Google Fail?

Google failJanuary 15, 2012 is officially Doomsday. More specifically for Google Buzz, Code Search, iGoogle social features, and Jaiku. In a post titled “A fall sweep”, Google officially announced that these services would no longer exist.

Have you taken a look at all the Google Products? Maybe it was just about time that they took  a look around and cleaned up shop on the products that weren’t doing so well. While many are anticipating more products to go (ahem Google Wave), I think it’s interesting how Google chose to announce this news – in a very nonchalant and informal manner.

But after all, maybe Google was trying to keep attention away from the online audience about the shutdown of Google Buzz. Remember early last year? Google was hit with a huge class action lawsuit claiming that they violated the Computer Fraud and Abuse Act (CFAA). Many people were also upset over privacy issues and other bugs that were initially present when Buzz first launched. Overall, I don’t think it’s a product that will missed very much.

Do you think the shutdown of these services means failure for Google or is it just paving way for new and better features?

After all, it was Albert Einstein who said, “You never fail until you stop trying.”

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Recap of 2011 Google Agency Summit

Here’s the recap of our visit to the Google Agency Summit that we’ve been promising!

We’ll take a quick overview of marketing spending, display ads, mobile ads, and video in terms of small business use. The overall focus throughout the day was on small business (SMB) growth. Makes sense, doesn’t it? The small business segment is a promising category with big opportunities. Here are some key points that we learned:

SMB Spending and Growth

  • Total SMB digital ad spend is growing at 25% YoY (year on year)
  • Growth is happening within Google local services and beyond on platforms like: Facebook, Groupon and LivingSocial
  • According to Google’s (see graph), total US SMB marketing spending is expected to almost double by 2015. This is a self-proclaimed “conservative” forecast, so we could see numbers even higher than that!

Display Ads

With over 2 million sites, Google now has the largest ad network . What does this mean for the potential of display ads? The emphasis here was on the concept of remarketing. Remarketing allows you to target and show ads to users who have already visited your website. This is helpful to help them recall your products and services, something that they’ve obviously been interested in since they have already been to your site. This is an innovative new way to match the right customers to your message.

Mobile Ads and Video

Mobile ads are evolving and should be a different and more helpful experience for mobile users. There is less space on a mobile screen, which means that functions like “Store Locator” take priority over plain old text. People searching on their phone aren’t going to have the time or space to read text. Learn how you can build a basic mobile site with this free Google tool.

As for video, the big push is for small businesses to come on board, given the massive potential and size of YouTube. Small businesses could utilize video marketing by using banners, pre-roll commercials and even encourage user created content. With so much up and coming news, you can always stay updated with Google’s latest ad products here.

Marketing Goals

At the end of the day, it’s clear that Google is trying to make things easier for everyone – small business owners and their customers. This is why Google is so intent on integration and working closely with with agencies like Emarketed… so that we can help our customers!

It looks like there’s a lot in store in the future for small businesses. As a small business owner, it’s important to stay informed so that you don’t get left behind. Here’s a list of some helpful information on topics related to what we just talked about:

Mobile Web Sites
Video Marketing
Website Marketing
Landing Page Optimization

You can also comment, or find us on Facebook or Twitter if you have any questions!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Google Miscellaneous

In preparation for the 2011 Google Agency Summit tomorrow, we thought it would be fun to compile a list of 5 miscellaneous things about Google that we think you’d find interesting:

Google Lego
Image via Flickr

  1. A Lego Connection: In 1996, the first storage case made to “contain” Google was made of legos. Check it out!
  2. A Google a Day. If a game that allows the use of Googling is your kindof game, it exists! This game is also available in print, above the crossword puzzle in the New York Times. Take that, Sodoku.
  3. Hardcore Interview Questions. How many golf balls can fit in a school bus? Explain a database in three sentences to your eight-year-old nephew. These are a few examples of questions that will get thrown your way if you’re lucky enough to interview with Google. You can find out more about their interview process here.
  4. Google Hoaxes. Every year that April Fool’s Day comes around, Google has a new hoax lined up. This year’s Google Motion was beyond ridiculous and I’m looking forward to what they have in store for 2012.
  5. Google’s Most Expensive Keyword… is insurance! Loans, mortgage and attorney are close behind. Take a look at the rest of the list here.

Let us know if you have a favorite Google tidbit and stay tuned for an upcoming post to learn about our trip to Mountain View!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Google +1 Button: To Do or Not to Do? (Part Deux)

Will you be implementing Google’s +1 button on your site? Although there are many benefits of using a the button, it’s crucial to see the downsides and how it can affect your current site:

Speed is a factor: More social media buttons means more load time. Slower load time and site speed will hurt your rankings, since it is a factor in how Google ranks your site… not to mention that impatient customers may bounce away.
Too many distractions: Adding a Google +1 button can be a distraction from your site content, especially if you already have multiple buttons. This can clutter your site and draw attention in a negative manner and away from your business.
Harm your professional image: Sometimes, when I see a site overloaded with social media buttons, it gives me the impression of being spammy or not very credible. If you focus on a few social media sites and integrate them into a clean design, it will help your site feel and look more reliable.
Right target audience?: First of all, do you even plan to devote time to your Google + profile? For now, business profiles don’t exist so if you have the button but don’t plan on being social on Google +, it may not help your site in the long run to add more clutter. For the most part, I see that many internet marketers are utilizing Google + and +1s. Like LinkedIn, this can be a good method to learn about your industry and network. But for getting retail customers for your small retail business? Maybe not so much…

Do you think Google’s +1 button is right for your business? Remember, it doesn’t hurt to experiment and see what works out. Feel free to let us know why you will or won’t be using this social media button (or any others for that matter!)

