Tag Archives: google

Google to Auto Makers : Help

google car
prototype of Google self driving car

Google is seeking partners to make fully self driving cars a consumer reality within the next five years.

Google itself doesn’t want to be a car manufacturer.   Instead it wants to partner with a car maker to get the job complete.

There are still a host of issues that have to be resolved before this becomes a reality, and most of these issues are not technical, they are legal.

For example, assume a self driving car is involved in a car accident.  Who does the victim sue?  The owner of the car,  literally the one that WAS NOT driving?   Do you sue Google?  The car company that made the car?  The problem with uncharted waters is that there are many unknowns.    Where does that lawsuit go to help pay for the medical bills?

Legal issues don’t stop at car accidents.   Assume that there was an accident ahead and the police are directing traffic.    The self driving car doesn’t recognize the officer and continues to do the GPS enabled pattern and passes the officer.   Who receives that ticket?   The  person that owns the car isn’t driving.   So again does it go to Google?  The maker of the car?  Who pays for that ticket?

These issues (there are a million ways something can go wrong),  need to be addressed.   These mostly are not technical but rather legal. 

Of course that doesn’t mean that technical issues do not exist,  they do as well.   Using Google maps I noticed that the construction on the road I was driving on wasn’t updated.   So of course Google Maps was pushing me to X when I need to be at Y.   Compound that by the couple million cars driving on the road and you will see many opportunities for trouble.   All of these point to eventual lawsuits, injury and just overall problems. 

We’re not saying that the percentage of accidents by self driving cars are worse,  in fact even if it’s a fraction of what they are by normal drivers it’s still a large number and trouble eventually will happen.

In 2012 33,561 people died on US roads.   Now lets assume that the  Self driving cars reduce this rate by 90%.    That’s an incredibly major improvement it means that Google saved the lives of 30,205 people.   It also means that 3,356 people died.     Where do the lawsuits go for those 3,356?  

You know the term no good deed goes unpunished,  well some lawyer will make the case that Google killed 3,356 rather than saved 30,205 people.    This is hypothetical assuming that everyone had a self driving car.   But alas it’s a potential outcome in a few dozen years.

What SEO means in 2015

What SEO means in 2015.

I personally have been doing SEO work since 1994.  In the mid 1990’s the largest search engines were Altavista,  Lycos,  Hotbot, Webcrawler.  Google didn’t exist and Yahoo was just a directory.

As you might have noticed, things have changed since then.    When Yahoo partnered with a small company called Google in 2000 to serve it’s search results,  it pushed a small startup from a garage to the 13th largest website at the time of the contract break with Yahoo in the early 2000’s.

The entire digital landscape changed from that point in 2000.  With Google serving both their own and Yahoo’s results people started flocking to Google.Com rather than Yahoo’s ad littered search results.   This placed Google in front of everyone and the rest was history.

Fast forward to the mid 2000’s.   At this point Google used to change their rankings via a huge push to the servers.    This typically was called a “Google Dance”  it was when every single time you searched for something the results changed.   Not all the machines updated at the same time and not every time you searched you reached the same machine.   It meant that during those updates you had no idea what your ranking was.   Geolocation was at it’s infancy and typically was not a huge part of their results.   

Fast forward to today.   Today roughly 40-50% of searches take place on a GPS enabled mobile device.   Location is important based on where you are searching as well as context and search history are factored into what the search engines are serving now . 

There are now services that “rent out office space”  or more accurately “rent out 1/2 a desk” in major metro markets so that small firms have a physical location in that metro and the arrangement allows them to rank in those physical locations by giving them the “legal right” to list their location in that market.   Tactics like this typically have a very short life span.    I wouldn’t count on an entire business model on something like that.  

Today the true key to SEO is the same it has been in the past 20 years.    It’s content.  

You write something good on your blog,  people will find it, link to it, spread it on their blogs, forums , social media and life becomes decent.  

Backlinks count,  but with all the updates recently unnatural backlinks cause more harm than good.   The best way to obtain backlinks is to earn them.   Not pay for them.

With all the recent hacks out there,  security is paying a greater and greater role,  with mobile devices most likely will be taking the lion share of searches soon it makes sense to invest in an mobile responsive design.

So here is the list of trends of 2015

1 –  The chances are going to greater that the person visiting your site will be on an small screened GPS enabled Android or iOS device than on a desktop machine.  If your website cannot display properly on a mobile device,  Google most likely will punish you in the rankings.

2 –  The chances are going to be greater that the person visiting your site will be physically closer to you.

3 –  The chances are greater that this device will not run flash (This has been the case for years,  but we still stumble on these kinds of sites!)

