1. Google has launched a pilot program that feeds information into the local knowledge panel via the Schema encoding on the brand website for multi-location businesses. Google is recommending JSON-LD to code schema on the website & marking up everything.
2. This month, Bing was spotted testing an expanded carousel on its search results. A search result for a local search on dentists was showing a carousel of medical providers & a click on them redirected us to a page of results about that person. Also, it was good to see that the local pack shrank when the carousel appeared, thus making it easier for the users to browse. But as of now, it is limited to medical providers as search for other professionals like attorneys & engineers were showing normal results. So maybe Bing will roll out the full version of this new feature in the near future.
3. Facebook was planning on offering free basic internet services in India. As you can probably guess, this decision was solely driven by self-interest. Both Google and Facebook were trying to capture the market of over 1 billion people. But as of now, it has been put on hold as the free internet program of Facebook is against net neutrality.
4. You might like this detailed guide on “How to deal with duplicate listings”.
5. Local search predictions from around a dozen people were uploaded on Yext’s blog. Some of them are really interesting. Check it out.
6. Many experts are predicting that 2016 is going to be the year of reviews.
So in order to boost trust among visitors, one can link his site to the reviews on other websites. It is very unlikely that anyone will list bad reviews on their own website. However, to boost the authenticity of reviews, we recommend that you still publish testimonials on your own website & provide links to the reviews which are on the other websites. FYI, we can also help you get more positive reviews in Google and Yelp by using our ‘Review Widget’. This will help not only your Local SEO efforts but also attract new business. The best part is, you can filter negative reviews from the back end. Contact us if you want to get started.
7.Google, along with SMX west blew new life into Google Dance, this spring. It signals that happy days are soon to come for internet marketers.
8. Google has made it easy for business owners to edit their business information by allowing direct editing of local knowledge panel. However, this will hardly make the job easier for business owners who are running their business in multiple locations.
9 To get complete information on how Google’s duplicate filter works, you can refer to this article. The article explains why sometimes competition research for big brands makes no sense.
10. Google has recently rolled out a core algorithm update. However, Google clarified that it isn’t Panda, because Panda will roll out in upcoming days. Be informed that from now on it will be almost impossible to spot a Panda update, because it has been added into the core algorithm. If you noticed any changes, then most probably it was due to content quality issues.
11. Did you know that only 36% people use search engine to search for local businesses? To know more about how people find a local business refer to this article.
12. We all know how hard it is to track local results. And after the Pigeon update, the searchers have become centroid, thus turning most of the methods of tracking local rankings into an educated guess.
13. ahrefs recently published the results of their study on rankings & exact match keywords in link text. We have discovered that some links, including geographic terms can help you rank well for a specific location. But don’t overdo it or you will be slammed with a link penalty.
14. Aaron Wall recently uploaded an infographic that illustrates all the major algorithm updates from past 3-4 years. It explains how things have been changed & what’s needed to rank well.
15. The New York Times recently published an in-depth article on lead generation spam. It’s a must read for every marketer.
We have all witnessed search results with auxiliary features like prices, reviews, recipes & events incorporated with the search listings. These eye catching listings are called Rich Snippets by Google.
The striking Rich Snippets entice visitors and boost traffic to your website. And this high traffic sends a signal to Google that the listing is relevant to the users.
It is very likely that you already know what Google Knowledge Graph looks like. But in case you don’t, just search for any alpha company & you will see every single detail about the company listed on the right side of the search result.
All the features that make a search listing look “Good”, such as Rich Snippets & Knowledge Graph can be scored by adding the Schema formatted Structured Data of your website content.
Schema markup allows you to
- Bring forth search results Rich Snippets, Breadcrumbs, live blogs & search boxes.
- Drive data into Google’s Knowledge Graph, Maps & even results.
- Make your content easier to understated for the search engine.
Structured Data Markup allows search engines to interpret content more efficiently & generate Rich Snippets.
Since the very beginning, programmers have been trying to understand human language using computers; but it is way too hard. For instance, we use so many different formats for date & time that it can be difficult to interpret.
- February 1st, 2016
- 1st February, 2016
- Feb 1, 2016
Confusing, isn’t it? Search engines also face the same problem.
Despite the fact that search engineers have done a tremendous job in this regard, they still need help & structured data does exactly that.
Google started to use Structured Data Markup in 2009. They continually developed their support to multiple formats as technology advanced. In 2011, all the major search engines, including Bing, Google & Yahoo agreed to support one standard vocabulary named Schema, which consists of different standard options such as Microdata, RDFa & JSON-LD.
- You may want to bookmark the website “Schema.org”, as it has all the supported Structured Data codes.
Coming back to the date & time instance, Schema requires them to be in a single format, specifically ISO 8601. (2016-02-10T22:00:00.)
In daily use of Structured Data Markup, the Schema Markup that uses ISO 8601 time/date format for machines will look like this <meta itemprop=”startDate” content=”2016-02-10T22:00″> & for humans it will be Wednesday Night, February 10th.
