Google recently announced that it will be expanding its hate-speech policy for publishers that use the company’s ad network. It’s an effort to address concerns about ads funding inappropriate content online. While Google is constantly updating its policies, this particular update could have a significant impact on the way digital marketers select clients. It also raises an important question for SEO companies: do we have a role to play in combating harmful content online? And how should we go about navigating Google’s new policies if so? Google’s new harmful content guidelines Google made the decision to change its policies for a number of reasons, one of the biggest being the early 2017 Youtube controversy. In an effort to guard against “explicit” content with its restricted mode, the company mistakenly targeted multiple LGBTQ+ creators. In its original response to the issue, YouTube said the mode was only applied to LGBTQ+ issues that also … [Read more...] about What will Google’s expanded policy on harmful content mean for SEO companies?
Sometimes patent filings from the search engines don’t describe some hidden algorithm or behind-the scenes-technology, but instead detail a whole new way of doing business. Here’s one such document published yesterday by Google that looks at shopping for products and services in a completely different manner. Keep in mind that previously, Google’s product and shopping services have included Froogle, Google Catalogs, and Google Local. If something like what is described here is developed, it could change around the way many people shop. This patent filing expands upon those offerings in a dramatic manner, from assistance inside of stores, restaurants, resorts, travel terminals and others, through driving and walking directions that tell you about sales and promotions at the end point of the trip, and along the way. It allows stores to dynamically offer promotions across a chain, or manually enter specials at specific locations. Generating and/or serving dynamic … [Read more...] about Google’s Holy Grail of Shopping?
Want to do a paywall with no “first click free?” That’s fine with Google, says business product manager Josh Cohen. Want to do micropayments? Google will be “flexible” in considering support of new business models like this. But if you charge, expect less traffic, and also expect that your competitors will be “ecstatic” to pick up your loss, he said. Cohen’s comments on paywall issues were part of a wide-ranging interview I had with him about Google and its news service. In the interview, Cohen also repeatedly stressed that publishers are free to deal with Google as they like. And if they wanted to exclude Google in favor of a competitor like Microsoft, they have that choice — though Google would prefer to work with everyone. Indeed, Google’s inclusion of many diverse sources is one reason he thinks Google might take hits from certain publishers that don’t criticize Yahoo News, which is a far more popular news service … [Read more...] about Josh Cohen Of Google News On Paywalls, Partnerships & Working With Publishers
Have you ever typed a company name into Google and been instantly greeted with words like ‘scam’ or ‘complaints’ by Google Autocomplete? That can’t be good for business, and it is a situation that more and more organizations are finding themselves in. Being part of a firm that is heavily involved in Online Reputation Management (ORM), we take on a wide range of tasks. There is a bit of everything, from helping individuals clean up search results for their names to partnering with corporations to identify and fix reputation problems. One of the most common issues we get now, from organizations both large and small, is to take on the task of developing and implementing strategies that will influence Google Autocomplete. These clients look to us to help them identify the source of the problem (e.g. do they really have some bad business practices or is it an upset former employee or competitor?) and consult on how to address and fix the issues. We then … [Read more...] about How Google Autocomplete Can Affect Your Brand’s SEO & ORM Strategy
All of the current search engine market share reporting entities (comScore, Hitwise, SimilarWeb and others) utilize technology-based tracking, and I wanted to see if a survey panel-based approach would yield the same results. What I discovered was only somewhat surprising. My results, placing Google at the top with 80 percent of the market, differed significantly from comScore’s 67 percent; but my findings were in line with most of the Google Analytics accounts I had seen, which show Google generating between 80 percent and 90 percent of all organic visits. Last year, I was at a loss to explain the discrepancy between my survey data and comScore’s data, but I chalked it up to how demographics might be weighted in comScore’s panel. Nonetheless, even if comScore’s methods might be undercounting Google, they should accurately follow directional shifts. In October 2014, comScore reported that Google had 67.3 percent of the market, Bing (called Microsoft Sites) had … [Read more...] about Is Google’s Search Market Share Actually Dropping?
If you’re like most online marketers, you know that it can be hard to strike a good work-life balance. Sometimes, that can put a strain on your romantic situation (especially at the beginning of the year when expectations are particularly high). With Valentine’s Day just around the corner, you’re probably stuck between making sure your campaigns are running effectively and putting a little pizazz back in your romantic life. But what if there was a way you could do both? A way to put your hard-won PPC skills towards more amorous goals? What if you could get your love life back on track without leaving the comfort of the AdWords campaign manager? Marketing Yourself The secret to romance is great marketing. As a marketer, you’re hoping that you can make your company’s offering attractive enough to win the attention and approval of your target audience. The same idea applies to romance. You can’t stop after you get the clicks (er, attention of your … [Read more...] about How To Use Google AdWords To Improve Your Love Life
Did Google deliberately try to reduce the rankings of ProtonMail, a tiny rival to Google’s own Gmail service? Almost certainly not. Even Proton doesn’t seem to believe that. But the case highlights how Google’s problems with publisher, business and webmaster communication can hurt it as it faces challenges on antitrust grounds. What happened with Proton Proton Technologies is a Swiss-based company offering a secure, encrypted email service called ProtonMail. It might be an attractive alternative for those who worry a service like Gmail isn’t private enough, either from government requests or Google’s own ad uses. Last November, Proton noticed that they were seeing a drop in daily signups for ProtonMail. Wondering why, the company started looking into its rankings on Google and determined there was a problem. In particular, ProtonMail wasn’t showing in the top results for “secure email” or “encrypted email,” as it assumed was … [Read more...] about Google creates its own antitrust woes with poor communication over search listings
Recently, I had a client come to me with a very interesting Google penalty. They had made a few changes to their site, nothing major, mostly tweaks to usability and layout. After these changes, their site dropped in rank. Curious, I went through each of their changes, a short list. Moving a button? Not an issue. Condensing a couple pages, properly redirected? All fine. The only possible issue I could see was, as it turned out, their contact page. This client of mine had decided to be a little fancy with their contact page and put the information in a modal window. As you know, a modal window is hidden most of the time, and contact information contains links and keywords like their business name. The client thought, logically enough, that the presence of links and keywords in otherwise hidden content might earn them a penalty. To avoid that penalty, the client added a noindex entry for the page in their robots.txt. This, as it turns out, earned them a penalty anyway. It cleared up when … [Read more...] about Is Google Penalizing Websites With Disallowed Pages?
On April 21, Google updated their mobile search algorithm to include mobile-friendly as a ranking factor. In other words, websites that are mobile-friendly are likely to rank better than websites that are not. Even if your website still ranks well in mobile search, you still have to deal with it not being labeled as mobile-friendly. If you are the owner of an online store, you may be wondering how the Google mobile friendly update affects your website. In this post, I am going to look at how you can determine if you need to make your website mobile friendly and show you how to do it. The first question you might be asking yourself is if your online store needs to be mobile friendly in the first place? The answer can be found in the Mobile Overview report in the Audience section. When you navigate to this report, you will see the following table at the bottom. If you have conversion goals set up in Google Analytics, you will see the dollar amount of sales you are making from users … [Read more...] about Google’s Mobile-Friendly Update Guide for E-commerce