Posts Tagged ‘google’

SEO is becoming mainstream to the business owner. 6 to 7 years ago I would be shocked to find a business owner that new what SEO was. Today I am shocked to find one that doesn’t. The majority of business owners now know they need and want SEO. The problem now becomes understanding what SEO really is, and does a business owner ultimate get his website ranked in Google. Hence the BBB is trying to fill a need for its loyal members by providing a quick and easy guide to getting websites ranked.

Here is the BBB’s article: 5 Steps To Get Your Business On Google’s First Page

Reckless. Very reckless. If only SEO was as quick and easy as a 5 step.

Black Hat Magic

What  irritated me the in this article was the following statement:

“Accredited Businesses who use BBB’s dynamic seal on their website will greatly benefit from bbb.org’s high domain status, thus increasing their own domain authority and search engine ranking.”

What BBB did here is shrewdly ask for a link. Asking for a reciprocal link to be more clear. Further, implicating that by adding a link to the BBB the businesses owner will get better ranks. They even linked to Moz.com within this misguided statement. Was this contrived or is the writer just naive? While this tactic of reciprocal linking isn’t entirely black hat, the fact that the article doesn’t give full disclosure that they are asking for a link makes me cringe.

 

Most Effective SEO Strategies

spring-spider-pest-controlDespite the BBB’s attempt to gain links from their naive and trusting followers, the BBB did publish a survey with some good percentages for effective SEO strategies. The survey put “Link Building” as the 3rd from the bottom. The respondents felt that “Quality Content Creation” is your best bet for SEO success. Bravo. Take the survey’s advice and work on your content strategy and keyword research. Give users the information they are searching for and your business should reap some SEM benefits. But please understand, SEO is not a quick 5 step project. It’s a competitive world out there, and everyone wants the first page of google.

 

K – I -  S S – I – N – G

google-wikipedia-serps

 

So Google is now displaying a little drop down screen shot of the Wikipedia page associated with a website. The information is Universal and site wide, so this tab is included on deeper pages.

Why is this Interesting to me?

I find this very telling of how heavily google is now leaning towards entities in the search results.

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A recent study by Ryan C. McDevitt of Duke University lays claim that plumbers who bid on Google’s PPC ads have a high likelihood of being poor quality plumbers.

The article makes a comparison of PPC ads to the former yellow pages. The argument begins with the home based services whose names begin with the letter ‘A’ or a number. They found plumbers with ‘A’ or numeric names charge a 8.4% price premium. They used a study from 2005 based on the Chicago yellow pages which documents ‘A’ names and number names by percentage of total listings in each category to point out plumber’s beat the average 9.3% of business with ‘A’ names. This study they used is pretty eye opening.

Rank Yellow Page Headings by Percentage of “A” or # Names

1
 Locks & Locksmiths 65.90%
2
 Towing-Automotive 28.90%
3
 Taxi & Limousine Service 21.20%
4
 Convenience Stores 21.20%
5
 Plumbing Contractors 21.00%
6
 Associations 20.80%
7
 Insurance 19.90%
8
 Roofing Contractors 15.20%
9
 Cellular Telephone Services 14.90%
10
 Art Galleries & Dealers 14.90%
11
 Employment Agencies 14.80%
12
 Automobile Repairing & Service 14.50%
13
 Electric Contractors 14.10%
14
 Travel Agencies & Bureaus 13.50%
15
 Painters 13.30%

Source: American Business Disc,2005

Does it correlate that yesterday’s Yellow Page spammers are today’s internet spammers?

The fact that Locksmith’s tops the list reminds me of the notorious Locksmith spammers in today’s SEO world. Albeit it may not be entirely fair to suppose an ‘Automobile’ category is gaming the system by using ‘A’ names as the category itself begins with ‘A’.  It is also insightful that roughly 6.2% of competitive categories use ‘A’ or numeric names. If name selection for a business were unbiased we would likely see an average closer to 3.9% ‘A’ names, which is where Lawyers and Attorneys fall due to regulations requiring firms use names that match the lead attorney. Pizza companies actually fall below that mark with a 3.4% ‘A’ name ratio.

