jerusalem! We’ll be live blogging select sessions today – Ari from his macbook pro and iPad, and Ben from his netbook and Color Nook!

Here’s to a great day of learning, shmoozing, and fun!

Our Live Blogging Schedule for Today’s Conference:

8:00-9:00 – Meet & Greet

9:30-10:15 – SEO: From Basic to Advanced

9:30-10:15 – Reputation Management

10:45-12:00 – Google Panda, Freshness, & More

12:15-1:30 – Link Building

3:00-4:15 – Expert Site Clinic

4:45-6:00 – Meet Tomer from Google

Live Blog:

05:40 pm
Ben Druce:

Mayer asks – how do I protect myself from training someone and then having them take my unique methods somewhere else?  Answer from Sharon – you can create some clauses, but most of them do not hold up in court – also, the differences in methods may not be so meaningful.  Make the clauses, but don’t be too sure they will be able to be enforced.  In the EU, these are even harder to enforce.  The point is that there are few legal barriers keeping web professionals jumping from one agency to the next..   Yet another of the many reasons why companies should make sure to minimize turnover..

05:31 pm
Ben Druce:

So many Israeli corporations are showing their competitor’s name in their Adwords.   This is definitely illegal.  The suggestion given is to admit the mistake and drop the ad ASAP.  Keep DKI strategy away from competitors, use exact match, and use negative keywords (our in house – Ross told me this at the start of the talk) Overall, good to have a diverse ad strategy including conventional ads.

05:24 pm
Ben Druce:

Aside from the contractual tips, the majority of the free wisdom from these lawyers center around the paid search sphere…  Now we’re talking about DKI (dynamic keyword insertion)

05:13 pm
Ben Druce:

That was Sharon – and it turns out (thanks Mayer Reich for telling us) that she LEGALLY REPRESENTS GOOGLE IN ISRAEL!  now they tell us.  watch ‘yo luggage!

05:08 pm
Ben Druce:

Good think i drank some coffee before this one – all this thick legalese is bringing back memories of Talmud class :)

05:05 pm
Ben Druce:

Goldfarb Seligman giving invaluable tips on how to make a sound and clear contract with a client – avoiding miscommunication and  managing expectations…

05:01 pm
Ben Druce:

To sum up first speaker – If you do not mislead the consumer and do not use the trademark of a competitor in your text ads online you will avoid liability in the EU and US.

04:54 pm
Ben Druce:

David Mirchin from Meitar – talking about picking keyword ad text  – not the same from the EU to USA to Israel…

QUESTION #1 – If someone uses a company’s trademark – does they have claim against the competitor, or on the search provider themselves?

04:46 pm
Ben Druce:

Live blog back on!  I found an outlet on the left side of room C.  Last session of the day – legal issues with search..   Pretty apropos – Avi and I were just researching the legality of the Ripoff Report (is it extortion?  research made it seem pretty likely)  Barely anyone is here..  I guess they all went to hear from Google’s Tomer

03:59 pm
Ben Druce:

he’s not modulating his  voice so its pretty hard to figure out what he is emphasizing – he’s emphasizing everything!   eeek, low battery :(

03:57 pm
Ben Druce:

flamboyant marty weintraub is reminding us just how powerful marketing on facebook is…  facebook ads demographics is to him  the last way to get in there and tap into that power…  oh wait,  who am i kidding, i don’t have facebook..  talk to Ari about this one..

03:49 pm
Ben Druce:

Social media is meant to create relationships and engage as most of the panelists are saying- but lets not forget that these interaction costs can be steep if you spend all day working on it…  the tools mentioned on social can be very powerful if used within budgeted time.

03:42 pm
Ari Nahmani:

Facebook has an information center for journalists as does twitter and linked in

03:40 pm
Ben Druce:

Miriam Schwab is hilarious!  15 minutes of slamming Google, cracking up the whole room, and then grudgingly giving 3 minutes of Google plus tips..

03:39 pm
Ben Druce:

lunch was better than a wedding…   the salads and desserts were a work of art…

03:38 pm
Ari Nahmani:

Moved over to social media – the aggressive black hat talk was really, really grimy and more educational abouhope toprotect yourself. Avi is taking notes in the other room while I take a listen to the social media gurus.

