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Google

Google & AI

How Google Uses Artificial Intelligence to Rank Your Website

By | Google, Google RankBrain | No Comments

To many people, Artificial Intelligence, or AI, is a concept found in sci-fi movies. From the Terminator series to Her to Battlestar Galactica to I, Robot, there are plenty of futuristic films and television shows that feature AI heavily, whether as protagonists, antagonists, or somewhere in between.

Take a look around, though, and you’ll see a lot more AI at work in your day-to-day life than you probably realize. From the software running on your smartphone to the Netflix code that recommends what to binge-watch next, there are many AI applications you probably rely on.

In October 2015, Bloomberg broke the news that Google now uses an AI system to rank websites in its search engine results pages (SERPs). Though it may seem like a plot straight out of Ex Machina  — in which the creator of a Google-esque search engine uses query data to give a robot sentience — Google is ushering in an age of AI.

So how exactly does RankBrain, Google’s search engine results AI, work? Check out this infographic to see how the robots are indeed taking over — our SERPs, at least!

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Search Engine Results

INFOGRAPHIC: New Google Search Results Page: What Your Small Business Needs to Know

By | Google, Google Adwords, Infographics, Local Business, Online Marketing, Pay-Per-Click, PPC, SEO | No Comments

Forget Facebook’s new Reactions. That’s not the biggest change in online marketing this week by a long shot.

Just when you think you know Google, the search engine giant decides to change up how it displays results.

We blogged about the change to the local listing pack — formerly known as the 7-pack — back when it was rolled out in August. Now, Google has given itself another makeover, creating a sleeker Search Engine Results Page (SERP) with some notable change-ups.

See how Google's #SERP changes impact your #SEO & #onlinemarketing efforts! Click To Tweet

Here’s what you should know about Google’s new look — and its implications for your online marketing efforts.

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Don’t Get Left out in the Cold with Google’s Penguin Roll-Out

By | Google, Google Changes, Penguin Update | No Comments

March of the Penguin Updates

Google rolled out its last Penguin update last December. It was designed to penalize websites with spammy links and keep everyone on the up and up. However, every algorithm roll-out leaves websites as either winners or losers.

If your website is running smoothly and you’re getting the results you want as a business owner, auditing your website and running last-minute checks is probably not at the top of your mind. However, now is a great time to make sure your website won’t be penalized by the new Penguin update, which will roll out next year.Facebook Graphic 3 (4)

Avoiding Penguin Penalties

If your website does not conform to Google’s standards, its algorithms will make sure to penalize your website, meaning that it won’t land on the coveted first page of search results. Searchers will click on your competitors’ websites and buy whatever they’re selling before you even have a chance to show the searcher what you’re all about.

Penalized by not Being Penguin-ized

Spammy practices can mean you get a sudden spike in referring links. and that sudden increase raises a red flag for Google. especially when even a couple of websites link to your website from every page. It’s a good thing when a website refers traffic to yours, but it has to make sense.

Disavowing those referring links means telling Google that you had nothing to do with those sketchy, spammy links pointing to your site. However, simply disavowing a link is not a substitute for getting the links removed manually.

Internal Link Optimization

External links get the most Penguin-related attention, but you shouldn’t ignore your internal links. Internal links don’t necessarily affect rankings, but they do influence how search engines crawl your site in a big way. Your website needs to have varied anchor text, not just the keywords verbatim. It needs to link related pages together — ask yourself, “If someone is searching for Thing 1, would he or she also be interested in Thing 2?”

User experience is everything to Google, and if your website doesn’t meet its standards, you’ll be penalized and people won’t find your website. For more information on how you can get ready for the Penguin roll-out, call Turn The Page Online Marketing at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today.

 

 

 

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What in the World Wide Web Is HTTP/2?

By | Google, Web Speed | No Comments

What exactly is HTTP/2? We didn’t even know about it until we heard that GoogleBot will start to support it later this year or early next year. Because we like to stay on top of such things to better serve our clients, we scoured the Internet for information. We found out lots of information about HTTP/2 and the Internet itself. (For instance, did you know that there’s an Internet Engineering Task Force (IETF)? Yeah. That’s a real thing.)

Building Upon What’s Already There

HTTP/2 — formerly HTTP/2.0 — is the second major version of HTTP, or Hypertext Transfer Protocol, used by the World Wide Web. The IETF’s HTTP working group developed HTTP/2 largely based on Google’s SPDY protocol. SPDY — pronounced speedy — is an open network protocol that reduces web page load latency and improves security. HTTP/2 is HTTP/1.1’s successor, and it’s a much-needed update because the Web has changed since 1999. The update brings improved efficiency, speed and security, making a much better experience for users. Busy users simply don’t have time to wait for an outdated website to load. The faster your website is, the more conversions you’ll see.Facebook Graphic 3 (3)

HTTP/2’s Major Improvements

  • Single Connection – Websites only require one server connection to load, and that connection stays open as long as the website is open.
  • Binary – HTTP/2 is binary, which makes it more compact and less prone to errors. No additional time is wasted translating text to binary — which is your computer’s native language, anyway. Faster speeds mean more conversions for you because your web traffic won’t leave because of slow load times.
  • Multiplexing – Multiple requests can happen at the same time and on the same connection, making things much more efficient. HTTP/1.1 required each new transfer to wait for other transfers to finish. Speed is the name of the game, and website efficiency can mean business growth for you.

