share tweet share pin it e-mail share Mirror mirror on the wall, who’s the smartest speaker of them all? Amazon’s Alexa says she likes “all AIs.” Google Assistant can see the good in others, too, noting Alexas’s nice attributes, sexy blue lights and soothing voice. Apple’s Siri wouldn’t be caught dead answering that question. “Let’s talk about you, not me,” she says. In our latest Unwrapping the Secrets of SEO, we used the occasion of the release of Apple’s HomePod smart speaker to examine the increasingly crowded field and what it means for the world of search and content marketing. Unwrapping the Secrets of SEO And in this corner… Some 39 million American, or 16 percent, own at least one smart speaker, according to research from NPR and Edison Research. By the end of 2018, smart speaker penetration in Germany is expected to reach 26%, according to a global survey of … [Read more...] about Hey Google, Siri and Alexa, Who’s the Smartest Speaker in the Land?
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Google hosted its second Local Guides Summit for the people who contribute content about businesses in their local areas to Google Maps and Search earlier this week. It brought together 150 top contributors from 62 countries to the San Francisco Bay Area. In 2016, there were 75 attendees from 37 countries. Last year, there were 5 million Local Guides around the world. Remarkably, the number has now grown to 50 million — a 10x increase in one year. To attend the Summit, Local Guides needed have attained at least “level 5” (out of 10) and submit an application that included a 1-minute video. A level 5 is someone who has 500 points from making various types of local content and data contributions to Google Maps: ratings, reviews, images, video and so on. Luiz André Barroso, vice president of engineering on Google Maps, delivered the opening Summit keynote, which was essentially an appreciation for the efforts of Local Guides. He discussed the ways in which … [Read more...] about Google now has 50M Local Guides adding content to Google Maps and Search
If you own a local business and get a phone call from a rep identifying himself as contacting you from Google (even if the call is coming from India), don't make the mistake of assuming it's yet another annoying phone scam. Mike Blumenthal has just reported confirmation from Google that these phone calls are legitimate and are part of Google's 2010 effort to clean up local business data quality. This unexpected new move from Google has three interesting aspects to it worth pointing out. The Good I fully support any efforts Google makes to clean up spammy issues in Google Maps and Place Pages. This latest phone call program apparently stems from a new policy of verifying community edits made to business listings. So, if someone tries to make an edit to your business listing, you may get a call from Google asking whether the edit that's been suggested is an accurate one. Frankly, considering the great silence that has historically surrounded Google Maps, I was amazed to hear of Google … [Read more...] about Don’t Hang Up! Google Really Phoning Local Businesses.
For years now, Local Search has lived on the periphery of the minds of many, but Google's latest move brings Local to the forefront of the search experience, for searchers and marketers alike. Apparently based upon IP targeting, searches without geo-modifiers (city names, zipcodes, etc) are now bringing up Local 10 Pack results and the Local Search community is on fire about this game-changing news. What's the big deal? Historically, the 10-pack (the set of 10 local results that click into Google Maps) has been shown mainly for searches worded like this: chiropractor san rafael ca. Now, all you have to do is type in chiropractor to get local results like this: What does it mean to you? So far, we have confirmation that this is happening in the US, Canada, India, England, and The Netherlands, and so far, the majority of these new non-geo 10-packs are appearing in mid-page rather than at the very top of the SERPs. As you can see in my screenshot, the vertical height of the 10-pack is … [Read more...] about Google Local Gobbles SERPs
From Marketing Land: Snap Ads Max Reach is Snapchat's version of the home page takeoverMay 2, 2017 by Tim Peterson For one day, advertisers can get their vertical video ads seen by all US viewers of Snapchat's various Stories formats. YouTube invites users to give feedback on its upcoming redesignMay 2, 2017 by Amy Gesenhues The new look and feel will be based on Material Design principles of simplicity, consistency and beauty. Study: Q1 Google Display Network placementsMay 2, 2017 by Ted Ives Are you utilizing the Google Display Network in AdWords? Contributor Ted Ives shares some data on which site categories perform best. How to optimize for voice searchMay 2, 2017 by Sherry Bonelli Inspired by a recent presentation at SMX West, columnist Sherry Bonelli discusses why small businesses and local search marketers need to be thinking about voice search. How martech is working to solve the consumer identity crisisMay 2, 2017 by Barry Levine From machine learning to biometrics … [Read more...] about Marketing Day: Snap Ads Max Reach, YouTube redesign & Google AdSense
Google announced last week that they had recently conducted a study to research the actors behind fake listings on Google Maps. The study points out that “geographic proximity is the coin of the emerging localized-search realm,” which matches what I observed with the Possum update in 2016. This major algorithm update was responsible for making proximity to the searcher the #1 ranking factor for local search. This drives up the incentive for companies to create fake listings, since they need more “locations” in order to monopolize the search results and maximize exposure. There were some things I saw in the study that were very helpful to know: Most of the listings that got suspended were in India and the United States (74 percent of all the listings observed in this study). 40.3 percent of the listings were in industries that are on-call, like plumbers, locksmiths and electricians. 54 percent of the suspensions in the United States were … [Read more...] about Is Google really keeping fake listings off Google Maps?