03:29 pm
Ari Nahmani:

Aggressive black hat tactics now being spewed on the whole audience! Well keep some of these secret suffice to say there are a lot of sketchy things you can do tocompetitors via htaccess, robots.txt, text injection, and other techniques

01:24 pm
Ari Nahmani:


01:14 pm
Ari Nahmani:

Menachem of Matan Media (formerly of TENS)  is discussing long tail link building. Bottom Line: build links with long tail anchor texts into sum up pages instead of individual pages… Less pages, more diverse links!

Stop creating high volume low quality content

Main phrases + 2 phrases best conversion rate

Links to deeper pages strengthen head terms.

12:56 pm
Ari Nahmani:

Mike king saying that he uses good software to eavesdrop.

Build your network now – trust rank via rel=author

Mike going SOfast and dropping so many tips and tools we can’t keep up!!

12:51 pm
Ari Nahmani:

That’s all for ofer. Now Mike King is up!! He’s excited to be in Israel and already an engaging speaker!

12:49 pm
Ari Nahmani:

One of the most honest talks on paid links we have heard ever. Very, very frank discussion.

12:41 pm
Ari Nahmani:

Ofer is now talking about paid links. This s a very controversial subject, but leave it to the Israeli to speak tachless.

Are we partners with Google? An honest discussion about whether onot online marketers really are a partner of google. Very gray area..

Looking at the competition tells you whether or not you should use paid links! Totally depends on keyword, competition, and niche. Whether or not you are willing to take a risk.

Anything you do online with SEO – even on page – is atrick… But the idea that only paid links is risky is false.

12:36 pm
Ari Nahmani:

Don’t make email your first point of contact. Tell them why you rock! Control the message.

Sll important messages by Gil reich.

Next up Ofer Dascalu on link buying!

12:27 pm
Ari Nahmani:

And we back! This place is packed and brewing with very hungry Internet marketing folks… Really awesome to see in Israel especially Jerusalem

Were here in the link building talk. Gil reich is now speaking about multiple ways to get in links. Q&A sites, badges, … Other ways that still work that are methods of the past…but Enlightened self interest can help with authority.

12:25 pm
Ben Druce:

Before the analytics session. So many former colleagues here! Going solo at the analytics talk.

11:41 am
Ari Nahmani:


[Editors note: Great piece of overall advice from Gil Reich. Don’t have a title tag on an inner page if you aint got the content on the page when they get there! :) ]

Now quotes from Matt Cutts, Rand Fishkin – SEO is now upgraded to web strategist, especially after Panda!

11:35 am
Ari Nahmani:

Gil Reich using images Snuffy/BigBird and Snuffleupagus vs Godzilla as metaphor of  how Google perceives themselvs vs how people perceive them.

Now a worldmap with Google surrounded by armies of Microsoft, Yahoo, Apple, etc.

Not your mother’s SERPs – everyone keeps saying that SEO is dead and we make fun of them, but where they’re right is that the history of 10 blue links is dead. The winners are those who integrate vertical search, local, etc into SEO Strategy.

11:34 am
Ben Druce:

My Former colleague Gil reich : don’t go crazy over panda – just keep close tabs Google’s serp strategy – and go social! Google wants to emulate a good friend. (By knowing what your ‘real ‘ friends are doing?)

11:29 am
Ari Nahmani:

Gil Reich from Managing Greatness (formerly  is up next! A local about to tackle Search Plus Your World. Lots of grumbling in the audience.

“It’s clear where Google is going…and over night”

11:22 am
Ari Nahmani:

Dixon Jones’ presentation using Prezi  and jumping all around from slide to slide on evidence of how external inlink data to deeper inner pages was directly correlated to sites that lost on Panda 2.0. Not necessarily an algorithm factor but this was definitely a correlation / signal (something to think about in terms of quality and ability to receive deeper in links!).

11:16 am
Ari Nahmani:

Wifi has gone stale – but personal hotspot have no fear!
The room is packed.

Dixon Jones is covering how to prepare and analyze an algorithm update. Using daily tracking of big players like Amazon will help you watch for huge trends.

