The Saturday Summary – 7/18/2015

There was a lot going on in the search world this past week, especially from Google. Here are some of the news items that caught my eye during the week of July 13-17, 2015 including a bonus item regarding online reputation management …

There was a lot of news going around in the search world this past week, especially from Google. Here are some of the news items that caught my eye during the week of July 13-17, 2015 including a bonus item regarding online reputation management …

The Saturday Summary

Monday

I’ve been advising clients to optimize content for “Natural Language Search” for several years now. It was pretty easy to see that Google, at least, was going that way. Now, with people talking to their phones and asking questions, it makes sense to look to answer those questions your customers might ask. Bill Slawski share some information about a recent patent awarded to Google that helps us understand how “question queries” can be answered. Check it out on SEO by the Sea: How Google May Answer Questions In Queries With Rich Content Results

Tuesday

Mobile advertising spend is growing at a phenomenal rate. It might grow even faster if advertisers can easily see that their spend is bringing a return. Google and Facebook are using advances in mapping technology to better pinpoint where a user is located, thus allowing advertisers to target their ads more effectively. While this could be a boon to ad sellers, there are some concerns over privacy. Check out this very interesting Reuters article by Yasmeen Abutaleb on Yahoo News: As tech firms track your location, advertisers zero in for the sale

Citing concerns around spam, Google shut down public editing of Map Maker back in May. The search giant has been working on a fix and plans to reopen editing in August. Barry Schwartz has the details on Search Engine Roundtable: Google Map Maker Reopening In August; Powered By The Community

Wednesday

Now, why would Google need to hire an SEO Manager? You might think that’s a bit odd, but if you get down to it, there are good reasons. Google has a lot of content out there, some of which may not be seen by those who need it. Optimizing their own content to show up in search makes a lot of sense. Yes, this is for real, and Barry Schwartz shares the details on Search Engine Land: Google Is Hiring An SEO Manager To Improve Its Rankings In Google

Google is looking to make it easier to purchase online on your mobile device by adding “Buy Now” buttons to products from selected retailers that appear in search results. This has been in test mode for several months, and is now rolling out to the public at large – on Android Google apps at first, and later on iOS. They are also showing inventory stats at nearby retailers along with price information. Check it out in this Reuters story on Yahoo News: Google unveils ‘buy’ button, host of new shopping features

Thursday

For you Google watchers who are looking for a Panda refresh, it didn’t happen this past week according to Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Roundtable: No, Google Did Not Refresh Panda Yesterday

Friday

Nothing could be more frightening than to go into Google Search Console and find that the number of your web pages Google has indexed mysteriously and suddenly dropped. Many website owners found this had happened this past week. Thankfully, though, it was just a bug that Google is working to fix. Get the whole story from Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Land: Google Sitemaps Report Bug May Show Huge Decline In Indexed Pages

Bonus

From the “This Is Not The Way To Respond To Customers” department comes another example of a business that did not react well to a customer service incident. Was the customer impatient? Maybe she was. Was the business person who left the phone message out of line? Absolutely. And, the hits just keep coming in the comments on YouTube.

It’s easy to get riled up about customer behavior sometimes. It’s true that we all have bad days. In the end though, we need to remember that:

  1. Every interaction with every customer is a branding opportunity. That can be for good or for bad – it’s up to you.
  2. Nothing can be considered “offline” or private anymore. Any communication with anyone has the potential to end up online.

 

Warning: NSFW!

https://youtu.be/-iXDHOIvPq4

The Saturday Summary – 7/11/2015

As usual, there was a bit of news around the web marketing world. Here are some items that caught my eye during the week of July 6-10, 2015 on such topics as Bing maps, Google, Twitter and more …

As usual, there was a bit of news around the web marketing world. Here are some items that caught my eye during the week of July 6-10, 2015 on such topics as Bing maps, Google, Twitter and more …

The Saturday Summary

Monday

Right after we read some news about Bing selling off some of its map-making technology, we see some news about them improving Bing Maps with some very interesting features that looks to make it very useful. Check out this Search Engine Land piece by Greg Sterling: Bing Adds New Tools, Enhanced Content To Mapping Upgrade

Tuesday

Is SEO too broad and complex that specialists are needed? Jayson DeMers makes a fairly good case for this on Search Engine Land this week: The Case For Niche SEO Specialists. I think he makes some good points, and certainly I know some excellent specialists in local search, technical SEO and others. On some websites I work on, we do take a team approach, but there is always someone who “owns” the entire project to make sure everyone is working in unison. Too many specialists can sometimes cause problems if no one is watching from the “10k foot view.” What do you think?

