Local business search is becoming more of an area of great focus by search providers as time goes on. Google, especially, has been working overtime on providing new features that can help users find local businesses of interest. AOL’s MapQuest has been working on improving its own business search functionality, which we talked to the company a little about. What kind of traffic do you get from MapQuest? Comment here. MapQuest recently launched a new geosearch engine to power location search, and plans to do more with business listings before the year is over. Businesses should pay attention, as this is another place where users look for information about businesses related to specific places. “Many of our users search for specific businesses or business categories in order to obtain maps and directions,” a spokesperson for MapQuest tells WebProNews. “In addition, many of our users search for types of businesses nearby another location. For example, if a user obtains a map of the hotel where they are staying for a meeting, the user may then search for restaurants nearby. MapQuest’s extensive database of business listings provides consumers with relevant business listings based upon the user’s search query.” “MapQuest also provides consumers with the business name, address, phone, website as well as additional details such as hours of operation, user ratings and reviews, photos and more,” she continues. “As a result, businesses benefit from leads several different ways, including people driving to and visiting the physical location, making a phone call or visiting the website.” MapQuest might not be the first thing businesses think of in terms of driving traffic, but it is an option that should perhaps not be ignored. According to the latest data from Compete, MapQuest.com gets nearly 40 million unique monthly visitors in the U.S. By comparison, Bing only gets over 50 million according to the same data set.
Benefits of the new MapQuest search engine include more accurate, relevant results based upon the user’s query, according to the company. A feedback link is also provided, where users may submit comments and feedback related to their search experience. “We also have nearly 1 million City Search listings that provide a wealth of information and has the ability to drive traffic to the business web site,” the spokesperon says. “Businesses can offer very helpful information including menus, coupons, and more on their CitySearch listing. Businesses should contact CitySearch to become part of the information feed.” MapQuest obtains business listing information from multiple data sources. Businesses may report business listing changes such as additions, edits and deletions. They can change phone and FAX, business name, location address, city, state, and ZIP code, contact information, primary line of business and web site information. MapQuest has 16+ million “Points of Interest”, with the majority being businesses through its InfoUSA database.”At MapQuest, we’re consistently looking at ways to enhance our data for users,” she says. “We will be offering ways to work directly with us for a business listing later this year.” The company would not get specific about what its plans are, but regardless of the rise in popularity of Maps from places like Google, Yahoo, and Bing, MapQuest is still worth recognizing, and may provide additional traffic. Reference:
Get Your Breadcrumbs in Google for More Links in ResultsGet Your Breadcrumbs in Google for More Links in Results
Last summer it was discovered that Google was testing breadcrumbs in search results (breadcrumbs being the hierarchical display commonly used in site navigation. For example: Home Page>Product Page>Product A Page). Then in mid-November, Google announced that it was rolling out the use of breadcrumbs in search results on a global basis. What this means for webmasters is that if you can get your breadcrumbs into Google’s results, you essentially have more links on the results page. You have a separate link for each page in the breadcrumb trail.
The company said they would only be used in place of some URLs, mainly ones that don’t give the added context of a link the way that breadcrumbs do. Interestingly, there seems to be an incentive for those who go the breadcrumb route because of the multiple links that you just don’t get with regular search results.
Google’s move was generally well received. This was reflected in the comments from WebProNews readers on our past coverage. For example, a commenter going by the handle Stupidscript said, “It’s definitely a good time to start wrapping your head around the notion of ‘providing context’, because the web is heading into its “semantic” period … where each link will be more or less valuable based on its relationships with and context to information found behind other links.”
Google’s use of breadcrumbs in search results is the focus of a recently submitted question to the Google Webmaster Central team. The question was, “Google is showing breadcrumb URLs in SERPs now. Does the kind of delimiter matter? Is there any best practice? What character to use is best? > or | or / or???” Google’s Matt Cutts responded:
Matt says you should have a set of delimited links on your site that accurately reflect your site’s hierarchy. He also notes, however, that it is still in the “early days” for breadcrumbs.
