4 Go-Tos To Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business

Yelp profile By now, everyone knows that online reviews can have a tremendous impact on consumers' purchasing decisions. Ultimately, a single review -- positive or negative -- can tip the scale in favor of one company over another. No doubt, the power of reviews on Google+, Yelp, Angie's List and other local search directories continues to mount. Review prominence in search results is also rising, as they often appear for a business just below their company website and make up the majority of the corresponding top 10 search results. Major search and review sites weight online reviews very highly, and [...]


How Google Plus Profiles & Pages Gain Search Authority

google-plus-featured At SMX East this past October, I gave a presentation titled, "Putting the SEO Power of Google+ to Work." The centerpiece of that presentation was a first peek at a study I'd conducted that seemed to confirm my hypothesis that Google+ profiles and pages gain authority for ranking in Google Search (and elsewhere in Google, as you'll see below) in much the same way regular Web pages do. In this article, I'm going to expand upon that presentation and lay out the full case. Profile Ranking Mysteries: A Personal Case Study I've been active on Google+ since its third day. Thanks to relationships [...]


What Everybody Missed About Hummingbird: Social Signals

google-plusone-featured Danny Sullivan joined me for a live broadcast event via a Hangout on Air (HOA) this past Halloween, and this included a major revelation about Hummingbird and Social signals. Scott Scowcroft has done an awesome job of extracting this part of the broadcast into a short, 5-minute HOA Nugget video (aka "The Scott Treatment") for me, and you can watch it here: [youtube]http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OJZIg3WlL74[/youtube] To summarize, it appears that Google previously had major technical limitations with regard to the use of social signals as a ranking factor. With Hummingbird, Google now ha [...]


How To Leave Anonymous Business Reviews In Google+

CreateaPage For a long time, I've had some doctor friends complaining to me that once Google Places changed over to the new Google+ format, all their patients lost the ability to leave anonymous reviews (thus hurting their business and their rankings). They asked me what to do; and I, in turn, asked my fellow SEO friends what to do. No one really had a good answer, except to start leaving reviews on doctor-specific sites like healthgrades.com and vitals.com. That never seemed like a good answer to me, so I kept searching. Even answers from Google staff (in Google Groups) don't shed much light on th [...]


Study Shows No Clear Evidence That Google+ Drives Ranking

google-plus-featured At SMX Advanced, I presented results from a study we had done that convinced me that links in shares from Google Plus and Facebook behave like traditional web-based links. My statements at SMX Advanced were later disputed by Matt Cutts during his keynote interview by Danny Sullivan, leading to a live discussion -- Matt even invited me up on stage during the keynote: [caption id="attachment_171790" align="aligncenter" width="300"] Image Credit: BruceClay.com[/caption] As a result of my keynote visitation, Matt and I agreed that I would rerun the study, this time with some guidance from hi [...]


3 Predictions For The Future Of Google+ Profiles In Autosuggest

Google+ profiles have been showing up in the autosuggest listings in Google search results for some time. Now that we know this feature appears to be here to stay, it is time to take a closer look. Just to be clear about what we are discussing, let's look at a few examples. Here, we see an example of SEO Inc. CEO Garry Grant being featured. Google+ Profile Autosuggest Example [caption id="attachment_144489" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Garry Grant Autosuggest[/caption] Here is an example of my profile showing up, John E Lincoln. Google+ Profile Autosuggest Example [caption id="at [...]


Official: Google “Share” Experiment Sends Pages From Search To Google+

Google+Share-From-SERPS A Tweet this morning from @BerianReed, head of search marketing of AutoTrader UK,  uncovered some potentially deeper integration between Google Search and Google+.  Reed spotted a new option in the results that showed up next to the URL, a "Share" link.  Upon hitting the button, users are prompted to share directly to Google+ from the results pages.  The result is included as a link and users are given the ability to add a comment: Surprisingly, users can share pages that they haven't yet clicked through.  Currently users can only +1 a listing from the results page, something tha [...]


Google Meets Miss Manners, Encourages Searchers To Thank Those Who +1′d Content

+1-Posting DEAR MISS GOOGLE: When I searched for something using your service, I found a friend had +1'd one of the of listings. What should one do in this case? GENTLE SEARCHER: It's always polite in these situations to thank your kind friend. In fact, I've added a new "Thank" feature allowing you to do exactly this, though Google+. Yes, a new Google+ feature has been spotted in the wild that further blends organic results with social  information.  Early today State of Search and charliesaidthat noticed a thank you link on an organic listing next to the Google+ users who +1'd a result. When l [...]


Google +1 Button Hides In Search Results

Google Operating System blog reports Google has changed the behavior of the Google +1 button as seen in the Google search results. Instead of the +1 button being displayed by default, it is now hidden until you place your mouse cursor over the search result. Then the +1 button will show up and let you click on it. Here is a picture of the animation seen when you mouse over the search result, which brings up the +1 button and the right gray arrow bar on the right of the search result: Then when you mouse over the +1 button, it will turn blue and when you click on it, it remains blu [...]


Cadbury’s Brin & Page Google +1 Chocolate Bars

Cadbury posted on their Google + page a picture of their latest milk chocolate bars named "Dairy Milk+ Bars." The Milk+ bars come in two flavors, Sergey Brin & Larry Page - i.e. the co-founders of Google. As part of a social media experiment, Cadbury posted this on their Google + page, saying: Remember our 1kg Dairy Milk+ Bars? We've had some special personalised ones made, including these delicious ones for Google founders Larry & Sergey. Whose name would you like to see on a bar? Hat tip to WebProNews for spotting this first. Related Stories: Google+ Is Slowly Invading Goog [...]