Even after all of our HTTP/2 research, some of this stuff still went over our heads. For more information, please contact our talented and knowledgeable web development team that can answer your questions at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 today.

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The New Google+: What You Need to Know

By | Google, Google Changes, Google Updates, Small Businesses | No Comments

In recent months we’ve seen a flood of changes and updates overtake the Google world as we know it. Google+ has served as an effective social tool for small businesses for several years. Its integration with Google Maps and Google My Business, in addition to its advantage in Google search visibility, have made it a useful platform on which to promote a business and ensure that the business shows up in search results. However, many recent reports have predicted the Google+ apocalypse, partially because Google’s recent changes seem to be moving away from Google+. But then, this happened: the official Google blog announced big changes to Google+ last week, and with those changes a whole new potential for the future of Google+.

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Google My Business

Google My Business Dashboard Gets an Update

By | Google, Google My Business | No Comments

Businesses’ best friend, Google My Business, has gotten a face lift. The search czar began covertly introducing the revamped dashboard on September 29th after very quietly announcing it on Google Business forums (as of this writing, the post only had 334 views). And we have a feeling you’re going to love it.

What is Google My Business?

Google has so many services, it can be hard to keep track of what’s what. In case you need a refresher, Google My Business is, at its core, a way for your company to ensure that the information potential clients or customers find on Google’s SERP is correct. This can include:

  • Your business address
  • Hours
  • Phone number
  • Price range
  • Website URL

It can provide valuable information such as:

  • Directions to your business
  • Reviews
  • Ratings
  • Photos

And it also offers a place for consumers to write said reviews and allows them to access your business information across devices.

What’s New in the Google My Business Dashboard?

This new roll out seems to be all about convenience and ease of use. Overall, what we notice is a cleaner presentation and simple interface. In fact, one of the first differences you’ll likely find in this streamlined dashboard is that locations and brand pages are easily accessed, with those being the only two options in the main navigation.

Google My Business Dashboard

Once you begin clicking around, another helpful feature you’ll find is the addition of breadcrumbs, which makes navigation much easier in what could be an overwhelming service if you manage a lot of pages.

Another useful component is that you can now view locations in either card view or list view. The new card view for locations gives you the option to choose how many you see, as well as quickly manage or view the location, while the list view offers convenience in selecting and editing multiple
The hamburger menu in the upper-left corner of the new Google My Business dashboard is a dream. It offers another way switch back to look at all listings or brand pages, should you navigate away from one of those views, allows you to bulk import locations from a file or add them individually, as well as bulk download locations. It also offers a neatly-organized summary of errors and issues, including:

  • Duplicate addresses
  • Google updates
  • Missing store codes
  • Unverified listings

This menu also allows you to monitor published locations and those that are permanently closed, on top of showing you any pending reviews your pages may have.

It also provides accessibility and high-visibility to the “Create business account” and “Contact support” features, so you no longer have to fumble around the dashboard.

Got Questions?

We’re really excited about this update to the Google My Business dashboard and we think you will be too. If you have any questions about the face lift, or about anything related to online marketing, we welcome you to contact our team today. You can reach us online or call us at our Kansas City area office at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001.

And for a visual walk through of the updates, check out this video from Mike Blumenthal of Local University.

Google Updates

Two Years of Google Updates (Infographic)

By | Google, Google Changes | No Comments

Google is always making updates, as is evidenced by their “controversial” new logo, meaning your rankings could potentially be slipping or climbing all across the internet. In this infographic, we take a look at some of their more impactful updates and what they’ve done for websites the world over.

Google Updates

 

For a more detailed look at every update since 2000, be sure to check out Moz’s full list of the Google Algorithm Change History.

Have You Been Hit?

If you’ve seen a dramatic drop in your rankings after one of the past algorithm updates, contact the online marketing experts at Turn The Page, an Inc. 500 company. Call us today at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 for more information.

Google Search

Google’s Snack Pack Packs a Punch for Local Businesses

By | Google, Google Changes, Google Plus, Google Search | No Comments

As the new “Snack Pack” continues to spread across browsers, it’s becoming apparent that this new 3-pack listing is part of an official roll out and not just a test. We have analyzed the Snack Pack and offers some insight as to what this change can mean for local businesses.

What is the Snack Pack?

