Google to Fight Scams & Fraud Directed at SMBs

Google to Fight Scams & Fraud Directed at SMBs
The company is filing new lawsuits, has developed tools and a stronger education program. Scammers claiming to represent Google continue to prey on small business owners. They often also make threats about removing listings or outrageous claims about ranking improvements. Sometimes they try to charge for things that are free on Google.

In the past, Google has done a number of things to try and stop this kind of fraud, including filing lawsuits. Now, it’s stepping up its efforts and has announced a new set of initiatives.

The company is taking legal action against several entities. In addition, it can now better identify accounts tied to scammers and remove them. Google has also developed a tool to let business owners report scams, and it’s providing a directory of trusted partners.

Here’s an abbreviated version of what Google says in its blog post:

•We’re taking legal action against Kydia Inc. d/b/a BeyondMenu, Point Break Media, LLC (and affiliated entities) and Supreme Marketing Group, Inc. d/b/a Small Business Solutions
•We’ve developed new automated and manual techniques to better identify Google accounts tied to scam efforts.
•We’ve created a new tool that lets business owners report scammy practices and policy violations.
•We’ve started providing resources and education to local small business organizations.
•We’re launching the Google My Business Partners program [with] a directory of trusted partners.

Google is also recommending steps that local business owners should take themselves:

•Make callers prove they’re from Google.
•Claim GMB pages.
•Understand that ranking claims are probably fake.
•Don’t respond to robocalls.
•Use the Do Not Call Registry.

The partner directory will be especially helpful. Litigation is also critical. To the extent that Google sues and wins, it will be a deterrent to firms (within the reach of US courts) trying to take advantage of the ignorance of small businesses.

Google Trends SEO Tool

Google Trends SEO Tool
Google trends new features allows you to identify where keywords are popular and target those geographic areas with specialised content or outreach. This information can be used for choosing content topic, PPC, link building, targeting content to specific audiences for maximum impact and so on.

Google Trends is one of the most useful SEO tools because it provides keyword information to help you understand how, where, and even when searchers are using keywords.

What Features are Updated, Google’s announcement highlighted three areas of improvement:

• New features
• Simpler navigation
• More ways to explore data and news stories

Here’s how Google’s announcement described its new features:

• A revamped Trending searches section, showing what is trending in search right now, both daily and minute-by-minute.
• A newly-designed section where you can see Google Trends data stories curated by the News Lab team on everything from the Trump Administration through Mother’s Day.
• Easy access to Year in Search data going back to 2001, so you can see how search interest has changed over time.
• New infographic types such as an intensity map to compare different topics in more meaningful ways.”

Looking at Cyber Crime

Looking at Cyber Crime
We are hooked on the internet and demand to be connected to the digital world 24/7. Our reliance on the online world and willingness to divulge our personal information with websites creates unique opportunities for criminals to steal our data, an extremely valuable commodity that can be exploited for vast profit.


Many people fail to recognize just how much of a widespread issue cybercrime is and as a result, fail to sufficiently protect themselves against it. Every individual and business with an online presence is vulnerable.

Although cybercrime cannot be stopped entirely, we can still take important measures to prevent it, which is why the cybersecurity industry is now worth a staggering $120 billion, a figure only likely to rise over the next few years. Even free anti-virus software like Avast can help protect against malware threats, which is why every computer or mobile device should have it installed.

To learn more about cybercrime and the role it’s now playing in our world, take a look at the updraft word press plugin blog post, who have provided an excellent infographic to visually demonstrate the realm of cyber crime.

Twitter to Filter Out Negative Tweets in Search Results

Twitter to Filter Out Negative Tweets in Search Results
Twitter is increasing up its efforts to filter out negative tweets in searches and conversations.

The algorithms Twitter uses to rank tweets will now take into account negative signals, which includes such factors as:

•Tweets sent by accounts with unconfirmed email addresses
•The number of accounts created by the user sending the tweets
•Tweets sent by accounts which repeatedly mention other accounts that aren’t following back
•IP addresses
•Whether a particular tweet prompted users to block the account that sent it

Twitter’s new approach to ranking tweets will not take into account the actual content of tweets. That’s because some troll-like behavior may good natured, and not have malicious intent behind it.

By not taking into account the content of tweets, Twitter can roll out these changes worldwide because language will not be a factor. Rather than completely removing tweets with negative signals, Twitter will filter them out by hiding them behind a “see more replies” button.

In testing, it was found that filtering negative tweets led to a 4% decline in abuse reports from search, and an 8% decline in abuse reports from conversations.

Google Confirms Shortened Search Results Snippets

Google Confirms Shortened Search Results Snippets
Google confirms it shortened search results snippets after expanding them last December. Google has confirmed that only about five months after increasing the search results snippets, it has now decreased the length of these snippets. Danny Sullivan of Google wrote, “Our search snippets are now shorter on average than in recent weeks.” He added that they are now “… slightly longer than before a change we made last December.”