11:12 am
Ben Druce:

Based on casual conversations I have with non-SEO people, their conception of SEO is exactly what Panda wants to combat – large tracts of stale, flabby,  online real estate…

The real post-panda approach –  In a tiny nutshell – if you think of what the user would want to experience, that’s the kind of website you should build…  -Ben

11:06 am
Ari Nahmani:

Case studies of Panda 2.5 in Detail:
Google being more transparent about what is low vs good quality. Rich media on deeper pages as evidence that content is higher quality (images, video, etc).

What people did wrong:

Does each page have a ‘raison detre’ – a reason to be indexed and exist! Do you generate pages based on keywords even if no content is on those page? Repackaging or spinning content? A tag page or a page of a list of articles which are accessible from other places?  Many people might not have done this on purpose at all. Lots of pages with slight variations of templated text? All guilty according to Eli Feldblum.


11:03 am
Ben Druce:

since we’re talking about Panda, lets remember that the namesake Panda bear is both black, white and asian, all at once.  The ultimate case against racism!   Also the Google Panda is not one update, but an ongoing update over the course of  the last 6 months…  – Ben

11:02 am
Ari Nahmani:

How Panda Works: lots of crowdsourced data, machine learning, AI … aligning the algorithm with human reviewers to make the algo as human as possible at identifying low-quality content.

Eli Feldblum on all the individual Panda updates this past year and their nuances.

10:56 am
Ari Nahmani:

Barry Schwartz sums up that there are two common themes from big 14 updates. “Much faster, and more quality results”.


10:56 am
Ben Druce:

back online..  at the Panda and freshness session -standing room only!!!  sitting in the back on the carpet…  – Ben

10:54 am
Ari Nahmani:

I don’t know what’s going on in the other room, but there’s some serious bass and dubstep blasting. Dance party?


10:51 am
Ari Nahmani:

We’re back! Now in Google, Panda, Freshness & More!
Barry Schwartz is up – going through a history of algorithm updates. Funny pictures to go along with the names of the updates!

The room is absolutely PACKED!


10:14 am
Ari Nahmani:

A few questions from the audience. Discussions of Wikipedia and slander and their policies. Discussions also about legal issues and when and when NOT to use legal recourse (sometimes it can backfire online!!)

We’re ready for some cookies and cake! Out for the beak. See you soon folks!

10:08 am
Ari Nahmani:

Sam says that Five Blocks works with their existing properties that they already have. Exactly what we do at Kahena. Work with existing web properties, news articles, etc.

“We look at their results, understand what should be there, and help them get it there.”. This is link building and content tweaking folks!  Indented results and jumbo site links – these are SEO problems!

Google ‘phillip morris’  – showing how an alt tag from the logo is showing up first instead of the main homepage or something most relevant. Just a title tag issue!

Elal doesn’t have sitelinks – probably because of a technical SEO issue like title tags on homepages. [Editors note: This is basic technical SEO but has huge impacts on rep management and brand equity ]


10:03 am
Ari Nahmani:

Last up is Sam Michaelson – the reputation management superstar of Israel from Five Blocks in the Gush.

Now defining reputation management – he’s flying through his slides! Now showing the scare tactics of how reputation management is advertised.

10:00 am
Ari Nahmani:

Nicola Stott bigging up the ‘OVP’ package of PR News Wire. She used to work there but swears no financial kick back – just loves the service. Write something good and you can avoid a huge PR nightmare. Spin the message very effectively through that service.

Another tool: mynewsdesk – really helps send the right kidn of equity signals to the search engines. You can push your brand keywords and own the SERPS with this tool. [need clarification here – sounds promising!]

The Kahena Digital team is really loving Nicola Stott’s presentation – less ‘fluff’ and more actionable tools and strategies. It touches on the big picture reputation management issues with real SEO backing (how to get links and get displayed all over SERPS).

And she’s done!

09:56 am
Ari Nahmani:

Nicola Stott on Ryan Air and how they used really conflagatory messaging to get some really ‘bad ass links!” Que nice upward trending graphs from Majestic SEO’s fresh index. Wow! Being controversial works for link :)

09:55 am
Ari Nahmani:

Now an impromptu question from the audience – how do you deal with Google Suggest. Sam Michaelson is answering. “I’ll tell you how NOT to change Google Suggest – searches from lots of different IP addresses won’t affect it. But what we have seen is that lots of searches  with content out there.”

Jon Sumroy is adding his two cents on the subject – discussing why you would want to change it and how SEO is a larger internet marketing strategy. Small little tricks and manipulations are not the answer.”

