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Google is issuing notices, through Google Search Console, to sites with mobile-first indexing issues. Google communicates issues it faces while moving the sites over to mobile-first indexing through emails. These emails also say, “Google expects to apply mobile-first indexing to all websites in the next six to twelve months.” Have a look at the screenshot that says, “mobile-first indexing issues detected.”

mobile-first

In a recent announcement, Google has now confirmed that it will completely switch over to mobile-first indexing for all websites by September this year.

Mobile-first indexing was first introduced by Google in November 2016 and by December 2018, half of the sites in Google’s search results were from mobile-first indexing. It means that Google crawls websites from the eyes of a mobile-browser and uses that mobile version indexing and ranking.

The prime reason why Google sends these emails to sites that are not yet moved to mobile-first indexing is to advise them on what needs to be done in order to become mobile-first indexing ready.

 

Our take on this:

When you receive any such notice, you should read it and take needed action. Failing to do so might impact the indexing and ranking of your web pages in Google. As always, if you need any assistance with making your website mobile-ready, we are ready to help!

 

Do You Have Questions About Google Search Console? Ask Us!

 

 

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There was some discussion on Twitter last month about an update in the Help Center that suggested that the description field in Google My Business played a part in helping you rank better.

We tested it ourselves and found that the description field has ZERO impact on your ranking in the 3-Pack. And this is how it should be; because if Google makes ranking a cakewalk, the results would be nothing short of mediocre, and that would be bad for both Google and its users.

The document said the following:

mobile-first

We got in touch with Google to bring misleading information to light, and a day later, the part at the top was removed. The removed excerpt was:

“Think about the words customers would type to find your business, and make sure that your listing actually includes those keywords within it.”

The new and updated text read:

mobile-first

Our take on this:

Although the information is still unclear and misleading, we are sure Google will keep updating to give a clear understanding that using a ton of keywords is not the way to improve rankings.

 

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heading 3

 

What is Scraped Content?

Scraped Content is the content that is copied from other places on the web and pasted on a particular website as if it belongs to the site owner. For well over 15 years, scraping has been predominantly active.

Heart of the Matter

Recently, Google’s Webmaster Trends Analyst – John Mueller said on Twitter that he wouldn’t lose sleep over people scraping copyrighted content. He wrote, “there’s a lot of scraped content out there which has minimal visibility, it’s not always worth losing sleep over it.”

John tweeted the following:

mobile-first

Our Observation:

Many times when websites publish their articles, it is scraped almost within seconds. Such scraping is automated scraping, the rest use it for articles and newsletters, days later. Scrapping happens, and it is normal. People do copy and paste.

Back in 2011, Matt Cutts shared a video on Stolen Content Outranking You. Later in 2013, we understood that if you get penalized, then it is possible that Google may rank the stolen content above your original work.

 

Question about social media? Let’s Talk!

 

 

heading 4

Bing Webmaster Tools, which were often reported to be slow and outdated, just got a serious upgrade. The new and improved Bing Webmaster Tools portal, which was earlier released to a select group of users, was set to be made accessible to all users by the first week of March 2020.

The Idea Behind This New Development

According to Bing’s blog post, the backend datastore has been updated to improve data extraction and the user experience has been redesigned in an effort to make it more intuitive and user-friendly. Moreover, it states that the portal’s responsive design offers users the flexibility to access it across devices.

mobile-first

In their words, “The refreshed portal is being built with key principles of keeping the design Cleaner and Responsive with Faster and more Accessible tools.”

 

Key Features of the Upgraded Webmaster Tools Portal

The new portal is said to have 3 key features:

  1. Backlinks – The new Backlinks report that features in the refreshed portal is the Inbound Links report integrated with the Disavow links tool.

 

  1. Search Performance – Page Traffic and Search Keywords reports have integrated to become the new Search Performance report.

 

  1. Sitemaps – The new Sitemaps page is the refreshed version of the previous Sitemaps page.

 

Final Takeaway

Now would be the best time to get familiar with the new portal. It is being said that it will only be a few weeks before they start deprecating the functionality from the old portal. Users that use webmaster APIs to get data programmatically, can continue doing so as the Webmaster APIs will remain as-is.

