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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Google Announces Places Changes

posted by Christine Pegg
Monday, July 25, 2011

Google announced Thursday that Google Places pages have undergone a few very important changes. You’ll notice that third party reviews are now gone from Places pages. These changes come as a result of other consumer ratings websites like Yelp, Citysearch, and TripAdvisor claiming that Google was using their content without permission.

Places pages will still link to these third party sites for a more well rounded search experience but only after showing Google user reviews. Google will no longer integrate the actual reviews from any other consumer rating websites into the page or the Place rating system. Take a look at the photo below to see what this looks like.

Google Places links

Another important change to note is that Google is now emphasizing a call to action at the top of companies’ Places pages with two new buttons encouraging users to “Write a review” and more easily upload photos from places they’ve been.

Having stellar, yet genuine, user reviews are a great way to bring in business and encourage new customers to try your services and check out your business. Places photos also do a lot to help your search engine optimization efforts. Not only do they give your customers visual insight to your company, they also get indexed in Google images. In order to optimize your Places presence, encourage your happy customers to write reviews directly on your Google Places listing.

Schipul Google Places listing

Expect more Places pages upgrades to roll out soon. Google also notes forthcoming advancements for increased user personalization of local searches, as well as platform and device flexibility.

For more information, view Google’s official statement on “The Ongoing Evolution of Place Pages.” For more do-it-yourself SEO tips from the Schipul SEM team, visit our DIY SEO page.

In the new era of micro messaging, Google has added Posts to the Google Places listing tools. Think of this as a small welcome or featured message to your clients and to promote your business. If you haven’t see this yet, Google Places is the newest version of Local or Google Map type listings.

Once you have your Google Places page setup and verified, make sure and complete your profile. Then, take the next step and add a Posts feature as a quick status update in the now familiar 160 characters. The message will automatically run for 30 days in your Places page.  Think about using your targeted keyphrases or a special message to your visitors.  Only one post will show at a time, but you can choose between Specials, Events, or new features. The end of the year is a great time to provide information about specials and events.

Let us know how you are using your Google Posts or if you need help creating a complete listing for your business.

Contact the Schipul SEM Team in Houston for more information.

Google Instant has been announced today. The new feature for signed in users of Google Search will anticipate search query and display search results on the query page based on initial characters. One of the most talked about changes in the several Google Blogs indicates  it may have a strong relationship to impressions vs. click through.  Impressions for shorter query terms may rise as people get results faster, and overall click through rates may fluctuate. This may have a stronger impact on CTR for AdWords or PPC clients.

“Google Instant changes the way we think about impressions. With Google Instant, an impression is counted if a user takes an action to choose a query (for example, presses the Enter key or clicks the Search button), clicks a link on the results page, or stops typing for three or more seconds.

It’s possible that this feature may increase or decrease your overall impression levels. However, Google Instant may ultimately improve the quality of your clicks since it helps users type queries that more directly connect them with the answers they need.”

Quote from Inside Adwords:

Also read more at Google Webmaster Tools:

Tell us how you think it will change Search Engine Optimization?

A couple of good articles we worked through this week in measure and online advertising.

FBML can add Google Analytics tracking to your facebook pages.

You finally have the outer edge offices understanding the need to allocate resources to social media. Now, you want to measure some of your traffic to your faceBook Fan page? Facebook does a fair job of letting you see basic traffic, but for a more comprehensive view of where your visitors are coming from, you can now use Static FBML to add a Google Analytics tracking code to your pages. Excellent! Let’s do this.

FBML is a markup language based on familiar html tags and a few facebook specific calls. It allows applications to be created in separate tabs or static boxes. Friend of Schipul, Beth Kanter, pointed out this Analytics in FBML how to article for a step-by-step process on adding code without having to trigger Javascript. Let us know if you have any problems and we will be happy to help.

Bidding vs. Profits for Google PPC Advertising

Folks over at Search Engine Watch published an in-depth article on the future of bidding for Google CPC advertising and how automation is becoming more prevalent. Efficiency in business is typically a good thing, but we still subscribe to the belief of more information is better when making decisions about where our advertising and ROI are focused. Google has done a great job of opening up much of its data in the past few years (Insights, Trends), but advertising hasn’t always seen that same transparency. Read to see the discussion about transparency and trust.