From AdWords to Zeitgeist, Google Alphabet is Here

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Google started as a search engine in the late 1990s, and over time it has evolved into a multi-international technology company that specializes in Internet-related services and products. Some of Google’s services include search, online advertising technologies, software, cloud computing, social networking, mobile operating systems, and so much more! Because of the large growth and diversity of Google’s products, as well as the growth and change that is constant within the industry, Google founders Larry Page and Sergey Brin have decided to make the company cleaner and more accountable by creating a new company called Alphabet.

Instead of Google being the umbrella for hundreds of different products and services, Google’s subsidiary companies, including Google itself, will now become their own companies, with their own CEOs, all housed under the holding company—Alphabet. This restructure will allow each entity to prosper through strong leadership and independence.

Investors need not worry. “Alphabet Inc. will replace Google Inc. as the publicly-traded entity,” says Alphabet CEO Larry Page, “and all shares of Google will automatically convert into the same number of shares of Alphabet, with the same rights. Google will become a wholly-owned subsidiary of Alphabet. Our two classes of shares will continue to trade on Nasdaq as GOOGL and GOOG.”

Alphabet is not only beneficial for the companies involved, but it also allows the holding company to venture into areas that might be unlikely for Google, and allows Page and Brin to stay in control of the bigger picture of the company they founded almost 17 years ago. This new found freedom could be world-changing.

Google Unleashes Panda 4.2

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Over the last 10 months, whenever anything happened on Google, it was speculated that it was the effect of the long-awaited Panda update. However, it wasn’t until last week that Google officially unleashed the newest update.

The launch of Panda 4.2 is slowly rolling-out and has reportedly affected about 2-3% of English-speaking queries. This update means anyone affected by Panda in the last update has a chance to re-emerge, if they have made the appropriate changes. This also means another opportunity to be penalized if you’re still not following the rules. Since Panda 4.2 is rolling out slowly, no drastic changes will be seen, but rather a gradual change in the listings.

The original Panda algorithm update launched in February 2011 in an effort to remove low-quality content from top listings on the Search Engine Result Pages and affected nearly 12% of English-speaking sites. There have been several updates to Panda over the years—some have been announced, and some have not. Have you seen any changes in your rankings since the new update?

Is Link Building bad?

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Link building is a popular strategy used for Search Engine Optimization. Having a link on another website—especially a high ranking website— that opens a door back to your website will help your SEO, in turn, assisting your rankings on Google. There are a few ways Webmasters can build links; some are Google approved, and some aren’t.

Search engines view links as votes for popularity and importance in the ongoing opinion poll of the Web and have since the late 1990s, so when Google Webmaster Trends analyst John Mueller said he tries to avoid it, the world of webmasters came to a halt. Several articles were posted shortly after that statement, including one by a Portuguese Webmaster stating “…to ensure that you are not violating Google’s guidelines: do not buy, sell, exchange, or ask for links.”

Does this mean link building is bad? Not quite. After that post implied that it was, Google responded with some clarification—sort of. Google stated that you cannot “buy, sell, or ask for links that may violate our linking Webmaster guidelines.” To specify on what that vague statement means, link building is good, unless you participate in link building schemes, including, but not limited to, excessive link exchanges, buying or selling links, or keyword-rich anchor text. So, if you follow the rules, link building, in addition to other SEO tactics, can assist in improving your search engine rankings.

If you are interesting in applying proper SEO tactics to your website, your Savannah web company, Robmark Web, is there to assist you! Call (912)-921-1040 to start the discussion today.

Further reading:

https://moz.com/beginners-guide-to-seo/growing-popularity-and-links

http://searchenginewatch.com/sew/opinion/2412546/why-i-shall-no-longer-use-the-term-link-building

Mobilegedd-non: The apocalypse that wasn’t

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Over the last several months Google has been pushing their mobile-friendly update, urging webmasters to make sure their websites were mobile-friendly to avoid seeing “a significant impact” in the search results. The buzz became apocalypse-esque once the mainstream media picked it up and was soon coined “mobilegeddon.” D-day was April 21, and webmasters and SEO specialists were scrambling to ensure their sites did not drop in the rankings. Well, that date has come and gone, and little impact occurred. It has now been a month since Google’s supposed cut-off date, and Mark Munroe of Marketing Land reports that mobilegeddon has barely made a difference in search results. He notes that there was a minuscule dip in results and that most of the impact was seen on the second and third of the SERPs (Search Engine Results Pages). So what happened?

Though there are a handful of theories as to why there was a lack of severity, one thing is for sure: Google has a sense of control over businesses, big and small. Google says, “jump,” and we ask, “how high?” Because of past algorithm changes that truly did change the face of the SERPs—Panda and Penguin, specifically—businesses don’t want to take any chances. So when Google warned “significant impact,” it’s no wonder we all reacted in an apocalyptic manner.

This is similar to an algorithm update they announced in 2014. Last year, Google announced HTTPS—a safer version of HTTP—would help with a website’s ranking. Following that announcement, scores of websites rapidly adapted to be more secure in fear of dropping in rankings. Yet, after the change, no shift in rankings occurred. Though no drastic changes occurred with either of these updates, a mobile-friendly Web presence and a safer website are not bad things. They are improving the Web experience for everyone, which is an obvious goal of Google.

Though the “punishment” was not as severe as promised, it is still heavily urged to have a mobile-friendly, responsive website. If you are interested in revamping your business’ web presence and creating a better user experience, call us at 912-921-1040. Robmark Web is proficient in creating responsive websites that work well and look great on any type of device, including mobile phones and tablets.

Google Map Listings Benefit Local Businesses

In spite of initiatives on the part of Google, only 37% of businesses have claimed their local business listing. That is a shockingly low percentage for how beneficial these listings are.

We have mentioned the importance of Google reviews when it comes to benefiting your local business but we have yet discuss map listings, which are just as important. According to Google, businesses with complete online listings are twice as likely to be considered as a reputable business. It is also proven that customers are 38% more likely to visit the business and 29% more likely to make a purchase from the business.

Businesses that are online grow 40% faster than those that aren’t, and with 4 out 5 people using search engines to find local information, such as directions or hours of operation, it’s important for businesses to be where potential customers are. If your business isn’t online, or your existing online listings are not fully optimized, you’re missing possible business opportunities. That is where we come in.

As part of our Web and SEO services, we ensure all of our clients not only have a properly optimized website, but also a fully optimized Google Maps listing. We know the importance of being visible to clients and as your local Savannah web development company we are here to assist you. Call us at 912-921-1040 to discuss how we can get you on the map.

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No More Separation Between Paid and Organic on Google

Now that Google has been around for nearly twenty years, people know its layout and understand that the first few listings are often paid results, not organic. Through growth and development, Google often tests user interface changes. One interface change they have recently made is removing the line between the paid and organic listings. Have you noticed a difference? Do you think this could cause confusion? We’d love to hear from you!

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