Posts Tagged ‘Google’

Happy Halloween from Mike Wilton

Monday, October 31st, 2011

Happy Halloween! Hope you all have a spooktacular day!

2011 Halloween Costume: Google+

This year I had a little fun and recreated my Google+ profile as a costume.  If you read the updates you’ll see that something strange is going on in the neighborhood…Hope you like it!

The Real Plus to Google+

Tuesday, July 5th, 2011

Last week I gave you all a rundown of Google+ tips for those who hadn’t yet had the chance to really dive-in and get their hands dirty or for those who had yet to receive an invite.  However, what I am finding is a bigger advantage to Google+ is that it is offering up some prime opportunities to not only rekindle, but build online relationships.

Early on Google Engineer Matt Cutts posted this in his stream on Google+

The feeling of building new friends and catching up with old is something I haven’t seen happen on a social network in a long time.  Sure, we connect with hundreds, if not thousands of people via Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, etc. on a daily basis.  But with Google+ I feel more people are getting an opportunity to be seen and heard where on other established networks they are often drowned out by noise.

Part of this, in my opinion, stemmed from the fact that only an elite few got in at first and then Google quickly halted invites.  You had an opportunity those first couple days to really engage the people in your circles and create conversations that might easily have been ignored on something like Twitter.  With less saturation the platform created a stage for users to not only rekindle old online relationships, but also to create a great first impression.

Though I feel some of this opportunity may have passed (I had 4 rows of “People you may know on Google+” the first night and this has since increased to 76), the network is still new enough to put yourself out in front of your peers and both develop and strengthen your online relationships.  I know I have personally interacted with Local SEO Andrew Shotland on Google+ far more than I ever have on Twitter or Facebook, and he is a fellow SEO whose work I have admired and followed for sometime.  He even went as far to share info regarding our search for a developer in my new startup venture Foodskout.

Take this opportunity to mold the relationships that matter to you most.  It’s not often that a new social network comes along that the masses flock to and actually like.  The real plus to Google+ is that it’s new, people are still finding their way around, the number of users is far less than Twitter or Facebook, and there is still a lot of time to build your influence within the network.

24 Hours of Google+: Tips for the Uninvited

Thursday, June 30th, 2011

By now you’ve probably heard of Google +, the latest attempt at social media from Google. If you haven’t, there are some great write ups on it here, here, and here, sorry I don’t feel like reinventing the wheel.

Overall I am enjoying the service. It doesn’t offer any wow features that stand out among other social sites, but it definitely has some potential if Google continues to integrate Google+ with other Google services and can catch the attention of the general public.

In the last 24 hours, myself and a number of other search geeks, techies, and social butterflies have been working our way through the service trying to find some tips and tricks to figure out exactly just how it ticks. Below are some of my top findings as well as some things fellow Google + users have pointed out along the way that can help any of you Google+ virgins, or those still dying for an invite.  These tips should help you once you find an in.

    • Disable Notifications – Unless you plan to blow up your inbox and phone, go to the settings and disable notification immediately. You might recall a similar ordeal with Google Buzz.
    • Pay attention to who you are adding to Circles – There are two sections when you enter the “Find and Invite” section. The first section of people are “people you may know on Google+” where are the second section are “people not using Google+”. Both are fed from your various Google contacts, but only some of them are actually using the service.

    • Disable auto uploads from your mobile device if you are using the Google+ mobile app. – We don’t want another Weinergate.
    • Google+ takes over your existing Google profile – If you are fond of your existing profile in Google, you need to understand it will be taken over by Google+ and fully integrate the Google+ features into it.
    • You can stylize your status updates or mention fellow Google+ users or circles using the following elements:
      • Bold with * * – This is carried over from Google Talk
      • Italicize with _ _ – This is carried over from Google Talk
      • Strikthrough with – -
      • Mention a Google+ user or Circl with @ or +
    • If someone comments on your status it will give it new life and will raise its position on the timeline. – A new comment will raise the position of a status update in user timelines based on the time the last comment was made.
    • +1 activity does not display in your stream – Unlike a Facebook “Like” the +1 updates you add via websites or Google’s search results will only display in the +1 section of your profile and not in your status updates.
    • Shared statuses only display the original user who posted the message. – Unlike Facebook, there is no timeline of users who Shared an item in the timeline.
    • You can edit your posts – If you screw up and make a typo or post something you might regret later, you have the ability to quickly edit your post. Thanks to Michael Wiegand for pointing this one out.

