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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.

News From Google I/O – Google+ Changes

By | Google, Google Changes, Google Plus, Online Marketing | No Comments

In our world at Turn The Page, the annual Google I/O conference is headlining news. We’re following the announcements and preparing for big changes. Google I/O began on Wednesday in San Francisco. The three day conference for software developers features the newest software for Android phones, updated apps, user experience improvements, and much, much more.

I tuned into the keynote for the news about Google+ updates. Let me tell you; they are making some major improvements and changes. I’ll focus on the Google+ changes. Check back here for information about other big announcements.

Major Google+ Changes Announced

Vic Gundotra, Senior Vice President, Engineering for Google, announced they were rolling out 41 changes to Google+. To simplify this for us at the keynote, he went through three big changes.

Google+

Google+ now has a multi-column design. Gone is the flat, single column screen we are used to. This new design is dynamic, changing from 1 to 3 columns depending on the size of your screen. This means you’ll see more stories across the page, and they’ll fit well. This means that your cousin’s panoramic snapshot of the coast will span the entire screen rather than be squashed to fit in one column.

The multi-column design does more than look pretty. The menus and share box move and slide. New cards flip and fade, letting you see related info about a certain story.

The new related hashtags feature lets you explore a certain topic. Click on the hashtag to reveal a card with more stories with the same tag or related information.

Hangouts

Gundotra stressed the company’s philosophy on technology. He said that Google wants people to use technology to do what they do best: live, learn, and love. Instead of letting computers stop us from relating to people in the real world, Google wants us to focus on hanging out.

Gundotra shared the new stand alone hangouts app. He showed the app’s dynamic yet simple system that shows who is in the conversation and who is reading or sending a message. You can easily switch to group video chat, send pictures, video or text. And, you have the ability to save these conversations as long as you’d like.

Photos

Gundotra then presented a load of updates to Google+ Photos. Noting that taking, storing, enhancing, and sharing photographs takes a good chunk of time, he set us up for several time-saving features.

Google already backs up your photos, but now they will also enhance and “awesome” your photos. Google will examine all of your photos and pick the best ones based on a number of criteria. Then, all photos will be auto enhanced. They will even find pictures taken in “burst” mode or very close together and create a GIF-like file for you. This software is appropriately called “awesome”.

Stay tuned for more Google I/O news. We’re excited about the changes and improvements- We’ll keep you updated on how the changes will affect online marketing for local business.

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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A Digital Checklist for Your Business Startup

By | Blog, Blogging, Facebook, Google Analytics, Google Plus, Google Webmaster Tools, instagram, Online Marketing, optimization, Search Engine Optimization, Youtube | No Comments

When launching your small business startup, you likely know you need a strong web presence, but you’re lost on where to start. Have no fear, Turn The Page Online Marketing is here! We’ve prioritized the steps you need to take while establishing your business startup’s presence in the online marketing world.

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