Is it Weird, Different or Inspiring? A few Lessons from TED Talks

ted_logoI love TED Talks, the series of inspirational keynotes that bring together the smartest people from three worlds: Technology, Entertainment and Design (hence, TED). Started in 1984, the project now got to a much larger scope, inviting to deliver a keynote the most influential, inspiring and ingenious people of our society, people with a vision, with courage and with a little more than something to say – they say things that can change the world, or at least your way of thinking.


TED is much more than TED Talks. There are two TED Conferences in Long Beach and Palm Springs each spring, a TED Global conference in Oxford (UK) each summer, the TED Talks video site, a TEDx program for TED events worldwide (one of the most famous is TED Talks India) and an annual TED Prize award. TED spreads out also into the Open Translation and Open TV Projects, equally cutting edge initiatives.


Video SEO Optimization (and a Speaker Award) at International Search Summit Berlin

Earlier this month I had the pleasure and the honor to be invited at the International Search Summit (ISS) in Berlin. I already spoke at ISS in the past (ISS London 2009), as the series of conferences hits some of the major cities in Northern Europe, including Oslo in the Scandinavian region.

international-search-summit-localization-world-berlinISS is a series of conferences organized by WebCertain focused on a specific vertical in search: multi-country, multi-language search marketing. This is also the reason why the ISS Berlin show is included in the much larger Localization World Conference, another international show with a global coverage, focusing on everything local global business.

For ISS Berlin I got back to a search topic after speaking a lot about social media strategies in the latest month: video SEO optimization. Well, the topic is borderline, as the online video optimization lays is somewhere between SEO and the “new” social media optimization techniques, so I could have bridged search engine optimization and social media marketing.

Just to get straight to the point, here is my presentation on video SEO optimization for ISS Berlin, posted on Slideshare as usual and embedded here below.

Just to give a brief summary of the presentation, I started with the now classic SEO Detox Clinic, my idea of 12-step program for hard core SEOs who want to step into SMO (social media optimization). I thought it was very appropriated since the focus of the presentation, and it is always a slide well received by the SEOs in the audience.

The presentation continued with a definition of video SEO, actually the only solid one around, provided by the video search engine Blinkx: “Simply put, video SEO is the art and science of ensuring that your video content attracts as much traffic as possible“. As simple as that. But not so simple…

I contextualized the topic of video SEO talking about the how video are important in the new social web, touching base on social media enablers, that include Google’s blended search results as well as RSS, mash-ups and social networks. I took the opportunity to introduce the Conversation Prism designed by Brian Solis and Jess3 Thomas, the one in the great infographic below, which I love to call “social media mandala“.


After talking a bit about videos on SERPs (including the now classic eye-tracking study by Enquiro) and the new video search features at Google, I introduced a research by German search engine marketing agency SEOlytics that showed the change in video penetration in German search engine results (Google only, as it’s the predominant search engine in Germany) from January 2009 to January 2010. The presence of videos on SERPs grew over the last year from 4.53% to 17.58%, and the presence of organic search results among the “blended” Google results “shrinked” from 82.74% to 39.62%. Very interesting (see presentation above for detailed charts).

After all, video is better than porn is an always popular line when I speak it out at conferences, specially when it is associated with the image in the slide below, where Google Insight for Search shows that the volume of searches for “youtube“, “video” or “videos” is bigger then the volume of searches for terms like “sex” or “porn“. This is an analysis that stands also for a comparison of those terms, that once were “kings of the web“, with other search terms such as “facebook” or “social networks“.


The presentation then moved on to analyze the opportunities and the strategies for video optimization, with tips for optimizing both “hosted” and “posted” videos, meaning both videos published on a company website, or published on third parties sites, such as video sharing sites as YouTube, Metacafe, Dailymotion, Yahoo! Video, MySpace Video and more.

