December 11

The Weekly Briefing: Where to Send Your Customers to Write Google Reviews

Marketing Specialist Chip Fox discussed recent changes to Google+ that affect local businesses…
Google continues to make changes to Google+, most recently separating Google Business listings from the struggling social media platform. Essentially, this means your new business listing is what appears in the knowledge graph via search results. And while G+ business pages were probably not getting much traffic anyways, it has presented somewhat of a dilemma in the online marketing community: Where do you send your customers to post reviews now that G+ business links are dead? Greg Gifford of Search Engine Land suggests using a tool called the Review Link Generator as a workaround. It’s a great trick that every business should utilize – at least until Google makes another change. After you’ve generated the link, you can easily share it across your site and social media platforms.

SEO Copywriter Hannah Scherrer discussed a new Google Ads format…

Google appears to be testing a new format for its Home Services Ads platform. Originally launched with a limited release in the San Francisco Bay area this past July, the original version listed sponsored home service providers above organic search results in a traditional non-organic format. However, according to a report from Search Engine Land, a newly spotted version of Home Services Ads opts for a smaller format – instead asking users to enter a zip code and the type of work they’re looking to have done. The new format saves space in search results…but will searchers actually use it? Only the results of Google’s testing will tell.

Account Manager Reed Langton-Yanowitz discussed an article on whether or not you should buy ads for your own brand terms…

In an article from Search Engine Watch, Chris Lake explores whether or not buying ads for your own brand terms is worthwhile. He shows an example of the company TaskRabbit in which typing “taskrabbit” into Google search showcases a paid non-organic listing above the actual organic search result. While this may seem redundant, he admits there are some good reasons for using this tactic – including that it allows you to boost your quality score, keeps the competition “at bay,” increases your traffic (even if just slightly), allows you to hide something unflattering below the fold, lets you to choose your own sitelinks, and it really doesn’t cost much to bid on your own terms anyways.

Copywriter Angela Sanders discussed why algorithm updates don’t always deserve the blame for declining traffic…

Your rankings suddenly drop and the culprit? Obviously a Google algorithm change…right? That’s not always the case, argues Winston Burton in an article on Search Engine Land. Rather, websites experiencing this dilemma need to consider other things, instead of always supposing its from the Pandas and Penguins of the world. Burton offers a few different recommendations – including exploring whether you’re mobile friendly, looking at your historical data, checking your Analytics configuration, assessing other marketing campaigns, looking at technical issues, and more.