Google Places Pushing Paid Ads Down

Is Google Places Making More Money For Google? I was researching some keywords today and while checking to see if a client was ranking for a particular keyword it dawned on me that when Google moved the map into the right hand column, it was pushing down their paid ads; where the map used to be in the oraganic results section itself along with the listings beside it.

So it seems that now it’s more important than ever to be in the number one and two spots if you are running a PPC campaign. The Google Places map that used to be on the left is now pushing paid ads down below the fold. Before they moved the Google Places map over to the right you would see around 6 paid ads…now you only see the first and the top half of the second.

This could create a bidding war for the top two spots, because who wants to be at the bottom of the pile…it could also create an unfair advantage for those with the means to keep those top two spots…tough break for the small business that needs to be able to compete.

Check out the image below; I took a screen shot of my entire monitor and as you can see, The Google Places map is taking up some premium real estate.

Is The Google Places Map Pushing Paid Ads Down Below The Fold On Purpose? Pretty Sneaky Google!

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December 3, 2010   No Comments

Preventing Spam

Preventing Spam is a task that everyone who has an email account thinks of at one point or another. I recently clicked on the unsubscribe link in one of the many Viagra spam messages that I got to see if in fact it would help prevent spam…that sounds kind of gross…Viagra Spam, coming to a grocer near you…hahahaha.

But I digress, I clicked on the unsubscribe link to see where it would take me or if indeed there were some ethical spammers out there and it would prevent spam from that particular spammer from coming to my inbox…how silly, the words ethical and spammer have never been uttered together! It took me to their drug page where I could buy Viagra, Cialis and a few other boner pills, but nowhere did it mention anything about unsubscribing me from their spam list.

Here’s the deal, when you click on an unsubscribe link, all it does is tell the spammer that the email address is a valid one. What happens then is, they start sending out spam with your email address in the from field, so anyone who gets one of them will think it’s coming from you…kind of like a how an email virus sends out emails to everyone in your address book so they think it’s coming from you. Not only that, now they can add you to their valid email list and sell that spam list to other spammers, who then start sending you more spam and then if you click their unsubscribe link, the whole thing starts all over again.

You can add them to your blocked senders list or create rules in your email program so when these emails come in, they trigger the rules and get deleted hopefully…but most of the spammers have gotten smart and put any text that would trigger one of these spam rules, in an image along with pics of all the pills.

viagra spam

Any actual text in the body of the email is legitimate text, like the unsubscribe text in the example below:

"************TO UNSUBSCRIBE************
You are receiving this email at x...@emailaddress.com. We hope that you find these updates helpful, but if you would rather not receive them, click here. You will be immediately unsubscribed from our database."

The moral of the story, DO NOT CLICK THE UNSUBSCRIBE LINK, just delete the email and this will help prevent spam from hitting your inbox. It’s not going to fully prevent spam, but it will prevent it from getting worse.

Another way to prevent spam is to NEVER use your everyday email address when filling out ANYTHING online…this most definitely includes sending evites…you’re actually screwing all your friends by sending them evites. Because you’re adding their email addresses to Yahoo’s database or whichever evite site you’re using. Yahoo then in turn sells those email addresses and spammers find those evites online and harvest the email addresses within them.

Always use a throw away email address that you don’t care about or don’t check that often, like a Yahoo, Hotmail, MSN or any other of the myriad free email addresses out there. This is also why some sites don’t accept email addresses like that when you register on their site, because they know people use them for spamming purposes.

So good luck with preventing spam, I hope this will help a little.

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October 8, 2010   No Comments

Are Yahoo Headlines Paid Ads?

Are Yahoo Headlines Paid Ads?? It seems that they might be. I use Yahoo still to checks sports and I have Yahoo mail accounts…I went to the Yahoo homepage the other day and saw this headline: "Dancer turns heads in Times Square" and clicked on it. I figured I’d be watching a video of some weirdo in Times Square…but it turns out it went to a page that is "sponsored" by State Farm Insurance.

Ready Set Dance - Yahoo Paid AdState Farm is having a contest where they call a person that has auditioned for this contest called Ready Set Dance and when they get a call, they have to start dancing wherever they are.