“Think about the situation with sitelinks,” he says. “Whenever we started out with sitelinks, it took a while before…for example, we added the ability in Google Webmaster Tools where you could remove a sitelink that you didn’t like or that you thought was bad. So we started out, and we did a lot of experiments, and we’ve changed the way that sitelinks look several times. And we have different types of sitelinks (within a page, and the standard ones you’re familiar with). So we’ve iterated over time.”
In this same way, he says, Google is in the early stage with breadcrumbs and he has seen different experiments with them. For example, there have been prototypes where the breadcrumbs were in the rich snippet gray line, above the regular snippet. “Having it in the URL is kind of nice, but it could still change over time,” he says.
He says the best advice he can give is to make sure you have a set of delimited links that accurately reflect your site’s hierarchy, and that will give you the best chance of getting breadcrumbs to show up in Google, but Google will continue to work on ways to improve breadcrumbs. He says any new announcements about it will likely be made on the Google Webmaster blog.
While Matt doesn’t exactly lean toward one way or another with regards to which character to use as asked about in the submitted question, all of the examples I have seen highlighted show the “>” used. That includes examples from Google’s original announcement on the inclusion of breadcrumbs (if you see other ways, please point them out in the comments). Based on that, if I were going to choose one, I’d go with that.
There are three types of breadcrumbs (as described here): path, location, and attribute. Path breadcrumbs show the path that the user has taken to arrive at a page, while location breadcrumbs show where the page is located in the website hierarchy. Attribute breadcrumbs give information that categorizes the current page. Obviously, location breadcrumbs would be the ones Google is using (although with personalized search becoming more of a factor, who knows in the future?).
At least in certain parts of the world, Google has revised its approach to connecting people with security products. Avast Free Antivirus is now included in eight different versions of the Google Pack bundle of software.
Try to download Google Pack in Czech, French, German, Italian, Polish, Portuguese, Russian, or Spanish, and you’ll see Avast’s logo among symbols for Chrome, Google Earth, Picasa, and a handful of other things. This endorsement should help Avast Free Antivirus Version 5 find its way onto more than a few new computers.
Of course, the odd thing is that Spyware Doctor with Anti-Virus, and not Avast’s product, is still recommended to anyone who takes a look at Google Pack in English. Whether this is because the change is experimental or Google’s been caught mid-rollout is hard to say.
Or perhaps Google’s just really trying to split hairs with regards to what security software is most effective in different markets.
It’s likely that the adjustment represents some form of payback, though. Alex Chitu, who wrote about it, also noted, “In December, Avast’s blog announced that the software will offer users the option to install Google Chrome.”
ExactTarget released some new findings today about email use, finding that it is increasing, with social media and smartphones playing key roles.
Social media replacing email has become a hot topic. WebProNews ran an article on the topic recently, as something of a response to a recent Wall Street Journal piece, which seemed to declare email all but dead. We took the opposite stance, and so does ExactTarget’s research.
“The total number of social media users is rapidly increasing, but often these users jump in quickly, only to curtail their use of social media over time,” said Morgan Stewart, ExactTarget’s director of research and strategy. “Email on the other hand, is woven into all online interaction, making it an essential tool that consumers continue to use more and more.”
“Nearly 40 percent of students use smartphones and two-thirds of those use email,” said Mike Hanley, director of the Institute for Mobile Media Research in the study. “The increased use of mobile email is significant because it reverses the five-year trend of declining email use among college students.”
ExactTarget notes that while email is here to stay, the channel is presented with some challenges, such as those that stem from increased volume and consumer’s adoption of multichannel messaging. The firm names two tactics that marketers should implement to drive continued email success:
- To break through consumers’ inbox clutter, marketers should deliver timely, relevant and personalized emails to consumers
– Due to consumers’ increasing receptivity to promotional messages via text, marketers should develop mobile messaging strategies.
Where do you stand in the email debate? Feel free to leave your comments below, or join the existing conversation on the topic over here.
To say that 2009 has been the year of Google Wave might be a stretch. It was introduced this year, and invites have been sent out to quite a few people now. It has been the subject of a fair amount of discussion, but it hasn’t reached the mainstream yet.