At the end of last week Google was on the receiving end of accusations that it had scraped a local directory site in Kenya (Mocality) and then perpetrated a scam using that site’s name in cold calls to local businesses. Last night new allegations from the people behind Google Maps competitor Open Street Map claimed that one of the same Google IP addresses was responsible for vandalizing OSM data in several locations: [U]sers from Google IP address ranges in India deleting, moving and abusing OSM data including subtle edits like reversing one-way streets. Two OpenStreetMap accounts have been vandalizing OSM in London, New York and elsewhere from Google’s IP address, the same address in India reported by Mocality… In response to last week’s Mocality/Kenya claims Google quickly investigated and apologized. It issued a statement that it was “mortified” by what had happened and was trying, essentially, to get to the bottom of it: “We were mortified … [Read more...] about Google Confronts More Rogue Behavior In OpenStreetMap “Vandalism” Incident
A Google patent granted last week describes how the indexes at different Google data centers may contain pages that are indexed and classified as global, and pages that are indexed and classified as regional. Last summer, I wrote about how Google may predict which data center might provide the best results for a query. Google was also granted a number of patents last August that provided some insights into how Google's Planet Scale Distributed Storage of Data may work. Those patents from last summer give us an intriguing but incomplete look at the pages contained in Google's data centers. The newly granted patent appears to fill in some significant gaps. Imagine that each data center might contain some unique pages and content that's regional in nature, and some content that might be replicated across more than one data center that's global in nature. The global content could potentially take up between 50% and 75% of storage area on each data center. The process behind determining … [Read more...] about How Google Data Centers may be Split between Regional and Global Data
Google launched Street View on Thursday in India, the second most-populous country on earth. But “launch” may be a bit of an overstatement because, in a country that’s also the seventh biggest in square mileage, Google is only taking photographs in one city: Bangalore. Google announced that it’s using both cars and trikes to photographs the streets of Bangalore. The city is a smart first choice: It’s a tech hub that’s often referred to as India’s version of Silicon Valley. Presumably, many in Bangalore will be familiar with and welcoming toward Street View photography. When the Street View images are eventually added to Google Maps, all of the normal precautions will be in place: blurred faces and license plates, no images of private locations and a “report a problem” tool to ask that images be removed. There’s a little bit of history between India and Google’s map-related imagery. In 2008, after terrorists admitted that … [Read more...] about Google Tiptoes Into India With Street View
Earlier this week, Danny Sullivan reported on the hijacking of thousands of local hotel listings within Google+ Local. Those listings had been replaced by third-party hotel booking services. And while it’s unclear how long those third-party links were in place, several knowledgeable people have surmised it may have been at least a month, if not longer. Without offering any substantive comments about the situation, Google appears to have cleaned up the problem and mostly, if not entirely, restored the proper links. There’s been no explanation forthcoming about how this might have happened from the company, though Google acknowledged the incident. As a follow-up to the first article, I reached out to a number of local SEOs and people familiar with the intricacies of Google+ Local and related products. I asked them how this might have happened and whether they had any suggestions about how to guard against this type of hijacking in the future. Below are a selection of the … [Read more...] about Local SEOs Sound Off On Google+ Local Hijackings