Bing invites users to leave their feedback on Twitter and Facebook, and raise a service ticket with their support team, in case they encounter any issues with the new portal.

 

Do You Have Questions About Bing? Contact Us!

 

 

Are you getting the best return out of your digital marketing? Need an extra pair of eyes to review your online game plan? Let our experts take a look at your current state and do a comprehensive digital marketing analysis at no cost to you. Please call us at (800) 379-2829 or contact us today and we will get to work right away.

 

 

 

It’s true; come July 1st, Google will, by default, use its mobile Googlebot to index all the new sites that come online. This move will help ensure that the users’ needs are placed at the forefront. Besides, Mobile-First indexing is something that Google has already been doing with over half of the search results anyway.

Want to Find Out Whether Your Site is Being Indexed by the Mobile Bot?

Chances are, if your site is responsive and mobile-friendly, then it is already being indexed using the mobile bot and you have nothing to worry about. However, if you still want to check whether your site is being indexed using Mobile-First indexing, then it is fairly easy to do so.

Normally, you will receive an email notifying you that your site has been migrated. In case you missed the mail, you can check using Google’s URL Inspection Tool. All you have to do is add your homepage URL in the top search bar in Google Search Console account and hit enter.

The page that comes next will show you whether the site is being indexed using Google smartphone bot.

If while using the tool you are unable to understand the results you get, go through Google’s URL Inspection Tool guide that offers details on all the different types of results one can get.

 

Questions about Ranking on Google Or Ranking Issues? Talk To Us.

 

Coding errors can pop up anytime and Google is all set to make it easier for us to realize when we have one on our hands. In an effort to offer more transparency on how our structured data is actually performing, Google has added three new reports to its Search Console. These new reports are as follows:

  1. Logo Enhancement Report – If you are using Logo Markup, this report will provide you with details pertaining to the performance and/or errors around your Logo Markup.

 

  1. Sitelinks Seachbox Enhancement Report – This report has been put in place to provide you with insight into the performance and/or errors around your SearchAction Markup.

 

  1. Unparsable Structured Data Report – This error report has been designed to enable you to analyze and resolve issues around markup codes that fail to pass Google’s testing.

As long as your site has these specific markups, you will be able to find these reports listed under the Enhancements tab in Search Console.

 

Why we need these reports?

 

It is fairly common for an error to pop up even after you run a new code through Google’s Structured Testing Tool. These new reports give you a comprehensive breakdown of when Google first discovered the error, the pages with the error and even what the error looks like.

However, while you are trying to see whether you have been able to successfully troubleshoot the markup coding issues in your site, you need to bear in mind that the reports take time to update. It can take around a week or more for the updated page code to reflect on the reports even after you Validate a Fix.

 

Is your Online Listing up to date? Find out your Visibility Score today

 

 

Area 120, Google’s experimental products group, introduces a new call automation service – CallJoy.

A cloud-based phone agent, CallJoy will help local businesses improve, measure and automate their customer service.

Take a look at Google’s promotional video explaining the benefits of their new service.

Here’s a breakdown of how it will work…

  • Post a quick setup, you will receive a local phone number.

 

  • CallJoy will immediately filter calls that matter and start blocking unwanted spam calls.

 

  • An automated agent will answer calls that matter the most, greet the callers with a custom message and provide basic information related to your business, like days of operation, services available, etc.

 

  • If the customer would like to place an online order or book an appointment, the virtual agent will send him/her an SMS containing the URL for the concerned task.

 

  • The calls will be recorded and transcribed for quality purposes regardless of whether the callers interact directly with you or speak to the CallJoy agent.

These features will make it easier for business owners to tag and search each conversation based on the topic. For instance, a restaurant owner is most likely to search how many times a day callers placed orders for a particular dish.

CallJoy also compiles your data in an online dashboard and mails you a daily update including metrics like volume, new vs returning callers, etc.

At an economical fee of $39/per month, CallJoy promises to deliver customer services for small businesses that were previously available only to larger corporations.

 

Final Takeaway

 

Although it has been noted by many local search experts that Google isn’t that great with automation so far, if you wish to test the system? Sign up for early access here.

 

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A new Automated Ads tool was announced by Facebook recently. The social networking site claims it to be of great help in creating result driven ads.