That said, 2009 was the year Google Wave was unleashed upon the world in its most primitive state. There is certainly a lot of potential for Wave, and we will no doubt see that more and more as time goes on if it truly does “catch on.”
We have already seen some pretty cool things done with it. For example, the Google Wave Pulp Fiction video has already become something of a cult classic in the tech industry (contains strong language):
Another Google Wave video has surfaced, uploaded to YouTube by RockYourWhirled (via LifeHacker). It recaps the year with Google Wave. It fits in pretty well with the rest of the year-end discussion, and shows how Google Wave can be used to communicate ideas at the same time.
Facebook users are a pretty important group of people; after all, in recent months, it’s been established that there are more of them than there are individuals in the United States. So to wrap up 2009, Facebook’s provided a list that helps spell out what its users have been thinking about all year.
You can view the list of top status trends below. It was made possible thanks to something termed “Facebook Memology,” and as you can see, has been a bit simplified (condensing Farmville, Farm Town, and Social Living into “Facebook Applications,” for example).
We’ll respect your intelligence by just hitting some of the items that might not be completely obvious. Here’s a quick one: at number two, “FML” stands for “f*ck my life.” Which makes sense given the economy’s nosedive.
Then, at number eleven, “years” is nothing more than a reference to dates like 2008, 2009, and 2010. Apparently a lot of folks thought about life on something other than a day-to-day basis.
Finally, “yard” is simply a reference to the green things that surround houses. To explain this word’s presence, data scientist Lars Backstrom theorized on the Facebook Blog, “[H]ipsters’ moms and dads are also on Facebook, and these folks have yards that require some tending.” Or it might have something to do with the housing stimulus and a fair number of young people getting yards for the first time.
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I had just dropped my daughter off at school this morning. As I waited at a traffic light a woman was making a left turn heading in my direction. I noticed she rolled down her window despite the rain that was falling. Immediately my mind went to “She’s smoking.” I was right. Next I went to the inevitable “She is going to toss that cigarette butt into the middle of the road” because in her nicotine choked mind that is not littering, She did. She then made the turn toward me and I saw the child in the back seat in a safety seat and I said “Wow, I need to pray for that poor kid.”
You see the whole idea of smoking is filthy to me. I can say this because I once smoked (for about 10 years) so I am not some inexperienced windbag spouting off about this. I know how dirty, disgusting and unattractive the habit is because I have done it. I know it so much so that I can see and predict behaviors of this group of people to the tee just like I did with this lady.
Same goes for social media. There are dirty tactics, tricks and habits that are employed that are indicators of predictable behaviors of many in the social media realm. See if you have seen these.
You are now being followed by ……
For some reason I have not turned off these e-mail alerts. Maybe it’s because the influx of these followers of mine on Twitter is light. Why is it light? Mainly because I am not on it 24 / 7 and I don’t do anything to goose the numbers. At any rate, I would say that in 60% of the cases I can predict what my new follower is up to. How? Well, when you are followed by GHT63iKT (Jim Smith) it doesn’t exactly inspire warm relational thoughts. Nope, this is just another spam account that is out there for their spammy reasons.
The go getter ……..
This is the person who has the Tony Robbins approach to social media and comes of as so insincere that you can’t decide whether to despise or pity them. These people are generally after your wallet so they are not exactly the prototype of a real social media user.
The Social Sychophant ……….
A sychophant is defined as a self seeking, servile flatterer; fawning parasite. While this is a harsh view, there are some people who are high up the social media food chain who have incredible minds but ruin their delivery through this kind of behavior.
The sales guy ……….
I have to be very careful of this one personally because I am a career sales person who is finding the world to be a very different place as a result of social media. If someone ends up doing business with you in part due to your social media interactions and you felt it was a natural progression then that is good. If, however, you feel as if someone ‘befriended’ you then sold you something then kind of ‘went away’ then this is a bad use of social media. No chance for a relationship there, just a commission.
