Google has slowly started sending out this email to Google+ page owners which has left quite a few business owners worried.
It looks like the Google+ page for [business name] has not been used in a while. To simplify your Google My Business listing, we will be removing this additional page from our system in 30 days.
This change won’t affect your Google My Business listing – you can still be found on Google Search and Maps. You can download a copy of your old content before it’s deleted by visiting this page. Alternatively, you can post or comment on someone else’s post within 30 days to keep your Google+ page active.
Your Google My Business team
Please note, this email address is not monitored.”
First of all, this email from Google is completely legitimate. However, there’s nothing to be worried about.
Let’s get a few things straight:
We’re not surprised that Google has decided to move in this direction. A lot of the functionality that was exclusively available through Google+ is now available through GMB.
All in all – we’re happy to see Google move in this direction to remove a lot of the clutter.
Here is the screenshot of actual email from Google.
Google is now rolling out “Mobile First Index”. The roll out is limited to sites that follow best practices for mobile first indexing.
Google has already moved a limited number of sites to mobile first indexing, but this time it’s on a much larger scale.
They confirmed that they will be informing webmasters / site owners about the migration via Google Search Console. So if you are a webmaster or site owner, you might receive a message like this:
Google added that the site owners will see significant increase in crawl rate from the smartphone Google bot. Also, they will show the mobile version in search engine results and cached pages once the migration is completed.
What is mobile-first indexing?
Google says it is about how Google crawls your site. Google will only have one index, but how Google crawls and creates the index will be based on a mobile-first experience going forward. Google wrote:
To recap, our crawling, indexing, and ranking systems have typically used the desktop version of a page’s content, which may cause issues for mobile searchers when that version is vastly different from the mobile version. Mobile-first indexing means that we’ll use the mobile version of the page for indexing and ranking, to better help our — primarily mobile — users find what they’re looking for.
Google has a detailed developer document on mobile-first indexing.
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The brand new Google My Business dashboard is here and people are excited about the new features. Many influential marketers got their hands on the new dashboard about a month ago, and now Google is making it available to other people on…a random basis. Here’s a screenshot of the new Dashboard.
The new Google My Business dashboard boasts many improved features such as:
All users regardless of their size will be using the same interface. It means that you will no longer have to switch between the card and list view.
The new dashboard is easy to navigate, allowing you to view and edit your listings within the same window.
You can now find the posts and insights directly on the side navigation panel.
This one is big. Now adding more listings will not affect the loading speed of the page.
Not sure if you have the latest version of the dashboard? Log in to your account and check if there’s a “Black to Classic GMB” option in the left side navigation menu.
You can now add description of your business directly within Google My Business. It’s not a new feature though. Google removed this feature back in 2016 when they dropped the Google+ support. And now made it available again. This feature offers a hassle free way to keep the information about your business updated and ultimately help the searchers.
Here’s how you can add business description:
The character limit is 750, so make it crisp and engaging. Learn more about it here.
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Google has rolled out the beta version of the new and improved search console and SEO’s are more than happy, to say the least. The most promising new feature is the access to 16-month-old historical data. It enables year over year comparison which is great from every aspect.
Google has built the new search console from the scratch and not all features are available yet. They are still working on it, and they will keep on adding useful features from the old search console to the new. So as of now, most of the tools you will click on will have a coming soon message.
However, you do have access to the performance tool which is easy to understand with filtering options like: By device, country, impressions, CTR and more.
The Index coverage report is the perfect blend of old index status & crawl reports errors. It enables you to see how well Google is indexing your site as well to identify and fix any issues.
The new search console will also help you validate newly fixed AMP URLs. The updated AMP status report will provide details into the specific Errors.
As of now, the above-mentioned tools and features are the biggest highlights of the new search console. But it’s still in the beta mode and many tools and features are yet to come, so stay tuned.
We will keep you updated on new features as and when they go live.
Google was testing a new video feature in early January that allowed business owners and customers to add videos, related to the business. Allyson Wright from Google My Business advertiser community announced that they have fully rolled out the video feature and now all the business owners can add videos to their listing. These videos will be visible on Google Maps and local search results.