The Tool Will Have Following Features:

  • Suggestions to create up to 6 different versions of your ad.
    • Call-to-action buttons
    • Text
    • Other creative details

(Facebook will show the best-performing version, once the ad is active)

 

  • Tailored audience recommendations based on the information available on your page.

 

  • Budget recommendations that are likely to generate results as per your goals.

(Your own budget can also be shared to determine the estimated results)

 

Receive timely notifications to help you understand how your ads are performing and how you can improve them.

Additionally, Facebook has expanded its free business tools to allow appointment booking and managing.

You can also find 3 new features added to their video editing tools…

  • Automatic Cropping
  • Video Trimming
  • Image & Text Overlays

Have a look at the announcement page that provides complete details and video guides on how these tools can be used.

 

Need help with Facebook Advertising Or Facebook Ad Setup? Talk To Us.

 

 

 

 

Are you getting the best return out of your digital marketing? Need an extra pair of eyes to review your online game plan? Let our experts take a look at your current state and do a comprehensive digital marketing analysis at no cost to you. Please call us at (800) 379-2829 or contact us today and we will get to work right away.

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If you or any of your clients has a mobile business, like plumbing service, landscapers or any business that is always on the move – we have good news for you.

Google wants to help those who service multiple areas by showing their service area & business information on Google Search and Maps. You can enter the area you are generally in by submitting the list of zip codes on GMB.

It simply starts with “Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?” while creating your GMB account. It will then show you options that are tailored to fit the needs of a mobile business. But in case you already have an account on GMB, you can edit it from the dashboard.

The best part about this feature is – it allows the business owners to separately edit the storefront and service area. So, in case you have a physical location and also provide mobile services, you can highlight both on the SERP and Map.

Just in case your address isn’t applicable to your business, you can simply clear it. But will there be any downside to it? These points might be able to answer your question.

  1. Clearing your address will turn your listing into a service area business which will remove the directions icon, remove the maps pin, remove the listing from the Google Maps API and hide your address from the public.
  2. If you’re a service area business and your address was automatically cleared by Google, don’t try to add it back. If you attempt to do so, you’ll be required to reverify it.
  3. In spite of your “missing” address, Google still knows where you are but they hide your address from the public.
  4. The old service area radius is replaced with a list of zip codes or cities.
  5. Rankings are still based on your address (whether you like it or not).
  6. If you move, you should add your new address back, re-verify it, then clear it. Otherwise, your ranking will be based on the old address.

Our takeaway

If you or your client’s business can benefit from the service area feature, make sure you read Google’s announcement & then head to this article for further explanation.

Questions about your Google local listing? Contact Us

 

Again, a piece of good news for business owners and agencies from Google. Google is now allowing business owners or those who operate it digitally to respond to reviews directly from the desktop.

Until now, you had to open the Google My Business Mobile app to do so – which was troubling for some as many found the GMB app confusing. This new feature (which should be there from the very start) will provide convenience to agencies who have multiple listings to manage.

According to Community Manager, Kara at GMB…

“We’re making improvements on how you can reply to reviews, and providing you with more information and tools to get feedback from customers. You can now reply to reviews directly with your business profile on Google Maps from your computer.

Replying directly from Google Maps lets you manage your reviews without having to download the Google My Business app or open its homepage”.

How to go about it

Just search for your verified business on Google Maps. When you see your listing scroll down until you see Reviews, then click Reply next to the review you’d like to reply to.

Our takeaway

We all know the importance of reviews and how it plays a crucial role. By allowing us to directly respond to them, Google provided the much-needed convenience. In case you haven’t seen it already, Google has released it’s guidelines on how to respond to reviews, especially the negative ones.

CHECK YOUR REPUTATION SCORE

 

Google Search Console has finally added Structured Data Product Markup reporting on 22nd of Feb, 2019. Not just that but they also start sending out emails notifying about your active product markup errors. The product markup reporting now includes:

  • Recipe
  • Job Posting
  • Event
  • Q&A Page
  • Product

Despite being one of the most important Schema markups, Google still hasn’t finished the reporting yet and are still working on some bugs.

Be informed that not all websites have access to this new reporting, so if you haven’t found one in your search console, chances are you will soon be able to see it.

When we tested some WooCommerce website, the search console showed some errors like:

Either “offers”, “review”, or “aggregateRating” should be specified.

