If you hadn’t heard the news by now, yesterday Google announced the end of Google Places as we used-to-know it. In it’s place is an updated version of Google Plus, which has now officially merged with Google Places. There has been a lot written already about the change and a lot of panic has ensued. The way we see it, not much has changed yet..but be prepared Google Plus is here to stay.
What has changed:
1) Your business has 2 fronts – For the time being, your business page will have two faces – Google Places and Google Plus. You can still login to your accounts the same way you’ve been accustomed to logging in. You will, however, notice that if you are logged into your G+ account. Google is now showing you how many times you’ve visited a particular business page. At some point we expect there to be a single login – from your G+ page but for now nothing has changed. READ MORE
Not too long ago, the search engines announced a uniformed way to make better sense of the content on the web. They called it Schema. The goal was to use a new markup language that would enable website authors to tag their content, a feat that would ultimately help the engines organize and serve up more meaningful results. The engines said Schema was coming and some in the optimization community took notice. About a year had passed since that fateful announcement.. yet Schema seemed like perhaps another crazy concoction. A whole lot of work to do without any tangible result. Schema was literally nowhere to be found except in the code of websites of the early adopters. That is until now. READ MORE
More and more it seems that the Internet marketing space has become more like a war zone. The constant changes and major announcements from the search engines and social media sites, the dissemination of this information from Industry and non-Industry leaders alike, and the confusion surrounding each piece of news has created a constant state of chaos for everyone participating in this arena. It seems that with every Facebook “conversion to Timeline” we get a Google “exact and phrase match update” right behind it. The intents of the changes are highly positive but the collateral damage has been grand. In the twelve years since we’ve been working in this Industry, we have never seen such a state of frenzy as we currently see today.
It didn’t use to be like this.
Once upon a time, there was a simple set of rules for marketing effectively online. These days, you need to treat your online marketing program like you would an entrepreneur of a business. You need to stay informed, flexible, and be able to pivot quickly to take advantage of new feature rollouts, new technologies and ever-changing landscapes.
That being said, we think you can relax amidst the chaos and take a deep breath. The fundamental basics of online marketing [that have been in place since day one] still apply today. Start with a great website, one that fills a market niche and meets the needs of your users.. and go from there. Next, ensure you optimize it properly for the search engines. Search still accounts for a vast majority of quality visitors and organic optimization should still be at the cornerstone of your online marketing plans. Next, consider setting up advertising campaigns, participating in social media, and experimenting with new traffic channels. Each business will be different but there are hordes of traffic available to you, if you plan properly and have budget for experimentation. Finally, ensure you are tracking goals and conversions and analyzing your traffic patterns. You will quickly see which areas of your site need a refresh and what traffic channels are the most profitable.
Yes, you should pay close attention to the rapid pace of change occurring right now. But don’t panic! And don’t go off course just because a new feature has been released. Stick to your basics and you will ensure continued and continual success. You can’t get out of the war zone anymore but you can shield yourself from the noise by remembering the fundamentals.
… and missed the news: “new iPad” ? “iPad 3?” “3rd Generation iPad”? Either way, its enough to bring traffic on www.apple.com / store.apple.com crawling to its knees. Have you pre-ordered yours yet? They should arrive on March 16th. And they have Siri, and more pixels than your HD television.
At Ninthlink, we always like to give credit where credit is due. And we happened to come across a great article that features the 50 best creative websites of 2011 from Splashnology.com. This is a great read that showcases the most innovative websites and redesigns from last year. Job well done guys! Enjoy!
Check out Santa’s holiday search tip rap, fresh off the little snowflake in the bottom right of Google’s helpful “New Gadgets” page. Did you get a new gadget – Android phone, tablet, or computer – over the holidays? Then this is for you: Download Google Chrome, get the Google+ app to face time, er, face-to-face with up to 9 people, hit up the Android App Store, and more. Happy Holidays!