Some important points to consider:
The process to add videos is same as photos. Go to your GMB dashboard, click photos on the left and instead of adding photos, add the link to the videos.
It’s 2018 and if your web page takes more than 10 seconds to load, then you are far behind! Nobody likes to wait for minutes just for your page to load — they will simply hit the back button. According to a study, 53% of the users will abandon the site if it takes more than 3 seconds to load! So it came as no surprise when Google announced that site speed will be a ranking factor within the mobile search results from July 2018.
However, Google assured that only a small percentage of the sites will be affected by it since the majority of the site loads faster than 10 seconds. Also, there will be exceptions to websites which provide relevant and high-quality content to users. Those websites can still rank well in the search engine result pages because the intent of the search query is still a strong factor.
If you are not sure about your site’s speed, you can use the Google’s “Test My Site” tool. This tool uses a standard 3G connection to replicate what most people are using to surf the web using mobiles. It not only tells you about your site speed but also gives suggestions on how you can improve.
What About AMP?
Google’s announcement stated that it “applies the same standard to all pages, regardless of the technology used to build the page”, which means AMP gets no special advantage except that by its very nature it will pass all of these speed standards with flying colors. However, that doesn’t mean that you get an automatic pass if you’re using AMP because you need to be sure that everything is set up properly.
If you need any help with mobile optimization, we can assist. Just reach out to us and we will be able assist you further.
Re-marketing is good but only if done in a balanced manner. Many advertisers overdo it and as a result, annoy the users. Although Google can’t tell advertisers to stop targeting a particular user, they may give the power to the users to block re-marketing ads coming from a specific advertiser.
Recently, YouTube has announced that it will demonetize all the small channels on the platform, as per the site’s new eligibility criteria channels need to have more than 1,000 subscribers, with at least 4,000 hours of watching within the past 12 months.
The decision came after Logan Paul’s ‘suicide video’ incident. According to the company, the decision of demonetizing the small channels is taken in order to, “prevent bad actors from harming the inspiring and original creators around the world who make their living on YouTube.”
The channels that fail to meet these criteria will no longer be able to monetize and will lose access to tools and features associated with the YouTube partner program by next month. If any channel fails to meet the criteria but, later if they manage to pass it, will be automatically re-evaluated in the new criteria. All the new channels joining the platform will have to, manually apply for evaluation.
Though many are criticizing YouTube’s new policy and terming it as “favoritism” for big channels or “penalty” for small channels, it is not a bad decision.
With the rise of social media usage during the last decade, it would be a surprise if more companies were not utilizing their reach and potential to gain a business edge.
You’ve got Twitter, FaceBook, YouTube, Instagram, Pinterest, FourSquare, and Google+ to name a few where your business information and latest projects should be published for millions of people to see.
But, how do you properly manage the variety of social media platforms to your full potential?
One method would be to create a spreadsheet with your social media accounts and update the sheet daily for the dates you’ve posted something. Another is to set a daily Outlook or Gmail calendar reminder to post something across all accounts.
Or (pay attention here) you can sign up for a FREE Hootsuite account. Hootsuite is a social media management system that allows you link or network other social media platforms into its interface.
Hootsuite’s interface takes the form of a dashboard allowing you to see multiple streams simultaneously. This is particularly useful if you are a serial entrepreneur and want to quickly post across all accounts. Each individual stream then allows you to select the social media accounts you’d like to post to, add a photo or video, and walah, you’re done!
To recap, Hootsuite makes it easy to post across multiple social media accounts simultaneously, reaching potentially millions of followers in seconds. Having multiple streams set up allows for quick easy transition between companies which is especially useful if you are a serial entrepreneur.
Changing and evolving with the continually “shifting” face of SEO is something we all have to do as SEO specialists. Google and other search engines are always improving their search results to bring us a higher level of quality.
Nowadays, Google and other search engines are putting an extremely high emphasis on the quality of the content, how it can benefit people, and doing away with nonsensical spam and other jargon from the search results.
But that’s not all that’s changing. If you really want to be part of the SEO business, “staying on top” of how the SEO industry changes is absolutely critical to the overall success of your SEO campaigns.