But when we tested the same URL on Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool, it did not display any errors, it just showed warnings instead.

Our takeaway

As you can see, the number of errors and warnings on the new Structured Data Product Markup reporting is staggering. But be careful of all the errors and warning emails that you might be receiving as they can be actual errors and not a bug.

But you don’t have to worry about something that you can’t control like not having a review to add since Google is still working on the New Search Console and will likely fix the bugs very shortly. So if you see any errors and can’t find any solution to it, wait for it. Google will fix it out and we will notify you as soon as they do.

Is your online listing up to date? Find out your visibility score today

 

Google has recently revamped their Test My Site Tool that shows the average loading speed of your website on mobile devices along with a report on how to fix issues and make your website better.

The biggest change here is they are now using a 4G connection to test the site speed instead of a 3G connection that they used earlier. They have also added some new features, which according to Google, will help website owners boost their site’s performance.

Here are the new features that have been added to the tool:

  • The speed of both their entire site and of individual pages
  • Whether their site/page speed is faster or slower compared to the prior month
  • Whether their site speed/page speed ranks Fast, Average, or Slow
  • How their site speed compares to others in the industry
  • The potential impact of site speed on revenue
  • A detailed list of recommended fixes to increase speed on up to 5 pages on their site
  • A complete report to share with their team

Our takeaway

When it comes to the digital world, every second counts. Multiple types of research have confirmed that site speed directly affects the bottom line of your business. Hence, you want your website to load fast. Now that Google has revamped its tool and provides more meaningful insights, it’s easier than ever to understand the issue (if any) and fix it immediately.

If you need any help, our experienced team will be there to assist you. Just connect with our support team with details.

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Google has finally decided to shut down Google+. Although they announced it last October, the last nail in the coffin will be put on the 2nd of April. Here’s the full FAQ in which Google provides details and updates regarding the shutdown.

They have already stopped allowing people from creating new profiles from February and now it will be shut down for “Most” of the people. By most of the people, we mean those who don’t use the G-suite. Google is still somehow trying to milk Google+ (can’t blame them though) and add it to the G-Suite. According to Google, it will be like a private & secure social network where the team can share ideas, projects, and updates in real time.

Be informed that your photos & videos on Google Photos will not be deleted.

And if you want to download the data from your Google+ account before Google shuts it down completely, click here. Take note that downloading your data doesn’t delete it, so here’s where Google provides Instructions for deleting your data.

Our takeaway

  • Make sure you download all your important data from Google + account, including data on album archives and pages.
  • Delete the Google+ Icon from your website
  • De-activate any auto-post settings for Google+ in your WordPress plugins.
  • Remove any schema markup that is linked to your Google+ identities.

Questions about Google+? Contact us!

Quora rolled out auction insights and search targeting option.

 

Are you getting the best return out of your digital marketing? Need an extra pair of eyes to review your online game plan? Let our experts take a look at your current state and do a comprehensive digital marketing analysis at no cost to you. Please call us at (800) 379-2829 or contact us today and we will get to work right away.

SEO world

 

 

SEO world

 

 

SEO world

We have witnessed some big changes in the SEO world in 2018. From big algorithm updates, to mobile first indexing & changes in Google search console, there is a lot to catch up on.

Search ranking and algorithm updates

Speed update. Google pre-announced that they will be launching the Speed update anytime soon in January but launched it five months later in June. At first, many website owners and SEO professionals were flipping out, thinking that it will adversely affect their site ranking, but Google confirmed that this update will only affect the slowest sites. Google said it “only affect a small percentage of queries.”

Medic update. Clearly the biggest search ranking algorithm update in 2018. Google launched the Medic update around August 1 & confirmed it after the SEO community took notice and approached them to get more information.  At first Google shrug it off saying that it just another “broad core algorithm update” that they do multiple times a year, but this update was different as it specifically impacted health and YMYL categories.

Other algorithm updates. Along with the Medic update, Google also launched March core Update and April core update.

Mobile-first indexing

Google started hinting that they will be going mobile first very soon….in 2016. Yeah, they were planning to go mobile first since 2016 and fully shifted to mobile first indexing in 2018.