Google told Search Engine Land in December that writing meta descriptions doesn’t change with longer search snippets, telling webmasters back then that there is “no need for publishers to suddenly expand their meta description tags.”

Sullivan said, “There is no fixed length for snippets. Length varies based on what our systems deem to be most useful. He added, Google will not state a new maximum length for the snippets because the snippets are generated dynamically.

RankRanger’s tracker tool puts the new average length of the description snippet field on desktop at around 160 characters, down from around 300+ characters while mobile characters for the search results snippets are now down to an average of 130 characters.

Why SEO Is Essential For Any Business

Three Reasons Why SEO Is Essential For Any Business
If you are a new business owner or a long-time business owner, then chances are you have been barraged with information about how essential it is to have a company website and, in recent years, a social media presence. In today’s business world, however, these two things are only the starting point. Now more than ever, search engine optimisation or SEO is what allows your current and potential clients to find you through targeted keyword searches so that you can in turn sell your products and service through your website and Facebook and Twitter feeds. Following are three of the most important reasons for developing an effective SEO marketing campaign in today’s business climate:

Online reviews
The good news is that your online reviewers are, in a sense, providing your SEO for free; the bad news is that you get what you pay for.

Depending on what your existing customers are saying about your product or service, this “free service” they are providing may or may not be a good thing. Although you run a sound business and are doing everything within reason to keep your clients happy, the fact remains that only those who have had either a very good or a very poor (in their view) experience dealing with you are going to take the time to create an account and log on to a customer review website to tell the world what was so wonderful – or not so wonderful – about your business.

If you don’t go to the trouble of telling potential clients what you can do for them in your own words, then you are leaving yourself at the mercy of those speaking for you. Even if unsolicited reviews of your company are overwhelmingly positive, customers looking for your service want, need and deserve more. In the interest of building your brand, it is imperative that you give potential a better sense of what to expect than most reviewers can.

Smartphones and tablets
The last time you paid your company’s liability insurance – or your home or automobile insurance – you might have been directed to an “app” through which payment could be made electronically. As a business owner, what this should tell you is that mobile devices such as smartphones and tablets have become so commonplace that more and more service-oriented companies have committed to providing apps as a means of improving access to their products and services. Smartphones and tablets are also being more widely used to search online for local products and services – hotels, restaurants, tow trucks and auto repair shops in the event of an unexpected mechanical failure, you name it. Any business which fails to seize on the opportunity to increase visibility through a local SEO marketing campaign does so at its peril.

The competition
If you decide to invest in SEO for no other reason, do it because your competitors are already on board. Particularly in industries in which individual businesses face lots of competition, it pays to invest in an organic SEO campaign which shows your current and future clients what is unique about your business, be it your location or any way in which your product or service is different from and better than all the rest. Don’t let the lack of an SEO marketing strategy keep your business from being as profitable as it can be!

Direct Submit Internet Marketing Services is dedicated to helping businesses of any size and in all sectors to reach and exceed their profit goals through effective and ethical SEO marketing. Whether yours is an established business with a website in need of more traffic or you’re just now venturing into cyberspace, Direct Submit will develop the ideal SEO marketing campaign to bring in new clients so that you can focus on the core business while watching revenues soar.

We provide a diverse range of  SEO and other Internet marketing strategies for UK businesses both large and small – at affordable costs. No matter your advertising budget, we will work with you to develop a campaign to help your clients find you right when they need you.

To learn more about how we can help you maximise profits, call us today on 0845 272 2350 or visit our Internet Marketing Services website today.

Make your Website Work Harder for your Business

Make your Website Work Harder for your Business
Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimisation (SEO) is simply a way of drawing traffic to your website through strategic use of keywords and key phrases that are relevant to what your potential clients are seeking out. With a well-designed company website and SEO marketing campaign, you will go from one handyman among many in your area to one whose company information is front and centre in online search results.

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Here are three simple yet effective ways of making your website work harder for your business.

Number 1: What Good is Traffic Without Conversions?
Make sure your Site is set up with the customer in mind – particularly relevant if you operate an ecommerce website. Why, well if your site does not convert well, then all the traffic in the world will not amount to any new business. So, here are a few tips to help your websites conversion ratio:

  • An easy “Call to Action” is a must
  • Final action/click should be no more than 2 to 3 clicks from the Home page
  • Engage the searcher, give them engaging & relevant content/media

Number 2:  Make sure to update your content & keep it fresh:

  • Search Engines continue to award freshness
  • Keep your websites content unique
  • Continue to review / refresh your content every 3-6 months.
  • Provide new pages with new information. This can help your website become more of an authority (important) within your industry which will provide new paths of traffic through different long-tail phrases.