There’s tons of tools available to help us analyze and formulate our SEO campaigns.
Just as Google is on a mission to stomp out spam, they’re also making headway in providing statistics and analysis tools we can use to revolutionize the way we perform online business!
It’s truly an exciting time to be part of the Internet, and everyone with an Internet connection gets to witness what the Internet and a computer’s mathematical capabilities are truly capable of.
Below are some exciting statistical tools that have already been released. And of course, there will be more tools like this released in the near future, bigger and better than the ones we currently have!
Google Knowledge Graph – This tool is taking SEO to the next level. Instead of continuing on the current path of keyword based search matches, Knowledge Graph is helping us to move past that, and now into semantic based, or to put it simpler, “relating to in logic”, based searches.
Knowledge Graph is using entity mapping, commonly called Entity Recognition and Disambiguation (ERD). This technology advancement allows Google to understand how certain topics and keywords are “intertwined”, and how they relate to each other.
Thus, Google now displays these “linked” subject results, based on how they’re connected in the big scheme of things, so that we can have better search results listings based upon what’s actually happening and how things are related to each other.
Google Analytics – This is a great tool we can all use to see how our websites are performing. The information you get from Google Analytics allows you to see many things about your website. You can gather this data to then analyze your current SEO efforts and what you can do to improve them.
Google Correlate – This Google tool allows you to see how search trends have changed over time. Google creates an informative graph that displays how many people have searched for an inputted search term over the course of time.
There’s also many other Google Tools you can use to get a better idea of how to formulate a better SEO plan. Knowing how to use the information and graphs that the various Google tools display is key to proper SEO campaign development.
Ten years ago, if you would have mentioned the term “social media” to an Internet friend, they would have had no idea what you meant. But in the year 2014, nearly everyone with an Internet connection has heard of sites like Facebook, adding momentum and force to the social media advertising trend.
Social media is big business, and financial figures state that social media is scheduled to generate 11 billion dollars in total revenue by the year 2017! In 2013, social media made a total of 6.1 billion.
So, you can see how social media is poised to become an incredible force in online advertising in the very near years to come, and why you should seriously consider incorporating a social media marketing strategy for your business.
StumbleUpon – Founded in November 2002 by Garrett Camp and a few other associates, as of April 2012, StumbleUpon now has more than 25 million registered users.
Facebook – Founded in February 2004 by Mark Zuckerberg, Facebook is the undisputed king of social media. As of March 2013, Facebook has a total of 1.11 billion active users, globally.
LinkedIn – Founded in December of 2002, LinkedIn boasts a total of 259 million users across more than 200 countries as of June 2013.
YouTube – Launched by three former Paypal employees in the year 2005, YouTube is now one of the most popular video sharing / social media comment sites ever. YouTube was purchased by Google for 1.65 billion dollars in 2006.
Tumblr – Founded by David Karp in the year 2007, this social media site is home to 205.9 million blogs.
Foursquare – This local search and discovery network site was launched in 2009 by Naveen Selvadurai and Dennis Crowley. As of 2014, it has 45 million registered users.
Twitter – Founded in 2006 by Evan Williams, Jack Dorsey, Noah Glass, and Biz Stone, as of 2014 Twitter now has over 500 million users. 271 million of these are “active” users.
Google+ – Launched in 2011 by Google and open to everyone, as of 2013 there are 540 million active, registered users.
Sharing information and what you like is what social media sites are all about. Google allows us to +1 a site, and show the world how much we appreciate a specific page. Facebook allows us to “Like” a page, and thusly increase Internet awareness of a specific page or site.
Additionally, we can leave comments on social media pages that contain helpful insight, allowing social media business owners to improve the quality of the products and services they offer.
Social media pages are also highly capable of going “viral”, which happens because of a chain reaction of events.
First, a social media page will post an original and unique piece of content.
Second, it becomes popular because of the valuable, unique, funny, or otherwise noteworthy characteristic of the content.
Third, the popularity of the unique content is shared with friends and acquaintances until many thousands of people visit and agree that the content is noteworthy enough to share. And it’s at that point, that a social media page has officially gone, “viral”.