My point is, Yahoo has it on their homepage and presents it like it’s some sort of "News", when it’s actually a paid ad, or at least it appears to be.

That’s not the first time I’ve seen this…Yahoo does this site wide…I was in Yahoo health a while back reading an article that caught my eye…it appears to be a "real article" about some new "scientific study" about cold medicine or something like; that they had links to a product page so you could buy this new miracle cure and then at the very bottom in a small faded font that almost matched the background color it said: "Paid Advertisement".

Yahoo is hurtin’ for certain, if they’re posting misleading headlines and articles…but it has been going for years with their Search Submit Pro. For those of you who don’t know what that is, Search Submit Pro or SSP, is when you have paid ads that show up organic results, they look like regular results that show up…sort of…you can usually tell which are paid by the length of the titles.

So beware, if you use Yahoo for your news…you’ll probably be reading a paid ad! It’s not surprising though…the media is evil and greedy and it’s all about their bottom line. They don’t care what happens to the people who believe what they’re reading and take it as real news, as long as they get the money!!

This is good news for website owners…you want to make the headlines? Do it with Yahoo, you won’t even have to make a sex tape! Since Yahoo is now in bed with Bing, I wonder if the same applies to them?

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October 2, 2010   No Comments

Turning Off Google Instant

I’ve just turned off Google Instant because it became too annoying. I gave it a fair chance but never clicked on anything it brought up because it was usually wrong. Then this morning, I was searching for something and the next button at the bottom was missing…it was if Google Instant was saying: “We know what you were searching for and if it’s not on this page, then you were wrong!” So I had to click the link next to the search box that allows you to turn it off.
Turn Off Google Instant
You’ll have to search something first in order for that link to show up because it’s not on the homepage.

Really, has Google Instant improved anything? Has it improved the user experience at all? To this I say NO! What it has improved, is Google’s chance to to direct you to websites that they want you to buy from! I’m not saying that this is what’s going on, but how many of you haven’t already thought that!!?? It makes perfect sense.

Yahoo has Search Submit Pro which delivers paid results in the organic results, which to me is totally screwed…and now that Yahoo and Bing are in bed together, it’s perfect timing for Google to roll out their version of "Search Submit Pro"…again this is all conspiracy theory and I doubt is what is really happening.

It’s also really funny that so many agencies and "SEO" people have used Google Instant to instill fear in people in order to get more business. This is much like the way George Bush instilled fear in the American public in order to get what he wanted while he was "President"

They would use headlines in their posts and emails blasts like: "What Does Google Instant Mean To Your Online Business?", or "What You Need to Know About Google Instant In Order To Protect Your Search Engine Ranking"…it’s all BS, because no matter what, people are going to search how they search and the same results are going come up…it may be more important to be on page one now, but I think that’s it…and really what this is doing is affecting the attention span of the user, as if ADD hasn’t increased enough since the internet has been around…now it’ll be worse…that’s it, now I see what’s happening!! Google has teamed up with the pharmaceutical companies that make Ritalin! That’s the key to their world domination! They’ll turn the human population into a bunch robots and get even more rich in the process by having a stake in the pharmaceutical industry!!

All kidding aside, don’t be alarmed by Google Instant…if you’re doing to the right things now, just keep doing them. If you’re doing things that are outdated and borderline black hat, this may be the time to join the side of good and to stop reading outdated articles and listening to the many so called "SEO Experts" who have recently popped up ever since SEO has become in "vogue", and if Google Instant becomes too annoying, simply turn it off!

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September 28, 2010   No Comments

SEMPO LA Google

I just came back from the SEMPO LA meeting at Google in Santa Monica…it’s a pretty cool building, I love the surfboards they have in the lobby behind the front desk…the meeting took place in the engineering building. I want that Google Surfboard in the lobby! There were also a couple other classics, like a Mark Richards Twin fin, Al Merrick and a board by Pro Surf.

They had a prize giveaway and I won! They gave away 3 sets of Google Bose headphones. They’re pretty cool and they came in a cool Google case.

   

The meeting was cool, they had a live stream from the Google office in San Francisco where all the presenters were. The 3 main presenters were from YouTube, Twitter and Facebook. They could see us and we could see them.

