Friday Catch-up is a new section of our blog, which is aimed at providing all important information in the field of online marketing and SEO. Every week, we will bring highlights of all significant happenings to you guys and also share some useful information and advice. So here is a brief recap of the last week of January.
News and Events
How Google Responds to User Data Requests from the Government
There are several instances where a number of federal agencies request Google to provide access to the user data they have collected. This is typically the case on Data Privacy Day, which is marked on 28th January every year. To make users aware of how Google is protecting their data, the company has put out an official blog post outlining the measures taken. You can also find out what their reaction to the user data requests from the government is. Read more at GoogleBlog.
Google+ Is Number Two!
A great news for Google and its social network, Google+, came this week as the number of people signed up to it surpassed the tally of Twitter. Twitter had been the social network trailing Facebook but now Google+ has 343 million users, more than even YouTube. The cynics and critics who had been pessimistic about Google+ can now finally stop their tirade.
According to the official listing, Facebook is still miles ahead, dominating 50% of the social platform usage. Google+ currently has a 25% share while YouTube and Twitter are in 3rd and 4th positions respectively with shares around 20%. Read more at Search Engine Journal.
Google Places Update for Business Owners
Google recently made another update to the Google Places feature, specifically targeting business owners. According to the new update, the businesses will find it easier to manage and edit their pages as well as add categories to their business page through Google+. Coming hot on the heels of last week’s update regarding business locations, this is another piece of news businesses using Google will cherish. Read more at Search Engine Roundtable.
Has the New Google Images Design Backfired Already?
Google changed the look and usability of the Images search page. The changes included enabling the users to view the original image through the search results page instead of having to open up a new tab. However, webmasters have reported that since the design was changed, there has been a slight decline in the number of Image searches being performed. In fact, some of them have reported a declining trend in image searches over the past couple of years. It remains to be seen how Google responds to it. Read more at Search Engine Roundtable.
The (not provided) Google Keyword Dilemma
Google has made a number of updates to its usability and features but none of them is as confounding as the (not provided) keywords. In Google Analytics, if you want to check a certain keyword, you might find the topmost related keyword is (not provided). That is what is written instead of the keyword. Google didn’t even bother hiding the number of searches so it doesn’t make sense to hide the specific keyword.
What this has done though is make life difficult for the SEO experts. No longer are they able to effectively analyze search results and measure the success or failure of their campaigns. This is because sometimes they have no idea what the best keyword is for their campaign. There are a couple of ways you can use to overcome this dilemma. Read more at EConsultancy.
Useful Posts worth Reading and Bookmarking
Responsive Web Design Great for SEO
Responsive web design is increasingly becoming a viable option for web designers. No longer do they have to design separate versions of the website to suit the platform being used to access it. With responsive web design, the site adapts itself to the screen size in use, for instance smartphone, tablet, laptop, etc. The great thing about responsive web design is that it makes SEO much easier. Most experts are unaware of how they can use responsive web design to improve the search engine rankings of websites. Read more at SEOmoz.
Multiple Locations in Google Maps Come Strictly with Multiple Phone Numbers
If your business has more than one location, you should seriously consider getting a separate phone line for each one. That is, if you want your business to be listed on Google Maps. Google Maps only shows multiple locations of a business if only each location comes with a phone number. By no means is this a new policy or update, but has only been highlighted recently. Business owners should start looking for ways to get around the problem. Read more at Search Engine Roundtable.
Google Cross-Promoting AdWords Express and Google+
Google launched the AdWords Express to help small businesses market their services and products on a separate platform. It seems that Google is looking to get more followers for AdWords Express and Google+ at the same time by cross-promoting the two. When you are on Google+, you will find ads for AdWords Express and vice versa. Read more at Search Engine Land.
How to Create Ads for Tablets
The remarkable shift in the consumer taste towards using mobile devices has seen more businesses looking to promote their products and services through tablets. However, this can create a dilemma as the same ads won’t work on the smaller screen. To get the best results, designers need to learn how to create ads specifically for tablets. Read more at EConsultancy.
What Diageo Learned from Using QR Codes
Diageo launched a campaign regarding personalized whiskey bottles using QR codes. Sons could have a bottle of whiskey personalized for their fathers on Fathers’ Day and present it to them. Using the QR codes to personalize whiskey bottles was something new and innovative which enables Diageo to learn a lot about their use. Read more at EConsultancy.
How Highly-Regulated Advertisers Can Retarget
The decision regarding whether to retarget or not when running a media plan is difficult. There are several factors which have to be taken into consideration by the advertisers. The task itself is quite tricky, even more so for companies which are regulated highly. This is why highly-regulated advertisers have to learn how to retarget their media plan. Read more at Search Engine Land.
Facebook Generates Most B2B Leads, Twitter Most Conversions
It is still early days for social media when it comes to generating B2B leads. Even with all the hype and hoopla, less than 2% of all B2B leads are generated through social media website. Leading the way, not surprisingly, is Facebook, accounting for 54%. However, Twitter leads the way with the number of conversions though, accounting for a whopping 82%. Businesses need to focus on Twitter. That is where the sales are! Read more at EConsultancy.
Do You Need Carousels on Your eCommerce Website?
Almost every retail website has carousels, but does that mean you should have them too? Given that it is common practice to have them, it is quite possible they aren’t as good as they are made out to be. Research shows that majority of the leading eCommerce websites in the US don’t even bother with them, yet the corresponding figure in the UK is 50%. Having a static design serves the same purpose and enables you to overcome the drawbacks inherent in the carousel. Read more at EConsultancy.
The Impact of Color on Landing Page Conversion
Did you know the colors you choose for your landing page send some kind of message to the viewer? The concept of the Color Theory details how the colors on a landing page affect the decision-making of the average user and how he/she is influenced. There are many websites which are perfect examples of using the right colors to increase landing page conversion. Read more at Unbounce.
Linking Assumptions You Should Throw Out of the Window
Even with the abundance of information available about linking, people still have some wrong assumptions. In fact, some of them are just plainly stupid and should be tossed out of the window, to say the least. Yet, people seem to believe them as though they are the Ten Commandments. The most absurd ones going around today are the projected ineffectiveness of anchor text, the decreasing value of links for ranking purposes and how broken link building doesn’t work. Read more at Search Engine Land.
Videos and Infographics of the Week
Negative SEO tactics have the potential to get your website to the top of the search engine ranking. But given Google’s recent updates, it has become impossible to sustain that ranking for long. Still there are SEO companies which use the negative ways to get you the results you demand but ultimately prove to be useless. Spamming is one of the foremost ways of negative SEO which can be taken care of with the disavow tool. View the video on YouTube to learn more about negative SEO.
How the Design of Your Blog can Boost SEO Success
When blogging, there is the temptation to add as many keywords as possible into the content. However, the filters introduced by search engines make it near impossible for you to get away with that. There is a more effective way of improving your blog’s rankings: changing its design. There are no less than 15 design factors which play a crucial role in determining the SEO success of a blog. Learning about them helps you get to the top of the search engine rankings without using negative tactics. View the infographic at Search Engine Journal to learn more.