With sites like Facebook having over a billion registered users, there’s no stopping social media and how it’s scheduled to play a part in fostering business. Social media sites are wonderful for allowing any Internet user to share pages they find valuable and to spread the word about content they find beneficial.
SEO has always been a constantly changing system of how to get sites ranked highest. A lot has changed in the SEO world in the last 10 months, and in this article, we’re going to give you a quick overview of Google changes, as well as other more general SEO changes, and how they affect the ranking of sites.
Google is now giving sites that use Secure Socket Layer protection a bit of a ranking boost. For now, it’s only a very lightweight ranking signal, and is trumped highly by overall quality of content. However, this is a ranking signal that may gain more ranking weight in the future, so be sure to keep an eye on it.
The steady succession of Panda updates rolled out by Google have done a great job of preventing low quality sites from gaining a high rank position. In the Panda 4.0 update, which affects an additional 7.5% of site queries, Google is doing everything in its power to ensure that content quality reigns supreme.
Over the course of the Panda updates, low quality content sites with nothing or very little to offer were systematically eliminated. Also, the Panda 4.0/4.1 updates put an emphasis on the inclusion of mobile optimization and friendliness.
When inputting keywords and phrases into the Google search engine, until just recently you’d be inundated with facial snapshots of the documents author. Many people reported being actually “put off” by the facial snapshots, and wanted something done about it.
Google “stepped up to the plate” and eliminated the facial snapshots entirely, so that now only the authors name is shown next to the article hyperlink. This eliminated a lot of “queezy” feelings Google users had about using the Google search engine in particular.
Additionally, through yet another update, any authorship details whatsoever have now been eliminated as well. Now when you do a Google search, you’ll no longer see authorship markup details attached to the SERP links.
This algorithm update affects local search positions and rankings. Local searches are especially popular with Google, and through the Pigeon update(s), Google comes closer to offering more highly refined, more highly targeted, and more accurate local search experiences.
Distance and location ranking parameters have been improved through this update.
Google is always looking for ways to improve user experience with their search engine. With the “Top Heavy” Algorithm update, sites heavy with ads within the top fold of the page will have their ranking positions penalized.
Also, if advertisements are deemed by the Google algorithm to be “too distracting”, this will also take away from the overall ranking of the site.
Social media has continued to gain popularity as a way to add ranking potential to sites. Through using social media ranking signals such as Facebook and LinkedIn promotion, sites can use the high PR ranking of Facebook to get their sites higher in the SERP’s.
Nearly everyone out there now has a smartphone that’s capable of browsing the web. SEO has thusly started to include mobile optimization strategies as part of the overall makeup of general SEO ranking. This is new for 2014, and throughout the new year of 2015, we’ll be seeing a MAJOR increase in using mobile ranking signals as a way to stay high in the SERPS. Definitely stay tuned to this new change and plan to adopt strategies that implement this new SEO change.
This is a highly popular way of gaining links to your site. Through link baiting strategies, a webmaster puts out a high quality piece of content, and thereby uses this as “bait” to get other webmasters to link to it.
The higher quality the content used as “link bait”, the better the chances of gaining more quality links to your site and achieving a higher SERP position.
Optimizing your site in accordance with long tail keyword dynamics is VERY popular. Ranking for a high competition single keyword is exceedingly difficult to rank for. Thusly, webmasters are optimizing their sites for long tail keyword searches that are not only easier to rank for, but also offer more targeted results that result in higher conversion rates too.
It’s no secret that social media has grown to become a necessity in any online marketing strategy. Whether a brand wants to drive attention to its company, product or professional services, social media is a well-known, cost-effective way of attracting positive attention (in most cases). On the other hand, without following the specific protocol of social media branding, the careless use of these platforms can damage a business in a matter of days.
Within the past few years, social networks like Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn have become widely recognized as powerful tools for communication, both in the B2C and B2B industries. And whether you are aware of it or not, your prospective employers, partners, customers and competitors could be viewing your posts at any moment. With this in mind, it’s important to maintain best practices so that your social media strategy effectively supports your business goals and best showcases your brand’s personality, and on multiple channels.