Understanding the Terminology
To fully learn Structured Data you must understand the terminology used:
- The additional information like reviews, prices, events, images, etc. that are included in search listing are called Rich Snippets.
- Microdata & RDFa are the structured code formats which make it easy for search engines to understand visible data. They are mostly used to markup visible content such as phone numbers & addresses. The example below has Microdata Tags marked in yellow.
Tip:- If you are just getting started marking up you content, use Schema supported formats such as Microdata & JSON-LD because the search engines embrace it & Microdata is a part of HTML 5 standard.
Types of Rich Snippets
The star rating system affects the click though rates the maximum. But to get this Rich Snippet, you must have a real review or ratings on the page itself.
Using hCard Markup you can generate Rich Snippets like LinkedIn. But be aware that hCard Markup is not Schemma.org/person. They are very much similar, but it is not supported by Google. Use the Microformats.org hCard Creator to generate such codes.
- Local Business
If you own a brick & mortar business then Schema Schema.org/LocalBusiness is very useful for you. Not necessarily for Rich Snippets, but for feeding data directly into the Knowledge Graph.
However, Google is testing this markup on few sites & hopefully they will roll it out to all sites in the future. This way they will get data directly from the website instead of a third party. It will also allow website owners to manage their Name, address, phone numbers, opening hours & menus with ease.
Schema.org/VideoObject is not of much use because Google will only generate Video thumbnail Rich Snippet for video focused websites such as Youtube & Vimeo. But yes, this will change in the near future.
If you own an app, then employ Schema.org/SoftwareApplication Markup & embed reviews to create such Rich Snippets:
One of the most popular content items to markup are product pages. By utilizing Schema.org/Product you can generate enhanced rich snippets. But make sure you read Google guidelines & policies before using it.
To generate an event Rich Snippet, use Schema.org/Event. It also displays the event time & location info.
- Forum Listings
Forums generally use software like PHPbb and vBulletin as they can generate Rich Snippet without any markup.
A “breadcrumb” is a type of secondary navigation scheme that reveals a user’s location in a website. Google might automatically generate these, but in case they don’t, you can use Schema.org/BreadcrumbList.
Is Structured Data Markup useful for your website?
With every passing day, more & more small websites are getting Rich Snippets displayed in search results. So if your website features any of the following, you should start utilizing them right away:
- If your business involves dealing with local customers then you can utilize org/LocalBusiness
- Content with Reviews & Ratings
- Business Directories
- Any website that has more than one level can employ Breadcrumbs.
- Selling individual products.
- Event Information or Calendars.
- Social Networking or Communities.
Prerequisites to get your Rich Snippets displayed.
In order to get your Rich Snippets displayed on search result listings, your code has to first pass the Structured Data Tester. If you have any doubts regarding your code passing the test, review their guidelines & ensure that following is applied:
- Error free website
- Product Data is not always supported without reviews.
- No Hidden Markup Data
- The marked up Structured Data must represent the main content of the page.
- Don’t name your CSS classes the same as Microdata markup tags.
- Make sure your marked up code passes Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool.
Structured Data Markup Helper
Google’s Structured Data Markup Helper Tool makes it easy to markup up your HTML code. This tool generates sample Microdata Markup & allows you to tag elements of your page.
Use GoodRelations Vocabulary for enhanced Markup
By integrating GoodRelations e-commerce schemas, Schema.org enhances the level of information you can add for companies, products, stores, etc. The insane level of detail that GoodRelations offers is astonishing. From product weight, to its condition (new or used), payment types & almost about everything.
The issue is that both Google & Bing are not using this additional level of data markup. Although, GoodRelations RDFa will be supported by Google, GoodRelations Schema tags do not offer the advantage of a Rich Snippet result in search like the Microdata.
Click on the links below for further information on Rich Snippets
- Google’s Structured Data Support Page
- Google’s Quality Guidelines for Structured Data
- Google’s Structured Data Testing Tool
- Google Search Console Structured Data Report
- Bing’s Markup Validator
- Yandex Structured Data Validator
We think now you have a fair idea about Structured Data Markup. We know it is a little difficult to implement it, but if you do so, it will provide you with fruitful results in the near future. However, if you need assistance with the same, feel free to reach out to us.
Google recently released fresh guidelines for webmasters. At first we thought that they just revamped the format, but after reading further we realized that they have added some brand new guidelines, which we have outlined below.
For the first time they have mentioned in their guidelines that a responsive design is crucial. So if you haven’t opted for responsive design yet, do it now; or you will be left far, far behind.
Seems legit that your most important information should be on the default page view. However, it has also made it clear that up to which extent Googlebot is able to index & crawl.
Shifting to a secure website is a no brainier. Google has already made it clear that they want to see all websites within their search results as HTTPS. They took their HTTPS obsession one step further & started rewarding the HTTPS websites, while shaming the ones who haven’t opted for HTTPS yet.
