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Search Marketing

The Whiteclick SEO blog aims to keep you up to date with the latest in the search engine optimisation and marketing industry and the company.

What's the Fuss about Google Plus?

Jessica Graham - Friday, July 01, 2011

Unless you've been living under a rock this week, you'll probably be aware that Google has just launched their ( third!) attempt to combat what is no doubt referred to at the Googleplex as 'That Little Facebook Problem'.

So without further ado (and if you'll 'scuse the pun), here are some standout +'s and -'s:

PLUS

*Privacy: Google+ allows you to drag and drop your contacts into different 'Circles' of friends, and then from there it's easy to choose which information is made public to which circles - compared to Facebook's traditionally nonchalant approach to your personal information.

*Integration of live video : Not only can you chat with friends face to face but as a group you can search for and watch videos on YouTube with ease…. Lets be honest, who wouldn't love a group session discussing the finer points of Rebecca Black lyrics?

*Collects and stores content based on your interests: The 'Sparks' feature does what Google does best by allowing you to save multiple key terms as interest topics. New content is then trawled daily from the web and aggregated for your browsing ease - in contrast to when you 'like' a brand on facebook, and are provided with only that-brand-specific information displayed in your newsfeed.

*Mobile Photo Uploads: Google+ has a snazzy feature which automatically uploads photos from your phone and stores them privately for you to sort through later on down the track at your leisure - throw out your USB cables people!

MINUS

*Where's my gamer apps?? Whilst I have no problems with a world sans-Farmville; at the moment there is no ability to host any games, which is a feature Facebook currently has over Plus in spades ...Although with the rise (and rise) in social gaming, this is surely something that won't be ignored by Google in the future.

*It is standalone - i.e. there are no integration services with other accounts - which is a bummer for those socialites who love to simultaneously broadcast their thoughts over multiple networks (e.g. twitter and LinkedIn) at the same time.

*It's Invite Only at this stage, so if you are lucky enough to be one of the 'chosen ones' with early access, you should feel special (ignoring the fact that your Plus network is probably severely depleted compared to your current Facebook friends) - and for the masses it smacks of exclusivity.

On a side note, something else to take into consideration is that at the moment there is really no way for businesses to tap into their audiences in the same way that Facebook allows 'fan pages'. Yes, you can '+1' on articles or websites that appear in your Google searches as effective 'recommendations', but it does make me wonder…. How does Google plan to make money from Plus? Watch this space.

Google's Social Search Update

Giles White - Monday, February 21, 2011

Keyword Research for Global Organisations

Grant Hilton - Wednesday, December 08, 2010
Another new nifty tool from Google has just been released called the “Global Market Finder”.  The tool allows you to find the geographic distribution of a keyword and is very handy for multi-national companies selling products.

Why is this so?

It provides business owners and online marketers to see the difference in popularity of products in different global markets. For example “Product X” may be popular in the USA and receive thousands of searches per month but that doesn’t mean “Product X” is popular in “Japan” or even neighbouring “Canada”. Therefore the new “Global Market Finder” tool can be used as a marketing tool to identify which products will be popular by country or alternatively identify relevant keywords to a product that are more popular to a specific country.


Google Global Market Finder

There are a number of other useful tools that can be used for keyword research and they include the following:


Now the latest SEO keyword tool to add to the list is the Global Market Finder!

Adapting To SEO Changes

Grant Hilton - Thursday, September 23, 2010

Search engine optimisation is a great industry to be in because it’s constantly evolving with search engines changing algorithms to enhance the quality of their results regularly and clients requiring constant monitoring and adjustment to maximise and respond to these changes. That is the joy and challenge of SEO and I’m sure there are plenty of SEO’s out there that would agree that it shouldn’t be any other way.

Surely I can’t be the only one that finds it strange that people seem to panic when something new is introduced to the industry such as Google Instant. Before that it was panic about Google and behavioural search or personalisation search or Google introducing more blended results (video, images, news, blogs, etc) into search but still the industry remains strong and quickly adapts. Working hard to stay up-to-date with the latest changes in SEO and improving your client’s organic traffic still remains the focus as was before these changes were introduced. So why the big alarm for concern now? Are people afraid of adapting their strategies for the benefits of their clients and if this wasn’t an option beforehand perhaps your SEO strategy is too narrow focused or ancient?

Since the release of Google Instant there has been mixed reactions from SEO’s worldwide. Some cringe at this news similarly to watching Tony Abbott appearing in the news in his speedo’s but others that have been around (not that kind of been around) know that this is merely another challenge to SEO and should be viewed positively rather than the doom and gloom of search engine optimisation. Personally I am a big fan of Google Instant and don’t see it as a threat to SEO but there is a case for it distracting searchers to other topics whilst typing what they originally intended to search for and lack of relevancy of results based on what’s popular at that time. For example, if somebody searches for “sydney hotels” only goes as far as the first 3 characters (“syd”) the following results appear:

These results would be great if searching for information about Sydney but if you specifically wanted “Sydney hotels” not so much in the organic search results. These results favour the Adwords sponsored links because they appear to be far more relevant to the searchers intent. The question that is a concern for SEO’s is does the searcher continue typing more of the keyword or will they be distracted enough to click on the top Instant results or sponsored links? This is difficult to determine without further study and analysis especially when it roles out in Google Australia but my personal opinion is that the common Internet user is generally quite savvy and are quick to realise what is relevant to them and what is not.

Therefore if more of the keywords were typed such as “sydney h” would this provide more organic search results?

 

Unfortunately the answer here is “no” for both organic and sponsored links but at least “sydney hotels” does appear in the suggestions box this time. Whilst this is not the case for every query it is pretty clear that for more than one keyword the full query is often required or selected from the suggestion box, thus no change to prior Google Instant.

As with any new changes in the industry the primary objective remains and that is how to achieve great traffic and results for our clients and not to fear changes but to embrace it.

Addicted To Google Caffeine

Grant Hilton - Friday, June 11, 2010

Drink that cup of coffee really fast because its official Google Caffeine has been released! So what's this Caffeine stuff all about?

Well the latest update has nothing to do with consuming coffee, tea, soft drinks or energy drinks but just as caffeine is a stimulant to our central nervous system, Google Caffeine boosts Google’s previous index by providing “50 percent fresher results for web searches” and has provided Google with the ability to add to it’s already large index. Google claims that their latest index is "the largest collection of web content we've offered". More information on this release can be found at the Google Webmaster Central Blog.

So what does this mean for us? It simply means that Google is capable of indexing new content such as news releases, twitter posts, blogs, etc much faster and this provides more relevant and fresher content for us users. For searchers this is great news and very beneficial but what about business owners who pride themselves on their high search engine rankings and are concerned that a fresher index may affect their site traffic?

Photo via Creative Commons

In the search engine optimisation business there are constant changes to search engine's ranking algorithms and this latest update from Google should be viewed no differently. Change should not be looked upon negatively but rather embraced and adapted to. In the SEO world, change is a good thing and nothing new. The best advice for business owners is to stay on the path of creating good user content, making sure that it is optimised effectively, and keep your efforts focused on a good user experience. Sure the possibility exists for some rankings to be lost but in the long term your informative and useful content on your products or services will out rank new content that has just been added to the index. It also means that blogs, twitter posts and news releases should be continually updated with new content (if it’s worthy of being updated, releasing content for the hell of it is not recommended) to keep your content fresh and because Google loves indexing new fresh content it can be indexed and found by users quicker.

Therefore this latest update is great news from Google and business owners should continue to optimise their content as before but with an increased effort in keeping content informative and useful to site visitors whilst also new and refreshing.


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