Google

Google Making Changes to AdWords Agency Support

Google AdWords sent out emails to select agency customers explaining that a change will be happening to their AdWords service and support. The email detailed an “Enhanced Agency Service Model” which will be happening, effective January 1, 2010.

Google will restructuring their AdWords support for agencies. Some agencies will be losing their dedicated representatives. And for those not losing their dedicated reps, the communication with the managers will be changing.

We have read that possible scenarios may be; An agency may have a dedicated agency lead and specific accounts within those organizations will have dedicated account management teams, who will be able to offer specific industry expertise. Another set of agencies will not have an assigned agency team per se, but will still be able to receive support via phone.

Sounds to me like additional scaling based on budget. Seeing how hard it is already to come by any real form of support from AdWords already (unless you have the budgets to justify it), this may just be another measure to save $$$.

We had heard rumors that agency support may be farmed out to India. However Google did not specify where this support will come from. Maybe the first level support will come from India and additional levels would be from US offices?

Read More

How will Google Instant Search Effect SEO?

Google Instant Search LogoWith Google's announcement today that they are implementing Instant Search on their desktop search, we have to wonder how this new feature will effect all of our hard earned SEO efforts.

Google Instant Search now shows results as you type your search query. It is a great new feature and should save all of us searches lots of time.
350 Million (with an M) hours of our users time to be exact. However in the same panel discussion the panelist were mentioning how user behavior will most likely change over time. For instance, users may be more likely to explore more options around their search term, since they will see more results as they are typing. This may actually lead to more time spent in Google (exploring vs. searching maybe?). Which of course means more eyeballs on the ads that Google is serving.

So while they have confirmed that this latest fantastic new feature does not effect search engine ranking results and will not change the way that the algorithm works, it does have the the potential to change user behavior and thus may present some new opportunities for SEO.

Read More

Google Webmaster Tools helping you find problems with your website

Last Friday, Google announced, on the Webmaster Central Blog, that they have a new way of alerting webmasters about specific messages concerning their websites.

What were formally called "sitenotice messages" are now referred to as alerts and will be prominently featured in the message center in your webmaster tools. Not using webmaster tools? Well head on over to https://www.google.com/webmasters/tools and make sure to verify your account. Google want to help you rank properly in their engine and they provide a whole tool set for you to do just that.

The new alerts are an added benefit because they make it very easy to identify problem areas in your code or on your site that you may not even be aware of. Alerts may warn you about an increase in crawl errors, an increase in 404 errors, or about possible outages. Plus Google gives you many options to view your messages, or even receive the alerts via email so you can address them as soon as they are available.

Read More

Google Places allows businesses to respond to reviews

It's about time and really a necessity for any type of 3rd party review service to allow for the business to respond to a review. Without a response the business is vulnerable to attack and does not have recourse. This could happen for any type of reason but sometimes it is just an unhappy customer who makes a "mountain out of a mole hill" or really blows things out of proportion. In the worst case scenario it could be someone (a competitor) trying to sabatoge your buisness.

Either way it is not good

Google announced, Wed. Aug 4, 2010, on the Lat Long Blog that verified business owners can now respond to individual customer reviews on Google Places, good or bad. Google places, if you recall was formerly known as Google Local Business Center.

This is a great benefit for the business for two primary reasons:

Read More

Google Local Business Center is now Google Places

Back in April, Google announced that it had changed the name of the Google Local Business Center to Google Places. They also announced a good deal of new features that businesses should be aware of. These include: service areas, advertising with tags, customized QR codes, business photo shoots, and more favorite places.

Google Local 
PlacesNew features that come along with the name change include:

Read More

Will Google Favorite Places make an impact on local search?

qrcode for www.soflaweb.com Late last year, Google announced that it was sending traditional brick and mortar businesses bar code decals to put on their windows, with these QR barcodes (a two-dimensional barcode that represents the URL of the company’s local listing) people can scan them outside with their phones and bring up business listings with all kinds of information like, reviews, menus, contact info, etc...

These codes have been made available to the businesses Google deemed "favorite places". It began with over 10,000 businesses in the US that received them right off the bat, and Google will eventually expand that number in the future.

While the intent is to place these decals outside of your physical business the real implications could be used on advertising in all media. Since the barcode can be scanned from just about any type of media including billboards, business cards, computer monitors (try the example above), TVs, and possibly even movie theater screens as well the opportunities for advertisers to use these codes is endless.

Read More

Is Google personalized search really necessary?

Last week, Google announced Personalized Search for everyone. Personalized search has been previously available, but only to individuals signed in with a Google account. They are now making it available to anyone via an anonymous cookie.

Privacy concerns aside, is this really necessary for relevance? Or is this just another way of aggregating data and producing a more focused demographic profile to advertisers.

When I am searching on Google I want the most relevant results, not based on my previous searches, just the most relevant results. Period! Now the option to turn this off is available but I assume the majority of users wont know or care.

Read More

Google Analytics - Better, stronger, smarter

While the 6 million dollar man may have been "Better, stronger, faster", Google Analytics appears to have gotten "Better, stronger, smarter." Back on October 20th Google released a blog post notifying the world of their enterprise class improvements to the excellent Google Analytics software that has become the standard web analytics tool (at least in our office). The 3 main new features they are rolling out are:

  1. Expanded Reporting and Analysis Features
  2. Enhancements to their API
  3. Analytics Intelligence and Custom Alerts

While the expanded reporting and analysis features are good, I am not looking to jump in on that right away. Although the expansion of mobile website analysis is going to be awesome once it is implemented properly. Enhancements to the API are not relevant for us at the current moment either so we are not to excited about those improvements. However the Analytics Intelligence and Custom Alerts looks to be absolutely awesome. Check out their video of how it works:

Read More

Push Gmail is finally here for the iphone

gmail-pushBack in at the beginning of 2009 Google launched the beta of Google Sync. Google sync allowed Google users to synchronize their Gmail contacts and Google Calendar events to their iPhones or Windows Mobile devices (Android natively syncs data). Syncing mail was not included but that was until now. Google now has push email for Gmail. Now if I could only figure out how to sync my gmail (Google Apps) with MicroSoft Outlook and my Iphone.

Read More

Google gets a little Flashier

Flash has been around for years. At the beginning it was an easy way to add animation to your web pages. As the technology evolved, the functionality of Flash became much greater to allow for full programming and applications to be created using Flash and not just simple tweens and morphing text.  But indexing the content of Flash files has always been a problem for the Search Engines (Google). Google recently announced that they are improving the way that they index Flash files. They are now able to read and index the content linked to an external resource of an SWF file. This is very valuable in that the most powerful Flash applications utilize this technology to distribute dynamic content. Unfortunately up to now, that content was blind to Google.

Read More