For those who are unaware of it, Google finally decided to index the internet from the view of a smartphone instead of desktop. They started sending notifications via Google Search Console to inform the site owners about this shift. Today, Google claims that almost 50% of the websites have been shifted to mobile first indexing.

Here’s a Google guide on how you can prepare for mobile first indexing.

SEO changes

Structured data. Google is putting a lot of emphasis on structured data & schema.  From speakable markup for voice search related queries, a brand new indexing API for job posting schema to image search changes, various updates to recipe markup, new job posting guidelines, Q&A schema, live stream support, data sets schema, how to, QA, FAQs schema and so much more.

Other changes. Google not only introduced new schemas & API but also dropped support for the old ones like news meta tag, the standout tag and editors pick in Google news. This move was seen as an attempt to appear unbiased because all of the internet giants are facing allegation of partial treatment from a lot of publishers & users.

Google’s effort around the dynamic rendering & lazy loading content and photos is an effort you’ve seen a lot around with JavaScript SEO in 2018 & will continue through 2019.

Personalization. As we mentioned earlier, the two internet giants Facebook and Google were accused of misusing personal data in 2018. However, Google said that they do not use personalization that much and it is limited to showing relevant local results. “BUT” the duck duck go founder says otherwise. He explained in a long Quora post that how Google misuses your personal data and how privacy becomes a myth when you use any of the Google products or services.

Google Search Console and other tools

Google launched a brand new search console in 2018. Just like most of their updates, they first launched the beta version of it and then removed the beta tag and fully launched it for everyone. They also provided a way to import your old search console reports and data to the new one.

Google also started showing Search Console snapshots directly in the search results for site owners. They also changed the limits and quotas on crawling and indexing within search console, removed the ability to use the public URL submission tool & provided convenience to the site owners by automatically verifying them with their Google Analytics account.

Google also tested new form of domain properties for cross site reporting, added a number of reports for event listing, AMP, links, mobile usability and more. They also launched several tools in 2018, and one of the best from the lot was URL inspection tool.

This wonderful tool gives a snap shot of how Google sees your page. Pretty awesome, isn’t it?

They also heard the demand of the SEO community and finally allowed us to view 16 months of historical data. Not only that but they also expanded the API to provide us with 25,000 rows of data.

Google local

Google Posts. Google spent a lot of time polishing Google Posts. They tested many UI around Google Posts on both desktop and mobile searches and also updated the My Business Console to enable Google Posts on the web or through the mobile app.

However, all these efforts from Google didn’t yield the type of results they were expecting since many local SEO experts said that the Google posts traffic and engagement level is on the decline.

Google My Business. Google not only updated the GMB API several times in the past year but also updated the GMB mobile app to allow business owners to manage their listing on the go. They added more insights data, analytics, branded searches, more query data and also launched an agency dashboard as well.

Mobile search and voice assistants

The increasing popularity of voice assistants has made many SEOs take keen interest in voice SEO. Although Google Home is considered the smartest one out there, but the competition is neck & neck since all the tech giants like Apple, Microsoft & Amazon have their own home assistants. But we can give credit to Google home for being the first home assistant that comes equipped with a display.

From an SEO perspective, we couldn’t care less about which one is the best, but rather very much interested in how we can beat the competition & secure the number one spot in voice search results. We know that featured snippets play a big role in it, and as the usage will grow, so will the SEO tactics to outrank each other.

Google UI changes

Google rolled out a new design for desktop searches, discover feed & more results button for mobile and did many changes to UI.

They also increased and then decreased their snippet length, expanded the autocomplete predictions and started showing cameos of famous people in search results.

AMP. Coming to AMP, Google released a developer preview of showing the publisher URLs in search and not the Google AMP cache URL. They also launched AMP stories in search & a bunch of other AMP features.

Other big Google news

In other news, Google is finally closing down Google Plus after 7 years due to many security incidents.

Continuing from the last year, our client’s rankings haven’t had any major impact after roll-out of these algorithm updates and continue to rise as we shift to 2019.

 

FREE INSTANT SEO Audit Of Your Website

SEO world

It’s more than an obvious fact that consumers are most likely going to rely on newer reviews than the older ones. Also, in comparison with older people, younger individuals greatly depend on reviews for a number of things.