Wednesday

Google is getting the Twitter firehose, but they are only indexing a small part of the stream – and it seems they are favoring more influential users. This makes complete sense to me. Check out the details shared by Greg Finn on Search Engine Land: Google Now Indexing 466% More Tweets, Still Favoring Higher Authority Users [Study]

Thursday

In my online reputation management work, I see a lot of stuff come across from Google Alerts. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve clicked on a link to a PDF that looked to have some content that I needed to check out, only to get redirected to website selling Viagra, a get-rich-quick scheme or worse. Apparently this is a bigger problem than just a few hits in Google Alerts. Barry Schwartz shared some information that Sophos Security found that this problem involves hundreds of thousands of PDFs, some of which rank quite high in Google search results. Check out the details on Search Engine Land: Sophos Uncovers Mass Link Spam In Google’s Search Results Via Cloaked PDFs

To build links or not to build links. That is a philosophical question that those in the SEO industry love to debate. Google injects itself into the conversation from time to time by updating best practice guidelines or through statements by those who speak publicly on such matters. Jennifer Slegg shares one such mention by Google, this time advising not to ask for links that violate Google’s best practice guidelines. That seems good advice to me. You can read all about it on TheSEMPost: Google Revises Blog Post About Not Asking for Links

Friday

Google watchers have been expecting an update to the Panda algorithm that helps govern quality in the search results. That update was expected last week, but has been delayed according to Gary Illyes of Google. Barry Schwartz has the details on Search Engine Roundtable: Google: Panda Still Coming Soon But Maybe Delayed For Technical Reasons

Speaking of Gary Illyes, the folks at Pubcon announced this past week that he will be delivering one of the keynotes at the Pubcon event in Las Vegas in October.

The Saturday Summary – 7/4/2015

Summer is here, but search news certainly does not take time off – even for a shortened holiday week with Canada Day on Wednesday and Independence Day today. Here are some items that caught my eye during the week of June 29 through July 2, 2015 with news about Google, Bing, AOL, Yahoo, Uber and online reputation management (ORM) …

Summer is here, but search news certainly does not take time off – even for a shortened holiday week with Canada Day on Wednesday and Independence Day today. Here are some items that caught my eye during the week of June 29 through July 2, 2015 with news about Google, Bing, AOL, Yahoo, Uber and online reputation management (ORM):

The Saturday Summary

Monday

In the ever-evolving online map business we heard news that Bing is selling some more of it’s mapping assets to Uber. This comes after recent news that Apple is deploying its own street photographing vehicles in order to improve Apple Maps. Matt McGee has the details on Search Engine Land: Bing Pares Its Mapping Image Operations, Sells Some Assets To Uber. Now comes the question: Does this mean Uber is looking to go beyond just providing transportation, going more towards the navigation and location content business?

AOL has been making some moves lately, though many would say that movement may not be in the right direction. In a deal announced on Monday, AOL will get Bing’s display ad sales business and struck a 10-year deal to display Bing search ads on their service. This is an interesting move that Danny Sullivan shares, also on Search Engine Land: Microsoft Signs 10-Year Deal For AOL To Use Bing’s Ads & Listings

Here’s another reminder for those who think they can get ahead in Google search by spamming: DON’T! Barry Schwartz shares some information about Google imposing manual penalties to sites that use spammy structured data: Google’s Spammy Structured Markup Manual Action Lead To Ranking Decline? Any short term gain a site may get from spam is not worth the long term damage it will cause … just don’t do it.

