Intro to Quality Score

December 3rd, 2012

by Daniel Hadaway

Hang around with search marketing geeks for long and you’ll most likely hear the term “Quality Score” mentioned a few times. But what is Quality Score?

Quality Score is a number that Google assigns to each keyword in a PPC campaign that represents how relevant your ad is to a person’s search query. It’s important to remember that Quality Score is merely an estimate of the likelihood of a user finding what they are looking for via your ad. Read the rest of this entry »

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3 Reasons for Updating Content on Your Website

November 6th, 2012

Why You Should Update Your Websiteby Kristin Sartain

We often come across websites and can tell the content hasn’t been updated in months or even years. While some types of businesses may require constant content updates such as inventory updates or disseminating news, other businesses might find it hard to think of why they need to update their content. Here are a few reasons and examples to get you thinking about why it’s important to frequently update the text and images on your site: Read the rest of this entry »

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Power to the … Movie Studios?

August 22nd, 2012
Last week Google implemented a change in how it determines search results that could have profound implications for a large variety of websites. Google announced that it was changing how it determined search results for certain sites in order to keep pirated or illegal content from its results. These changes are being heralded by many as giving too much power to copyright holders, and an example of what some claim as Google’s increasing willingness to give power to copyright holders over individual websites.
Basically, Google is now taking into consideration how many “valid copyright removal notices” it receives for a particular site when compiling search results. It’s important to note that copyright removal notices are basically a form of complaint that anyone can easily file. In many cases, removal notices are filed with Google for a variety of reasons that may be considered “valid” by Google, but are not “valid” according to law.
For example: Let’s say you’re running a blog that covers the goofy wardrobe choices of news anchors on a local TV station. In one post, you share a screen shot of a recent broadcast as a reference for your critique of what the anchor was wearing. From a technical perspective, that TV broadcast (and all images contained therein) belong to the news station. Fair Use law allows you to post the image, even though it is copyrighted, because you are referencing it for a “journalistic” purpose. But the local news station may not see it that way.
The local station may decide that it doesn’t like you making fun of its anchors, and starts a campaign to drown your site in copyright complaints. By doing so, Google will see a bunch of complaints related to your website, and may eventually stop showing your site in search results.- even though the complaints are based on a misinterpretation or misunderstanding of the law.
What Google has done in this case, in essence, is give the power to take down your website to the local news station. Over time, this makes Google even more vulnerable to gaming, especially by heavy-handed rights owners like movie studios and record labels.
Now Google says it will only consider “valid” complaints, but won’t explain how it determines what a “valid” complaint is. Additionally, some of Google’s own properties, like YouTube, are exempt from this filtering.
Google is always making changes and responding to user demand- so hopefully in this case, enough noise will be made to incite a change in this practice. In the meantime, we’ll have to trust that Google is doing the right thing and sticking by it’s famous mantra “Don’t Be Evil”.

Google Changes by South Central Mediaby Daniel Hadaway

Last week Google implemented a change in how it determines search results that could have profound implications for a large variety of websites. Google announced that it was changing how it determined search results for certain sites in order to keep pirated or illegal content from its results. These changes are being heralded by many as giving too much power to copyright holders, and an example of what some claim as Google’s increasing willingness to give power to copyright holders over individual websites.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Google-Mandering

January 31st, 2012

by Alan Laidlaw

Google enraged the masses last week by changing their privacy policy  – mainly because it reminded everyone that Google had a privacy policy. The company who was formerly a poster child for open source, flipped from serving the 99% to acting like the dreaded 1%. Just before that, Google changed their search algorithm to promote their own social networks (Google+, YouTube) over Twitter and Facebook. The public outcry was so intense that it culminated into bookmarklet called Don’t Be Evil.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Three Search Engine Changes We’ll See in 2012

January 16th, 2012

by Marcus Snyder

2012 Image2012 is certain to come with a lot of changes in the way that search engines work. More importantly, we’re going to see a lot of changes to the way that search results that show up. I’ve collected a few things that I think we’ll see (or in some cases, see more of) in 2012:


Search algorithms will continue moving toward personalized results.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Pick the Best Marketing Medium for Your Business

December 20th, 2011

Social Consumer Infographicby Daniel Hadaway

If you’re planning to begin marketing your business online, there’s a chance you’ve got a plan laid out for all the different types of marketing you’d like to utilize. It’s important to note, however, that while most businesses will see success from all online marketing channels, different types of online marketing lend themselves more favorably to specific vertical markets.

