Google+ has been revamped recently. The brand new version of Google+ is more mobile friendly, easy to operate and focused around communities and collections. Google spokesperson stated:
However, we all know that every change has its downside and in this case, it was dropping the reviews from Google +. Let’s see what Google has to say regarding this change:
As you can imagine, this is a huge concern for local SEOs and businesses. Why drop reviews from local listings? It means that one has to provide the URL of their Google Maps business listing onto their Google+ page to get their business reviewed. This doesn’t seem convenient from a customer’s perspective since they have to leave the current page just to review your business which seems unlikely.
Clicking on the (i) icon at the right bottom corner displays just the contact information and links. No description, no categories and no reviews.
A Local Search Forum thread has Linda Buquet saying we need to educate our clients:
“So we need to get used to the fact AND educate our clients that Google Local is no longer about the G+ L page. The data we enter into GMB data and the reviews are just as important as ever. However the main places the data & reviews will show up for consumers (currently), is right in search, the Local Finder, the Knowledge Graph and Google Maps.”
She also wrote this on Mike Blumenthal’s blog post
“Mike you don’t show the “About” pop over in that screen shot. It has contact info but no description, categories or reviews.
And how to get to that info is so subtle the average user would never find it. Of course the average user can no longer even get to the listing, so….”
As Mike Blumenthal correctly mentioned – “This dramatic change will leave small businesses not just frustrated but angry as they shake their heads and head out the exit.”
1. Google has changed many G+ page URLs for local business listings. Most of the new URLs redirect correctly, but there are some, or to be specific 10%, that are unable to redirect accurately. In case you are also facing such problems, keep bugging their support for a fix.
2. Uber is utilizing the mapping assets they purchased from Microsoft Bing. They recently rolled out a fleet of mapping cars in a quest to prepare their own up-to-date map.
3. Seeing the dramatic rise of mobile users, Google has decided to combine both Chrome OS and Android into one. It is expected that the beta version of this combine OS will roll out next year. The final version should be available sometime in 2017.
4. Google is testing a new feature in which “Google Now smart assistant” will show recommendations from Foursquare, even without the app being installed.
5. Yahoo specifically stated that you can claim and manage your Yahoo business listings on Yext. But guess what, if you choose to do so, you are heading towards one painful experience.
6. Mobile searches on Android are showing Google Guides inputs as details… and no one knows how to fix it.
7. Google is trying to convey a clear message by moving the “Business Listing Forum” to “Google Advertisers Community”. We got it Google!
8. Business owners can now add “special hours” into their “Google My Business listings”. It will be beneficial for those business owners who frequently change their operating hours such as amusement parks, tourist attractions, etc. It will also be helpful for all the other business owners during holidays and special events.
9. Facebook is trying their level best to entertain and engage the audience. They are soon going to launch a stand-alone app that will notify users about the breaking news. It has also joined hands with publishers so that a user can read news articles without leaving the Facebook app. Furthermore, they are indexing 2 trillion posts so that they can provide personalized search results.
10. It seems like Google is being desperate, as they are bribing local guides to post reviews in huge quantities. I mean, really Google?
11. Google has not yet learned a few lessons from the past, because they have enabled iOS users to add businesses in the new Google Maps. Be prepared guys, we are again going to see a lot of unverified and duplicate listings.
12. According to a recent study, Local Search Advertising is going to escalate by half a billion dollars next year.
13. After providing honest reviews about different businesses, Yelp is going to help us with food too. Yelp has put up alerts on restaurant profiles from San Francisco and Boston, whose health department score is poor. Way to go Yelp!
14. Customizing ads for multi-location businesses on Facebook has been made easy with the launch of new features in Facebook’s local awareness ads.
15. Google has finally hung-up the continuous testing’s of its local search results. It means we can soon expect to see some changes in the result displays.
16. Apple’s CEO, Tim Cook recently predicted that the cash payment ritual will soon be dead and that the next generation will not even know about the existence of cash, due to the REVOLUTONALY APPLE’S Mobile Wallet. Are you serious? I mean, 80% of the users haven’t even tried it yet.
17. Facebook launched “Notify” news app for iPhone users. Notify is NOT a sharing based app. It has been developed to provide information to the users. So, Facebook now has 8 apps in total and it seems like they are all gaining popularity.
18. A recent study shows that 50% customers will do business with a company that responds promptly.
19. Apple says its mapping service is now used more than three times as often as its next leading competitor (Google Maps) on iPhones and iPads, with more than 5 billion map-related requests each week.
20. Facebook is making the same mistake as Google did in the past. They are encouraging more online reviews, which means they are focusing on quantity rather than quality. As a result, Review spam on Facebook has become a major problem.
