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June 2015

What's the number one online marketing mistake that businesses make? If you said no SEO, poor web design or bad sales copy, you're wrong. These are things businesses know are important and put resources into getting right. By my count, a much more common mistake is either not showing your hours online, or getting them wrong. That's especially true when your business has special summer hours. Lots of businesses have these, from restaurants with longer evening hours to small offices that close early on Fridays. The problem is that when your hours change, it's easy to forget to update them online---which means they could be displayed incorrectly on Google Maps and in

Google has been taking more anti-piracy measures, sometimes more than the copyright holders themselves These measures include spotlighting legitimate movie, TV show and music outlets, and pushing piracy outlets father down the listings. In essence, Google is making pirated media sites so hard to find that they may as well not be online. But how do they do that? The answer is, of course, an algorithm---in this case, a special update to their search algorithm appropriately nicknamed Pirate. This algorithm has been around since as far back as 2012, but received a major update in October 2014. Since then, it's had a major impact on the search results and made a measurable difference in the

How does your business do keyword research? Do you really know which terms are most important to rank for, and how do you know you haven't missed any? These are questions that SEO analysts ask constantly, and a recent column by Nate Dame gives detailed advice on how to answer them. What Is Keyword Research? Knowing what keywords to rank for is the first step in most SEO campaigns. Even if you have an existing list of keywords, continuously testing it and researching new additions will only improve your targeting. But that's not always easy to do. The traditional method of keyword research is to take a wide

Link building is in many ways the bread and butter of SEO. We often say that valuable content is what matters most---it drives traffic, user engagement, conversions, and SEO. But links are what get people to your content in the first place. And they continue to contribute heavily to search ranking. So a link building campaign is the perfect way to support great new content as you roll it out. The problem, as Casie Gillette explains in a terrific column, is that link building campaigns are unpredictable. Sometimes you think you have the best possible content for your audience, a pile of kindling just waiting for a

Not long ago I wrote about how few Right to Be Forgotten requests are actually approved. In EU, people can file RTBF requests to make information about them disappear from search results if it is inaccurate, outdated or irrelevant. But it turned out that only 2 out of 3 of those requests were denied on average. Is that rate too high? It turns out the answer is no, according to Europe's own RTBF regulators. Originally, the 67 percent denial rate was unearthed by a watchdog group. The message was that Google wasn't really going its job and that people's privacy still wasn't being protected. That sparked outrage

Ever since the European Union created its "Right to Be Forgotten" rule, nations around the world have watched to see if it works. Many wonder whether they should have a similar rule of their own. It looks like Russia has decided the answer is yes---but their version is a lot scarier than Europe's. The Right to Be Forgotten (RTBF) is a simple concept that says not everything should stay on the internet forever. If someone publishes lies about you online, for example, there should be a way to have them taken down. The easiest way is to simply block them at the search engine level. Search engines like Google

Just last week France gave Google a 15 day deadline to censor content worldwide. And not long ago, a Japanese court decided that Google should take down content whenever someone swears on their honor it's inaccurate. Now our friendly neighbor to the north is hopping on the bandwagon by making tech-unfriendly court decisions of its own. Canada's Global Edict In general, Canada approaches the internet more like the United States does. While every country has to balance privacy rights with information technology, neither North American country has the extreme privacy obsession that Europe does. But Canadian authorities still feel comfortable ordering Google to de-list certain content from the

Imagine you're walking in the city and a window display catches your eye. For weeks you've been looking for the perfect pair of new shoes, and there they are, just waiting for you. There's only one problem: the shop is closed. But that's no problem for you. Glancing at your phone, you say to no one in particular, "What time does this place open?" And within seconds, a voice answers you, giving you the full store hours. That's the functionality behind the new "location aware" search feature, which is now live on Android devices and the Google Search App for iOS. The new feature uses your current location

For those of you keeping count, it's now been 13 months since Europe's "Right To Be Forgotten" went into effect. It's also been 13 months since the EU decided Google isn't doing enough to comply, and Google has continuously resisted pressure to do more. Only now, however, has the search engine been given a firm ultimatum---and a looming deadline. The Tussle The skirmish is over how global the RTBF is. Currently, if you believe a web page contains inaccurate, outdated or irrelevant information about you, you can request that Google stop showing it in the search results. That includes searches on local versions of Google serving the EU countries,

How many high-value keywords do you try to rank for? Some businesses have lots to choose from, but in many industries there are only a few key phrases that bring traffic in the door. And for some keywords this traffic has a low conversion rate or simply isn't the right crowd. So when you strike upon a keyword that works, you need to get the most out of it. How do you do that? That's the focus of a new piece by Tom Demers over at Search Engine Land. This extremely detailed guide gives both paid and organic methods for boosting how much traffic---and how