There are more and they can be investigated at a later date or in the comments if you would like to add or subtract from my thoughts here. Remember this though, if you are doing something in the social media world that is not with the best intention you are likely telegraphing every next move just like that woman who didn’t litter by tossing that cigarette butt out the window in front of a crowded intersection of cars and that poor child of hers. You will be found out. No one can keep dirty habits and secrets forever.
By Gayla Goodman
Israel News Agency
Jerusalem —- November 26, 2009 ….. The Israel News Agency, the first on-line, Israel government Press Office accredited news service established in 1995, is now offering SEO search engine optimized news release and news story placement and distribution to the general public.
“The Israel News Agency, a pioneer in providing on line news, reaches up to 60 million readers on the Internet as it is indexed by thousands of various on line news services. The INA was the first news service on the Net to optimize news PR stories for governmental, commercial and non-profit organizations,” said Israel News Agency Publisher and Editor-In-Chief Joel Leyden.
“Most news releases get lost on the Internet. The Israel News Agency takes PR news releases and edits them to make them friendly for the search engines including Google, Google News, Yahoo, Microsoft Bing, BUZZ, DIGG and AOL. We provide a mixture of real time news stories and PR media placements. The press releases are edited and turned into news stories. Then we drive traffic into these PR news stories through Web 2.0 social networking sites such as Facebook, Twitter, YouTube and Blogs.”
Leyden says that the SEO news press releases often migrate from Google News to Google Web and Yahoo in extremely highly ranked positions given the link density of the Israel News Agency and the optimized news content.
“The real creative balance here is being able to seduce both the search engine and the reader with news content which is interesting, accurate, timely and still belongs to the English language,” says Leyden.
The Israel News Agency will divide it’s news content and news releases into three different categories: real-time news and feature stories, paid news stories which will be designated as such with the (INAPR) symbol placed on the news release and PSA or public service announcements.
“The Israel News Agency was the first news organization to optimize news content for the search engines,” says Leyden. “We have integrated years of professional experience from the fields of journalism, public relations, public affairs, crisis communications, B2B and B2C branding marketing and Internet SEO search engine optimization programming.”
Over the years the Israel News Agency has produced stories from New York, London, Los Angeles, Toronto, Montreal and Jerusalem to Tel Aviv, Paris, India, China, Switzerland and Germany addressing several industries. These commercial and non-profit categories include: agriculture PR, beauty PR, fashion PR, music PR, entertainment PR, culture PR, politics public affairs, environment PR, financial pr, food Pr, heath care medical bio tech PR, hi tech, hardware, software, security PR, defense, home furnishings, sports PR, travel PR, Web 2.0 and social networking new media PR.
“We have professional SEO copy writers and editors working in New York, London and Jerusalem,” says Leyden. “We have specialized in Israel and Jewish affairs but are now opeing the doors of the Israel News Agency to all nations, all industries. The only PR news stories news releases that we will not accept will be from hard sex porn and or on line gaming Web sites.”
At present, Google and Google News are receving over 90.0 million uniques hits per days with Yahoo! Search at 68 million, uniques hits, MSN Search at 49.7 million uniques hits, Ask Jeeves at 43.7 million uniques hits and AOL Search at 36.1 million uniques hits.
“Lastly, the Israel News Agency has and will continue to increase online visibility and website traffic with news and press release distribution services, but at half the cost. Hundreds of companies and organizations from the US, UK, Europe and Asis use outsourcing to us in Israel where production costs are about 50 percent less and our editorial staff is as good or more experienced from covering Israel and the Middle East. With the our press and news release distribution services business owners can have the most current information about their company online reaching millions within minutes.”
“One can actually say that our news and press release distribution services are combat ready, trained and proven,” says Leyden, who co-created the first commercial Webiste for Israel in 1995, co-created the Website for the Israel Defense Forces and became the first SEO PR professional in Israel.
Leyden is presently negotiating with several investors to launch the United States News Agency.
“We know how to hit and penetrate specfic global and demographic B2B, B2C, governmental and general and trade editorial target markets within minutes. And the beauty about the Internet, the potent traffic results are visible in real-time in black and white.”