Shira Abel is now talking about how content is king, and having all the information from the company direct will resolve the issue. Direct answers from the comapny and ‘good content’ (whatever that means).

[editor note: The honest truth is that companies will still want to manipulate top 10 results in major search engines and you’ll still have to use manipulative tactics to elbow out results. There’s always a balance of creating content you want users to see, and using tactics to push that content up to elbow out negative results].


09:54 am
Ari Nahmani:

Next up is Nicola Stott!

“Reputation is subjective – one man’s badass is another man’s hero. Taxonomic database of terms around what teh brand or client or person considers to be negative to make the right associations. Sentiment analysis tools are just not smart enough to understand the difference” [editors note: interesting to hear that no one has talked about software at all here].

09:41 am
Ari Nahmani:

Next up Nicola Stott! Nice to have some UK superstars here in Israel. Her company is TheMediaFlow. Sam Michaelson’s slurring his words in his intro due to his ‘heavy medication for his broken hand’ [as he holds up a huge cast]. Lots of laughs as Nicola is getting started. We’re killing time and Sam is asking if anyone in the audience wants to rap. Now the panel is talking about codine :)

Let’s get this show on the road!!

09:37 am
Ari Nahmani:

Jon Sumroy is keeping the audience’s attention with lots of case studies, videos, and ‘big picture’ about reputation management. Great presentation. -Ari

09:34 am
Ari Nahmani:

Naional Positions is pushing reputation management as a new revenue stream. “Today the secret of online reputation management is not technically how to do it (every SEO company can do it), but you need to think deeply about the strategy.” The difficult bit is case studies given that clients dont want you to share their dirty laundry! Now speaking about ‘kenya’ and how if you search you still find kidnapped westerners (big problem for Kenyan Tourist Board).

Instead of saying they would “clean up Google” for those search keywords, they would give them a balanced set of search results. Instead of completely taking over all real estate for ‘kenya kidnapping’ – instead there are posts about tips on how to stay safe in Kenya, how it’s a very rare occurrence, etc. Totally disregarding or ignoring it stupid – but controlling the message via web-properties you control is smart.


09:31 am
Ben Druce:

Eli Feldblum talking about the SERP scene changing…  Google Universal, fresh content (not a new theme) but above all, maximizing Schema.


09:28 am
Ben Druce:

less than 20 minutes into the first speaker and we already have our first Rick Santorum reference of the day….


09:26 am
Ari Nahmani:

Next up – Jon Sumroy, Director of National Positions (works out of Israel). Cool intro video of CEOs saying sorry from various corporations and it time it took them to say ‘Sorry’.

Something about British accents still makes people sound much smarter :)


09:20 am
Ari Nahmani:

Shira Abel is now discussing what to do if you crew up. “Admit it, apologize, fix it. Don’t lie, don’t say someone hacked into your account. Just admit the mistake, and say how you’re going to fix it, and try to have a sense of humor about it. If it’s so bad you can’t control it, hire a reputation management firm so that it won’t be there at the top forever.”


09:16 am
Ari Nahmani:

Shira Abel is off to a funny start – reviewing big reputation management FAILs online. Now covering Godaddy’s support of SOPA. Going back on their support was too late – they lost 70K accounts or so. Research your customer base if you’re going to get political! -Ari

09:11 am
Ari Nahmani:

Alright! After a bunch of food and coffee, we’re here in the Reputation Management session to hear from some of Israel’s best on how to keep your brand or name from getting trashed online! – Ari

07:57 am
Ben Druce:

Good morning!  SMX is just a few sips of coffee from getting underway.  Not sure about my netbook’s battery life, so I’m bringing my Nook Color as well…   It should be a good test to see how useful this device is aside from reading things in the sofa.  -Ben

11:04 pm
Ben Druce:

See you tomorrow folks! It’s bed time for now.

Check out our sum up from today’s conference on our blog tomorrow!

About Ben Druce

Ben Druce moved to Israel from New Jersey after graduating from Rutgers with a BA in Economics. Ben joined Kahena in the summer of 2011 where he now coordinates search market research, on-site audits, link acquisition, guest blogging, and specializes in Local SEO campaigns. Contact Ben at or follow him on twitter: at @bendruce


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