Archive for the ‘Google and Search Engines’ Category

How Long Will It Take to See Results from Search Engine Optimization?

Wednesday, September 14th, 2011

Dear Florida SEO,

I just launched a new website two weeks ago and haven’t seen it show up in the search results yet. It’s been optimized for all of the keywords my customers are searching for. How long will it take to see the results (excuse the pun) from SEO?

- Frustrated in Fairbanks

Dear Frustrated, it’s possible that it will take a while for a brand new website to be found. In fact, there are some things you can do and check to make sure your website is as visible as possible to the search engines.

That said, I’ve seen search engine optimization start to work in as little as one week and as long as three months. To be safe, allow your website to take up to three months to show more visibility from SEO. For existing websites that have been optimized after (and even long after) launch, we’ve even seen dips in statistics (both rankings and traffic) for up to three months due to all the changes made, before there is an increase – and benefit – from SEO.

What takes Google so long to recognize my changes?

Think about it. You just made a major change to the Interwebs: you either just launched a new website or you drastically changed a lot on your current website. Google and the other search engines now have to take a moment to reevaluate the changes and re-rank you accordingly. Unfortunately, that takes time.

Tried and true methods will help get your site to the top of those search results in no time and faster than if you didn’t do them; here are just a few:

  • Gain more incoming links
  • Blog, blog, and blog some more
  • Acquire directory listings
  • Incorporate a sitemap
  • Sign up for and install Google Webmaster Tools

Why I Still Can’t Buy Into Google+

Friday, August 5th, 2011

Google comes out with a new social network, what, every 5 minutes? Don’t get me wrong, I love Google just as much as the next person…maybe even more.

Really? Another place to go?

2 years ago, social media was still in its infancy. We’d all willingly go separately to Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, FriendFeed, Plurk (what, you never had a Plurk account?!), the list goes on and on.

Then something beautiful happened. Some smart people decided that was unnecessary. They decided we should save 30 seconds for every post and status update, post it to one platform (like Ping.fm or TweetDeck), and have it magically transported to multiple social networks.

Unless I’m wrong (and that happens more often than I’d like to admit), Google+ has yet to integrate their platform with anything like TweetDeck or Ping.fm so that you can post the same status to multiple platforms.

Strike one, Google+.

I’ve been hurt in the past.

Remember Buzz? Remember Wave?! Google’s tried this before and I always willingly jumped on the bandwagon. This time, however, I’m way more skeptical. Who knows, though, maybe the third time really is the charm for them.

For the moment, though, only my professional contacts have jumped on Google+. That’s all well and good, but I can keep in touch with them on a ton of other networks…or at least two big ones.

I believe that’s strike two.

It’s a Facebook copycat…for the most part.

I know, I know. There are elements of Twitter in there too. For the most part, though, this is a recreation of Facebook. News feed, profiles, security settings, and all. Even the circles (while way cooler looking) are reminiscent of Facebook lists for me.

Don’t get me wrong, Google+ has certainly done some things to set itself apart from the crowd. The simple fact that it’s a Google product and therefore automatically synced with all of the other Google products is very cool. But at its core, I don’t see anything different enough to be worth it…now.

And if my math is right, that’s strike three.

I will admit…

I haven’t really given Google+ a chance. I’ve played around a bit, but nothing major. I automatically saw all of these things within the first few hours of using it and have essentially dismissed it since.

However, since I work remotely, I’ve found that the hangout function is pretty cool. I can chat with several of my coworkers at the same time and – gasp! – can see them all at the same time too!

I’m more than happy to be proven wrong, but for the moment, I think I’ll stick to Twitter and Facebook. What about you? What has your G+ experience been like so far?

Nicki Hicks
Maybe you’ll convince me by adding me on G+

Everything You Need to Know About Google+: The Ultimate Mashup of Google+ Guides

Sunday, July 24th, 2011

If you haven’t heard, Google launched yet another social network: Google+. Now available to anyone with a Google account, G+ is a new way to share content through Google.

Since there have been so many great posts on the matter, I’m not going to reinvent the wheel.

Official introduction from Google

The official introduction from Google, complete with a bit about circles, sparks, hangouts, and more.