My Thoughts

The idea that plumbing spammers are more likely to bid on google PPC ads is intriguing. However I found that the study by McDevitt of Duke makes a lot of assumptions. Further, it used Yelp as a primary source for counting reviews and comparing complaint averages. I highly doubt that the data included Yelp’s obnoxious filtered reviews. Plus, as Larry Kim added, 25% of Yelp’s reviews are suspected as fake.

And if the conclusion has some merit among the plumbing industry, I find it hard to believe it is applicable to all home service industries. Granted I am a bit biased to the pest control industry, but even still, I find it hard to imagine a business model that could afford the current cost per ‘pest control’ click and not retain customers.

The study does have some tenable findings in the yellow pages with regards to A and numeric names associated with quality. I believe the choice to take the AAA name for phone book ranking is an indication of choosing short term gains over long term strategy. A well developed quality service takes more careful aim with long term strategies in the crosshairs.

But… “Hey, I am just the pest control guy.

for further discussion on this study visit HBR : http://blogs.hbr.org/2013/11/beware-the-plumbing-firm-that-advertises-a-lot/

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Google is constantly testing and refining their search. This also applies to their ad section. Google cares about conversion optimization. Click here to see previous changes to sponsored section. Despite their “Do no Evil” slogan, they are still in the game to make money. Here is the latest testing of their ad section.

Google-Ads-Section-testing

Compared to current “Ad section”:

Google-Search-PPC-Section

my first reaction…

google-ads

What is that Big Yellow Tag doing there?

I am actually a bit skeptical on if this is going to help click through rates. It does grab one’s attention which could help CTR. The main advantage I see is that the shading has disappeared. I think most people have grown cold toward the shaded “sponsored” area and simply skip over it out of habit. I assume that Google isn’t going to do anything that will hurt revenues.  Only time will tell if this test goes live in all the searches and how much it helps Google’s bottom line. But you can take this away, “Always be testing. Always.”

Here is the best Hummingbird Joke I’ve got:

Why does a hummingbird Hum?

Why Does a Humming Bird Hum?

Answer: Because it doesn’t know the words! Dumb bird.

Hey it’ Google’s Birthday!!

The humming bird is set to make the search faster. Along with other updates google is 100% happy. And why not, it’s their birthday. So blow out the lights and make a wish.

Related Posts:

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I updated my Google+ App on my iPhone and found this..

Google Plus Checkin for iPhones

Google Plus Check-Ins

I have never know google to not use information they collect to better their search results. I foresee Google+ checkins becoming a major part of Google’s Local Search algorithm. The Google+ Check In will add the user data that google is craving to make search results relevant to users. Google places has come a long way. At one time Google scrapped the internet trying to create it’s local directory. They abused Yelp trying to add in reviews. They indexed foursquare to make sure the results were relevant. Now they have their own system to do all this themselves. From reviews to location data, Google+ answers the local directory call.

Can Google+ capture the foodies?  As for the foodies, I am not sure, but I do believe Google has the means and drive to eventually beat down Yelp and Foursquare. While Yelp will have a long life and will still hold on to much of it’s elite foodie following, the annoyance and frustration from both businesses and the non-elite users will erode Yelp’s base. But what do I know.. I am just a pest control guy.

If you check out the search terms that are being used to find your WordPress blog you may come across this phrase “encrypted_search_terms”. Why? Has your site been hacked? Or are you a sneaky SEO that has been hiding something and you’ve been caught by Google. If you are worried about this term showing up in your wordpress dashboard read on.

WordPress

WordPress (Photo credit: Adriano Gasparri)

Encrypted_Search_Terms is now my all time biggest traffic term!

It is nice to know what people are finding your site for, so I keep track using wordpresses traffic tools. “Christmas Lights Ditto” has been one of my best search terms ever, but it and others were just passed by “encrypted_search_terms”. But it’s not that I rank for “encrypted_search_terms”, it’s because the search terms the googler searched are actually being encrypted. If you use Google Analytics you will find these terms labeled, “Not Provided”. Per Google it is only going to effect about 10% of your traffic. That was the stat they gave when they first launched this encryption, “to protect the user.” But there are many that report this impact is far greater than 10% and that it is only expected to grow.

Should I be worried about “encrypted_search_terms” showing up on my dashboard?