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Emarketed to Attend 2011 Google Agency Summit

googleplexImage via Flickr

Exciting news! Emarketed has been invited to the 2011 Google Agency Summit at the famed Googleplex headquarters in Mountain View, California. We will be attending this all day event, which will take place on Wednesday, September 28th. It’s sure to be filled with the latest and greatest internet marketing news.

Along with many other search marketing firms, we’ll be there to learn about current online marketing strategies and trends. We’re also looking forward to staying updated on important aspects of :

Pay per click: How to increase ROI on PPC and dispelling AdWords myths.
Social media: Discovering more about YouTube and the potential of social networking sites
Mobile: Optimization that helps find new consumer segments

Stay tuned for our blog post review after the summit to read about our visit and feel free to comment if you have any questions/topics that you’d like to learn more about. We can’t wait!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

How Will You Be Using Google Plus?

Facebook vs Google

In the battle of the giants, which one will reign supreme? Like vs Plus is a site where you can show your brand loyalty and cast your vote. After all, you can’t both Like and +1 everything, right?

Even if you’re tired of hearing so much on Google +, it’s important to stay connected so that you can adapt in the fast paced world of social media marketing. Here are some more ways you can use Google +:

– Chris Brogan shows us that we can blog with Google +. This basically consists of sharing a video/picture or some other media content and quickly following up in your own post with comments and links.

– Since business profiles are not allowed yet, you can take this opportunity to be innovative and show a personal side. Creating a personal profile associated with your business will allow you to socialize in a niche community and showcase your expertise.

– In a way, Google Circles reminds me of communities and groups on LinkedIn. Creating and organizing different Circles will allow you to network with different groups of people without worrying about keeping matters separate. (For example: connecting with clients, partners, employees, and friendly competitors… frenemies, anyone?)

– Watch out for Google Sparks. This is a section where you can receive personalized news articles and other information based on your interests. I see where SEOs can use this feature to their advantage by utilizing the right keywords.

Google + is more extensive than other social media platforms right now but it doesn’t necessarily mean that users have the time and knowledge to use them all. Let’s just see where all this potential can take us – after all, we’re talking about something that’s less than 3 weeks old!

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Coming Soon: Google + for Businesses

Google sure likes the aspect of exclusivity when it comes to their new products, don’t they? Well, it seems to be working well for their latest project: Google +. Invites for exclusive trial accounts for Google + quickly exceeded “capacity”, as not everyone who was invited was lucky enough to score an account. I guess we’ll just have to wait! And for business accounts, it looks like we’ll have to wait even longer! Information Week reports that business users will have to wait until later this year.

Here are a few tidbits about Google +:

– You can easily organize and share with the different people in your life by placing them in different Circles
– Concerned about privacy? You should know that Google intends to make all Profiles public and searchable.
– Confused about the new vocab? Facebook has Likes and Google + will use Google + 1.
– If you’re interested in group video chat, Google Hangouts will be your new favorite thing!

What do you think about Google + and are you excited about it or do you think it’s just another social platform?
Make sure to check out Social Media Examiner’s in-depth guide to using Google +.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Tracking Site Speed for Landing Page Optimization

load time

Did you know that Google Analytics gives you insight on Site Speed? Pay per click marketing is all about effective landing page optimization and this feature can help tremendously with understanding how to improve your PPC campaigns.

While we’re all so concerned about the type of content and calls to action on landing pages (and rightfully so), it’s also important to consider the role that page load time plays into your PPC campaign’s success. In the end, this will affect the user experience so that they stay or bounce away.

Looking at Site Speed data will help you get a better understanding of how page load times can affect quality score. These reports will have a thorough breakdown of what your slowest loading pages are. You’ll also be able to see the types of browser and internet connection your visitors have. If most of your visitors are using Internet Explorer 3 on 56K dial-up, that could be an issue. The best thing about having this information at your fingertips is that it gives you an opportunity to fix problems and create faster loading landing pages that are helpful to your visitors.

If you’ve used the Site Speed report before, what do you think?

To learn more about adding this tracking feature to your site(s) check out this article from Google.
*Remember, this tracking snippet goes in BEFORE the </head> portion of your code.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.

Blended Search Results Webcast

emarketed blended search

Attended a Search Marketing Now webcast this morning about SEO and blended search results. Chris Sherman of Search Engine Land talked about the evolution of blended search results. It was an eye opening presentation because really, do you really remember a time before blended search results?

First off, blended search (or universal search) means that results are made up of non- web sources and traditional web search results. If you do a simple search of something like “summer vacation”, you’ll get images and videos along with traditional results (as pictured above). Chris shows stats that 35% of users don’t use vertical search. Vertical search only focuses on one thing. For example, Expedia can be considered a type of vertical search as it concentrates on travel. Google results are considered more universal because they contain all different types of results.

The benefits of universal search is that more results show up than in the traditional format. This helps local businesses as up to 10 companies can show up on first page. This was a question asked on the webcast and an important one that you should ask yourself – can your products/services be found through:

  • Videos
  • Images
  • News or press releases
  • Reviews or testimonials
  • Social media or blog content

If not, you’ll know that these areas give you a great opportunity to gain more exposure.
So, do you ever wonder why Yahoo is not as popular as Google? One factor can be that Yahoo only delivers limited universal results. Just something to keep in mind as we can see how universal results influences the giants as well as the little guys. As always, Chris reminds us just how important SEO is and how important it will continue to be for your online business success.

Matt Ramage is founder of Emarketed a web marketing agency located in Los Angeles. He loves coffee, good design, and helping businesses improve their look and getting found on the Internet.