Introduction to Google+

A post by Kevin Brooks of Forge Brands on how he has started using Google+. Kevin believes businesses aren’t ready for G+…yet, and it will be used – in the mean time – for personal reasons.

First Night with Google Plus: This is Very Cool

A post by Marshall Kirkpatrick of Read Write Web on how Google+ has really added value (that Facebook and Twitter are unable to do) around privacy. He talks a little bit about circles, photo sharing, sparks, and the mobile app. Kirkpatrick feels that Google Plus offers a “very compelling experience.”

Google Launches Google+ To Battle Facebook

A post by Ben Parr that includes screen shots and descriptions on Google+ features including circles, photos and group video chat, sparks, and mobile. Parr concludes with “only time will tell if Google has finally found its magical arrow.”

Everything You Need To Know About Google+ (Including What The Heck It Is)

This post by Steve Kovach outlines the basics of Google+ in an easy and simple way.

Google Plus: All You Need to Know About Google+

A post by our own Joan Crocker, complete with some start up information and cheat sheets about G+.

Is Google+ the Ultimate Content Marketing Platform?

A post by Brian Clark on how Google+ has the potential to become the “ultimate content marketing platform.” Clark mentions how G+ is the fastest growing social network despite its invitation only limited-access, combines Twitter and Facebook in a new and exciting way, and “+1’s” on Google can (and will) help improve search rankings. Bottom line, join Google+ and start sharing!

Now for the hard part

A post by MG Siegler in TechCrunch, in talking to Bradley Horowitz and Vic Gundotra, on how Google+ is attempting to emulate how relationships work in the real world. He goes into depth on all the different functions of Google+, including circles,  the “sandbar” (black toolbar on top), sparks, huddles, hangouts, photo sharing, social integration…complete with video tutorials.

Take the Tour

Think you’re ready to try G+, but not quite positive yet? Take the tour and play with the all new tools.

Nicki Hicks
Follow me on Google+

Brand New from Google: Voice Search, Search by Images, and Instant Pages

Thursday, June 16th, 2011

This week, I watched Google’s live developer’s conference called Inside Search. You can watch the entire event here.

Google launched a ton of really cool new ways to search, as well as made their processes even faster.

Voice Search

Fun facts

  • Two years of non-stop speech comes into Google mobile search every day.
  • Foundations of a successful speech interface include accuracy and ubiquity (available for every device and application).
  • Currently cover speech enablement for about 27 languages and about 2/3 of the world’s populations.

This week, Google is launching voice search for the desktop. If you use Google mobile app, you’ve probably used voice search before. Now, you’ll be able to do the very same thing with Google’s desktop version: speak into your computer’s microphone and search!

For all the in’s and out’s of this new product, check out Google’s video on it.

Search by Images

Mobile search by Images

This has been live for a little while, but I haven’t played around with it yet. Using Google’s mobile app, you can choose the camera icon, take a picture (I took a picture of my MacBook), and Google will use the image to search. As you can see, it saw I captured a MacBook Pro and Google!

At Inside Search, it was announced Google is also launching search by images. Like voice search, you’ll be able to do the same thing on your desktop as you can your phone. Once you see the camera icon show up in your Google search box, you’ll have multiple ways to search by images:

  • Copy and paste image URL
  • Upload image from desktop
  • Drag and drop inmage into search box
  • Chrome/Firefox extensions

How would you use search by images? Here’s an example. I have a favorite water color artist, but I consistently forget her name. I have one of my favorite paintings of hers saved on my computer, so all I have to do is drag and drop the image into the search box!

Google suggests that it thinks I’m looking for Stina Persson, along with the applicable sites and images that I might be interested in. How cool is that?!

For all the in’s and out’s of this new product, check out Google’s video on it.

Instant Pages

Last but not least, on average, it takes users 9 seconds to type a query (which Google fixed with Autocomplete), 15 seconds to choose a query (which Google fixed with Instant), and 5 seconds to load the page. This week, Google is launching Google Instant Pages.

In this feature, Google will apply Instant Pages to those websites it thinks people are more than likely going to choose from the results. As you can see from the video in this post, Instant Pages makes websites load, well, instantly.

Nicki Hicks
Like a kid in a candy shop



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