21. Experts are predicting a fresh relationship between Demandforce and Bing, because Bing’s local listings are now showing Demandforce reviews.
22. Google and HomeAdvisor join hands to provide homeowners with better services. From this Friday, people searching for services like plumbers, electricians or landscapers will get results with the tag “HomeAdvisor screened and approved”.
23. Google has informed that the importance of structured data will increase in 2016.
24. After so many failed attempts and wasting all the resources and time, Google is still trying to give Google+ a leg up. Come on Google, just accept the failure and move on already!
25. Apps are the new battleground in the Google vs. Apple vs. Facebook fight for dominance. And this is a war that deserves close attention.
27. Yahoo Mail has blocked those users who run Ad blockers. What a brilliant strategy and well-thought move by Yahoo, to lose even the few remaining loyal fans.
After serving for 20 years and establishing Yahoo as an internet company, Yahoo Directory has been officially closed. Now if you on click dir.yahoo.com, you will be redirected to Aabaco (https://www.aabacosmallbusiness.com/).
It shows that the team and the services they offer are the same and just the name has been changed. But to be crystal clear, Aabaco is not a directory. In fact, it’s a small business portal which sells hosting, websites, domains, Ecommerce, etc. But their credibility factor is way less as compared to their competitors who are well-established and provide top-notch services to numerous clients.
If you’re an existing customer of Yahoo Small Business, you can relocate your listings here.
Twitter is enjoying “good days” since their desktop traffic has increased by 20% (35 million monthly visits) over the last six months. And, their bounce rate has decreased by 6.5%. This is due to several reasons, including the recent deal with Google in which Google decided to integrate tweets and news into their search results.
Excited from the traffic boost, Twitter is making some changes. They have decided to increase the follow limit from 2000 to 5000.
Also, from now on people will not be barred from blindly following hundreds of accounts or following and unfollowing profiles repeatedly. They have also updated many other rules, which you can read here.
Moreover, Twitter feed has started showing up in search results just below the company’s website, mainly for branded keywords and people.
This is a good opportunity to get additional exposure, especially for those enjoying a strong Twitter presence.
Image extensions are now available in all Bing Ads markets.
The image extension is back, and out of beta. Bing Ads announced the release of image extensions in search ads on tablets and PCs — notably not on smartphones.
Advertisers can now upload up to six images to an ad group or campaign. Each of these images can be setup with its own landing page URL. Additionally, other extensions can also appear along with these image extensions.
Bing Ads says that it will be experimenting with how the images will appear in the ads, but it did supply with a few mockups of potential variations, including the one above that shows three images below the ad copy and above the sitelinks.
In another version, a single image is displayed to the left of the ad copy.
And here’s one more version that shows multiple images along with display texts and descriptions similar to the enhanced site links. In this version, while uploading images, advertisers will have to enter a name/display text for each image, along with an optional description and a destination URL.
Earlier, Google had tested image extensions in AdWords in 2013, but that test never emerged from the beta stage. In that test, as many as three images appeared above the ad text. More recently, Google has tested images in mobile search ads in the automotive vertical.
Bing Ads image extensions are now available in all markets. Support in Bing Ads Editor is coming up, along with a bulk upload option.
The two new updates to Facebook Local Awareness Ads are near your doors, advertisers!!! Excited? Well, a year ago Facebook introduced a very useful ad type to its existing Ad features. It let many businesses spread local messages to their potential customers located in their areas. As compared to the traditional advertising channels like newspapers, local awareness ads looks like a way better option for businesses, as it helps targeting the right people more effectively while spending less.
What are the updates? Why has Facebook come up with these updates now?
Facebook States: “With the launch of two new products for local businesses, we’re making it easier for businesses with multiple locations to create local ads for each store and also giving businesses more insight into the groups of people near their stores.”
If your business stores are located in different areas, then this ad feature is just the right thing for you. The new feature “Locations on Local Awareness Ads” will enable you a tool for connecting and managing business pages across multiple locations. It will use information from each of your pages to add dynamic ad copy, links and call-to-action buttons to your ads, so that each ad is localized for its corresponding store. With Locations, businesses also have the ability to automatically display the city name in the ad copy depending on where the people seeing the ad are located.
The Second tool is “Local Insights“. A new tab named “Local” will soon be available in the Insight section. It will help local businesses gain a thorough understanding about the demographics and trends associated with the people nearby. Businesses will also get to know the busiest days of the week and the peak hours of the day. These Insight demographics will also describe the people by their gender, whether they are tourists or local residents, etc. To add to it, advertisers can see the percentage of people nearby who have seen their ad.
Since Facebook has already enthralled many eyeballs with its updates, let us see how successfully they rule in Facebook Advertising.