A Google+ Business Resource for Agencies and Consultants

I am a firm believer in educating clients, but I am also aware that there are often skeptical clients that can be difficult when a consultant is trying to explain the reasons behind doing one thing or another. Every once in awhile a resource will come along that I think could be helpful for agencies and consultants because they are simple enough for the non-online marketing folks to understand.  Today I want you to look at this infographic by Milestone Insights on Google+ Best Practices for Businesses.

There are some great suggestions, but more importantly it will show businesses what has to happen to handle this social network correctly. I think it is a good way to show that the business will need the right person in place or will need to hire someone that can handle the job correctly for them. I think it is also an indicator that time and effort will be required for success.

Also, check out How to Build Your Brand with Google+ Hangouts On Air. I think it is a great resource as well.

Click to expand infographic.




Amazing Google Facts

No doubt Google is a major phenomena of our time. A company that has grown tremendously since their inception and whose products range from search to mobile devices to driverless cars and just about everything in between. With a company like there, there has to be some amazing facts about their size, their employees, and their history, maybe a few you were even unaware of?

For example, did you know that one of the prime reasons why Google’s home page is so bare is that founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin didn’t know html and just wanted a quick interface? Or that in 1999 Page and Brin were willing to sell their project to the much larger Excite for under $1 million but Excite wasn’t interested? These and other amazing facts in the following infographic from the folks at Promodo.

[Click image for full size version]

Amazing Google Facts

What is Google+? And Who Uses it?

Many people are still confused over what Google+ is and how important it can be. The infographic below, by Search Engine People, breaks down the basics and tells you why it is an important social network for you and for your business. It also breaks down the demographics of those that use Google+.

Search agencies, this is a great IG to use to help explain Google+ and Google Local to clients. The demographic information is valuable because it helps clients understand who they might be targeting on G+ with various marketing campaigns.

Can Little Guys Survive Google’s Commercial Intent?

Is Google making search better with all their recent changes? If you ask 100 people, you’re probably going to get 100 different answers.

But there is a lot — and I mean a lot — of evidence to suggest that Google’s real intention may be to increase their bottom line. Do you think it’s coincidental that such major changes have come just prior to the holiday shopping season?

The FTC has taken notice, too. Here’s a quote from a NY Times article:

“The areas of inquiry include accusations of manipulating the search results it displays to favor Google commerce services it has developed like Google Shopping for buying goods and Google Places for advertising local restaurants and businesses. In the civilian subpoenas, the F.T.C. calls this ‘preferencing.’ “

Limited Search Results

There are a number of ways that Google is limiting the kinds of results you get from a search. They say that all these changes will improve the user experience and provide valuable search results. Maybe that’s true. Maybe it isn’t. If it is, something’s very wrong.

Maybe the fact that you often get multiple search results from the same domain is simply because the other domains didn’t make the cut in terms of “quality content.” Or maybe, like many people believe, it’s just one more way to push revenue.

How? Well, if you’re constantly struggling and can’t seem to get any Google love anymore, maybe you’ll turn to their PPC (pay per click) ads instead. Just possibly, Google’s hoping that when you get frustrated with the organic search results, you’ll start clicking on the ads more often. [Read more...]

Implementing Schema.org Microdata

Last week, Google, Bing and Yahoo announced collaboration on a single standard for structured markup. Yes, I’m talking about Schema.org and utilizing Microdata for “Rich Snippets.”

Since then, many sites have posted about why Schema.org might be good, bad or otherwise for site owners; some balanced, some not. Personally, I think structured markup and machine-readable information is always good to have on your site, regardless of potential SEO benefits. I’ve had a love for structured markup (in the form of Microformats) since I first laid eyes on hCard several years ago. I could have written a whole post about why I think Schema.org is good for SEO, but instead I decided to implement it on a site of mine.
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Location-Based Data: The Next Frontier for Local Search?

When Google released their new Local search results format in October, 2010, SEOs quickly determined that the number of reviews and overall rating associated with a business were ranking factors. They also predicted that these would be quickly be gamed.

It was an easy ranking factor to launch the new integrated SERPs with, as they already had piles and piles of review data from their own properties as well as sites they’d partnered with. But Google’s algorithms are not static, and it couldn’t be too long before the Local algorithm included other ranking factors.

Now, it looks like they might be starting to think about other options. A paper submitted to the upcoming Very Large Data Bases conference, on Hyper-Local, Directions-Based ranking and written by two Googlers along with two other researchers, proposes a method for using direction queries…say, of the sort a user might enter into Google Maps…to determine interest in particular places that could possibly be used for ranking such places.
[Read more...]