On these newly crowded channels, it can be difficult for consumers and brands alike to separate the wheat from the chaff. We’ve assembled two examples of brands who have their social media game on lock. Read on to find out how you can cut through the competition and reach your fans like never before:
Old Spice Makes the Comeback of All Comebacks
At the end of 2009, Old Spice was an aging brand. Their customers were old; their reputation was old…and they were in danger. Obviously, a reboot was in order. And what a reboot it was!
During the Super Bowl of 2010, Old Spice launched their “The Man Your Man Could Smell Like” campaign, featuring former NFL player Isaiah Mustafa. Mustafa talks to the “ladies of the audience,” trying to convince them to buy Old Spice for their man while staring directly into the camera. It was a hit, racking up 26 million views on YouTube.
If Old Spice had stopped there, it would have just been a great online commercial. But what followed five months later was pure social media genius: Mr. Old Spice, as Mustafa was now called, jumped onto Twitter to answer questions from fans—in real time, via YouTube.
When selecting who to answer, the Old Spice Social Media team had a novel and crucial approach: they selected fans not only on the potential of their questions, but also selected them based on their influence on social media. Thus, when they interacted with a fan, they could be sure that his or her response would get maximum coverage.
The influence-filtering approach, combined with the real-time nature of the campaign, left fans sitting at the edge of their seats. It was a recipe for success that boosted Old Spice to its status as the number-one branded channel on YouTube. Numbers later showed that it drove sales, too: Old Spice reported that sales doubled in the month following the campaign.
The bottom line: by responding to their fans according to influence, Old Spice was able to combine high production values with spontaneity and still count on having an impact.
We All Scream for Fourth Meal!
Of all the fast food restaurants, who knew that Taco Bell would be the one to conquer social media? It’s true! The company’s flippant, irreverent, yet ultimately best-friendy tone turned out to be perfectly suited to social media marketing, particularly for speaking to that ever-elusive generation: the coveted millennials.
Using a sassy mix of English and Spanish, Taco Bell encouraged its fans, followers, and subscribers to “Live Más” and “Think outside the bun.” But that was just the beginning. What really sets Taco Bell apart from their competition is their commitment to two-way, fun, and productive communication.
One 17-year-old fan posted a request to their Facebook wall: “will you send me a poster of my favorite burrito?” To her surprise, Taco Bell not only agreed, but one-upped her. They sent her a giant poster taller than she was, they liked and commented on her Instagram feed with the acronym “BFFAE,” Best Friends Forever And Ever.
The bottom line: Taco Bell treats every interaction with a customer on social media as a chance to create a fan.
Thinking Outside the Box with Social Media
Consumers today crave honesty and authenticity from their brands. The definition of professionality is changing; it’s no longer enough to be polite and respectful. Today, brands are expected to be funny and candid as well. In their own ways, Taco Bell and Old Spice have each managed to mix humor, authenticity, and just the right amount of silliness to achieve a perfectly balance social media presence.
There are a lot of social media platforms out there and realistically unless you are a huge national brand your chances of dominating them all for your niche is slim to none which is why many businesses focus on just a few at a time. Many people discredit Google+ as a flop and don’t see much value in spending time there. But with that attitude you could be missing out on a huge opportunity, here’s why.
Since Google dominates the search engines it makes sense that having a presence on Google+ can help boost your SEO efforts. If you have a Google+ account you can register your blog posts with Google Authorship and increase your exposure in search engine results. Your results will stand out with a photo of you and link to your Google+ profile.
Who doesn’t love some subtle (and free!) marketing? As a little bonus, anyone you e-mail that happens to be using a Gmail account will see a small ad to the left of the message with a direct link to follow you on Google+. You can also use a lot of Google’s integrated features like Google Hangouts to interact with users. This doesn’t reach all of your audience but it’s free, so who’s complaining?
There are more Google+ users than you might think (around 540 million active users) and they generally spend less time on Google+ than they do on Facebook, but you know what that means – less competition! With less noise and fewer hands in the air waving for attention you have a better chance at being seen and interacting with potential customers. The regular users of Google+ tend to be more business and professional related so know your audience and be visible where they hang out!