Google News Spotlight Now Spotlights Your Friends & Stories They +1

googlenews-plusone The Google News Blog announced that the Spotlight section on Google News may contain stories that your Google + friends and Gmail contacts have +1'ed. If you are logged in while using Google News and your friends or contacts have used the Google +1 button to like the stories in your Spotlight section, that information will show up in the Spotlight section near the article. It will even let you click on the name of your friend/contact to see their social profile on Google. Google said: Starting today, the Spotlight section will sometimes include articles that your Gmail contacts and peop [...]


Google+ Badge Tool Now Makes Facepile-Style Badges, +1 Counts To Be Consolidated

Google-Plus-Logo Want to show off the people who follow your shiny new Google+ Page, right on your own website? Now you can, with a Google+ badge that shows the faces of those subscribed. Badge Maker Now, Uh, Makes Badges When Google+ Pages launched last week, the badge making tool also went live -- but it only produced static icons, not badges. Now that's changed, Google has emailed: The Google+ badge has graduated out of preview today, be one of the first to put it on your site! For those who've already added the code, this means all users will be able to see the badge starting today. Featuring both [...]


Google+ Pages For Businesses: The AdWords Impact

ecosystem Google's introduction yesterday of Google+ Pages for businesses will likely have a dramatic impact on +1s in AdWords. When businesses create a Page on Google+, they can link the page to their web site URLs and also to their AdWords account. When that's done, +1s for any of the linked URLs -- on web sites or landing pages for AdWords ads -- will all accrue to the brand, making the numbers much larger. [caption id="attachment_100398" align="aligncenter" width="600" caption="Image provided by Google"][/caption]   Previously, +1s were specific to individual URLs and only accumulat [...]


Google Webmaster Live Help Via Google + Hangouts Tomorrow

Google has been quietly hosting Google + Hangouts for webmasters to ask Google Webmaster analysts and engineers questions. The next Google hangout, named Google Webmaster Office Hours, was announced by Jenny Murphy and will take place tomorrow on her profile. Again, it will take place Wednesday, August 31st at 11:30am PDT / 2:30 EDT on Jenny Murphy's + profile. The topic will be +Snippets and schema.org markup but I assume they will be open to answering other webmaster related questions. I assume this time the webmaster Google Hangout will be packed. Keep in mind, there are only 10 [...]


Google’s +1 Button Now Works With Google +, Go Figure!

google-plus-button-social Google has announced that the Google +1 button now works with Google's social network, Google +. +1 Button Sharing on Google + Now when you click a +1 button on a publisher web site, such as this one, you will be able to share that article directly with your Google + circles. All you do is click the +1 button, then in the text box area you comment, choose a circle and then click on the share button. Here is a picture of me sharing a story on this site: Then if I go to my Google + profile you will see what I shared: This is being rolled out now and should be available to ev [...]


How Being “Friends” On Google+ Leads To Better Rankings

google-plus-featured-2 Want to rank better on Google? Get people to add you to their Google+ Circles, and that seems to be a potentially huge boost, based on a search I just did. I'm Friends With Ford When I looked for cars about an hour ago, I found a listing for Ford at the bottom of the first page of results, in the 10th position. In addition, there was an enhancement telling me that Ford had shared this link: Interesting. Why is Ford showing up and with that enhancement in my results? Hovering my mouse over the Ford Motor Company link displayed this: Indeed, I am connected to Ford through Google Plus. Fo [...]


Google Plus One Button Now 3X Faster

Google announced they have now speed up the Google +1 button for websites. The button is now automatically up to 3 times faster and best of all, webmasters do not need to update their code for the speed changes to take affect. The change is automatic. Google said, "no action is required on your part, so just sit back, relax, and watch as the button loads more quickly than before." Is 3X faster not enough? Google has also released a new asynchronous snippet that is even faster. This feature allows your web site to continue loading while your browser downloads the +1 JavaScript. T [...]


Just A Matter Of Time: Google +1′s Being Sold By The Thousands

google-plusone-featured A report by the Atlantic shined a light on a new "social media service" which allows users to purchase Google +1's in bulk.  The site in question, Pluseem, has a variety of different Google+ package sizes, from 50 plusses to 2,000, with the prices ranging from $0.18 - $0.38 per plus. Of course this is a direct violation of Google's quality guidelines: Avoid tricks intended to improve search engine rankings. A good rule of thumb is whether you'd feel comfortable explaining what you've done to a website that competes with you. Another useful test is to ask, "Does this help my users? Wo [...]


The Bassackwardness Of Being Verified On Twitter, Facebook & Google+

verified-stamp-featured As we await for Google+ to figure out however it wants to handle verified accounts, it's worth reflecting how Google already has a verification system in place that's been lost and how Twitter's supposedly "closed" program continues on in stealth mode. Why can't either of these companies get it right? And why can't Facebook even try? Twitter & Verification Let's start with Twitter. Cast your mind back to June 2009. After growing complaints that it was hard to know who was real, including from celebrities tired of being impersonated, Twitter launched Verified Accounts. These accounts a [...]


Google, Twitter Flaunt Social Stats … It’s Like 2003 All Over Again

megaphones-shouting-featured Whether on purpose or not, Google and Twitter are having a little back-and-forth this week about the size of their social networks -- or, maybe more accurately, about the activity levels on their social networks. Google+ has X amount of users and the +1 button gets served Y times per day. Twitter delivers N tweets every day and saw P new signups just yesterday. It's all quite reminiscent of the early/mid 2000s, when all of major search engines made a sport out of bragging over the number of pages they'd indexed. But does it mean anything? Well, yes and no. Let's dive in.... Google+ & [...]


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