Archive for June, 2015

Title: Google Algorithm Update (‘Colossus’ or ‘News-Wave’) Google Trends-Related?

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network

On June 17, Google’s algorithm seemed to get a mysterious jolt with a mysterious update that Google deemed a routine, non-major change. Google specifically said the update was not related to Panda, Penguin, or HTTPS. They wouldn’t comment further. They just said, “We’re always making improvements to our search algorithms and the web is constantly evolving. We’re going to continue …

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Title: Google Penalizes Site It Invests In

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network

Google has penalized a company that it backs financially in search results, by taking manual action on it for apparently violating its guidelines.

Last year, Google launched Google Capital, a growth equity fund to fund growth-stage businesses. The eighth company it invested in was Thumbtack, a site that introduces people to “qualified professionals” in hundreds of categories to help them complete projects. Customers answer questions about their needs, and Thumbtack connects them with these professionals.

Search Engine Land reports that it has confirmed with Thumbtack that it received a manual action for “unnatural links to your site,” and that it has seen a “huge decline” in Google referrals as a result, which has impacted the leads that the professionals in its network receive. The company also claims to have never paid for any links.

Those who have analyzed the situation believe this solicitation for links (which someone shared in the Moz Q&A forum) might have something to do with it:

As others have noted, this might fall into what Google considers a link scheme, which is against its guidelines.

It has to be embarrassing for Google when it has to penalize a site that it is directly supporting. Still, it’s not as embarrassing as the time Google had to penalize its own Chrome site.

Images via Thumbtack, Imgur

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Title: Google Now On Tap Could Help Your Visibility

Search Engine News, Search Engine Optimization

Article Source: Link Exchange Service Network

Last week at Google I/O, Google announced the launch of something called Google Now On Tap. It’s a new feature in the latest version of Android, which the company unveiled in developer preview. You’d be forgiven if you missed that particular announcement as the company made many of them.

Google Now on Tap is essentially a way for you to utilize Google Now on your own terms rather than in the confines of Google itself. While Google Now already served as a virtual assistant, this makes it even more so.

Do you see Google Now on Tap as a new opportunity to increase visibility of your content? Share your thoughts about it in the comments.

“Since we launched Google Now, we’ve been expanding the ways it can help and do more of the work for you,” says director of product management Aparna Chennapragada. “You can get notifications like where you parked your car, news stories based on your interests, or help with travel like your upcoming reservations. We’ve also gotten better at giving smarter answers to some of your questions (‘Is my flight on time?’) and at helping you get things done across your apps (‘Ok Google, play Sugar on Spotify’).”`

“We’re working to make Google Now a little smarter in the upcoming Android M release, so you can ask it to assist you with whatever you’re doing—right in the moment, anywhere on your phone,” Chennapragada explains. “With ‘Now on tap,’ you can simply tap and hold the home button for assistance without having to leave what you’re doing—whether you’re in an app or on a website. For example, if a friend emails you about seeing the new movie Tomorrowland, you can invoke Google Now without leaving your app, to quickly see the ratings, watch a trailer, or even buy tickets—then get right back to what you were doing.”

“If you’re chatting with a friend about where to get dinner, Google can bring you quick info about the place your friend recommends,” Chennapragada adds. “You’ll also see other apps on your phone, like OpenTable or Yelp, so you can easily make a reservation, read reviews or check out the menu.”

When the user taps and holds the home button, Google presents options for its best guess of what might be helpful in the moment. If it doesn’t provide the right thing(s), the user can say, “Ok Google” from any screen or app. If it works as advertised it’s pretty smart. If you’re listening to a band on Spotify, Google says you can simply ask “who’s the lead singer?” and it will get you the answer.

As Google notes, it shows apps from your phone that may help with what you’re doing based on context. It might tap IMDb for movie review, OpenTable for reservations, etc.

There’s an SEO element to all of this. App indexing. Google recently made App Indexing a ranking signal for mobile search results on Android devices, and announced that it’s starting to index iOS apps as well. Google Now on Tap is another reason to utilize app indexing.

Clickz says Google Now on Tap “makes app search optimization more critical than ever.” Emily Alford reports:

While the announcement comes as a boon to app developers, it also means that it’s now more important than ever for brands to think about App Search Optimization (ASO) along with SEO, since Google is taking both into consideration for Now on Tap, according to Danielle Levitas, senior vice president of research and analysis for App Annie, which provides app ranking data and mobile analytics for businesses.

“Part of the reason Google is providing deep linking is to give developers another way to be discovered outside of the app store,” says Levitas. “SEO is still critical, but you’ve also got to think about ASO, which has to do with keywords for discoverability, how an app is described, and even its reviews. But Now on Tap actually makes mobile and the app experiences easier for brands to execute because they can think about discoverability as a continuum as opposed to these two very disparate platforms.”

Google says Now on Tap another way for developers to get their apps in front of their users at the right moment. If you have an app with content that people need to see, well, that applies to you. Luckily, beyond app indexing, there’s nothing else you really have to do to be integrated with Now on Tap. Just have your app indexed by Google.

While optimizing for Google via app indexing is one thing, businesses will also need to market their actual apps in other ways to drive app installs. The more people who have your app installed, the more chances they’ll have to actually see the content within via Now on Tap. As the Clickz article points out, a lot of downloaded apps are rarely opened, and Now on Tap could be just what those apps need to get more engagement from the users who downloaded them in the first place.

Google does say it will have more details about everything once the release of Android M gets closer. In the meantime, I really can’t urge you enough to get your mobile apps indexed, and if you don’t have a mobile app, now is a better time than ever before to build one or have one built. It’s becoming a matter of visibility in Google, and that’s not even taking the Google Play Store into account, which is now doing paid search results like Google Search.

Do you intend to take advantage of app indexing? Do you expect Google Now on Tap to make a significant difference? Share your thoughts in the comments.

Images via Google

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