What’s so surprising in this, you would ask? A new study has not only proved these facts but has also come up with some insightful metrics indicating the year after year changes.

A Local Consumer Review Survey published by BrightLocal last month, revealed that reviews are critical to the decision making process of consumers choosing goods and services from local businesses.

The below screenshot indicates a strong correlation between the trends and the age of the consumer.

It’s nothing of a surprise that consumers aged 18-34 grew up in the online era. While those older than them grew up taking recommendations from friends and neighbors.

However, it all comes to the same point, people still consider reviews. The only difference over the years is that they are now digitized and available online for everyone to see other than just your friends or neighbors.

Key Findings of The Study

  • 91% of 18-34 year old people trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
  • 40% of consumers only take into account reviews written within the past 2 weeks – up from 18% last year
  • More consumers require multiple reviews to trust reviews
  • 80% of 18-34 year old people have written online reviews – compared to just 41% of consumers over 55
  • Older consumers are more likely to be skeptical about online reviews

In case you are looking for stats and in depth details, read the Full Report and for takeaway points, follow our Actionable Strategy based on the findings of the report.

  • Keep your reviews fresh if you are planning to target younger customers.
  • Reviews that are older than 90 days become less valid, those that are less than 2 weeks old are best and those within a couple of days are ideal.
  • Bad reviews create a negative impact on customers, you must put in all your marketing strategies to action to turn them into good reviews.
  • The more the reviews, more will customers believe in their authenticity. Make sure your product/service has LOTS of reviews or at least more than 10 reviews.
  • Having No reviews is almost as bad as having bad reviews.

So be open to reviews and deliver what your customers are looking for! If you’re looking for genuine reviews, we highly recommend you to check out MyReviewEngine. MyReviewEngine is a review management tool where your business can get more 5 star reviews and triple your sales. The system automates your review process and makes it easy to invite your clients to review your business, via email, SMS, etc. In addition to growing your reviews on auto-pilot, the tool also prevents negative reviews from being published online and be sent to you so you can handle that directly. There are several other features but those are just a few. Go here to run a review scan and check your online reputation.

 

CHECK YOUR REPUTATION SCORE

 

 

 

Moz has released the 2018 local search ranking factors last month & it reveals a lot about the upcoming big changes in the SEO world. If you are looking for accurate predictions, or just want to stay updated about the current trends, we recommend reading the full report.

2018 was a good year for Local SEO since we witnessed a major boost in the rankings of the local players instead of the corporates. This just solidifies the facts that no matter your size, if your site has what it takes, then there’s no denying that you can even beat the mega corporations.

Keep in mind that this survey was conducted among the SEO professionals. They were asked to rank the main ranking factors. Here are some of the key findings.

Local SEO has changed drastically over the past 3 years and if you are sticking to old SEO practices, it will do more harm than good. Also, if you want your site to rank high, you will have to prefer quality-over-quantity. Be it content, backlinks, reviews or citations.

It has been observed by many SEO professionals that you can manipulate the content on the knowledge graph. It mostly works for hijacking brand queries or getting clicks that you will not get normally. 

Also if your site is not receiving the kind of traffic that you were expecting that maybe you have to send signals to Google. What it means is that if Google gets the “hey this business is alive signal”, it might boost your rank a little. You can then use this to show a detailed report of your SEO efforts. But you will have to figure out which thing to prioritize. Because there’s a lot of things going on and there’s a good chance that your client will not understand the technical things.  So you may have to break it down in simpler terms.

Factors to pay attention to in 2019

An easy way to check for what Google thinks is important with internal links is to do a site search on Google, type in one of your keywords & see what comes up first. This will help you determine what Google thinks is most relevant for your keyword.  And if the result is not what you expected, fix it and do a search with the same keyword again.

If your business is new, you have to ensure that you have covered all these basics.

  1. Order Citations
  2. Website is up and running.
  3. Page loads quickly.
  4. High quality and relevant content
  5. Add schema to the site
  6. You are using Google My Business posts
  7. You’re responding to Questions asked via knowledge graph listing

If your business is around for a while, it is going to take a lot more efforts. You can start by checking the source of the traffic, if you are paying for it, then is it converting? Are your blogs up to date. Are you regularly uploading high quality content?  These are only a few of the questions that you should ask yourself about your website.

