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Having indexed trillions of pages, Google has the world’s knowledge at its fingertips. However, there is a big difference between being able to access content and actually understanding, or indeed indexing it.
Like a library without a Dewey decimal system or a phonebook that uses neither the alphabet nor location as guidelines, this collective data is useless without order. So search engines use keywords and domain strength as a basic quality guideline. However, even when combined with 200+ ranking factors, results still aren’t perfect.
Most businesses would love to be revered within their industry. There is a certain prestige that comes with being the first name that many people think of within a certain sector or geographical location. However, prestige alone won’t pay the bills, so you have to be able to come up with the goods for clients too.
Converting influence into sales isn’t always necessarily that easy, particularly if it’s only peers and competitors that know you exist. This is a common criticism against businesses having blogs and speaking at industry events. Whilst they provide exposure, it’s not necessarily in the right way or the right place.
Google is often accused of monopolising the search market. Despite this, new start-ups are consistently trying to get a piece of the action. Some are determined to topple the big boys, whilst others are happy to attract a niche audience. However, as we invariably reach saturation point, what do new search engines need to offer in order to succeed?
Cuil is often cited as a classic example of a search engine trying to do too much too soon. Developed by Googlers, it got huge funding and employed extensive marketing to ensure the whole world knew about it. Sadly, Cuil just wasn’t different or good enough to succeed, resulting in its closure in 2010 – just two years after being launched.
If you weren’t already aware, tomorrow (February 7th) is Safer Internet Day.
It has been created to help make people more aware of the dangers of using the Internet and sharing personal details online. Probably a lesson that many could take something from. However, as with many initiatives, the short-term exposure of this event may not necessarily lead to long-term benefits.
Independent reviews are an important tool for any business seeking to build trust with searchers and search engines alike. A five star rating on TripAdvisor can see hotels and B&B’s overburdened with bookings, whilst a sea of negative comments may make some think again. But with the site effectively being discredited as a trustworthy source by the ASA, how much value can we give these reviews?
A good word to add to the title probably would have been ‘eventually’, as we’re not exactly at a stage where links can be consigned to history. However, it surely won’t be all that long until other, more human factors become equally important when it comes to securing optimal visibility online.
Google+ Search is just the latest in a long line of socially-driven, personalised search updates. Quality indicators have been used for years, but the influx of social signals and human testers has slowly diluted the impact of traditionally held SEO factors.
The rise of the social network as a platform for conducting business has been meteoric. It wasn’t all that long ago that many were still questioning whether Facebook and its kin were useful beyond their basic function of sharing pictures, YouTube clips and mundane updates. However, since opening up Fcommerce to select companies and Google’s introduction of business profiles on Plus, plenty of big brands are taking it very seriously indeed.
So if you can promote your business through a free Google+ profile or Facebook page, why should you worry about having a website too?
It’s no secret that Google makes more money than some countries. Last year their revenue reached a staggering $37.9 billion across multiple channels, including search advertising, display ads and services. But where did all that money come from?
The infographic below, created by Wordstream, highlights the advertising spend across all major markets in America and includes the top advertisers in each industry. Finance and insurance is the biggest sector, spending $4 billion, with retailers and general merchandise second coughing up $2.8 billion for ad space. You can also see what the most popular and, consequently, expensive keywords are in each sector, although please note that this is specific to the U.S. market.
This isn’t a post about espionage or subterfuge. There will be no MI5 style covert operations involved, just a few simple techniques to follow, which should give you a better understanding of what your competitors are doing.
The Internet is an empowering tool. If you know where to look and are prepared to put in a bit of time, you can find out all sorts of information. The good news is that you don’t need expensive software or a degree in computing to get to the most valuable data. A Google search and a few little plugins should do the trick nicely.
Thousands of miles away, politicians who most of us have never heard of have developed a bill that is affectionately referred to as SOPA – Stop Online Piracy Act. Ordinarily, that wouldn’t be a massive issue. They have been elected to define and uphold the laws of the land , that’s their prerogative – if constituents don’t like it, they can vote them out.
Unfortunately, in their infinite wisdom, American lawmakers appear to be set on governing the Internet and all intellectual property therein. So whether you operate in North America, Europe, Asia or Africa, SOPA and the oft overlooked (but equally important) PIPA bills, which are due to be voted on imminently, could impact your business.