Tuesday

I’ve worked on enough website redesigns and domain changes to know that it needs to be done very methodically and correctly. One thing you have to do is make sure the content on the current website is being indexed properly, or any 301s you apply to show the search engines where the new content resides will fail. Barry Schwartz has some tips on Search Engine Roundtable: Google: Rankings Drop After Change Of Address Because Old URLs Not Indexed

Wednesday

From the ORM desk comes some great tips from Tamar Weinberg about monitoring, tracking and responding to reviews. The only word of caution I would share regarding her advice is to be careful about how you ask for reviews. Yelp, in particular, has very specific guidelines as to how to solicit reviews. Other than that caution, Tamar’s advice is excellent. Check it out on Search Engine Journal: The Beginner’s Guide to Review Management

Thursday

Something to consider when architecting your website: Google will not spider entire pages if they are too large. For now, according to what Barry Schwartz shared on Search Engine Roundtable, that limit is 10 megabytes. It’s always been best practice to make sure the most important content on all web pages is up top where it can be spidered quickly. Even though a 10MB limit may seem like a lot, it’s still best to keep the “most important info up top” rule in mind. Another tidbit that popped up in the comments: Google News is still limited to 256 kilobytes … that’s important to remember if you are running a news website. Check out: Google Crawl Limit Per Page: 10 Megabytes

In some more search partnership news, some observers have noticed that Google search results are starting to appear on Yahoo. For now, it appears that Yahoo displays its own search data for the majority of searches, while the rest are divided between results from Google and Bing. It would appear that Yahoo is moving toward relying more on Google and it works out how to fully position its own data. Check out this article by Matt Southern on Search Engine Journal: Google Search Results Start Appearing in Yahoo

Friday – Bonus

Another tidbit from the ORM desk appeared on Forbes.com by fellow Austinite and nueromarketing expert, Roger Dooley: Customer Experience: The New Currency Of Power.

Roger brings up some excellent points I’ve thought about for quite a while. Chief among these points is the idea that letting companies merge together to form monolithic organizations might have some advantages, but that customer service and experience are often sacrificed.

Of course, the marketplace will eventually work this out and those organizations that will not put customer experience and satisfaction higher up on their priority list will eventually fall by the wayside. The main reason for this is that we consumers are no longer relegated to complaining to small social circles, limited by the means of communication at out disposal. Now, we can tell our stories to the world and have more influence than most businesses care to admit. I see examples of this almost daily in my ORM work and Roger shares a good many examples in his article.

The Saturday Summary – 6/13/2015

Last week brought us some search news from Google and Apple as well as some online reputation management new from Yelp. Here are some news items that caught my eye during the week of June 8-12, 2015 …

The Saturday Summary

Last week brought us some search news from Google and Apple as well as some online reputation management new from Yelp. Here are some news items that caught my eye during the week of June 8-12, 2015 …

Monday

Search queries are getting longer. This is a trend that’s been happening over time, and for a variety of reasons. Jayson DeMers shares some thoughts and ideas around this subject on Search Engine Watch: Longer Search Queries Are Becoming the Norm: What It Means for SEO

Tuesday

On the online reputation management front, Yelp is one of those sites that people look to quite a bit. As the leader in the online reviews space, they have a lot of work to do to keep themselves a trustworthy source of information about businesses. This week, they announced that they will share information about review fraud that they catch. The most interesting thing I gleaned from this: Yelp appears to be actively running sting operations to catch those who sell reviews. Check out the information in this Search Engine Land piece by Barry Schwartz: Yelp Starts Showing Evidence Of Review Fraud

Wednesday

Google Street View is getting another rival in the form of Apple. Apple confirmed this week that they are sending out a fleet of vehicles to do their version of street view. They also announced some improvements to Apple Maps that will come in iOS 9. Check out the details in Search Engine Watch by Dan Worth: Apple Cars Hit the Road to Rival Google Street View

Thursday

Twitter has been working on making their service better for those who are subject to abuse. A new service allows people to share their list of blocked users as well as import and manage blocked users from other Twitter users. Check out Advanced options for using block on the Twitter Help Center.

