Google recently dropped support for both Instant Previews (launched back in November 2010) and the “Related Searches” filter. The Instant Previews feature showed users how the indexed sites actually look like and would even highlight sections of the page related to the users query.
It is now replaced with a Dropdown menu which allows you to Share or see the Cached version of the page.
The change was not officially announced; however, a question regarding its removal was posted within the Google Search forums and was replied by a Google employee as mentioned below:-
The new Dropdown menu appears as a small green triangle at the end of the URL within the search result as you can see in the screenshot below.
Matt Cutts created a video addressing a concern whether any type of penalty will pass over to your site, if a site linking to you is penalized.
Here is the exact question that was asked to Cutts:-
“If some site that is linking to my site gets penalized for purchasing links, will my site get affected by that penalty?” – Sergey, NYC
Cutts explains if a site is penalized for selling links, the punishment will be a loss of 30-50% of their PageRank i.e. the authoritativeness of that page. And all the outgoing links listed on that site will not be trusted anymore.
Here’s the link to the video – https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=tGQRMkiIA2U
So, the penalty will not be passed on to your site but you will lose the value of the link given by the penalized source.
Our advice would be to not depend on a single source for getting links even if is high PR. We have always advised to have a diverse link profile from multiple authoritative sources so one bad egg will not ruin your basket of links.
As far as SEO is concerned, we always practice and implement what is best for our customers. We make sure to consider the below points while doing link building for any campaign:-
- We get you links from all kinds of networks – this includes websites, blog posts, reviews, directories, social bookmarking sites, article syndication, video sharing, press release channels, local directories and even social media profiles.
- We vary the anchor text –e. target revolving keywords. For example, if you want to rank for “baby toys”; make sure you also target these keywords in your strategy “baby learning toys”, “baby educational toys”, “kids toys”, etc.
- We get you links from various Top Level Domains (TLD) – While we agree that links from .gov, .edu and .org domains are given high importance, Google would also like to see your site getting links from .info, .net and .biz websites.
- We even Deep Link the pages – We make sure to get links to your inner pages as well. Linking to just the home page is not recommended post the Penguin update.
Google has removed the link to Places search. The link, which had been located in Google’s “More” drop-down menu option, is no longer there, meaning local businesses can only be found via search (paid or organic), Google+ Local, or Google Maps.
Apart from this, when Google shows a 7-pack of local results, there is no longer an option to see “More results near [location]”.
So why were these features removed? Google’s Jade Wang explains:-
“Thanks for your feedback about the small update to the local search user interface on Google. This is one of several updates we’re working on to improve the local search experience, with the goal of more seamless exploration of places and more integration of local data. Stay tuned for more updates soon.”
Under Search Tools, Google users can set their location setting. Generally Google auto-detects your location, but they aren’t always perfect, so you can change to another city.
However, if you’re ever hoping to see local results for a location outside your country, you’re out of luck. You can now specify a location only within your country – so if you’re in the U.S. on Google.com, you can’t see local results for London, England – you’d have to use Google.co.uk for that.
So, considering that local businesses can now be found via organic search, this makes optimizing your business in organic results even more important. Below are a few pointers to consider when optimizing your website locally:
- Claim and verify your business in Google+ Local for business.
- Have locally optimized Titles and Meta descriptions.
- Have local address & phone number on all pages.
- Create location-specific (geo) pages when targeting multiple locations.
- Get genuine local reviews from your customers.
- Build citations to your website from local directories like Yelp, InsiderPages, Citysearch, etc.
Bing has re-launched their Bing Business Portal with some big changes as well as a newly rebranded name –“Bing Places for Business”.
Unlike Google Places for Business, Bing has taken the opportunity to remove some key features from their service offerings. Going forward you no longer have the ability to:-
- Create deals
- QR Codes
- Mobile sites
Here’s what Bing had to say about it in their announcement.
“Also as part of our drive to simplify the experience we are retiring a few business promotion and management services that were being previously offered. Starting today we will no longer provide the option of creating deals, coupons, QR codes and mobile sites as well as removing the ability to create and print collateral for your business.”
Bing mentioned that this is all about a better product going forward. So, we will keep our eyes on this as they make changes and keep you informed as they *hopefully* add some great new services.
You will use your same username and password to access the new “Bing Places for Business” dashboard here: https://bing.com/places
Adwords has just rolled out Adwords Keyword Planner, a new tool that combines two of the most popular existing Adwords tools, the Google Keyword Tool and the Adwords Traffic Estimator.
Getting Started With Adwords Keyword Planner :
The Adwords Keyword Planner supports three key use cases:
- Search for keyword and ad group ideas
- Enter or upload keywords to get estimates
- Multiply keyword lists to get estimates
Each of these features allows advertisers to create a plan where they can get daily estimates of clicks and cost.
Once advertisers have compiled their keywords they can get estimates and review their plan. The screen-shot below is an example of what advertisers can expect to see.
Adjusting bids or daily budget will impact the estimates and provide additional information on expectations for traffic.
Multiplying Keyword Lists Using Keyword Planner
A completely new feature in Keyword Planner which isn’t available in either the existing Google Keyword Tool or AdWords Traffic Estimator tools is the ability to mash up and multiply keyword lists. For example, you might want to multiply a bunch of names of cities and towns with different action words to come up with all the different keyword permutations, as shown here:
Summary: The AdWords Keyword Planner
The new Keyword Planner tool supports various work flows for building ad groups and ad campaigns either starting from scratch, or based on your existing lists, and provides a more cohesive user experience by integrating the keyword selection, keyword grouping, keyword analysis and filtering aspects of the keyword selection work flow.
The Keyword Planner is currently available in a small number of AdWords accounts today.
Google has stated that they plan to roll out Keyword Planner to a broader audience in the near future!
With Facebook coming up with changes in the News feed, Twitter with 2-step verification, it sounds like a rapid yet awesome change in the Social Networking sites, right? But wait a minute, do you doubt that LinkedIn is not so close to being awesome? Well, the more you doubt, the more firm it gets in becoming awesome and this time by adding a personal networking feature – LinkedIn Contacts.
With this new feature, it is going to be extremely helpful in nurturing personal relationships too. We all are aware that LinkedIn comes up with powerful marketing tools and LinkedIn Contacts just adds the spice to this network.
LinkedIn is yet to roll out its new feature to all the users. At first, LinkedIn will start sending invitations to a confined number of members in the United States. However, if you want to be among the first ones to try out this new product you can join the waiting list https://contacts.linkedin.com/
Let’s see what this new feature has to bring forth:
- It will bring all the contacts from the address books, email accounts & calendars all at one place. This will automatically fetch even the past conversations to the contact profile.
- Alerts about the Job change, birthdays, important dates.
- For iPhone users, it will be available as a standalone App.
- As a Marketer, you will be able to connect to future prospects, building media contacts & also being in touch with key contacts of a company.