Now, Internet is one of major ways to get traffic for your business. You can lots of traffic to your website that can be converted into customer for you. For getting traffic from Internet, you may use Internet marketing method, organic SEO as well PPC program. PPC program contains bid strategy for your business at search engine. there are lots of PPC programs provided by lots of companies like Google, Yahoo, Microsoft, ABC-search.
PPC programs is part of search engine marketing. With unique bid for your ads, you would get more traffic from search engine that would turn into customer. First PPC program is created by Yahoo named with GO program. Later around 2000, Google introduces own PPC program that is one of popular program for PPC campaign. In PPC program is related to pay per click, your ads would be shown at search engine result and you would be charged for every click. For creating ads there are some guidelines to follow them. Ads contain format related to text ads, image ads, video ads, local business ads and mobile phone ads.
For all different ads format, there are different guidelines and platform limitation. Means for keywords based result, you can show your image based and video based ads there. You can show your ads based on text format. For most of PPC program, you would be charged for click as well as impression.
What is impression?
If your ads are shown to 1000 times, then you would be charged for shown your ads, even though, your ads are not clicked by users. In Impression, you would be charged for showing your ads as well as charged moreover, if some one clicked. In PPC program, you would have fully control about to show your ads, like where you want to show your ads and bid for your clicks, exclude website names, reports and billing account details.
PPC program is one of method to get instant traffic to your website. with proper PPC bidding and deep handling, you can make your business towards profits but in lack of experience, you would loss then gain. For any companies, PPC services are also provided by them. For any web promotion companies, PPC services are also provided by them. search engine optimization services are called organic services that are different than PPC. email marketing services are also one of Internet marketing method.
Google provides free webmaster tools like yahoo’s explorer services for webmaster of their website.Webmaster tools are one of great services provided by Google to communicate with website so that they may solve all issue related to SEO and may get their website on Top for targeted keywords.
Like yahoo website explorer, you also need to verify about ownership of your website by two methods 1), Adding Meta Tags 2). Uploading support file at your server, Then verify by Googlebot . In Google there are seven category including overview. Each category has specific errors reports so that webmaster could not be confuse and easily can solve the issues.
Overview Category: It has overview about indexing, top search quires, web crawl issues like HTTP errors, Not found, URLs not followed and more.
Settings Category: This category allows you to tell Google search engine to crawl your website. You may use tools like Geographic target, Preferred domain, Image search and Crawl rate.
Diagnostics Category: It has overview about web crawl, mobile crawl and content analysis issues. IN web crawl section you would get errors reports like Errors for URLs in Sitemaps, HTTP errors, Not found, URLs not followed and URLs restricted by robots.txt . In mobile crawl section, you would get information Mobile CHTML crawl errors, Mobile WML/XHTML crawl errors . In content analysis section you would get issues like same Title, Same Meta Tags and Short Meta Tags Descriptions.
Statistics Category: This has five section like top search queries, What Googlebot sees, Crawl stats, index stats and subscriptions stats. In top search queries, you would get name of search queries from where you are getting traffics to your website and number of percentage about to your website traffics. Crawl stats describe information about number of downloaded bandwidth, average number of crawl pages and time spending for downloading. In Googlebot sees section, you would see, how Googlebot sees to your website. Index stats tells about website information like indexed page, number of backlinks, related website and cached pages. Subscriptions stats tells number of subscribers from iGoogle, Google reader and orkut.
Links Category: This category has three sections with external links, as well as internal links also along with sitelinks .
Sitemap Category: It has information related to your website sitemap. With information like, number of pages crawled in sitemap, any errors, last time downloaded sitemap, resubmit sitemap as well as delete sitemap control.
Tools Category: It has some collection of tools like remove your web pages, enhanced your 404 page, generate robots txt file. analyze robots txt file.
These tools as well as errors report help to webmaster to optimize their websites. For any seo services provided by seo companies, these tools and reports are very important. UAE search engine optimization or Dubai search engine optimization companies are also now growing in Middle East region.