After last week’s cancellation thanks to Snowmageddon Atlanta, EverSpark Interactive’s What’s New In The World of Google meeting rolled on into 2014 and hopefully fewer cold-related weather events. EverSpark opens its doors every week on Wednesday from 8-9:30am for professionals who want to know more about how Google works, as well as tactics for improving their own sites.
Please join us at our next meeting on Wednesday, February 26th, 2014 by RSVP’ing on the Meetup.com link below. Can’t make the meeting in person? Don’t panic. We provide catch up notes for every week on our blog. Take a look through our archive to catch up on anything you may have missed, or just refresh your knowledge base from past meetings.
The meetup takes place at the EverSpark Interactive offices located at:
6 Concourse Parkway
Atlanta, GA 30328
RSVP here: http://www.meetup.com/Whats-New-In-the-World-of-Google-Everspark-Interactive/
This Week’s Recap:
Google Is Big… And It’s Getting Bigger
Accounting for up to 40% of all Internet traffic, Google is obviously huge. However, Google is becoming more than just a search engine, and their acquisitions in the last ten years go a long way to show the new directions they’re heading. For example, acquisitions such as Boston Dynamics in 2013 and DeepMind in 2014 could see new technology interfaces that utilize robotics and artificial intelligence systems. There’s also talk of specialized contact lenses that could provide information through Google images and even non-invasively measure glucose levels for diabetics. Sites such as SEObythesea.com are a good resource on what patents and technology that Google is currently in the process of acquiring and what that means for the future of the company. All in all, it’s not bad for two nerds who developed a page rank formula and named it “Back Rub.” The following video provides an excellent run down of Google’s purchasing power and where they’re headed with it.
Google & Epic 2015
Though the video was not supposed to be a “tin foil hat” diatribe to scare viewers, there are those who years ago had viewed the search engine with a certain suspicion that Google might become more harmful than helpful. Created in 2004, the short film Epic 2015 made some extremely interesting observations and predictions when it came to the Internet giant. Though not all of them actually came to fruition, it still raises many questions for the typical Google user.
The Limits of Technology
If like millions of people you’re a tech junkie and digital addict, it’s easy to use it for everything. However, even the most up-to-date hardware does have its limits. Jason got a chuckle out of the group with this demonstration on how not everything was meant to go digital.
Google’s Data Digging
Like many companies, Google is also gathering information about who you are and how you use the web. Regular meetup attendee Angie Graves pointed out that Google records your location history if you have it loaded onto your phone or are a regular user of Google Maps, and was easily able to pull up an entire map of where she had traveled in the last week. Internet security and a website’s ability to discover your personal information is becoming a truly hot topic. In late 2013, German chancellor Angela Merkel’s personal information was hacked by the NSA and information gathered from her use of Google and Yahoo.
In order to combat this, organizations such as the European Union are currently in the process of developing directives to protect personal and private information. The EU Data Protection Directive was introduced in 2012 and hit the floor for serious discussion in 2013. One of the main focuses of this bill is the idea of data sovereignty, and specific rules for transfer of personal information via the internet outside of the EU.
The Importance of Google+ for Business
Though many people view Google+ as the company’s version of social media networks like Facebook, that couldn’t be further from the truth. Google+ is very much forming the future of Google search, and should actually be viewed as an integral part of any company’s SEO plan.
Though many companies are on Google+, they make the mistake of not being active on it. Engaging with Google+ can give you valuable real estate for your brand on Google Search’s first page. For example, companies like Starbucks are extremely active on Google+, and because of this are getting some great first page coverage over their competitors. On the other hand, Einstein Bagels does not use Google+ to their advantage, and instead of their Google+ company page being prominently displayed on Google’s first search page, the search engine is instead pulling information from Wikipedia.
Lots of businesses are on G+ but are not active. Starbucks specifically use G+ as part of their SEO strategy as they realize it’s part of the future of Google search. Why would Starbucks need an SEO benefit? Because you get a lot of prime real estate for your own brand name. Not a lot of big businesses are leveraging this yet. Search for Einstein Bagels and it will pull data from their Wikipedia page, but they’re not getting the same brand real estate as Starbucks. Search Engine Journal recently covered how more and more companies like Starbucks and The Economist are turning to using Google+ less as a social media avenue and more as an SEO exercise.
Essentially, having a Google+ account is becoming an absolute must in business, particularly if you’re using YouTube for videos. Though it’s impossible to buy prominent placement like that on the search pages, using Google+ correctly will, in effect, give it to you for free.
Another new element that’s appearing on Google lately are boxes that feature a small bio or Wikipedia entry highlighting what Google feels is the best result for any particular search. Underneath, Google asks if the viewer feels the information is useful, not useful or awesome, giving Google an indication if they’re pulling the best information for the particular search topic. For example, searching for “PA DUI lawyer” first brings up paid results, but directly below those and before the first organic results is a box for EverSpark client and Pennsylvania attorney Steven E. Kellis.
The Death of Traditional PR?
Social media has become one of the most important tools for getting your brand out there, building it and promoting it to your marketplace. Whereas most companies used to hire a public relations expert in the past, PR tools such as Cision are making it possible for businesses to do their own promotion. Bringing together traditional print media scources with bloggers, websites, social media, online and television, this PR and marketing database has become an invaluable branding and broadcasting tool.
In 2011, EverSpark was able to get some great media attention by simply providing Salon.com with the most popular searches on Valentine’s Day. While you might have thought that fancy restaurants and last minute flower purchases might have been lighting up Google at 5pm on the big day, it actually turned out that America was planning on getting loved up at their local Applebee’s or over the Olive Garden’s Never Ending Pasta Bowl. By getting creative with your information and how it’s delivered, getting the most PR bang for your buck is easy.
Using Google For Keyword Success
Though it’s obvious that Google is more than just a search tool, many fail to recognize that Google can actually provide you with insite into your website that could be extremely valuable. Google’s Keyword Tool does exactly what it says on the label, giving webmasters a view as to not only what keywords they’re using, but what they could be focusing on the develop greater impact in their searches. Consider the Keyword Tool like an online workshop for building search network campaigns, developing possible new content and blog ideas and even estimating how the keyword terms will perform.
Using Bitcoin’s website and the Google Keyword Planner, EverSpark principle Jason Hennessey was able to pull up ideas for content, such as “what is Bitcoin” and “how does Bitcoin work.” By entering the landing page rather than a keyword, you can also gather additional information such as average monthly searches and other valuable links.
Additionally, using Google’s search can also be quite revealing when searching for information about your brand or product. For example, entering “site:linkedin.com bitcoin” helped locate those who were talking about Bitcoin or had content about Bitcoin on their LinkedIn profile. You can also use the search function to find out where your site might be cannibalizing itself and help you to optimize your content. By searching site:eversparkinteractive.com intitle:”SEO company” Jason was able to look at a list where the term “SEO company” was causing keyword cannibalization problems throughout EverSpark’s site.
For next week…
You can RSVP for our next meeting on Wednesday, February 26th by visiting Meetup.com. See you next week!