Today marks the first time that April 20th — known amongst pot smokers as “420” and frequently celebrated with smoking parties — is a legally observable event in the United States (in some places, at least, since the states of Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational use of the drug for adults). So, what does this mean for local businesses and marketers? In 2010, I conducted a limited audit to see if 420 party locations, as well as marijuana dispensaries, appeared in Google Maps. I found little more than a user-generated map back then — but fast-forward to 2014, and we begin to see legal marijuana retail establishments appearing in local search results and local directories. The virtually overnight switch from prohibited substance sales to legal businesses has left local search engines and online directories with a dilemma as to how to adapt to the changing marketplace. New Business Growth Is Smoking Fast Marijuana sales are lighting up faster … [Read more...] about 420 Dilemma? Marijuana Emerges In Local Search
Phone book search
After three years the great Google Authorship experiment has come to an end … at least for now. Today John Mueller of Google Webmaster Tools announced in a Google+ post that Google will stop showing authorship results in Google Search, and will no longer be tracking data from content using rel=author markup. This in-depth article, which I’ve jointly co-written with Mark Traphagen, will cover the announcement of the end of Authorship, the history of Authorship, a study conducted by Stone Temple Consulting that confirms one of the stated reasons for cessation of the program, and some thoughts about the future of author authority in search. Authorship’s Gradual Slide Toward Extinction The cessation of the Authorship program comes after two major reductions of Authorship rich snippets over the past eight months. In December 2013 Google reduced the amount of author photo snippets shown per query, as Google’s webspam head Matt Cutts had promised would happen in his … [Read more...] about The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results
In Part 1 of this series, I cited a really great article here on Search Engine Land on why search marketers should reconsider using broad match that challenges a common best practice in paid search. That article got me thinking about other best practices and if we should reconsider some of other tried and true tactics which most of consider as important to our approaches. Once again, the idea here is not to try to prove these best practices ineffective. This is an exercise to see what we can learn by taking the counter view and see if anything surfaces that can help us get better as search engine marketers. 6. Big Keyword Lists At the beginning of search engine marketing, the idea that bigger is better was the dominant strategy. After all, if you could identify keywords that your competitors hadn’t thought of, then you could earn top positions for a fraction of the cost of the most common, highly competitive terms. Why spend $1.00 on a competitive term when you can spend $0.25 on … [Read more...] about Re-Examining The Top 10 Paid Search Best Practices, Part 2
You’ll often hear the mantra of “mobile first” with technology companies, but the head of Google search isn’t just saying it. He’s been living it, doing almost all of his searches for more than a year on mobile devices. Amit Singhal is Google’s senior vice president of search, overseeing all of the company’s search products, a role he’s had since he joined Google back in 2000. I’ve interviewed him many times over those years. One of those times was a few months ago, when he mentioned casually that he’d gone all mobile with his searches, as he put his two smartphones down on a conference table while we talked. Really? All his searching on mobile? Indeed, he replied. When more people are searching on Google with mobile devices than desktop, he felt it made sense to not just be talking about mobile first but to actually be living it. Intrigued, I asked to talk with Singhal further about his all-mobile life in a follow-up … [Read more...] about How Google’s Search Chief Has Been Living The “Mobile First” Life For Over A Year
I shouldn’t — but I couldn’t resist doing a quick poke at Facebook’spronouncementthat it is the "most used people search engine on the web." Really? Accordingto? Facebook gives some stats that perhaps back up this claim, but only if youconsider Facebook a people search engine. I don’t. Not yet. It’s hard for me to consider something a people searchengine when, untillast September, it didn’t allow most people to actually register with it. Ofcourse, I don’t need comScore’slatest statsto tell me Facebook is taking off since then. The drip-drip-drip of peopleasking to be my friend since I joined up a few weeks ago lets me know it isgaining ground. It is a drip-drip, however, not a firehose blast. I’d wager most people Iactually know personally are not on it. Curious, I just searched for threecollege friends. None of them are there. I’m not surprised, since I was incollege so long ago we didn’t have email addresses … [Read more...] about Facebook One Of The Top Search Engines? I Dunno About That!