Google Consolidates Ad Preferences Managers, Now Called Google Ads Settings

Google has been rolling out updates to its Ads Preferences Manager, where users can adjust their account settings for personalized ad delivery, or Interest Based Advertising. The page is now succinctly called Ads Settings. The new Ad Settings page features a cleaner interface, but the main theme is consolidation. Now, instead of separate Ads Preferences Managers for signed-in ads on search and Gmail, ads on YouTube, and ads on the Google Display Network, there’s a single page containing them all. Users can opt-out of personalized ad serving on search and Gmail and on the Google Display [...]

Google Upgrades Its Google Places Dashboard With Google+ Local Integration

google-local-places-featured Google has begun a staged upgrade of its Google Places Dashboard -- the backend tool that allows local businesses to manage their business information that appears in Google's search results. A new dashboard that looks much more like the current Google (and Google+) aesthetic, and also offers some new functionality, will be available "over the coming weeks." It's the latest step in Google's (very) slow process of updating its business listings management from Google Places to Google+ Local. The consumer side of that switch happened last May, when Google's local search results and listings b [...]

Author Rank, Authorship, Search Rankings & That Eric Schmidt Book Quote

google-plus-authorship-featured Last month, an excerpt from Eric Schmidt's forthcoming book came out where he discussed how identity and authorship might be used to better rank search results. Since then, I've seen that widely cited as proof Google is already doing "Author Rank." It's not, nor was Schmidt describing a Google-specific system. But that could come, and Google's existing authorship program may be a part of it. Schmidt On Potential Future Of Profiles & Ranking The excerpt came from the Wall Street Journal, which quoted from The New Digital Age, the book due out next month that Schmidt has coauthored wit [...]

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 [...]

Google’s Authorship Fail: How Truman Capote Was Credited As A NYT Writer 28 Years After His Death

rel-author-google-featured If you happened to do certain abortion-related searches in the past few days, you might've been surprised to see the late Truman Capote getting Google+ Authorship credit for an article from The New York Times. What makes it odd, of course, is that Capote died in 1984. He wrote numerous classics that showed up on the Times bestseller list but, as far as I know, he never actually wrote for the Times itself -- and he certainly didn't write an article that was first published in 2010. Capote also died a couple decades too soon to have a Google+ account, which makes this search result -- shar [...]

Google Starts Shutting Down Its City Pages, Shifts To Google+ Local

google-city-pages Google is in the process of shutting down its collection of city pages -- a change that follows the shift from Google Places to Google+ Local, and a change that may be reflective of a larger shift in direction for Google's local efforts. Mike Blumenthal noticed yesterday that the Portland city page had gone missing. The page used to be accessible at (which redirected to, but that URL now produces a 404 error. The same thing happens with some other city page URLs, like and Those pages were laun [...]

Google Starts To Downplay Zagat Scores; It Should Ditch Them Altogether

google-zagat-trash-featured Google is changing the way it collects local business reviews and displays them in search results, making the Zagat score a less prominent piece of information. That's a good thing in my opinion, and many people -- myself included -- hope it's the first step toward the complete removal of the Zagat system in Google's local business ecosystem. In a Google+ post yesterday, Megan Stevenson explains that review authors no longer have to use the Zagat scoring system and can instead just choose words/phrases like "Very Good," "Excellent" or "Poor - Fair" to describe a business. Here's Google's [...]

Helping Or Hurting: The Debate Over Google+ Local

google-plus-local-featured It’s been two months now since Google replaced Google Places with Google+ Local. The reactions thus far have been mixed: SEOs hailed it as a revelation for small businesses, while consumers were left scratching their heads over the new Zagat system. Google+ Local has the potential to be everything this column is about: the intersection of search (indexed local search listings) and social (integrated Google+ business pages). It’s a major update from the number-one player in the local search game: 97% of consumers say they research local businesses before making a decision, and Google [...]

“Actively Discussed On Google+” Now Showing In Google Search Results

Google's results are getting even more deeply intertwined with Google+. New links are now showing under results that show "Actively Discussed On Google+." The link is expandable and brings in Google+ comments or posts when clicked. The "Actively Discussed on Google+" displays much like a sitelink with a blue "Show" button that will expand the discussion without taking users off the results page: When the show button is clicked we've spotted either comments or posts from Google+ displaying.  Comments look quite similar to the Google+ execution and are nested as responses.  To no- [...]

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 [...]

