Tag Archives: Google-Plus

Another Google Link Hiccup

Over the past few weeks there has been talk about Google approving real natural links thinking they were unnatural or example links. A man claims that it happened to him about a month ago and Google neither denied nor admitted the mistake that had been made.

The following was the response that was sent from a Google Representative:

“Thanks for your feedback on the example links sent to you in your reconsideration request. We’ll use your comments to improve the messaging and example links that we send. If you believe that your site no longer violates Google Webmaster Guidelines, you can file a new reconsideration request, and we’ll re-evaluate your site for reconsideration.”

Many think that this is a notification not admitting they were at fault, but to assure that they will try and avoid making similar mistakes in the future.

The fact that these mistakes have happened so closely together worries people. Although Google is allowed to make mistakes, it makes you wonder how often it is really happening.  Before submitting a reconsideration request it is a good idea to go through the rest of your website and make sure there is nothing else that could be causing this warning message. It also ensures that you’re a bit more resolved.

To learn more about the links that you are submitting or how to increase your search engine optimization visit Windy City Strategies.

Social Media Management

With so many social media platforms sometimes, it’s hard to stay on top of them all. Managing social media is tough, and more than ever businesses are hiring social media managers. If your business is considering hiring a social media manager, Windy City Strategies suggests ways to scout out social media experts. The following skills are crucial to an effective media manager.

1. Strong Semantic Skills: Writing is a major element to social media. Communication is key when you’re trying to get your business’s message across with quality content. Whoever you hire, their language skills should be at a professional level. Having the understanding to use the correct tone and vocabulary for your audience and writing for a niche while still having range is important. It makes your business approachable and gives your viewers an understanding.

2. Customer Service Experience: Having the skill to write clearly and concisely a necessity, but you don’t want a slew of hot headed replies on your social media sites to tarnish your image. Words are powerful, so your social media manager should understand how to handle complaints.

3. Their Social Media Networks: Understanding and knowledge comes best with experience, so ask for their social media links. If  they’re active on social media already, then they should already know how to use the platforms. Using it for a different purpose will be easy, and they’ll require less training time. You can also see if their social media practices align with your plan.

4. Familiarity with Internet Marketing: Your social media manager should understand how they fit into your business’s presence online. Your business’s branding across all sites are key to Internet marketing campaigns. Letting your manager know how his or her posts fit into your business’s image gives a clear sense of what’s being done.

5. Commitment: Social media takes a lot of time; you probably already know if you’re searching for a manager. Whoever you hire, however, should also know what’s expected of them. How often do you want to them tweet on Twitter, post on Facebook, pin on Pinterest, write a blog? What about retweeting, live posting, responding to mentions, commenting back? Getting all of this completed can take time, so hiring part time or on commission can be difficult.

To improve your business’s online presence overall, contact Windy City Strategies today.

Yahoo Beats Google in Unique Visitors for July

For those who always saw Google as the insurmountable search engine, don’t write Yahoo off just yet. ComScore’s monthly rankings for July showed Yahoo’s unique visitor count beat out Google’s. Windy City Strategies suggests just how Yahoo achieved their ranks.

During July, Yahoo beat Google’s number of unique visits by 4.3 million. Many people ignore this accomplishment, however, because ComScore’s ranking has yet to add the growing community of strictly mobile users. Still Marissa Meyer, Yahoo’s CEO, deserves some credit. Her efforts in redesigning Yahoo’s sites and apps have proved advantageous. The apps new user friendly interfaces have attracted more people, and the numbers show it.

Another strong point results from last month’s purchase of Tumblr. The picture blogging website landed the #28 spot independently with over 38 million unique visitors. Yahoo’s growth over the past year is impressive, and Yahoo’s shares have risen 75% during Meyer’s career.

Lastly, this accomplishment is a good sign for Yahoo, especially because ComScore hasn’t ranked Yahoo number one since early 2011. Yahoo’s endeavor’s under Meyer’s leadership has ended Yahoo’s competition lull and concession.

For more Internet and search engine news and information, click here.

Google Gets Personal

Thought Google was smart enough to answer just about any question that came to mind? If you didn’t think that before you should now. Today Google announced a new feature that will be implemented when using the search tool. It allows you to find your own personal information through Google search. Google will now enable you to get information regarding airplane flight numbers, reservations at a restaurant, or the tracking number for a package delivery you are expecting.

Instead of this being a multiple step process to get information for any of the following listed above, Google has created a one-step process where you can get all of that with the click of a button.  When you use this new feature there is one thing to keep in mind.

Google has to be pulling this data from services that the user uses such as Google+, Gmail and Google Calendar. Google notes however, that you must be signed in to one of the previous accounts mentioned in order for this feature to work. Much of this information is pulled from your Gmail account with the exception of photos, which are pulled from your Google+ account.