Google has been working very hard to improve their search to understand the intent of searchers. Barry Schwartz shares a story about a very good demo done by Danny Sullivan and Google’s Behshad Behzadi at SMX Paris: Google’s Amazing Mobile Search: It Knows Where You Are Standing

Friday

Google seems to find itself in legal jams all over the world. There has been a lot of news in the past couple of months about how France is trying to get Google to bend to their will. The latest in this saga has been the decision of a Canadian court in British Columbia demanding that Google delete a misused trademark across all of Google globally, and not just on Google.ca. Danny Sullivan shares the news on Search Engine Land: Canadian Appeals Court Orders Google To Censor Globally

The Saturday Summary – 6/6/2015

There was quite a bit of news from the search world last week with several announcements by Google, Uber, Foursquare, Yahoo and some online reputation management (ORM) news. Here are the articles that caught my eye during the week of June 1-5, 2015 …

Today is the 71st Anniversary of D-Day, the beach landings near Normandy, France that marked the beginning of the end of the Nazi occupation of Europe during WWII. The sacrifices on that day were many. Let’s remember that it was those of The Greatest Generation to whom we owe a huge debt of gratitude for the great freedoms and opportunities we enjoy.

The Saturday Summary

There was quite a bit of news from the search world last week with several announcements by Google, Uber, Foursquare, Yahoo and some online reputation management (ORM) news. Here are the articles that caught my eye during the week of June 1-5, 2015 …

Monday

I quit using Foursquare when they split off the check-in part to the Swarm app. I found that the usefulness of the app was diminished. With the announcement that they’ve partnered up with Uber to allow users to request rides to places they find via Foursquare, they may have made themselves more useful again. Emily Alford has the details on Search Engine Watch: Uber Partners With Foursquare to Combine Local Search and Transportation

Tuesday

There were two announcements by Google at SMX Advanced this past week. One that many Google watchers will find interesting is that Google is working towards a continuously running Penguin update. Many who work on Penguin issues will be happy to hear this news from Google’s Gary Illyes. Barry Schwartz shares the details in Search Engine Land: Google: We Are Working On Making The Penguin Update Happen Continuously. In another Search Engine Land piece by Barry we get news that Mr. Illyes also announced that there will likely be a Panda update in the next several weeks. Rather than an update to the algorithm as in the Penguin update, this is a data refresh. Check out: Google Panda Update Coming In Upcoming Weeks

From the Online Reputation Management Desk: Lithium Technologies shared some survey data which tells us that 42% of business leaders have been “shamed” by consumers in social spaces. This is not surprising to me, as I’ve seen some extreme instances of digital shaming by consumers online. As I crawl through the seedy underbelly of the internet, I’ve encountered some pretty terrible lies, unfair accusations and other forms of shaming by consumers. It’s one thing when there is a breakdown in procedures or communication, it’s quite another when someone goes out of their way to unfairly disparage a brand. Check out all the data from the survey shared by Justin Lafferty on SocialTimes: Survey: 42 Percent of Business Leaders Say Consumers Shame Them on Social

Wednesday

Google knows about 30 thousand trillion URLs. That’s a lot of online content. What’s even more important for us to know is that they don’t store all of them in their index. Why? It’s not because they can’t, it’s because they choose not to. It makes sense to me. Why store junk if you don’t have to? Check out the details shared by Barry Schwartz on Search Engine Roundtable: Google: We Know About 30 Thousand Trillion URLs On The Web But…

Thursday

From the “Not Surprising” Department comes news that Google is planning to devalue content hidden behind interstitial pages. I have to admit that I hate having to wait before reading content I click through to view. Although I sometimes share links to that type of content, I try to avoid it because I want you, my valued audience, to have a great experience. Google feels the same way, as expressed by Maile Ohye at SMX Advanced. Check out the details from Jennifer Slegg on TheSEMPost: Google Planning to Devalue Content Behind Interstitials

In another piece of news from Google we learn that those business owners who haven’t logged in to their Google My Business accounts in over 6 months may find their listings removed from the system. This is a great reason to get in there and actively manage your locations every so often. Put it on your calendar so you don’t forget! Check out the details by Matt McGhee on Search Engine Land: Google Says It May Unverify Inactive Local Business Listings

Friday

Something that many website owners are not aware of is that Google makes changes and adjustments to its algorithm on a constant basis. In a recent Google+ Hangout, John Mueller said that the number of updates in a year can number into the thousands. Barry Schwartz shares some of the details on Search Engine Roundtable: Google: We Make Thousands Of Updates To Search Algorithms Each Year

In another Search Engine Roundtable piece, Barry shared news that Yahoo announced this week that they are shuttering Yahoo! Maps at the end of June. With all the heavy investments made by competitors, it seems they were unable to keep up. It’s The End Of The Road For Yahoo Maps