Be informed that GMB categories are a major ranking factor. Therefore it is often manipulated BUT GMB related spam can be reported on Google Maps or escalated to Google via their various support channels. So if you see anyone misusing it, you should report it.

The conclusion of the survey is hard to sum up but if you will pay attention to the details, you will be able to crack the secret ingredient to a successful local SEO strategy. Although, you will have to do a lot of research to revise your current plans without hurting the existing campaigns.

 

 

Google is slowly moving features and data from the old Search Console to the new one. However, not all are happy with the way data is presented within the new search console because many reports are missing from it. Although Google has promised that all the data will be available in the new version as well.

Google announced via a tweet that reporting features for AMP, Index Status, Links, Manual actions, Mobile Mobile Usability, Rich Cards, and Search Analytics have been successfully moved to the new Search Console.

Takeaway:  Google search console is one of the most powerful marketing tools out there. It provides you with invaluable data, so if you are not using it, then we highly recommend reading this guide on how to get your website on search console and start utilizing this powerful tool to the fullest.

And if you are already using the new Search Console, the above table will help you locate old reports. Maybe it will be bit difficult to get used to the new Search Console, after using the old one for years, but as we all know, the only thing constant in digital world is change. So get used to the new interface and use it to your advantage.

 

 

It’s no secret that customer reviews are important to ALL businesses. People vale customer reviewers as much as personal recommendations. However, old reviews may not be as important as the new ones as reported in our earlier article. The freshness of the review matters a lot.

So it came as no surprise when Yelp decided to update their automated recommendation software to show only fresh reviews. The software moved the older reviews to not recommended category, hence taking it away from the public eye. As a result, many business owners were shocked to see a sudden plummet in their business’s ratings.

We tried to gather as much information as possible about the update, and here are our findings:

  • Everyone was impacted by this update since it was a cross-platform update.
  • Not all 5 star reviews were filtered, it just moved the older ones to the “Not Recommended” category.
  • It doesn’t matter if you advertised on Yelp or not or if you were Yelp Elite, everyone was similarly affected.
  • Reviews that were on the platform for several years were filtered.

For a little clarification watch this short video where Yelp explains why some reviews are filtered and some aren’t.

Takeaway:

You can’t do anything about the filtered reviews. They are gone forever so you should start focusing on getting new reviews instead of getting upset over the older ones.

If Yelp played an important role in your overall marketing efforts, then you should start focusing on getting new reviews from your satisfied customers. You will have to come up with creative yet simple ways to generate new reviews, like adding the link to your business’s Yelp profile into the receipt email or on the checkout page.

Furthermore, you can also allow users to “check in” when they are in your location. Adding Yelp Review Widget on your site is also one underrated way to get more reviews. You can also embed some of the best reviews on your site to not only generate trust but also to prompt customers to check your business profile on Yelp. And last but not the least, keep your Yelp profile updated.

How to automate prevention of negative reviews (If you can’t fight it, automate it!):

Finally, we highly recommend you to check out MyReviewEngine. MyReviewEngine is a review management tool where your business can get more 5 star reviews and prevent negative reviews. The system automates your review process and makes it easy to invite your clients to review your business, via email, SMS, etc. In addition to growing your reviews on auto-pilot, the tool also prevents negative reviews from being published online and be sent to you so you can handle that directly. There are several other features but those are just a few. Go here to run a review scan and check your online reputation.

 

CHECK YOUR REPUTATION SCORE

 

 

 

You may have witnessed a sudden drop in the number of subscribers on YouTube. It is because YouTube is actively removing spam subscriptions from their platform.

Google said that they regularly check the authenticity of the accounts on YouTube and remove the accounts that looks suspicious. It means that they not only deactivate the spam accounts but also remove their subscription from every channel they are subscribed to.

The most recent cleansing drive was performed on December 13th.  So if you noticed a drop in the number of subscribers, this might be the reason why.

Upon contacting, they said –

“Removing spam from the platform helps ensure that YouTube remains a fair playing field for everyone and should result in higher confidence that you’re organically building a community of authentic fans”.

However, Google is not keeping the channels in dark. They are showing a banner on YouTube studio & Classic Creator Studio which informs the affected channel about the removal of spam subscribers.

