First Thing Monday 22 Sep 14

The latest news about web marketing, SEO, PPC & Analytics. But only the stuff that matters from a New Zealand perspective. Less noise, more signal!

As a switched on marketer you’ll know how important your website is to the success of your business. Being aware of what’s happening in the fast moving world of SEO, PPC Advertising & Web Analytics is essential. But things change so fast and staying abreast of this can be overwhelming. Most people simply don’t have the time to do so, despite knowing how important it can be to their business.

At SureFire we want to help you by sifting through all the noise and highlighting what’s new and noteworthy in SEO, PPC and Web Analytics. But more importantly, answer the question – Why this might matter to YOU and YOUR business here in New Zealand.

So grab a coffee and spend a few minutes checking out what caught our attention this week…

  1. One Billion Websites now online
  2. Google wants to know what you watch on TV
  3. Five “Google My Business” Messages to look out for
  4. Mobile usage lifts digital above TV
  5. Lightside of Net: German Official – Google should reveal algorithm!

1.One Billion Websites now online

One Billion Image

Last week Internet Live Stats reported that the number of websites online crossed the one billion mark.

One Billion!

Why should you care?

It’s becoming more and more crowded online and therefore increasingly difficult to stand out.

As a business you need to make sure you’re doing everything you can to give it the best chance of being found.

Make sure your SEO house is in order. Make it as easy for potential customers to find you online and, when they do – make sure they have the best user experience possible.

This rapid growth is not going to stop and with the amount of internet users approaching 3 billion – your business really needs to be online, easy to find and differentiating itself.

2. Google wants to know what you watch on TV

Google wants to provide you with search results that are influenced by what you watch on TV. They have recently been granted a patent that could essentially allow them to look at what you are currently watching on TV. Google’s algorithm will then decide if what you are viewing should impact the results you are shown.

The patent is called “System and method for enhancing user search results by determining a television program currently being displayed in proximity to an electronic device”.

Why should you care?

Whilst Google has been granted this patent it doesn’t necessarily mean they will ever implement it. But if they’re able to make it work it could provide users with more personalised search results which of course benefits Google and its advertisers.

This begs the question, is Google starting to cross the line with the information and data they want to have access to? What do you think? Would you be happy with Google essentially “spying” on what you watch on TV?

3. Five “Google My Business” Messages to look out for

SureFire has written many times about the importance of getting your “Google My Business” profile set up. It’s a very valuable tool – especially for local businesses because it’s where Google primarily pulls your businesses location data from. (There are other variables.)

If you haven’t claimed your listing yet we suggest you do. And if you have, here a 5 messages you should address should you see them:

  1. Login, review and submit
  2. We have updated your business information based on user reports and our data
  3. Business marked duplicate or owner conflict if doing in bulk
  4. Disconnected
  5. Default

Why should you care?

Login, review and submit – Risk having listings that have not been verified removed.

We have updated your business information based on user reports and our data – Click “review updates” make sure that any information that is “pending” is correct or you could risk incorrect data (unlikely) being loaded.

Business marked duplicate or owner conflict if doing in bulk – Google only allows 1 verified owner per page. It could mean ownership is in another Google account you own or it could mean that someone else owns it. This means that they control the information. If this is the case request ownership from Google.

Disconnected – Generally happens when Google cannot locate the exact address and therefore cannot complete the connection. If you see this try moving the red pin to the location of your business.

Default – “We have hidden your page and removed if from Google Maps due to changes in our system.” This is a new one. All information will be removed including the address. If you see this immediately recreate the page and verify it.

4. Mobile usage lifts digital above TV

SureFire has long highlighted why businesses need a mobile (or responsive) website.

Everyone understands that mobile usage has increased. It’s very common for people to consume media on a mobile phone or tablet. Chances are you do this daily.

Below is something that may surprise you. It’s a graph showing how US adults consume media. Blue represents how much time they spent in 2010 while red represents 2014.

Mobile consumption graph

Notice that the reason Digital has over taken TV in 2014 is because of the massive growth in mobile consumption.

Why should you care?

In the U.S there are many businesses that are still not using mobile as part of their marketing strategy. The same goes for New Zealand. The data is clear – more people are consuming information via mobile devices and yet its still common to come across websites that have not taken that into consideration.

Look at the mobile experience that you user is having. If you look at your analytics you will most likely see an increase in visits from mobile / tablet. Have a look at the bounce rate compared to visits from desktop. Have a look at how well your mobile visits are converting. What is your data telling you? Are you converting mobile traffic into revenue or other goals that your business has.

5. Lightside: German Official – “Google should reveal algorithm”

The German Justice Minister Heiko Mass stated in a recent interview that Google should be more transparent and reveal the “formula” for how they rank websites.

Frankly he has more chance of learning the secret “Coke” formula or just what Colonel Sanders put on his chicken!

No Coke Image

There’s no way Google will reveal their algorithm. If they did, the door would be wide open to spammers who would game the system and rapidly undermine it.

Hass did mention another option – the break up of Google within Germany or Europe into smaller companies. Now this has much more chance of happening as many in the EU are worried about American tech companies dominating the internet.

OK, that’s what we think. We’re keen to hear your thoughts on any of the above – please comment below. 

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About the Author SureFire

These search marketing news updates feature articles of interest picked up through the week by the SureFire team.

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