My 3 Reasons to Use Sphinn

April 5, 2008

I can’t imagine search marketers and SEO specialists that haven’t heard about Sphinn yet (it was launched by Danny Sullivan on July 2007) but you know what they say – “never say never”… Any way, since lately I become quite an addict of this social news site, mainly as a source of information about the SEM industry, I feel like a few words won’t hurt no one (maybe even the opposite). These are my 3 reasons to use Sphinn:

1. Stay Up To Date & Diverse
Sphinn allows you to get the latest news from the SEM industry using not a single source but a diversity of sources, including some that aren’t very popular (yet). I don’t know what about you, but if you’re anything like me, I guess you got used to get your SEM reading mainly from one big source, such as search engine land for example. With Shpinn you can get a lot of worthy news items from different sources which is more than just refreshing.

2. Network Yourself
Sphinn community is built on people like you, who are in the business of SEM, SEO, SMO and so on. Visiting Sphinn on a regular basis allows you to get to know important others as well as to get your self known by them. Sphinn users can visit your profile and they’ll probably do that if you sphinn-up their submitted stories or submit an interesting story yourself. Since the users profile include plenty of communicating channels such as email or skipe address, facebook profile, linkedin, twitter and much more you can’t complaint you can’t reach others…

3. Win Traffic (for free)
Assuming you’re not one of those who live by the “time is money” phrase, by participating in Sphinn, especially via submitting news stories you wrote yourself, there’s a big chance you can get some free (and quite targeted) traffic to your blog or business site. Submitted stories at Sphinn can get to the “hot topics” (thus presented at the main page) list even with just a few votes such as a little bit higher than twenty.

 

 

 

Check what others had to say about Sphinn:
Sphinns (Positive)

The social news site every search marketer should be using (SEOmoz)
Confessions of a sphinn vote begging whore (Aim Clear Blog)
How to dominate Sphinn in 4 easy steps (Huomah)
XMCP’s Guide to Frontpaging Sphinn.com (Slightly Shady Seo)
Sphinning Sphinn (Search Engine Guide)
Is Sphinn bad for the industry (Bruce Clay)
Are You the Underdog in Sphinn? (Learning Seo Basics.com)
 

 

Desphinns (Negative)
Goodbye Sphinn (Andy Beard)
Sphinn is basically a popularity contest (Internet Hunger)
Sphinn spammers (Blogstorm)
 

 

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Sphinncon Israel 2008

February 5, 2008

This post about the “first sphinncon evar” was supposed to be a live one but, unfortunately, there was no wireless connection at the conference in Jerusalem, so I’ll just write down my impressions and a detailed review of only the first panel for now. (The others will be covered on the next couple of days).
In any case – Lot’s of thanks to Barry Schwartz and the rest of the organizers as well as the generous sponsors, for giving birth to this first “sphinnconiada”.

“The Good, The Bad and the Ugly One” but with a Smile On

To put it in one sentence, I felt this first shpinncon was a small-but-very-friendly-rival between three groups: the SEO people, the PPC people and the SMO ones.

As a human-being who holds S’ for SEO and takes it as a compliment, I really enjoyed the SEO panel, noded off at the PPC one and quite resented most of the SMO one, only because its speakers (excluding sweet Eli Feldblum) couldn’t stop the righteous slogan of “Just have a good product”. But maybe I was just a little bit too tierd, since it was the last panel? Who knows…

So, what did we have there, on the first sphinncon event?

SEO Panel – Paid Links & Penalties
The SEO panel began with an inspiring presentation plus a lecture by Branko Rihtman, an SEO specialist from Tens Technology. He talked about the importance of links in Google algorithm and the penalties by Google for buying advertisements (which are not adwords) – an old strategy known as FUD (Fear, Uncertainty, Doubt).

The Q&A part of the SEO panel
Just to make it clear, none of the following is a direct quote. I wrote some comments while the speakers spoke and that’s it. Don’t hold no one for nothing, including myself and forgive me for the questions (or answers) I missed.

* What about linking strategies (such as “link farms”) that work good in Israel but not in other markets? (by Ben Pines  from SEOIsrael):
– Branko: Everything comes to Israel in a delay of 3 years (comparing to the US market).  I’m in favor of doing the stuff that works good in the US in the present, meaning – don’t use linking strategies (such as link farms) that work good on your market but not in the US even if they do good today since experience tells us it won’t last for long…
– Sam Michelson (Five Blocks): In other wrds – Don’t Spam…
– Ophir Cohen (Compucall): As far as I see it, the user experience is the most important thing, meaning your site should be popular based on what it offers to the user and not the link bating acts you did.

* Is user behaviour on search engines and outside them a part of the SE ranking considerations?
– Branko: Sure it is, at least as far as the tool bar most of us use. That’s why I turn mine off when I do some stuff I don’t want to be tracked by Google or any other search engine.
– Gilad Sasson (Nekuda + Algoholic): Even if search engines won’t admit it, everything is being measured and saved and it obviously influences both the user and the sites he visits.
– Sam: It’s not just the tool bar. There are other tools who gather data about you, Google analytics for example…
– Barry: Don’t forget web history and the personalization Google runs…

* What about getting links manually vs. automatically? Is there a better option?
– Sam: In order to be popular you should act like one in any measure, meaning you need to dress up accordingly, have a nice car etc. In search terminology that means you should have lots of links, almost everywhere – just keep them far from spam.
– Gilad: If it is a new site we’re talking about, it is all a matter of risk. If your site is old and has enough quality links from authority sites, a couple, even tens, of louzy links won’t hurt you.
– Branko: This is why I said earlier that links have two values – the fresh value and the real value. A link from a not competitive area can boost the ranking of the site but in time we’ll see a drop down, while good quality links bring on a stable increase in ranking (take a post on sphinn for example).

* How do you handle the universal search results?
– Ophir: SEO is not what it was a couple of years ago, today there’s more SMO into it…
– Sam: I don’t mind not being in the first positions as long as my title and description are catchy and creative enough to attract the searcher (using numbers and symbols on title, for example).
– Barry: It is easy to get to the first position as long as you keep researching (see “iPhone Popcorn Trick” video on YouTube by Barry).
– Sam: I’d like to buy an advertisement at the end of this video…. 🙂

* What can you say about multi-lingual search optimization?
– Gilad: All markets are alike in terms of algorithms, it’s just easier on some (like Israel). In any case, if you want to promote your product in different markets you should find relevant content partners on these markets.
Google Sets, by the way, is a keyword tool that can help you spam find related pages and industries to be linked from.
– Branko: Advertising on the content network can help you to get ahead with terms that google think are best for your industry. If google gives them to you, according to your keyword of course, no doubt it perceives them as legitimate and relevant.

* What should you do when important keyword you had a great SERP position for is vanished from top results?
– Branko: First thing – wait. Just wait. It could be nothing but a glitch… while waiting you can check your positions in other data centers, other keywords and so on.
If nothing changes over time – get a new domain and start all over again. From my experience it’s the best thing to do.

Hungry for some images?

Sphinncon Israel 2008 Preparations Sphinncon Preparations

Sphinncon Israel - SEO panel Barry Schwartz, Branko Rihtman, Sam Michelson, Ophir Cohen and Gilad Sasson (from left to right) on the SEO pannel.

First Sphinncon Evar T-Shirt “first Sphinncon EVAR” T-Shirt.

Sphinncon Israel Summaries on the web:
SMO.co.il – For Hebrew readers only (1st panel + 2nd panel, 3rd and summary).
Event summary by Ophir Cohen.
Jobis afourletterword says it was a Big Success

Feel Free to Sphinn Me Up 🙂