If you’d like to join the SEMPO LA group, their Facebook page is here: SEMPO LA Facebook, you’ll find out when the meetings are if you join. A bit of advice, when you join and they announce the meetings, RSVP right away because the group is growing and the meetings fill up very quickly. It’s A great way to network and meet people in the industry and if you own a business that needs online marketing help, it’d be a great way to meet someone who can help you.

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September 22, 2010   No Comments

Happy Birthday OneArmedSEO

Looks like we’re celebrating birthdays this month. OneArmedSEO.com just passed its 2nd birthday September 10th, 2010. Time flies when you’re having fun!! We’re in our terrible two’s now…let’s see what kind of havoc we can create in the SEO world!

It all happened on September 10th 2008 (Imagine TV flash back sequence here), I got to work early, 7 AM, as usual, because I’m that type of guy, and my boss was in early too, which is unusual, because he would normally stroll in about 9. He walked up to my desk and ask if he could speak with me, I said sure, knowing full well that something was up. We walked past his office and went into the HR boss’ office…right then I knew I was getting the ax! To tell you the truth, I didn’t care because I had been thinking about leaving anyway.

So, they gave me their song and dance about how they were doing budget cuts or something like that…I really wasn’t listening…you get to a point in your life when you stop listening to people the second the BS starts to drip out of their mouths!

So they gave me a pretty good severance and I hit the bricks…hahaha, they even had one of the other HR people escort me down to my car because they didn’t want me to tell other people they were doing layoffs that day…the HR person that was escorting me down said “she knew nothing about it”…more BS…

Anyway, at that point, OneArmedSEO was born, swarn to uphold decency, white hat-ism, truth, justice and the no BS way! hahaha.

We are SEO Crusaders! What this means is that when we see any SEO BS being slung, we will always call the person/agency/"SEO Expert" on what ever it is they’re trying to sell!!

With over 12 years of White Hat SEO Expert experience, OneArmedSEO is the No BS SEO Expert for you!

HAPPY BIRTHDAY ONEARMEDSEO!!

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September 15, 2010   No Comments

Happy Birthday Google?

So when is Google’s Birthday? They’re going with September 27th…but apparently there are different dates you could go by, like when the incorporated, September 7th, when they registered their domain name, September 15th, but over the years they’ve randomly celebrated on September 27th, but chose that date to the expansion of the index size.
This taken from the Google blog:

We wanted something special for our birthday…
9/26/2005 09:14:00 PM
Posted by Anna Patterson, Software Engineer

Google opened its doors in September 1998, and we’ve been pursuing one mission ever since: to organize the world’s information and make it universally accessible and useful. For our seventh birthday, we are giving you a newly expanded web search index that is 1,000 times the size of our original index.

I’m proud of everything we’ve accomplished in the years since Larry Page and Sergey Brin set up the first Google data center in Larry’s dorm room at Stanford. Today, along with web search based on Larry and Sergey’s original BackRub search engine, we offer specialized search for everything from satellite images to academic papers, local business info to your own computer. We’ve also built software for email and mobile services, photo management and computer-to-computer voice calling, to name just a few things.

But search remains our heart and soul, so I’m especially pleased by this latest expansion of our index, which makes Google more than 3 times larger than any other search engine. See for yourself how effective the new Google search index can be. Come up with a search query that’s special to you (your name, your elementary school, and your favorite animal, for example) – a combination of words that is likely to exist on just a few web pages out of the billions we’ve indexed, a few needles scattered in the Internet’s endless haystack. Ready? Let’s go.