4 – The chances are that he or she will be landing on an article you just wrote as compared to a legacy page you wrote 8 months ago.

5 – The chances are that your still going to be cleaning up the mess you made for yourself 4 years ago when you bought all those terrible low quality backlinks.

6 – The chances are you’ll start to notice some non-phone mobile devices visiting your website.   They will be running a version of Android or iOS (mostly android) but they won’t be exactly a phone or a tablet.   Depending on the nature of your website,  they might just be reading (outloud) your article via the often cited as dead RSS feed to speak from a Smartwatch ,  Google Glass or other wearable.   You’re not going to see this much in the beginning of the year, but you might see it more often in a year from now.  We’re talking less than 1% of traffic total.

7 –  It is going to continue to be more difficult to get new visitors,  but easier to get repeat visitors due to the search history and click though rates being factored in.  Google typically assumes that if you went to a website and stayed there for more than a few minutes that it should continue to show you that site.   So your visitors will keep seeing your results up there.

8 – Social media will continue to grow as a factor of any marketing mix.  Though eventually these social media sites will start taking the same approach as Google has,  and simply give you the answer rather than sending people off to your site.   Trust me,  Social media like Facebook and Pinterest are at best a Frenemy.

9 – Related to 6,  more and more things are going to be connected.   5 years ago how many people streamed their TV and Movies vs today?   There’s a smart TV in everyone’s home now.   If it’s not “smart” by default it’s made smart with Chromecast,  Apple TV or Roku player.    Now people are setting their house up with NEST and their home security is online,  house cameras streaming all over the place.  The Fridge is steaming Pandora and your phone just alerted you that the oven is done cooking the turkey.   While the kids are watching Cartoons on Hulu Plus via a Roku player and you are updating Facebook via voice to text using Siri .   Remember,  you’re trying to get this same person to visit your website while this is all going on. This is going to be an interesting year.   Mostly because the progression of connected devices that can visit your site or at least read your content will increase dramatically over the next 12 months.    


Spain : We messed up

your-move-google-glassThe Spanish Newspapers Publishers’ Association (AEDE) is upset because a law they backed actually passed.     They never expected Google’s response of just leaving the country instead of working with publishers,  Google simply exited the country. 

Leading to a steep decline in traffic for Spanish based news websites.

The media lobbying group was pivotal in getting a new intellectual property law introduced in Spain — the very legislation that caused Google to announce on Wednesday that it would be exiting the country.
The Google exit means large amounts of traffic that was coming to those very websites now vanished and Google happily is serving competitors to those news sites in their results.   Leaving the Spanish AEDE with no one to negotiate with and no traffic to enjoy.
Perhaps if the Newspapers took an innovative approach of converting that traffic into a revenue source it would not come down to this.   However those monolithic organizations have difficulty dealing with the current events on the ground.    Their business model is 200 years old and their approach to generating revenue more protective rather than progressive.
We fully expect the next move is to raise taxes and offer protectionist  laws to cover the candle stick makers from a new invention called a light bulb.

Google exits Russia

Moscow buildingsGoogle Closes Russian offices because of Putin’s blogging and web crackdown

Google is shutting down its Russian engineering offices and relocate 50 employees,   Putin has passed a law that states that all bloggers must register with the Russian Government and any data stored on Russians,  meaning their gmail account, calendar, search history and everything else must be stored only within the Russian Federation borders subjected of course to raids on a whim.

This basically tells Putin that both jobs and technical people will be leaving the country with the policies that are being exercised.


SEO in Bethlehem PA

mobile_netDoing location based SEO is easier than ever.   In fact for the most part Google strives to provide location based results.  We used Bethlehem PA as an example in this article. 

Google especially likes when you are searching from a mobile device equipped location services.

Years ago,  when you searched for something on your desktop via Google you would get at best a general location.   Perhaps a region, or at best a city level.    However today the location on your phone tells one that they are on Route 22 West near the 512 exit.   Next thing you know ads for the Lehigh Valley Mall start showing up,  along with organic results for the next 3-4 exits ahead.

Mom and Pop stores that have locations in the next few exits ahead jump ahead in the results,  beating national brands and all of a sudden you see results for a tiny coffee shop rather than Starbucks. 

That’s how location services and search basically works.    It’s not 100% there yet,  but it’s at least 90% there.   We’re seeing instances of it based on direction and heading rather than just location.   This is a noticable improvement over just location,  especially the 4 mile radius around you, in which 2 of those miles are behind you (IE: you already passed that exit).