Any user will have access to this new feature and will be available on any platform including desktop, tablet or mobile device.

Keep yourself informed with all the latest technology updates from Google, Apple, Microsoft, Facebook and more through Windy City Strategies.

The Best Google Analytic Reports

Using Google Analytics may give you insight on who’s seeing your website and how they’re finding you. Understanding your target audience, you can better communicate and market toward your following. Windy City Strategies recommends the following custom reports on Google to help you connect with your audience and learn more about your niche.

Unique Visitors by Page: This report shows you what keywords are successful. Each time your business gets a visit, the Unique Visitors report will record the visit’s source and the keyword they used. You can track how your users found you – whether they used Google, Bing, or another search engine – and identify specific keywords.

Conversions by Date and Time: This report can show exactly when your business is being found. This report is useful for establishing specific times to make your PPC campaign most active. You can use this information to find out what pages are most popular at what time, timing your business’s visibility perfectly.

Customer Behavior: The Customer Behavior report specifies the actions between new and returning customers. It tracks traffic, conversions, and events and how new and returning customers react to your page. By distinguish between your returning customers and new customers gives you new insight. Find out why your following keeps coming back and understand how people find you.

Top Converting Landing Pages: This report shows you your best landing pages. Understand how each page is performing based on goal completions and values. This report will help you understand what gets the most attention and identifies your business’s weak spots.

To get help on your business’s Google Analytics, click here.


SEO Mistakes to Avoid

Search engines are still the number one place people turn when they want to learn something new or solve a problem. If you want your startup to attract and retain the level of attention it needs to thrive, investing in SEO is an easy call. That said, poor SEO can end up being harmful, and it’s easy to make mistakes if you don’t have the experience. Here are some things to avoid if you want your startup to do well in the search engines.

1. Poor/No UI and UX

It’s amazing how often webmasters still believe that you have to sacrifice the user interface and the user experience in order to get the best results in the search engines. If anything, this is the opposite of how search engines work today. Design always starts with the user. Search engines come second.

2. Slow Page Load Time

Do not assume that everybody has an internet connection like yours. Avoid the use of interfaces based on Flash and don’t use images or animations where text will suffice. This is especially important with the recent push toward mobile, where internet connections are much slower.

A large portion of your audience will leave if the site doesn’t load within a few seconds. You don’t have to sacrifice multimedia, but it should load last, and the site should be useable without it.

3. Ignorance of Social Media

Even if all you cared about were the search engines (and what startup is that naïve?), you would still need to care about social media. Mastering social media requires more than testing the placement of your social buttons. It requires the creation of content that demands to be shared, and regular interaction with your target audience. Interaction with social influencers is perhaps even more important.

4. Blog Content with No Value

With every piece of content you create, you need to identify the problem it is attempting to solve, and make sure it solves that problem better than any other piece of content on the web. If you can’t do that, it means one of two things: you’re targeting saturated keywords, or you’re not investing enough in your content.

This is where it’s worth hiring outside talent. Hire somebody with a popular blog on the subject and leverage their reputation to bolster your own. This is what can really set you apart from the competition.

5. Targeting Search Engines Instead of Users

The days of keyword density are over, and they ended a long time ago. It’s amazing how often we still run into this misconception. If your keyword is in the title, and it’s what the article is about, you’ve already met your keyword requirements. Trying to impose any kind of artificial frequency on the use of the keyword just results in an article that looks like spam to anybody who reads it.

6. Poor Site Architecture and URL Naming Convention

This is an especially easy mistake to make and it can be harder to get right than you might expect. Here are a few things you should try to avoid:

Multiple pages with the same or similar content – This one is especially problematic for ecommerce sites, since they often host a huge number of pages with similar content focused on different products.

Dynamic URLs – You’ll want to make sure that your dynamic URLs are created in a folder that gets no-indexed, or it can lead to massive duplicate content issues and confusion about which page to show in the search results.

Meaningless URL Naming Convention – In order to maximize benefit from the search engines, you will want to adjust the way URLs are built in the future. A good URL naming convention makes the hierarchy of the site clear, and makes it clear what each page is about.

7. Not Claiming Google+ Authorship

Google+ is one of the less popular social networks, so it’s not uncommon for digital marketers and webmasters to wonder why it’s worth claiming authorship. This is a mistake, because Google+ is the social network that Google’s search engine has unfettered access to. Every interaction on that social network is monitored by the search engine, and Google can usually tell which accounts are run by actual humans by monitoring activity on their other properties like YouTube and Gmail.