I shared a list of 10 video SEO tips for hosted videos – nothing new, for those already engaging in SEO:

1 – Content is king, make it relevant and interesting
2 – Title: make it catchy and keyword-rich
3 – Video formats: make different formats available (file type, size)
4 – Use optimized tags and video thumbnails
5 – Video length: internet-wise timing
6 – Keyword-rich localized descriptions / transcriptions
7 – Include URLs at the beginning of description
8 – Share it: allow rating, responses, embed, download, share/send to friends
9 - Distribute it: adopt RSS/ MRSS feeds, video sitemaps and social bookmarking
10 - Localize your videos: replicate content in multiple languages or replicate videos with subtitles + create local video sites

Followed by 10 video upload SEO tips for posted videos:

1 - Make sure video tags are relevant to the video content
2 - Be generous with tags, and adopt keywords variations
3 - Match video title and description with top tags / keywords
4 - Have one common tag for all your videos (related videos)
5 - Don’t use natural language and conjunctions in video title
6 - Choose clear, appealing, creative and HD thumbnails
7 – Use one video channel per language, and optimize it
8 - Try to make it to the “Most view” or “Most discussed” tabs
9 - Generate more views by changing Title and Headline
10 - Try the new features: inclusions and annotations

The ISS Berlin presentation concluded with more advice about the use of some of my favorite video upload tools, such as Tubemogul or TrafficGeyser, who allow maximum distribution with little effort, and with a quick view both at video long tail, video analytics, and how to create video RSS, MRSS and video XML sitemaps.

My final advice at ISS Berlin was to always hear a word on the topic from Rand Fishkin at SEOmoz, and I introduced one of the “SEOmoz Whiteboard Friday” educational search videos featuring Randy giving always good SEO advice. I embed here below the suggested video SEO optimization podcast, but I strongly suggest to browse the entire series of the SEOmoz videos on Vimeo, you’ll find plenty of SEO good tips!

Beside of my presentation, other speakers delivered very interesting presentations, such as those by Andy Atkins-Krüger on Top 10 Tips for International SEO, Isabella Ballanti on SEO Localisation, Dixon Jones on Identifying and exploiting local links, Sébastien Monnier on Achieving European Search Success and Thomas Bindl on PPC Techniques for long tail optimization. Unfortunately I missed most of the presentations as I have been working a lot that day on urgent projects, but of course I managed to have a look at the presentation and to keep the conversation going with some of the speakers also during the networking moments!

ISS Berlin has been a great experience for me, also thanks to the great organization support provided by Gemma Birch of ISS, and also because – you won’t believe it since I travel so much – this has been my first time ever in Berlin, and I really enjoyed it!

Also, did I mention that I have been awarded a ISS Medallion Speaker Award for getting (ex-equo with my friend Dixon Jones) the most votes from the audience as best speaker? This put me in the International Search Summit Hall of Fame, in good company with other great speakers such as Dixon Jones and online PR legend Greg Jarboe? =)

13+3+1 Lessons about Social Media Marketing in B2B from Top Experts

mashable-logoLast week the cutting edge online magazine and knowledge sharing community Mashable published an interesting article on Social Media Marketing for B2B, asking 13 top experts what was the biggest lesson they learned in B2B social media marketing.

The 13 answers, all enlightening, make a perfect list that all B2B marketers should review before deciding to engage on social media marketing (and they are a good list also for the B2C marketers, too!). I shortened some of the longest ones from the original version published on Mashable, and added a final recap of the learnings at the end of the article.

But it’s not all – the lesson learned are 13+3+1 because I republish here also three very interesting contributions to the online conversation by members of the Mashable community, and I added my own lesson learned too! Let’s review all these insights and experiences in social media marketing for B2B. (more…)

From Reykjavik: Social Media What? How to Design a Social Media Strategy

rejkyavik-internet-marketing-conference-logoI came back last week from the amazing experience of discovering Iceland, where I spent a week to participate to the Reykjavik Internet Marketing Conference 2010 (RIMC 2010) organized by my good friend the “Viking of search marketing” and now also a fellow Director at the new SEMPO Board of Directors Kristjan Mar Hauksson, who has been the perfect host for the Icelandic event.

