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Research and SEO

Set Up Google My Business To Enhance Your Online Visibility



Remember the good old days of the Internet when setting up your information directories and business listings were deemed essential? We have come a long way from those early days.

Improving your online presence and brand awareness is a now an embarrassingly effortless process, thanks to the recent launch of another great solution from Google that helps you get your business out there, connect with your customers and get found online.

This is, essentially, a dashboard that brings together all the business tools and solutions offered by the company including Google+ and Google Maps.

Designed primarily for small offline businesses, this is still a great option for online businesses that want to get in touch with existing and potential clients — people that research before picking up a product.

Watch this video to learn more:

Google gives business owners a chance to choose the type of business they are operating. And these are Storefront (restaurant, retail store), Service Area (pizza delivery) or Brand (product, music band). Most online business owners will, understandably, choose the final option.

On top of that, the company has also launched Android and iOS mobile apps.

This is definitely a step to help you reach out to new audiences, even more effectively than before, particularly if you have crafted a brand for yourself. At the very least it will improve your business by allowing you to interact with your target market, and engage with clients and customers.

Elaine Chang is our resident SEO geek and expert. She has extensive experience writing about SEO, SEM and all things web.

  • AceofSpades

    Certainly a very helpful and necessary (in my book) tool to use. I think the video explains and captures it perfectly. It can aid the business immensely and is very easy to set up, so why not do it?

  • Leroy26

    Google My Business will only continue to grow and increase in users. A massively important resource to help increase visibility. In addition, I think it does a great job and has a great layout. Best of both worlds.

  • SMalone

    THE best and most easy way to connect with customers through the internet. The video shows it all. Just an incredible resource that all Businesses should be using.

  • moneyman

    It is super easy as you said, so this shouldn’t take a lot of convincing for anyone with a business to do this. Only shooting yourself in the foot if you don’t do it. Nice video ad of its features too.


Find The Traffic Of Any Website With SimilarWeb



If you have a particular site you are competing with, or just want to find out the traffic of any website or blog, there are a number of online tools that can help.

Most of them work quite differently from one another, in how they calculate the numbers, but solutions like Alexa, Quantcast, TrafficEstimate and even SEQquake provide valuable insights. Now you can add another neat tool to this list — one that goes by the name of SimilarWeb.

In theory, it is impossible to know exactly how much traffic a website gets, as that information is private to the owners of that particular website.

Tools that promises to provide these numbers does so based on their own research, algorithms and estimates. Some even include logs from Internet service providers in their statistics. Point being, you should always take this data with a grain of salt.

They are guesstimates, at best.

But still a good source to find out website traffic and demographic information. SimilarWeb works the same way, and one advantage it provides (against other such tools) is that a fair amount of data is available for free. Other provides charge monthly fees for access to their statistics.

So simply input the URL of a website that you want to gather some insights on, and the tool will give you a brief report about that site, along with their traffic estimates.

The numbers presented are quite close, though obviously not accurate.

Obviously, the bigger a site, the more precise an estimate it will provide. For example, TechCrunch lists on their ‘Advertise with Us’ page that they receive 34 million monthly page views. And sure enough, SimilarWeb provides numbers in this range.

However a lot of smaller sites are not enumerated, understandably.

As it stands, though, this probably is one of the better traffic estimation tool available online, and you can use it to gather some good results and compare how your sites compare with your competitors.

It also works with mobile apps, so give it a try at this link.

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Research and SEO

New Google Penguin Algorithm Update Being Rolled Out



A new Google Penguin algorithm update is now rolling out. Although it was delayed by a week or so, the search engine giant has already begun the rollout of its latest Penguin update.

The company officially announced this a few weeks back.

In fact, the slow worldwide rollout began this past Friday, with the objective of reducing even more search spam than before. According to the company, webmasters may already have seen an impact already, though the effects are expected to be more noticeable in the coming weeks.

In the words of Pierre Far, a Webmaster Trends Analyst at Google:

“On Friday last week, we started rolling out a Penguin refresh affecting fewer than 1% of queries in US English search results. This refresh helps sites that have already cleaned up the webspam signals discovered in the previous Penguin iteration, and demotes sites with newly-discovered spam.”

Sounds pretty solid!

Those of you not in the know, Penguin is the codename for Google’s algorithm that decreases search engine rankings of sites that are found to be violating the Webmaster Guidelines that the company has put in place.

It focuses on artificial methods that are employed to increase the ranking of webpages — manipulation, in other words. Google has updated several of its algorithms these past few months, including a number of updates to Panda.

At the same time, the company has been hunting down individual sites and entire networks that it believes are trying to trick the system.

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Research and SEO

Google Starts Displaying Blog Posts In The “In The News” Box



The “In the News” area is a highly diverse and decidedly vital section of Google search result pages, and the company has just made a very important change to it.

In addition to just regular news sites, the search engine giant has begun showing additional content in this portion. Content like blog posts, Reddit discussions, even videos. This is sure to open up new possibilities for people and businesses.

Sure, only three news pieces are displayed here, related to the topic — and they don’t appear for all search queries. But this is still an area that people take special note of when searching.

As this report notes, content in this box only came from Google News, meaning only some sites got in on the action, those that had approval from Google. But the company now wants to expand on this, and add in more content from a more diversified range of sources.

A bit of a game changer, this, as the search engine giant states:

“We will be pulling from all over the web which means that we will present as diverse a range of voices as possible to ensure we get users to the answers they are looking for. We are always working to give our users the best possible answer to their questions. That might come in the form of a video, a press release, a blog, a photo, a social media post or a news article.”

Powerful, powerful stuff.

Interestingly, this does tie into the recent algorithm update that Google just pushed out last month, where it said that small and medium sites would benefit from added exposure.

Sure looks like that this welcome move is a part of that puzzle.

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