Google : Enjoy Penguin — you’re going to see it moving around forever

halGoogle is nice enough to tell us that Penguin is going to be in continuous roll-out.  In other words look forward to each time you hit refresh you’re going to get differing results, with no end in sight.

That last big update is still rolling out — though really there won’t be a particularly distinct end-point to the activity, since Penguin is shifting to more continuous updates. The idea is to keep optimizing as we go now.

Honestly it’s not a terrible thing,   it’s just the issue with the upcoming holiday season as many ecommerce stores have based their income on rankings of X and Y for some of their more targeted keywords.    Throwing those keywords into flux throws a monkey wrench in their expected income.   

The best hedge against this is to diversify your income strategies,  increase the content on your site and diversify your traffic sources and double, triple check your site and its compliance with Google Guidelines.    We cannot stress enough that compliance is really the only way to progress in a “more safe” fashion.   Non-Compliant sites typically increase the risk of being sent to page 300 on the next update.


Google dishes out Christmas Penguin Updates

broken_promises_by_herrfous1Google dishes out Christmas Penguin Update

Since 2003 Google has not rolled out an update.  It was an unofficial promise they have kept for more than a decade,  until today.

Google has dispensed a new Penguin update right in the middle of the holiday season.  They company has not confirmed this as of yet, but the results speak for themselves.   The Search engine results pages are changing in multiple categories.   This, when confirmed, will mark the end of the Google promise not to destroy company rankings for the holidays.   Actually even if Google does not confirm the results themselves already did.

Enjoy the new reality.




Where people mess up when naming their business and domain name

From time to time we find requests on what people should name their business.   I love to pull this example from years ago,  they were planning on opening a book store in Reading, PA.   

They wanted to name it “Reading Bookstore”,  after the name of the city they were located in.   This was dismissed after a deep explanation on why that company name won’t work.

Here are the Google results for “Reading Bookstore”

Screenshot from 2014-12-05 13:52:52As you can tell,  a new startup has little chance of ranking for the right term,  even after considering location enabled searches and other factors that Google uses to rank local companies.    The issue is that Reading is the name of the city,  and pronounced differently but spelled the same is Reading (as in the opposite of writing).    In this case if that company went ahead with their plans,  they most likely would still have difficulty ranking even in their local market.

When selecting a keyword or domain name,  focus on something brandable and useable,  and not common terms.   The internet has grown so much in the past 20 years that it’s safe to assume that most common terms are highly competitive. 

So steer from something used,  and go for something unique.    Google in the past few years has declared a limited war on exact match domain names.    It is safe to say that you won’t get the boost that you expected going that route.   So stick with something that you invented, not something that’s out there already.



The SEO Patented Click Here Test

What happens when large numbers of backlinks point to your site?  After all these updates and filters that Google has embarked on over the past few years?

No we’re not talking about spam filled backlinks,  we’re literally talking about large numbers of legitimate backlinks that occurred for a non-SEO reason. 

The Kingpin Example is :  “Click Here” to get Adobe Reader

click hereClearly tons of websites have that code on their site, complete with the “click here” as a hyperlink.   We’re fairly certain that this isn’t a high value keyword, but it does give some insight to the strength of large numbers of backlinks and how they play in the more modern SEO world.    Adobe has been sitting on page 1 for the term for at least a decade.   With all the filters, with all the new updates to Google.   Think of how many websites on earth have the term “click here” written in text on their site,  then look at the target url on Adobe.

click here2Yep,  not a single mention of the words “click here” anywhere on that page.

So to answer everyone out there,  the answer is yes,  backlinks matter.   We’re sure that Adobe wasn’t listing “click here” as their maximized ROI keyword.  

Now the reason this works is because they are getting backlinks from tons of various sources,  all different types of pages, differing types of content and from various ages.   However anything these people put on that page they most likely will rank for.  

Let’s see if that hypothesis is true ?  Download Now

download now
download now







Yea,  it’s true.

Google Defeats Apple with Chromecast vs Apple TV

Roku and Apple dominated the TV streaming market last year, but Google’s Chromecast is now ahead of Apple to become a front-runner. 

Why?  Well let’s talk price.  Both devices can do roughly the same thing.   Both stream Netflix , both stream Youtube,  and both plug into your HDMI port.

Where it differs is the cost.   The Chromecast can be purchased during this holiday season for around $20 , the Apple TV is just under $100

If you have 5 Standard Flat Panel TV’s in the house.    It’s $100 to turn all your dumb TV’s to smart TV’s taking the Google Route or $500 dollars (roughly the cost of a decent TV today) to do it the Apple Route.

To be honest,  no further explanation is needed.