Archive for December, 2011

Claiming Google Places Listing

December 15th, 2011

Although businesses have been able to claim their Google Places Listings since 2005, the number of businesses claiming them since April of 2010 is tremendous. Over 1 1/2 years ago, only 4 million listings had been claimed. Last March the number jumped to 6 million, and now just nine months later the number has jumped to 8 million. According to Google, that is 16% of all the business locations throughout the world.

A Google Places listing doesn’t just include your address, phone number and a link to your website. You can describe your services and products and upload logos, pictures and videos. Customers also have the ability to write reviews, which can greatly help with your rankings.

Claiming Google Places Graphic

If you haven’t claimed your Google Places listing, what are your waiting for. It is FREE web visibility.

AdWords or SEO? Is Google killing off natural search in the name of money?

December 13th, 2011

Google has always said it wants to provide the best search experience. Well, that statement may no longer be true. Apparently, it is placing more and more pay per click ads and Google’s own pages on the search results pages. Google is even running an AdWords ad that states: “Forget about SEO. To be visible in Google today, try AdWords.” What about content and credibility? Check out this blog post from Aaron Wall, one of the leaders in SEO. Will you now have to pay in order to be found? Do you need to decide between AdWords or SEO? They have always complimented each other. Will that no longer be the case?

Google SEO Updates as of 12/1/11

December 6th, 2011

Last week Google published another round of search improvements. They advised that this was the first of a monthly series where they will be sharing information about their algorithm and feature enhancements. Their new monthly blog posts will be highlighting the approximate 500 search improvements Google makes each year. So you don’t have to add another blog feed to your home page, each month we’ll be summarizing the posts for you.

Here are the Google SEO updates (and feature updates) for December 2011:

  • Related query results. Google sometimes shows results that are similar to the search terms that you used. It has refined the algorithm so that it is now less likely that related results will rank highly if the original search term had a rare word that was not in the alternate query.
  • More comprehensive indexing. Google is now including more long tail documents in its index. As we always tell our clients, going after long tail terms – such as “birthday party places in orange county ny” – is a great SEO strategy, especially for new websites or competitive markets. This refinement will make it even easier for searchers to find you.
  • A “parked domain” classifier. Parked domains are really placeholder sites for companies that have not yet created a website to go with a domain name. They can also be placeholders for companies that buy up domains as a competitive strategy, which they never even plan to use. These “placeholders” typically are filled with ads and are really not at all relevant to a search. This new classifier will help weed out parked domains from the search results.
  • Autocomplete predictions. As you may have noticed when you type in your search terms, Google tries to predict what you are typing and provides a list of search terms that may match what you are looking for. They have refined their prediction algorithm, making it a little more flexible.
  • Blog search results. Google changed its blog search index. Now it provides blog results that are more current and comprehensive.
  • The original content battle. In the last six months, Google has been addressing the duplicate content issue. They just added some new signals to its algorithm the help them determine which web page has the original content and which sites merely duplicated it.
    Image freshness. A change will not make it easier for Google to find the most recent images for news searches.