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September 12, 2010   No Comments

Google Instant Is Here

9-10-10 Update on Google Instant: I just noticed that you can shut Google Instant off if you think it to be too annoying like that Google logo they had a few days ago that spun around and moved whenever you moved your cursor through it.
Anyway, after you’ve searched something in Google, you’ll notice to the right of the Google logo on the results page there’s a little link that says: "Instant is on", simply click that and select Off (press Enter to search)…that last bit is pretty funny…it’s as if they’re trying to make it sound so laborious…Oh My God, I have to press enter to search…that sucks! hahahaha!!!
Original Post Starts Below:
Google Instant has been rolled out. Some of you have probably noticed that when you type a query in Google, it now gives you instant results and they change with every word you type in.
I was checking rank for a keyword for a client I had just run a rank report for to make sure that it was accurate before telling the client, because it popped 20 spots from page 3 in Google to page 1 to the number 5 spot (the top 5 is the new top 10) :) , the phrase I was checking started with San Diego and as soon as I typed in San, it assumed I was going to type in Diego for the rest of the query and Google Instant immediately brought up Google Maps in the OneBox, and then as I typed the rest, different results started coming up.

For those of you who don’t know what the OneBox is, it’s the box at the top of Google’s organic results, that will either show a map, or movie times, airline reservations and things like that. The most common is Google maps…the others will show up once in a while depending on your query. I just typed in movie times and this showed up, notice it gives you the most current movies and ratings:
Google OneBox
I also noticed, this may or may not be new, that when you type in the search box, not only do the suggestions drop down (this is old), but the first suggestion appears in gray…not the whole thing, but the unfinished part of what you’re typing.

EXAMPLE: I started typing Google and the first suggestion was Google Maps, but even before I finished the word Google, the rest was grayed out so it looked like this: Google Maps (not that this has anything to do with anything, I just never noticed it before).

I also noticed that the paid search results started changing as well…I wonder what types of problems this will cause if any. Are impressions for paid ads going to have false numbers now? I sent a message to a friend of mine who’s a paid search expert…we’ll see what he has to say.

Google Instant, another step in Google’s efforts to bring you the most relevant results the fastest on their quest for world domination!

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September 9, 2010   No Comments

Google Numbered Results

Finally someone has updated the Google Numbered Results Firefox plugin.

This hasn’t been updated in quite some time, one of Google’s updates made the last version of the plugin not work. You’ll have to install Grease Monkey first and then install the plugin.

This plugin is great for all those who drive themselves nuts by checking rank every 5 minutes!!

Download and install Grease Monkey and then download the Google Numbered Results plugin, or simply click the install button on the page.

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August 23, 2010   1 Comment

Google Old School SEO

It seems as of the last big Google Algorithm change, (Caffeine), that Google has gone back to some of the SEO basics…one in particular that was thought to be dead and buried was Keyword Density. I still don’t think it has an extreme amount of importance, but enough that our old friend Keyword Density should be paid attention to.

I first came about this theory, because that’s all this is, is a theory, when the last change started moving things around and I noticed that some of the rank I achieved had slipped…normally I don’t have knee jerk reactions, and I didn’t in this case either, but when the rank didn’t return to the spot that it was in previous to the slip, I started thinking something was up.
(Note to all you knee jerkers: When your rank slips, it’s usually due to a re-indexing or an algorithm change, don’t panic because it normally returns to the spot it was in or higher(hopefully) when the dust has settled)

Sometimes your rank will completely disappear, but this isn’t a cause for alarm. Give it a few days to a week and if it doesn’t return to the spot it was in before or better, then you can start to analyze the problem.

I digress…I noticed when the rank I achieved on a site I was working on slipped to page 2 or 3 and when it didn’t return, I researched the the top 5 sites for the keyword I was targeting…not only did I research that vertical, but others as well to make sure I was on to something. Every industry I looked at all had similar results…I applied it to the site I was working on and when it got re-indexed it was back on page one.

I then applied it to other sites and the same thing happened…please don’t think this is the Holy SEO Grail…it’s not…it’s simply one element that when applied properly falls into line with all the other elements that should already be done properly. What are those elements you ask? That’s a post for another time.

The moral of this story is, DON’T FORGET THE SEO BASICS, they haven’t changed in the 12 plus years that I’ve been doing SEO…they may get altered slightly, but the core never really changes. Don’t be afraid to experiment on your sites…don’t be stupid about it though…if you have an idea, try it out on a sub-page or a page that isn’t ranking well already and see what happens.

Please, please remember to keep in mind, that SEO IS NOT A MAGIC PILL and it doesn’t happen over night…I have lots more to say about that topic and will…next post will fall under the SEO con category.

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July 13, 2010   No Comments