WSJ: Google Prepares “Business Builder” For Small Business Marketers

The Wall Street Journal reported this weekend that Google is planning to combine a number of its products (internally developed and acquired) into a suite of tools and services aimed at small business marketers: Google plans to have its newest small-business service—which at one point it was calling Business Builder—up and running as early as July, said a person familiar with the matter. The project combines several products and services aimed at small businesses under a single banner. It is based on a mix of internally developed software and recently acquired technologies that the compa [...]

Google Places Is Over, Company Makes Google+ The Center Of Gravity For Local Search

google-plus-local-featured When Google+ and Google+ Pages for business were introduced a little less than a year ago many people in the local search arena began anticipating the day when Google would merge or integrate Google Places and Google+ Pages. Well, today is that day. Google Places pages have been entirely replaced by new Google+ Local pages. As of this morning roughly 80 million Google Place pages worldwide have been automatically converted into 80 million Google+ Local pages, according to Google's Marissa Mayer. It's a dramatic change (for the better) though it will undoubtedly disorient some users and b [...]

Page To Anti-Trust Critics: “Actions” & Google+ Are An Essential Part Of Search

google-headquarters-featured-2 Google's taken flak over the past year from critics about how the company has been integrating actions such as booking flights or hotels into its search results. It's also faced criticisms that it is leveraging its search dominance to build its Google+ social network. I found it notable that Google CEO Larry Page, in his "2012 Update from the CEO" letter, essentially pushed back against both criticisms. Page doesn't say he's attacking these criticisms in the update. That's my own reading between-the-lines. But nothing in the letter would have been presented without a good reason. I think [...]

Video: Google’s Susan Wojcicki Keynotes SMX West 2012

Search Marketing Expo Susan Wojcicki, Google's SVP of Advertising, spoke at our recent SMX West search marketing conference in a keynote conversation with Search Engine Land's Danny Sullivan and Chris Sherman. The conversation covered many different topics -- not just the advertising side of Google where Susan is most heavily involved -- from privacy issues to mobile marketing to how Google started in Wojcicki's garage. While we already provided coverage of the keynote via Greg Sterling's live blog of the conversation, we also have several video clips that our readers may have missed -- and that attendees may wa [...]

Google Search Now Highlights “Latest Posts” From Google+ Pages & Profiles

Google-Plus-Logo It's not your imagination. Google is showing a new "Latest Posts" section for some Google+ pages and profiles alongside its regular results, in the space where ads have traditionally resided. The format allows people and brands on Google+ to occupy more of the top-half of the search results page. Google told us about the change: We're continuing to experiment with the ways we can help you find and interact with the people you're looking for or who may be related to the topic you're searching for. Let's see what's up with the latest experiment. Google Pages & Latest Posts Here's an e [...]

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 [...]

A Google+ Primer For Retail Brands

In the last several months, there have been hundreds of articles written about Google+, its influence on the search engine marketing industry, discussing how marketers should be protecting against it or preparing to utilize it in the future. Due to this influx of Google+ publicity, our team has received dozens of inquiries from clients asking what all of this means. As we prepare our clients for the changes that Google+ brings as part of the constant evolution that occurs across the search industry, we are once again reminded of the saying, "There is nothing permanent except change." So, le [...]

Two Google+ SEO Guides You Should Read

google-plus-featured The conventional wisdom where Google+ and online marketing goes is this: Even if your audience isn't active there, it's almost mandatory to have a profile and be active there because of the way Google is showing more Google+ content in its regular search results. It's still early days for Google+ and the potential search/SEO benefits of being active there, but there are two recently published guides that go a long way to helping explain what Google is doing and how search marketers (and their clients) can take advantage. On the Conversation Marketing blog, Ian Lurie yesterday published a [...]

Survey: People Largely Negative About Google’s Personalized Search Results

google-user-sad-frustrated-featured Last month, market research tool provider Ask Your Target Market surveyed 400 US adults about their attitudes toward personalized search on Google. The results were reported today in eMarketer's email newsletter. We went back to the source to check out the survey and discovered that the majority of respondents expressed ambivalence or outright dissatisfaction about Google's new more personalized search results. The first question asked was about the primary search engine used by respondents. Primary search engine: Source: AYTM, n=400 (1/12) Then the survey explored respondents [...]

A Proposal For Social Network Détente

google-twitter-facebook-radar-featured For the past two weeks, I feel like I've been witnessing some type of Cuban Missile Crisis going on between Google, Twitter and Facebook. I'd like to suggest some ways that social-nuclear war might be averted. Beyond Blame, Believing In Cooperation Let's set aside blame, because blame isn't going to move anything forward. Let's also assume that all the players can be taken to some degree at their word, that they do indeed want to work together in some ways. What does everyone want? The Wants & A Game Changer Google has wanted its own social graph for some time. By social graph, I [...]

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