Number 3: Focus On the Long-Tail Phrases (3 or 4 words)

  • “Long Tail” phrases convert better and they also make it easier to dominate your competition in the Search Rankings.
  • Go after the long-tail phrases with the short-tail as the base. By targeting the long-tail, the short-tail will also benefit.
  • People searching via long-tail phrases often know exactly what they’re looking for and because of that, they tend to convert into customers at a higher percentage.

Direct Submit Internet Marketing Services
Direct Submit Internet Marketing Services specialises in SEO and other Internet marketing strategies for UK businesses both large and small. No matter your advertising budget, we will work with you to develop a campaign to help your clients find you right when they need you.

To learn more about how we can help you maximise profits, call us today on 0845 272 2350 or visit our Internet Marketing Services website today.

Google Asks Dissatisfied Searchers to Submit Questions

Google Asks Dissatisfied Searchers to Submit Questions
If Google doesn’t have content for your query, it may ask you to help content creators to make content that will eventually answer your query. Google has confirmed it’s testing a new feature in the search results that asks searchers to submit a more detailed question to the company directly in the search results box. The box says, “Get the answer that you’re looking for added to the web,” and it feeds the information to Google. In exchange, Google tells us it may pass the question along to content creators who may be able to publish articles on their properties to better answer these questions.

Google is looking to create more content that it can index and ultimately return to searchers, which will help more searchers find what they are looking for. This content would not be given any special ranking boost, but would ultimately be indexed and ranked like any other piece of content Google discovers on the web.

A Google spokesperson told us that this is a small scale experiment designed to continue surfacing high quality, relevant results for our users by supporting a healthy content ecosystem. This surfaces when Google thinks the searcher is not finding what they are looking for. Then Google will experiment with ways to highlight these questions to content creators who may be able to publish articles on their properties to better answer these questions. One such way is demonstrated above.

Google added that the goal is to enrich the entire web ecosystem and thereby improve search results for users who may search for the same question in the future. Google said it does not plan to create that content, nor does the company plan to pay others to create the content. Google also told us it does not share any information with third parties beyond the actual text of the question typed by the user into the box provided. After the user submits the question, the box thanks them and closes automatically.

Keyword Research in 2018 – Maintaining Visibility in Google

Keyword Research in 2018 – Maintaining Visibility in Google
The online SEO blog ‘Search Engine Watch’ has posted an article on Keyword Research in 2018 and Maintaining Visibility in Google which is well worth a read. Google is changing into an increasingly intuitive and rich feature-led tool in 2018. Gone are the days of typing a phrase into the engine’s search box and simply clicking through to a high-ranked website.

Today, whether it’s responding to a question in an answer box or prompting us to make a restaurant reservation after a local search on mobile, Google is increasingly trying to answer queries in the SERPs immediately, negating the need to click further.

These rich features are dominating the search landscape more and more. And they are forcing us to adapt how we maintain our visibility online and how we get users to click through.

Understanding what keywords to use when optimizing your site and content is still central to improving and managing your visibility online. Search engine spiders are still crawling text and links across the internet in order to understand what content is relevant and authoritative to queries.

Google is always tweaking its algorithm. It is always trying to make its SERPs more useful and efficient for its users.

SEOs need to adapt. Even when fundamental techniques such as keyword research are still massively important, we need to be able to identify the opportunities within this more fragmented and intuitive landscape.

Search engine visibility has never been an exact science, though there are more accessible tools and access data than there has perhaps ever been. But if you embark on your keyword research with an understanding of the fundamentals and an open mind, visibility in 2018 is arguably more attainable than it has ever been.

Google: Expect Ranking Fluctuations When Publishing New Content

Google: Expect “Extreme” Ranking Fluctuations When Publishing New Content
It’s also not unusual for these fluctuations to occur for up to one or two weeks after the content has been published. This topic came up during a Google Webmaster Central office-hours hangout when a site owner asked the following question:

”… a bunch of our visitors had been asking for information about a topic, so last week we created a page centered around answering those questions.

On Friday, when we finished it, we launched it and submitted it though Search Console. Almost immediately, for a search for the long-tail term on that topic, we showed up number 12 in the rankings… and then Saturday comes and the page basically disappeared from the index to where we can’t even find it anymore.

Another page on our site, our index page, which isn’t even really at all related to that topic, comes up in the couple 100s in the rankings. We’re trying to figure out what kind of problem this could indicate, or where we should even look.”

Mueller says this type of situation is “completely normal.”

When Google first indexes a piece of content it has to estimate where the content should be ranked in search results. Sometimes Google overestimates, or underestimates, the ranking position of new content. Google will eventually determine the most appropriate ranking position for that content, which could take multiple weeks. During that time the ranking position may fluctuate before settling down.

When it comes to new content, Mueller says to expect rankings to fluctuate quite a bit. This could even involve disappearing from search rankings completely, and then showing up again.