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Posts Tagged ‘Google’

SEO You Should Know: Volume 3, Duplicate Listings

In the last two posts of SEO You Should Know: Local Edition, we’ve discussed how you can begin to establish and manage your presence in the increasingly important world of local search. In just a few hours, you can locate, claim, build, and maintain your company’s profiles on Google, Yelp and Bing.

Those are only three of hundreds of online directories, search engines, and review sites that could have your company’s info. If you have the time (and patience), you can find these directories and complete the similar processes of getting your company listed. The more references and links to your site, the better. You could also hire an experienced SEO firm to focus on developing this local presence for you. And with the obligatory pitch out of the way, on to this week’s post.

A problem you will probably come across as you scour the web for these (mostly free) local directories is the issue of duplicate listings. It can happen on the lesser known directories and even on the heavy hitters like Google, Yelp, and Bing. You would think having more references and pages talking about and directing to your site would be a good thing right? It is, but not in this case.

Duplicate listings can occur when the search engine’s bots crawl the web after each query is submitted and they bring back all of the information they find to the searcher.  In the vastness of the internet, there are bound to be some discrepancies. These could occur when a customer cites the wrong address or phone number on a review site. Or maybe your company moved years ago, but some engines still have the old address and number. Possibly your URL or email address have changed. The reason we claim these business listings to remove discrepancies and manage your local profiles is the same reason we remove duplicate listings.

First, we don’t want incorrect information about your business feeding the search engine bots. In the last two posts, we talked about NAP. It is very important from a local standpoint that your NAP is accurate and matching the NAP that could be found at any corner of the internet in regards to your company.

Second, it is important that you leave the competition to your actual competition. You don’t want to be competing with yourself. Some of our clients have had duplicate Yelp or Google profiles with slight variations. Your potential customers won’t put too much thought into uncovering the correct listing or the incorrect one. Your gamble will be hoping they pick the one you’ve spent the time carefully selecting pictures, writing great descriptions, and developing your image. So we want to remove these duplicates to make sure when they click on your business name, they are getting the best first impression.

The tricky part is the actual removal of these listings. Some directories and engines are better than others. As we’ve mentioned before, Google has very little (if anything) in the way of customer service. If you come across multiple listings on Google for the same location, you will have to go through the claiming process again. Once you verify that you are the owner, update the information in the profile and then suspend the listing. (Note: Don’t delete it from your places, just the Google Results…you’ll still want to be able to manage it). Every once in a while, do a Google Places search for your company and make sure no other duplicates pop up. Popular or larger companies have this happen often.

Most of the other directories are easier, but are not uniform. For the most part, it is a matter of tracking down the customer support section of the directory, and sending an email to the support team to help you by manually removing the listing. Other times there will be an FAQ section, and in many cases you can find support there by selecting “Duplicate Listing Error” or something similar and submitting a request to have the duplicates removed. It helps if you know the URL’s of the duplicates, so have those ready or open in separate tabs.

Then it’s just a matter of time and patience. Keep up with your emails sent out to these support teams and check back every so often. There are a ton of directories out there, so your work is never completely done. Justify this with the knowledge that every little bit really does help. And again, if you’d rather leave it to the SEO pros, there’s always that option.

We’ve come to the end of our local advice for now. Stay tuned for the next edition of SEO You Should Know, and we’ll tackle another element of search engine optimization that will help you grow your online presence. As always, if you have any questions, email us at moc.evitcaretnignivlovenull@ofni, call us, or sound off in the comment section.

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Google’s Experimental Fiber-Optic Network

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Google announced on their blog today that they will be building and testing ultra high-speed networks throughout multiple trial locations in the United States. Their plan is to deliver internet at a speed of more than 100 times faster than what most people have. Over 50,000 homes will receive 1 gigabit per second, fiber-optic broadband at a competitive price. According to Google:

Our goal is to experiment with new ways to help make Internet access better and faster for everyone. Here are some specific things that we have in mind:

• Next generation apps: We want to see what developers and users can do with ultra high-speeds, whether it’s creating new bandwidth-intensive “killer apps” and services, or other uses we can’t yet imagine.
• New deployment techniques: We’ll test new ways to build fiber networks, and to help inform and support deployments elsewhere, we’ll share key lessons learned with the world.
• Openness and choice: We’ll operate an “open access” network, giving users the choice of multiple service providers. And consistent with our past advocacy, we’ll manage our network in an open, non-discriminatory and transparent way .

Within the past year, Google has managed to throw their hat in the ring in social networking and mobile phones. Their play in the mobile phone arena has even caused a potential partnership between Microsoft and Apple. With their announcement today, one could only wonder if Verizon and Comcast are working on a collaboration of their own.

The last two major announcements Google made came with a lot of hype and high hopes. Google Wave did not live up to the hype and the jury’s still out on the Nexus One. If their high-speed internet lives up to the hype, Google can corner the market in ways we never thought of before.

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Google Ditches Radio and Print Ads

In the past few weeks Google announced that they were no longer offering Radio and Print ads. Just another reason why Search Engine Marketing is here to stay. The inventory that Google was providing for these services were on a remnant basis and when we approached clients that may have been opened to these advertising outlets, they were not confident that these inventory sources would help them reach their goals.

The services did not offer attractive pricing for clients that have used print and radio in the past. The fact that they were not able to get choice positioning was also a negative factor that could have contributed to the downfall of Google Radio and Print ads. It was a good effort on Google’s part to try to bring in more revenue, but the fact remains that Search Engine Marketing still remains to be the best ROI producers for most companies and businesses that advertise. This is simply why print ad revenue continues to dive down year after year.

What we thought was attractive about these two particular services was the reporting capabilities that Google so often emphasized. It is hard to measure these advertising sources and even with Google’s cool tools and gadgets, it was hard to correlate the results to the advertising.

The main lesson learned from this endeavor: Search Engine Marketing is the best bang for your buck.

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Microsoft Layoffs–What Does This Mean to SEM?

Yesterday, Microsoft announced that it was laying of 5000 people from its workforce.  Sure we can blame the failing economy, but many people are contributing this major layoff on the Window’s Vista operating system. While it has not been yet reported if any of the layoffs are going to affect the Microsoft Advertising division, it has been reported that they are looking to expand this division post-layoff.

Microsoft AdCenter has come a long way in the past couple years. One of the last major search engines to step up its advertising platform, I have to admit they are doing a great job of trying to keep up with Google’s advertising technologies. AdCenter has already surpassed Yahoo’s Panama system, which is often far more complicated and tedious to manage (try making bulk changes on the fly!!!).

Recently added to MSN’s arsenal is the desktop software (currently in Beta) that rivals Google’s Adwords Editor.  Microsoft Advertising has also expanded it’s program to offer a more CPA-focused capabilities.  While the advertising programs keep improving one thing that MSN should concentrate on is expanding its user-base.

eVolving Interactive uses MSN to bring in supplementary traffic for its clients. We have found that the inventory has consistently stayed low. I believe that MSN could be a leader in Search Engine Marketing if they did a better job trying to attract everyday people into using it’s search engine.

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