However, Google is not keeping the channels in dark. They are showing a banner on YouTube studio & Classic Creator Studio which informs the affected channel about the removal of spam subscribers.

You maybe wondering that how Google decides that which account is spam. Here’s their answer:

“We use a mix of industry leading techniques and proprietary technology to identify spam on the platform. Often, these types of actions are meant to make channels look more popular than they actually are”.

Google explained that it will not affect the watch time since they were spam and wouldn’t have watched the videos in the first place. So you will only loose numbers of subscribers and not the number of actual viewers.

Your biggest concern would be falling below the 1000 subscription threshold required to qualify for the YouTube Partner Program because that’s the only way most of the YouTubers get paid. Addressing this concern, Google stated that:

“Channels that had a high percentage of spam and fall below 1,000 subscribers will no longer meet the minimum requirement for YPP and will be removed from the program. They are encouraged to reapply once they’ve rebuilt their subscribers organically. You can learn about how to apply for YPP here.”

Takeaway

If your subscriber count fell below the YPP 1000 minimum, then there’s nothing you can do to gain those back. You should focus on getting new subscribers instead. And to avoid this type of sudden shock in future, make sure that they are not spam from your end. If you need more information, we recommend reading this article by Google.

 

 

Are you getting the best return out of your digital marketing? Need an extra pair of eyes to review your online game plan? Let our experts take a look at your current state and do a comprehensive digital marketing analysis at no cost to you. Please call us at (800) 379-2829 or contact us today and we will get to work right away.


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.

FREE INSTANT SEO Audit Of Your Website

 

 

 

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:

  • Videos up to 30 seconds in length are supported.
  • Videos will appear in the overview tab of the GMB Dashboard.
  • Customer uploaded videos can be found in the customer tab.
  • Merchant uploaded videos can be found in the by owner tab.
  • All videos can be viewed together in the videos tab.
  • After upload it could take up to 24 hours for the videos to appear.
  • Once live, they will display where local photos do.

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.

FREE INSTANT SEO Audit Of Your Website

If you need any help with mobile optimization, we can assist. Just reach out to us and we will be able assist you further.

  • The Dynamic search ads allow you to target the entire website or domain name so that you can target a broad audience. However, Google has made some significant changes to it and the changes will go live soon. To know exactly how it will affect you, click.
  • Google allowed the advertiser to spend as much as twice the daily budget simply to get more money from their pocket. But how advertisers are responding to it and does it really changed anything within AdWords … find out.
  • Google and Facebook get biggest slice of advertising cake. A recent study revealed that 1/4 (61%) of the global advertising spend goes to Google and Facebook. However, the number may drop soon as people are starting to allocate their ad budget to different platforms.
  • Google officially removed the Adwords Review extension and all the performance data will be deleted by Feb 2018.
  • Last year we saw shocking reports that YouTube ads were running alongside some inappropriate videos. It scared the advertiser because it would cause more harm than good. Addressing the issue, YouTube has now made it mandatory for the YouTubers to have at least 1000 subscribers and 4000h watch time if they want to monetize their content.
  • Re-marketing is one of the best marketing weapons in your arsenal. Here’s a great tutorial on how to utilize it to the fullest.
  • What is Doubleclick adoptive re-marketing and how does it work. Find out.
  • Manually selecting placements to run display ads may seem like a good option, but it is not the right solution to click frauds. Also, it makes you miss the flexibility of automated placements.

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.

Re-branding your business? We highly recommend business branding by BrandingBusiness – the world leaders in re-branding.

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.

  • Firstly, the new policy is not preventing the channels to grow and increase the subscribers. However, they can improve the content and attract more subscribers to the channel. If the creators aim to earn money from the platform, they will work hard on the content and grow the channel.
  • There are many creators who do run the channels for a hobby then, for earning money from it and many channels hardly earn money from this. According to YouTube, “99% of those affected channels were making less than $100 per year in the last year, with 90% earning less than $2.50 in the last month.
  • And even Before this new policy there a benchmark of 10,000 channel views. The new benchmark will ensure that the content creators are regularly creating videos and they will push them to hold the subscriber base and get regular views, and that’s important and good.

Not generating enough leads online? Call us at 800-379-2829 or submit form to contact us now and we will perform a complete digital marketing analysis for FREE!