Finally, here are some tips from Google’s own Matt Cutts:

  • You can click on profile pictures to rotate through them. Nice find by +MG Siegler on that one.
  • In the stream, you can click ‘j’ to navigate down to the next item or ‘k’ to navigate up.
  • If you’re sharing a post with a small circle of people, you can prevent resharing. Click the arrow at the top-right of the post and choose “Disable reshare.”
  • If you’re looking for more fun things in your stream, the “Incoming” stream is stuff from people who are sharing with you, but who you haven’t added to a circle.
Overall Google+ has been a positive experience and it seems that those of us playing on it the most are learning more and more about the features, integrations, and pros and cons by the minute.  For those of you who have yet to receive a Google+ invite you are in for a real treat once the service re-opens to invites.  For those of you just diving into the social network I suggest taking your time to learn the ropes.  Play with the different features.  See what others are saying and sharing.  There is a great collection of people already using the service and sharing new tips on a regular basis.  While you’re there, be sure to look me up!

Google Algorithm Update Hurt You? Let Google Know

Thursday, March 3rd, 2011

For the last few weeks webmasters have been in a tizzy over the recent Google algorithm update that impacted just over 11% of Google’s queries.  In the aftermath many low-quality sites lost ranking in Google’s index, but in many instances legitimate websites with quality, original content were also impacted.  In an interview following the change, Google Fellow Amit Singhal told Wired Magazine that “no algorithm is 100 percent accurate.”  He went on to say that Google is already working to adjust the algorithm to help ensure that quality sites are not being penalized by their recent efforts.  However it would seem that Google has now gone a step further and is asking webmasters to let them know if they feel they have been impacted by the change so that their engineers can investigate further.

Yesterday, Michael Wyszomierski, AKA Wysz, a member of Google’s Product Quality team posted a new thread in the Webmaster Central help forum’s asking webmasters to let Google know if they feel they have been impacted.

“We recently made a change to our search ranking algorithms…According to our metrics, this update improves overall search quality. However, we are interested in hearing feedback from site owners and the community as we continue to refine our algorithms. If you know of a high quality site that has been negatively affected by this change, please bring it to our attention in this thread. Note that as this is an algorithmic change we are unable to make manual exceptions, but in cases of high quality content we can pass the examples along to the engineers who will look at them as they work on future iterations and improvements to the algorithm. So even if you don’t see us responding, know that we’re doing a lot of listening.”

The post has reached 128 replies at the time of this writing and is sure to grow as more webmasters become aware of the changes and discover this new thread.

The Google Guide To SEO Part 1: Choosing An SEO

Sunday, May 23rd, 2010

While wrapping up a meeting last week regarding a project I am working on, I got into a bit of a disagreement with an internet marketer that is being subcontracted by the development firm working on the project. Not wanting to argue in the middle of a meeting, I let him give his input, and ultimately told the one’s coordinating the project that it was their call.

In the end they opted for my recommendation, but I could tell that because of the conflicting points of view they were wary. It was in that moment that I realized how difficult it must be as an SEO client to really identify what the best practices are for optimizing their website. They look to the company providing SEO services for answers, but all too often they have another person or company telling them the complete opposite.

In this particular instance I was able to provide documentation from Google that supported my recommendation, and ultimately put everyone at ease. It also inspired me to write a series of posts outlining recommendations in regards to SEO and your website that come directly from Google.

Choosing an SEO

One of the first things Google recommends when it comes to finding someone to market your website is, “…become an educated consumer and get familiar with how search engines work.” I like to compare this to auto repair. Obviously not all of us know the ins and outs of how a car works, but we know enough to make decisions when it comes to our car repairs. We know that if your car doesn’t start and the repairman tells you that you need new tires, something isn’t right. The same applies to SEO. Learn enough to understand if something doesn’t seem right.

Some great starter resources include:

Ask Questions

The Google Search Engine Optimization page provides some useful questions that you can ask an SEO whom you are considering doing business with. But more importantly you should ask the questions that will help you truly understand what you are getting for your money. If it sounds too good to be true, it probably is.

Things To Watch Out For

“Be wary of SEO firms and web consultants or agencies that send you email out of the blue.” I couldn’t have said it better myself. If you own a website, you’ve seen these e-mails. They are usually e-mails from someone saying they were on your site and noticed you were in the search engines or that your site doesn’t rank for a particular keyword.

Google warns of this as do I. I would go a step further and say that if it comes from an @gmail.com, @aol.com, @yahoo.com, etc. e-mail address, then delete it immediately. If they are reputable they will most likely have a branded domain name and e-mail address that they are writing from.

Finally if the SEO you are considering mentions any of the following it’s time to look somewhere else:

  • Guaranteed Rankings
  • Excessive inbound links or Link Schemes
  • Cloaking
  • Keyword Stuffing
  • Copying content

The bottom line is that if it sounds too good to be true it probably is. It’s important to understand how SEO can benefit your site and in some instances hurt your site so that you make the most knowledgeable decision possible when choosing an SEO. What seems like a cheap quick fix for rankings now could cost you a lot more in the long run.