If you’re a small business owner and not a marketer, you’re probably wondering, “What the heck is a Snack Pack?” or “Pudding? Why are we talking about pudding?” The so-called “Snack Pack” is the collection of three listings that you see when you search for a local business. Let’s say you’re searching for an online marketing company in the Kansas City area (*ahem*), so you go to Google and type in “online marketing kansas city” (because nobody searches with capital letters, let’s be real). This is what you would see:

Snak Pak
Behold, the Snack Pack. You get the top three results for your search term, their website and directions to their office (if they have either of those). You also get a map of the area with many pins including, of course, ones for the top hits. At the bottom of the pack is a link leading you to more results and an even broader map.

Snak Pak Map

What makes this an update?

Does it feel like something’s… missing? That certain something is four whole listings. Previously (and still for some people), Google would present you with a “7-pack,” or as the name blatantly implies, the top seven listings for your search term. It also linked you to the map, which you had to click on to view.

Also notable for local businesses is that the new Snack Pack no longer links to Google + pages, following suit with Google’s debranding of the service.

Unfortunately, the web address, address and phone number are not visible either, on mobile or desktop. However, the mobile version of the Snack Pack does feature a convenient “Call” button.

What does this mean for me?

Since the Snack Pack is still in its infancy, we don’t know yet what this will mean for business. Tyler has some theories:

  • More people may click on the organic listings below the local Snack Pack.
  • On the flip side, the majority may click to view more, which will drive more traffic to Google listings.

The TTP Strategy Team is going to closely monitor the Snack Pack to identify trends and determine which way people are leaning. In the mean time, according to a heat map study by Mike Ramsey of Nifty Marketing, organic links see the most clicks, except in the case of restaurant searches.

When it comes right down to it, though, Tyler notes, “This changes increases the importance of local search marketing – it’s important to stay higher up in the local pack.”

Why is Google doing this?

Arguments abound but the most popular idea is that Google is doing this to drive more traffic through Adwords. Hey, the world’s most powerful and beloved search engine’s gotta make money somehow, right?

Call TTP

Still a little hazy? Too many strange, seemingly food-related terms to make sense of? Let Turn The Page understand the Snack Pack, and any update Google may roll out, for you. For more information about teaming up with our freaky online marketing team, give us a call today at (816) 527-8371 or (844) 889-5001 or contact us online.

New Penalty for Doorway Pages: How Will This Affect My Google Ranking?

By | Content Marketing, Google | No Comments

Most websites rely on a good Google ranking to drive traffic toward them. A Google ranking is usually improved by -providing plenty of rich, keyword-driven content that provides useful information to visitors. Knowing this, reputable websites work hard to add new content that will bolster their Google ranking and get Web surfers clicking on their links.Brick wall blocking the office doorway for a businessman concept

What Is a Doorway Page?

However, some website developers have made use of “doorway pages” to improve their site’s Google ranking. A doorway page is a sneaky tool used to increase a website’s search footprint. A link to the doorway page pops up in the search results list, but instead of containing useful data that doorway page is really just designed for search engine robots. Users, who rely on a high Google ranking to take them to a worthwhile website, click on the doorway page only to be whisked elsewhere, which can be frustrating to the user. Website authors may have produced several doorway pages that take up the first several hits in the Google ranking. The searcher believes they will be visiting various separate websites and instead keep being led back to the same place.

Bait and Switch Tactics Mean Skewed Google Rankings

Google understands how much companies rely upon their Google ranking to drive customer traffic. That’s why they are constantly making efforts to improve their search engine capabilities. Because doorway pages inherently skew the Google ranking search results, the company is seeking to penalize those that rely on these bait and switch tactics. To combat these tactics, Google has announced that they will be making a Google ranking adjustment. This means that they are making changes to their search algorithm. Essentially, the alteration to the algorithm is intended to weed out the doorway pages so that more Google ranking search results are unique, useful websites.

Google’s New Algorithm Means Rich Content for Users

Google seems confident that the effects of the algorithm change will immediately be noticed by websites that rely on a doorway page campaign. Hopefully, web users will also notice the change in improved Google ranking results.

The new algorithm may mean a boost in Google ranking results for the kinds of content-rich, useful and meaningful websites that users are typically seeking. Turn The Page Online Marketing’s experts deliver the content-rich websites Google users want, driving Web traffic to you.

To learn more about how we can help improve your Google ranking, call (816) 527-8371 today.

Ranking Outside of Your Physical Location in Local Search

By | Blog, Google, Google Places, Google Plus, Google Search, local search, Online Marketing, Search Engine Optimization | No Comments

For businesses without a storefront, local search can get tricky.

Google wants to avoid businesses appearing in local search results if that business does not have a physical location in the city searched. They address this in the Google Places Quality Guidelines, where they disallow PO boxes and fake addresses.

The only known exception to this guideline is a business with general service areas. In this instance, businesses are to create a listing under one physical location. They are then allowed to designate those service areas. However, listing the designated service areas may not be effective in those areas with heavy competition.

In order to begin ranking in local search, we recommend the following tips and tricks.

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