8. Building Too Many Links Too Fast

Any strategy that allows you to build a large number of links yourself (or through automated software) is dangerous. Google frowns upon links that you build yourself. It’s as simple as that. In Google’s utopia, every link to your site would be completely natural, and nobody would point a single link to their own site ever.

9. Ignoring the Value of Content Marketing

Content marketing is the art and science of attracting attention and building trust with content alone. It’s about promoting your content in places where you can expand your reach, and retaining customers with content that keeps on giving. This means that you expand the benefits of content beyond pure SEO, start embracing the power of social networking and email marketing, and you start thinking about guest posts and other collaborations as an opportunity to send referral traffic to your site.

10. Hiring the Wrong SEO Agency

It’s almost always better to hire an SEO agency than to try to do the promotion on your own, but choosing the wrong agency can be even worse. The important thing to remember is that SEO done poorly can actually do more harm than good, so treat it the way you would approach an investment in the stock market.

Online Reviews On Google Impacted By FTC ruling, And How It Impacts Business

Reviews are a central part in managing a business’s reputation online.   Part of the large overall FTC ruling was a nugget we would like highlight- which is that reviews “scraped” from other websites, may not be part of  a business listing anymore on Google- impacting a business’s overall reviews on Google.

According to today’s article on Wired.com, “Regarding Google search, the chairman pointed out that Google “allegedly” scraped user-generated restaurant reviews from Yelp “and led consumers to believe that these reviews were its own.”  When websites complained of the practice, he said, “Google allegedly threatened to remove them entirely from Google’s search results.”

The chairman called such practices as “potentially harmful” — practices Google is agreeing to discontinue.

“Going forward, Google will allow websites the ability to opt out of appearing in its vertical properties like Google Local or Product Shopping, without being penalized or demoted in its general search results on Google.com,” the chairman said.”

To read the rest of the Wired article, CLICK HERE.

Windy City Strategies will help your business soar in the ultra-competitive web marketplace through our proven Internet marketing campaigns. We manage Google, Yahoo and Bing accounts and offer pay per click campaign management services as well as search engine optimization, website development, and internet marketing consultation. Please contact us for a free proposal and analysis.

Getting Local For The Holidays- Google Enhances Location Targeting

Just in time, Google has introduced some great enhanced location products for the Holidays.   You can read the full article here but here are the highlights for your convenience:

1.  Google has introduced Airport Targeting.  Does your business target travelers by an airport?  Great for promoting apps for people in the airport, or even last minute entertainment and travel opportunities for consumers.

2.  Location extensions and sitelinks are together.  Here is how it looks:

Location extensions allow you to “extend” your AdWords campaigns by dynamically attaching your business address to your ads.  Sitelinks link the consumer to popular pages on your website, including top selling products, your location(s) or deals/coupons.

3.  A bigger, blown up map.  Google is saying that users are clicking more on this new map than the previous.

4.  Better location mapping for our clients- utizing such targeting as US Postal Service zip code targeting, and a more regional approach for destination locations, where consumers will travel a larger distance.

5.  These location extensions offer reporting- allowing us and you to track results.

6.  Google also has international options available.

Windy City Strategies will help your business soar in the ultra-competitive web marketplace through our proven Internet marketing campaigns. We manage Google, Yahoo and Bing accounts and offer pay per click campaign management services as well as search engine optimization, website development, and internet marketing consultation. Please contact us for a free proposal and analysis.

As Facebook Catches Up, Google Plus Goes Public

Last week, Facebook caught up with all of the innovations that were making Google Plus so interesting. In fact, one could argue they Facebook sped right past.

But, nearly simultaneously, Google Plus went public. (Did you even know it was still in an invite-only beta?) And in that first week Google+ went public, traffic to the network grew by 1269%, with 15 million total (non-mobile) U.S. visits.

Are these people just going to check out what all the no-longer fuss is about? Or more people looking to make an exodus? But from what – now that Facebook offers the features (social filtering and others) that made Google+ so tempting in the first place?

And just to compare, Google Plus’ traffic is not just far behind Facebook’s – it’s still behind MySpace’s.

Does New Facebook Hurt Google Plus?

People are already claiming the death of Google Plus. But, are these digital prophecies a bit premature?

Because Google Plus isn’t exactly a graveyard. It has more than 43 million users and counting. There was a desire for something different. Perhaps Google Plus’ Circles feature offered the wake-up call Facebook need to evolve. Now that they have, is Google Plus necessary any more?

Well, your mom’s not there. It’s a little better looking. It’s quieter. If Facebook evolves quick enough, perhaps they can quell the social exodus. And if they do, yeah, Google Plus might be in trouble.

Or it becomes something different. For instance, as both networks move to a profile-based experience – in the future, are you going to want future employers to see your Google Profile, or your Facebook profile?