A great reminder to the webmasters! Google never shed light on the importance of generating content for users with disabilities. But as you can see, it could become a trend in the upcoming years.
This time, Google cleaned up & clarified some of the existing guidelines, so that they can be understood easily. We highly recommend you to read Google’s Webmaster Guidelines because it hardly takes 30 minutes to read, and in return offers immense rewards. If you have any issues understanding any of these guidelines, feel free to contact us.
Mobile usage has escalated enormously in the past few years. In fact many experts stated that 2015 was the year of mobiles. Google also announced that Mobile searches have surpassed desktop searches. And it is estimated that nearly 75% of the US population now owns a smartphone.
All these statistics clearly indicate how crucial it has become to have a mobile marketing strategy. Despite that, many B2B marketers are still uninterested in adding mobile marketing to their overall marketing efforts. If you are one of them, then read the following three reasons & you will be able to figure out why you need to embrace mobile….NOW!
1. Mobile influences your overall marketing efforts.
Many experts were predicting that Mobilegeddon will turn the digital marketing world upside down. But it didn’t happen as Mobilegeddon did affect digital marketing, but not to a drastic extent. But still a B2B marketer is taking significant & fundamental risks by not opting for a mobile-friendly website.
Be informed that if you will not provide a solid mobile experience then you will face the following:
- A massive drop in organic ranking.
- A huge loss in mobile site traffic.
- An enormous increase in bounce rate.
By providing less than optimal mobile experience you’re imperilling the visibility & traffic of your website.
2. Mobile-friendly websites boost customer engagement & loyalty.
Mobile-friendly websites not only boost the visibility & drive traffic to your website, but also increase customer loyalty. Below are the facts from a Google study on what users expect from a mobile website:
- 74% said that they will most likely return to a website if it is mobile friendly.
- 48% people get annoyed if a company doesn’t have a mobile friendly website.
- 52% will not even engage with a website that offers poor mobile experience.
These dramatic statistics show why having a mobile-friendly website has become an absolute must.
3. B2B decision makers are using mobile more often than ever.
Business buyers solely rely on the internet for their research & selection process, & they mostly use mobile for the same.
Recently Google joined hands with Millward Brown Digital to find out the purchase & research habits of B2B decision makers. Below are the findings from the study:
- 42% B2B researchers use mobile for purchasing.
- Google has reported a massive 3X growth in mobile searches.
- Mobile is being used not only outside but also inside the workplace. A whopping 49% researches prefer mobile even while at work.
You must understand that these days your customers, prospects & buyers are all using mobile more often than ever. They are not only researching, but making crucial business decisions as well.
Where to start
To determine the current mobile experience that your website is offering, take the following two steps:
Along with the PageSpeed Score, Google will also provide recommendations on what you must fix to enhance the mobile experience.
For instance: To boost the page load speed, you may need to leverage browser caching, enable compression, optimize pictures & avert landing page redirects.
And to improve your mobile design use readable font sizes, simplify the navigation & avert plugins.
Why you must opt for a mobile- friendly website:
- Your search ranking might suffer if you don’t.
- 80% of internet users are using smartphones to search & buy.
- A great mobile experience has become a prerequisite to engage prospects & drive sales & leads.
- The decision makers are now using smartphones across all phases of the buy cycle.
So, if you haven’t been focusing on improving your mobile experience, you’d better prioritize it. Now!
Got bored of using the same social platforms which you used to? Want to explore something New? Here is Peach the new emerging Social Network for you. What comes to your mind when you hear the word “Peach”? The delicious Fruit or the funny emoji? If you are a social media fanatic, then you would be fonder of the second one. Now this word has recognition of yet another powerful meaning with the launch of this new social network.
What is this Peach App?
It is perhaps going to be the next great social network or a massive flop. Nobody has much idea about the future of Peach and that makes it more interesting one. Just like the established social platforms “Facebook & Twitter” Peach also has some entertaining activities for you but they seem to be a bizarre set.
Peach is currently available on Apple’s app store. You can download it by visiting this link.
One of the interesting Features of Peach App could be sharing #GIF with your friends. Its GIF selector allows you to search by keyword and quickly populates your feed with a carousel of GIF options to choose from. When Facebook & Twitter simply ask you “What’s on your mind” and “What’s happening?” respectively, Peach has an array of creative prompts like “What’s something you can’t live without?”, “What would you love to win a lifetime supply of?”.
The future will reveal how Peach can be helpful to Brands and small businesses alike.
To know more about this unknown App, start using Peach!!!
The AdWords app for iPhone users is finally available for everyone. Google announced that the AdWords app for iOS is now available globally.
In early December, Google had invited advertisers to join the iOS app beta through the holidays.
With the app, you can get campaign performance stats and update budgets and bids on the go.
You can also take action on campaign suggestions and get billing and ad status notifications from the app & you can call an AdWords rep if you need support.