The term showing up does not indicate anything about your site. You are most likely not being found for that term. This term is now showing up for everyone using WordPress’s site tracking. If you care about knowing how you are being found, then yes you should be a little more than worried about this. Google is taking away search data. If you have been trying to watch your search terms trends then this will be a problem. Your data from year to year will now be flawed, especially if the percentages continue to change.

Here are a few more sources for you to really dive into this discussion:

Can I get this data back?

No. Sorry, but there is no real solution for you to get the data back. You can run analysis on which pages are being seen most frequently and make inferences as to what terms brought them to those pages. You can pay for pay-per-clicks to find terms that may become hidden. You can ask users to share the data. But there will be no going back to the days that Google shared openly with the webmaster this information.
-

You will find the following “Consumer Alert” on yelp:

We caught someone red-handed trying to buy reviews for this business. We weren’t fooled, but wanted you to know because buying reviews not only hurts consumers, but also honest businesses who play by the rules. Check out the evidence here. ( http://s3-media3.ak.yelpcdn.com/saphoto/RU7bd3h2f6pBlf8BfAyxGQ/o.jpg )

Clicking the link provided will take you to an image caption of the correspondence between the yelp sting operative and the company. This jeweler was offering $200 for a review, per the craigslist post they had created. And apparently they are not the only ones using this technique… per google search for “Craigslist.org Yelp review”:

Does this Yelp Penalty Affect Ranking?

Levi Jewelers still ranks #1 in the yelp search “Jeweler” from a desktop, as of today. It still shows the 5 stars and 91 reviews. ( Interesting to note that they do have 366 filtered reviews. )

When you travel to their page the consumer alert is below the fold:

The mobile version does not currently show the consumer alert whatsoever. And the yelp deal with Levi, one that pays yelp, is still active.

What is the verdict?

Honestly, I think yelp could show some more teeth here. But for the sake of making a public example of this company, I believe they are opting to keep them up. This is also a recent update and I am sure that the future versions of Yelp penalties will be modified. The email correspondence occurred beginning Oct. 11th through Oct. 13th. It appears that it was leaked to the press very quickly and thus the public relations team is getting their message out.

However, from a previous yelp broken filter blunder in which Yelp quickly reacted to remove the reviews, I feel yelp still fails to make a solid stance. Their previous blunder only called for a quick cover up, it did not remove the members who violated the guidelines. Will yelp protect the other members that the Jeweler paid off to get good reviews? Will there be a point when businesses get an advocate to combat yelpers gone wild?

Pest Control Guy Penalized on Yelp for Reviews

Rumor has it that there is a pest control guy that was caught red handed buying reviews on yelp as well. I have not been able to find this bugger. I am shocked however that a Phoenix pest control competitor of mine openly offers a credit for a yelp review on his website. It seems that this should certainly be a red flag for yelp.

“Love Us? YELP! Post a positive comment on YELP and receive $5.00 off any service. Let us know through our Contact Us page”

Apparently a yelp review is only worth $5 for pest control companies. That is a bit shy of the $200 the jeweler is offering and the $100 a restaurant in Sedona is offering.

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by Thomas B.
This post is to complete my authorship tag loop for this blog.

It has taken me far too long to do this, especially since it really is soooooo simple.

If you have a blog then you want to claim authorship.

What does Rel=Author Do?

Well if you search for “Thomas Ballantyne Completing Google Authorship” then you should see this:

So a nice fancy little image in the search results that’s what you get! If you don’t get that then let me know… I will knock some heads. Probably mine.

You can find more info about “REL Author=” from these sources:

http://support.google.com/webmasters/bin/answer.py?hl=en&answer=1408986

http://www.seomoz.org/q/rel-author-google-auth

http://yoast.com/push-rel-author-head/

Or watch Matt Cutts Explain it:

List of paintings by Rembrandt

List of paintings by Rembrandt (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Enhanced by ZemantaI feel about as accomplished as Rembrandt now. =)

3 of 5 Trending Topics on Google Plus Have Hashtags.

Pretty funny considering hashtags are a twitter thing. Perhaps google+ should just copy that as well, oh wait they already did about 4 months ago. Now just wondering when they will add a Red Google+ Bird.

Just goes to show that the Google+ crowd is the same twitter crowd. Are they just copying and pasting their tweets? I wonder who would get dinged for duplicate content in this scenario.

 

English: Google plus one

English: Google plus one (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

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