Read the rest of this entry »

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Want Your Paid Search Ads to Perform Better?

November 18th, 2011

Mobile Optimized Websites

by Daniel Hadaway

In September, Google announced a new factor for landing page quality score that they will be considering when serving up paid search ads. This new factor is whether or not the website for the advertiser is mobile-optimized.

If your website is mobile-optimized, Google is more likely to show your ad higher up in the paid search listings. Google will be determining the quality of your site’s mobile experience based on several factors including: Read the rest of this entry »

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Google: Friend or Foe? Or Both?

September 1st, 2011

by Daniel Hadaway

TechCrunch has an interesting article (and accompanying video) about some of the behind-the scenes info from Google on what goes into providing search results and constantly revising the algorithms to make results more relevant.
You should definitely take four minutes and check out the video, but here are a few key takeaways:
Google changes things constantly. Early in the video it is mentioned that last year alone, Google made over 500 changes to its search algorithm. Some changes were major, and many were minor; but staying abreast of all the latest changes Google is making- and knowing how those changes will affect your search engine ranking is a very important part of maintaining your digital presence.
Google doesn’t arbitrarily change its code. Somewhat conversely from the previous point, Google spends many hours researching every change and its potential impact on users and results. So rest assured, that your page’s ranking isn’t resting on the whims of a corporate giant (well at least not a volatile one). In the last minute or so of the video at TechCrunch, Google explains an anecdote of how one change is monitored and refined. They definitely do their homework!
Lastly, Google does control your fate. The bottom line is that Google does have ultimate control over your ranking within its search engine. They don’t answer to a higher authority than their share holders, as any business would. The whole point of this video being posted is to show the public how responsible and trustworthy Google is with all of this power. But still, it’s not a good idea to place all of your eggs in Google’s basket.
Try dedicating some resources to decidedly non-Google-controlled marketing means like Display, Paid Search (still owned by Google, but you’re paying them so you know you’ll get results!), Social Media, or even a Website designed to convert.
The bottom line is that Google does control what happens on their search engine, even though ti reached critical mass a long time ago. But, be reassured: it does seem like for the time being they are dedicated to constantly improving search results for users, and providing clear concepts on how to rank higher in its results!

TechCrunch has an interesting article (and accompanying video) about some of the behind-the scenes info from Google on what goes into providing search results and constantly revising the algorithms to make results more relevant.

You should definitely take four minutes and check out the video, but here are a few key takeaways:

Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Google+ Irrelevant?

July 18th, 2011

by Marcus Snyder

David Berkowitz recently posted an article on Social Media Insider that, in exactly 906 words, called Google+ dead in the water. While his perspectives are interesting (and at times, entertaining), they’re flawed. This service has yet to be fully released to the public. Calling this platform irrelevant and bereft of life is premature, at best.

Let’s be honest, adding another social media platform into the mix may be a bit overwhelming for some. Managing Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn, FourSquare, etc. can be exhausting, and initially I too questioned the demand for another major hitter to enter the game. I was wrong. Everywhere I turned, there was someone pleading for an invite.

This begs the question: Why is everyone so eager to hop on the Google+ bandwagon? Read the rest of this entry »

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Is Google Harming Your Brand?

January 25th, 2011

(Note: This article references “scam”-related suggestions in Google, but really could be about any negative-keyword or term that Google may be suggesting about your brand.)

While most companies would love to show up higher in search-engines, can you imagine a situation where showing up first on Google is a bad thing?

This blog has an interesting article about a client that had this exact issue. Google was suggesting the company’s brand name + the word ‘scam’ in their suggested results.

How would you feel about a company if when you typed in their name, the word ‘scam’ was added to the brand name and suggested by Google?

While this function of Google is certainly useful for finding companies that truly ARE scams (and avoiding them), what happens when Google gets it wrong? Or more importantly: why is Google getting it wrong in the first place? Read the rest of this entry »

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