Who Is Mordy Oberstein?
Formerly the Head of Communications at Semrush, Mordy now serves there as a communications advisor.
Mordy is extremely passionate about presenting SEO from a conceptual and analytical perspective. To that, you can often find him talking about SEO at conferences, on podcasts, webinars, etc. Mordy also regularly contributes SEO thought analysis and data-based studies to the leading SEO publications.
This is a page about my history in SEO, my love for SEO and its community as well as my affinity for SEO podcasting!
My SEO History
Like many, I fell into SEO completely by accident. In fact, I used to be a teacher for the Baltimore City Public School system (and before that the COO of a NY-based property management company). It all started when was working as a content writer for an educational software company.
I was asked to start writing content for the company's website. I've always been a strong writer but I had little experience with web content. Being in the position that I was in, I did what most normal people do... obsess over the inner workings of creating content for the web.
And so my SEO life was born.
One thing led to another and I ended up as the content manager at Rank Ranger, one of the SEO tool platforms. Now I had a ton of big data to go along with my love affair with Search. It was a match made in heaven. I began to go deep into understanding things like SERP feature trends and bidding to how algorithm updates tended to roll out and impact sites.
Of course, there was my actual job which was helping to create SEO tools, marketing our product, and of course, creating an SEO content strategy for the company.
When all was said and done I ended up as Rank Ranger's CMO where I used my understanding of SEO and of the Google algorithm in particular to create a sweeping content strategy.
That was until I got a call from Nati Elimelech... he wanted me to join him at Wix.
In September of 2020, I joined Wix to serve as its SEO Liaison. The role was incredible and helped me understand the impact community relations has on a brand.
In June 2021 I became Semrush's Head of Communications where I still serve as a communications advisor.
As of February 2022, I returned to Wix as it's Head of SEO Branding - where I currently serve.
My Outlook on SEO
SEO thought is really important to me. It's something that I both love and feel is an undervalued part of the world that is SEO. I have a natural affinity towards looking at the world conceptually. Things like breaking things down into categories and determining underlying causality naturally appeal to me. I think it's part of why I became a teacher back in 2011.
Applying my affinity for conceptual analysis to SEO was easy. Despite SEOs loving to focus on things like ranking factors and so forth, Google is driven by concepts. It has a desire to accomplish something, a purpose. Understanding Google's reasoning and purpose for doing things can only be accomplished via conceptual thought.
When I see an algorithm update or a major change to the SERP it all speaks to Google's intent and underlying reasons for doing things. That's why when I analyze a Google algorithm update, I look for patterns at the page level and ask what they say about what Google is trying to accomplish.
To me, a thematic analysis of SEO is an untapped treasure trove.
Why I Love SEO Podcasting
This is fundamentally a podcast site that I have chosen to be my digital home. It's only fitting that I talk about why I love creating, hosting, and contributing to SEO podcasts (because if you know me, I have created, hosted, & contributed to more SEO podcasts than any other person in our industry (fact).
There four basic reasons why I love SEO podcasting:
1. Podcasting is a great medium: It's intimate and charming. Podcasting removed the distraction that often accompanies visual media. It lets you focus more on what's being said and at times has the feeling of being a nice chat next to a warm fire on a cold night.
2. Podcasts are entertaining: I have a big personality and a huge (highly sarcastic) sense of humor. Podcasting is perfect for having a bit of fun. Because it's one-on-one with the guest you can really have a fluid conversation that lends itself it being whoever you are.
3. Learning from my guests: I've been podcasting regularly since 2018 and I have learned so much from my guests. You cannot be an expert on everything, even within a niche such as SEO. Having so many conversations with so many different SEOs has taught me a ton!
4. Nothing is better for relationship building than podcasting: It comes back to the intimacy factor. When you're hosting a podcast you're often one-on-one with your guest and not only for the recording itself. Those five minutes of chit-chat before and after recording can help foster new relationships. I have literally met some of my best SEO friends as a result of hosting a podcast. Right, Carolyn Lyden?!
My Contributions to SEO
In line with my outlook on SEO and my background as an educator, I often release materials around SEO thought. It's the reason why I run a podcast like the SEO Rant.
In fact, beyond The SEO Rant podcast, I have founded, hosted, and contributed regularly to:
I also contribute SEO content regularly to publications such as:
In the same vein, I enjoy presenting (and entertaining - I think a big part of educating is, in fact, entertaining) at conferences, on podcasts, and on webinars for outlets such as:
I also feel that giving back to the SEO community directly is very important. It's partly why you'll often find me interacting on Twitter. It's also why I dedicate a lot of time towards organizing #SEOchat on Twitter. #SEOchat is a weekly grassroots Twitter chat that is hosted by different SEO experts. It's really a great place for people to meet other SEOs, get advice, feel validated, share successes & failures, and feel a part of a larger community. I legitimately love #SEOchat.
#SEOchat is partly why I created Open Mic SEO on Clubhouse. When I first tested the platform out and attended a "room" I felt Clubhouse to be a bit elitist. You had "experts" hogging the mic and not really creating a democratic conversation. I started Open Mic SEO in the hopes of offering SEOs a place where you can be added on as a speaker should you choose and have a natural conversation with SEO thought leaders directly.
To put it all together: I love SEO, I love teaching, and I love giving others the opportunity to showcase themselves. These three aspects fundamentally explain the nature of my involvement (outside of my official role at Wix) with the SEO community.