Have you ever wondered how Google understands what you want from it? When you ask Google a question, how do those millions of results show up so effortlessly, ranked in terms of relevancy and authority? Most everyone takes the process for granted – so in this infographic, Vertical Measures takes a look at the inner mechanics of the Google search engine and shows you how.
The Search Engine People has published a useful guide to Google Places. Now that we have G+, it has become confusing to know which service is for what. Along side Places we also have Google Plus Local, Google+ Business Page and Merged Google+ Local Page/Verified Local Google+ Page. It’s important to know as local search is great way to pick up new clients and customers
There has been a lot of change in the local landscape ever since Google rolled out Google+ in 2011. From Google Maps, to Google Places, to Google+ Local and Google+ Business Pages it seems near impossible to keep tabs on what exactly local SEO’s and small businesses are dealing with when it comes to managing their local presence on Google. It all started with the conversion of roughly 80 million Google Places Pages into 80 million Google+ Local Pages and its all been downhill from there. Small business owners and local search geeks alike have spent days scratching their heads trying to make sense out of it all, but by the end of this post you should be able to look at the various listings in Google’s local landscape and know exactly what it is you or your business is working with.
We all like to be identified with the content that we write, most of the time. As Google+ makes itself felt through out the Google empire, this identification will become more important.
When we conduct a search for something, if one our G+ friends (those in your cirlces) has written something relevant, their ranking in the search results will be made higher. But that only happens if you are logged in to G+, you will get ordinary results otherwise. Read this great article about the full implications - Your Google Plus Network Is More Powerful Than You Know
You might seem something like this, a picture of the author along side the result…
One of the many tools Google provides is the ability to declare your authorship. This is achieved using Microdata. It makes use of existing HTML and provides extra information about a page. So far Microdata is used for a few things; recipes, events, people, authorship etc.
When it comes to authorship though, Microdata is very handy…
- Declare your ownership of the content you have written
- Link your website to Google+ business pages
- Get your image associated with your content in search results (as per the example above).
For all the content that I write and that appears on my sites, I have now included a ‘bio’ that includes the Microdata markup.
Bob Toovey has been active on the Internet since 1998, a blogger/writer since 2006 and started dabbling with programming when he got his first Sinclair ZX81. He loves to blog about social media, marketing and food. You can find him on Google+, LinkedIn and Twitter
Each link has extra data that identifies it as being a profile. So for example, this page you are reading has links to my social networking profiles. Therefore Google now knows that I am the author, if this page appears in my G+ friends search results then my G+ profile picture will be included. Even Google Analytic’s has a labs section on author stats.
This all sounds like a Google special and to get the benefits you need a Google account. Not true, Schema.org states that…
Search engines including Bing, Google, Yahoo! and Yandex rely on this markup to improve the display of search results, making it easier for people to find the right web pages.
You could consider the inclusion of Mircodata markup as G+ enhancements. However, if it’s seen as a way of, “making it easier for people to find the right web pages.“, then it’s also SEO.
If you are a user of Google+ then you really should consider using Microdata. It could give you the edge you have been looking for!
Google has just made available a new tool, Data Highlighter, to create rich snippets (also know as structured data markup) from webpages. It sounds rather technical but it’s an easy way to show Google what’s important and how to find extra hidden detail.
So far, it’s setup to for calendar events, such as concerts, sporting events, exhibitions, shows, and festivals. Other types of information are to follow, as is other languages. So far it is only available in English. One of the more interesting aspects is that once you have shown the system some examples, it will learn how to find the events from your site automatically. Once done, Google takes over.
Get a better idea of what it’s all about with this video…
So why is it important to business? Use it to tell Google when you have sales, demonstrations, shows, training days and more. You will also get more out of it…
- if you have already setup your website with the right meta tags to show where you are located
- registered your business with Google Places
The reason you will get more out of it is because Google will mix in events with search results. So if any one does a search on the town where your business is, your business will be mentioned because of it’s location and your events will also get listed.
An example of just your listing with events mixed in…
If you have not already done so, sort yourself out a Google Webmaster tools account. The tool can be accessed from there, under “Optimization” link in the left sidebar, and click “Data Highlighter”.
There is a mixed view about guest posting. There are those who think writing guest posts is not worth it, some will not accept them and others think it’s a great idea. I side with it being a great idea. Not so much for link building but that it can help with credibility. However you see it, it has worked in the past.
If you are going to write a guest post for a site…
- Make sure it is unique and original, don’t spin articles
- Don’t write a post that reads like you stretched it the minimum word limit, 300 or so
- Write on topic!
- Make sure it reads like you have real knowledge of the subject
- Most sites will reject a guest post if you are only trying to promote a client (like SEO agencies etc). Write your post for you
Matt Cutts discusses these points and more…
The search engine has created a scary and interactive doodle for Halloween….