Even if I find challenging and honored when I get invited to speak or moderate panels at great conferences at big venues, (like SES London 2010 the week before), I still love the atmosphere, mood and networking of smaller conferences like RIMC 2010. When there are less than 300-400 people in the room I feel free to walk among the audience with a microphone (or two) in my hand, make eye contact with the attendees and shoot the occasional question to the audience, even during my presentation and not just for Q&A. (more…)

Interview to Robin Good: Empowering Users, Search Engines, SEMPO and more

Robin-GoodIt’s a little bit of a shame that I took so long to publish this interview to Robin Good. Originally recorded on a sunny december morning in Rome, these files ended up in a back-up hard drive I lost track of, and that I finally found more recently (with a lot of other “lost files“). Nice that I finally got them back.

Robin Good is one of my favorite references when it comes to internet marketing. Despite of the Sherwood-esque nickname Robin Good decided to be public with, Robin (real name Luigi Canali De Rossi) is an italian chap living in Rome where he set up the headquarters of his organization, that keeps growing behind the efforts of the knowledge sharing website Master New Media and other independent publishing ventures such as

robing-good-tv-personal-broadcasting-independent-publishingAs a matter of fact, independent publishing is what made Robin…. independent, as he has been the very first pioneer in Italy (and among the firsts in the world) in setting up a business model based on Freeconomics (the free Economics recently discussed in a book also by Chris Anderson of Long Tail fame) – giving knowledge away for free, empowering web users towards the adoption of internet tools that can actually make them free to set up any publishing initiative on the web.

Robin Good’s business model is based on advertising, and Robin has been the first independent publisher in Italy to be able to get a steady stream of profits generating uniquely from advertising on his web properties.

So I put my SEMPO hat on and, on a sunny december morning in Rome, I finally met and interviewed Robin Good! please note that, even if the recordings are 2 years old, the topics discussed from both Robin and myself (below) are still hot and valid today – maybe because we both are internet visionaries? =)

Independent publishing has been of course the topic of the first part of the interview, a good way for Robin Good to introduce himself and the topic. Watch the video!

In the second part of the video Robin Good touches base on search engines, and compares search engines to “The Great Librarian“, a very interesting metaphor that really amused me – but very true! Watch the second part of the video interview.

Third and final part of the interview to Robin Good went back to independent publishing and, more in detail, on the vast availability of internet tools that can allow any user to set up any publishing venture on the web for free.

Watch out, free from buying big platform, but still costly in terms development and maintenance. Setting up an online publishing venture is not a game and requires vision, skills and plenty of time material. And yes, some money too – because Freeconomy is good, but then you will find out that to make a great job you still need the premium version of most of the free tools… anyway, Robin’s vision at this regard is pretty clear, and I personally support it. Watch the third and final part of the video interview on internet tools.

Just to make this post complete, I need to post also the videos that Robin Good shot while interviewing me! That’s right, as a Master publisher and video evangelist, he didn’t waste the opportunity to interview me for about SEMPO, search and social media marketing.

My videos distributed by Robin Good have been around online for a long time. I can recap them all here in this post for your convenience, and to recreate that cool mood of a sunny december morning in Rome with Robin talking about giving out and sharing on the web.
The first set of videos is an interview in 5 parts titled “SEO and Social Media: Q&A with Massimo Burgio

Part 1 ……………….. Part 2 ……………….. Part 3 ……………….. Part 4 ……………….. Part 5

Robin Good also edited other two fragments of the interview, one still on SEO topics “SEO: The importance of good content“, the other one “What is SEMPO?” to introduce the Search Engine Marketing Professional Organization I proudly represent. Enjoy the videos. Thanks Robin!

SEO: The importance of good content ……………. What is SEMPO?