elcome to the latest edition of the Submit Express newsletter, where you can find the latest news about our company and the ever-changing worlds of search engine optimization (SEO) and social media. Submit Express is committed to offering our clients the most up-to-date information and services, which is why our staff attends at least a dozen industry shows every year. You can read our President and CEO Pierre Zarokian's account of one panel he attended at last month's SES show in San Francisco below.
We were also at the most recent Affiliate Summit, which was a major success. The next show is in Las Vegas from January 9-11 and you can find more information at the Affiliate Summit site. Submit Express is going to be keeping busy in the next few months at shows including Pierre's speech at the Social Media Marketing and Advertising Expo on September 30 in Miami. In addition, Submit Express will be attending BlogWorld on October 14-16, Ad Tech New York on November 3-4 and the Performance Marketing Expo in Miami Beach on September 27-29. Read below for more information on how to receive a special rate from Submit Express for the PME show.
In this issue read about:
Local Search Tips Learned at SES
By Pierre Zarokian, President and CEO of Submit Express, Inc.
One of the highlights of the Search Engine Strategies (SES) show I attended in San Francisco on August 16-20 was the Local Search session, which featured some of the leading minds in the space discussing what to do and what not to do when it applies to local search. I have put together some of my notes from the session below. Keep in mind that these notes are not in a specific order and that most of the advice is targeted toward Google Maps (although some tips also apply to other local engines).
The panel was moderated by Search Engine Watch Labs "Chief Egghead" and Director Jonathan Allen. The speakers for the panel were:
The session was presented in a workshop format and titled "Local Lab." Members of the panel provided general guidelines and answered audience questions fielded during a session the day before. It took place on Day 3 of the show. Below is the coverage:
- If you have an existing listing in Google Maps, claim the ownership and add more information. Adding media such as pictures or videos will also improve your rankings.
- Google Maps will ask you to select an appropriate category before completing a listing. Category mapping is difficult for search engines -- especially if there are multiple categories which fit your business. Don't be too concerned with which category will be the best -- similar categories will be bundled together in many cases. When you type the first few letters, the closest category they recommend will appear. Try to pick an existing category if you see a matching one that will work. An existing category will give you better placement.
In different cities, businesses may have slightly different categories, so try to pick the one that Google suggests. For example, a florist may be categorized as "Florist" in one city and "Flower Shop" in another. You may also type in your category, if you don't find a matching one and provide additional categories.
- Including too many keywords in your business name/title can lead to your listing dropping in rankings. One or two keywords are OK, but do not put too many. For example, if your business name is "ABC Dental" you may want to add "dentists" at the end to make it "ABC Dental Dentists", but do not add too many keywords such as "ABC Dental Dentists in Dallas, Texas, Dentistry"
- Google will look for other citations of your business name, address and phone number on the web to verify your business is legit. The more places you are listed the better. They will also check other local engines. Submitting to the three local engines below is recommended:
However, Google will look at many other sources such as:
- Having positive reviews will improve your rankings. Ask your customers/clients to leave positive reviews for you.
- Google will pick up videos from some video sites and add them to your listing. If you have videos, submit them to video sites to create additional business citations which will improve your rankings.
- The panel was asked if social media participation improve your local listings. The consensus was that right now activity in social media will not improve your listing placement. However, it is recommended to include your business address in Facebook and other social media sites, which may be counted as a citation. For Facebook, try to
post your address on the main page, rather than within the INFO tab. In the future, activity could be a factor as well.
- If you have two different businesses that operate from the same address but different phone numbers, claim separate Google accounts for them; otherwise there might be listing confusion with listing descriptions, pictures and reviews being combined.
- Do not spam by creating a lot of fake reviews and fake listings. You will eventually get caught and could have all of your websites banned permanently.
- Reviews also get picked up from other sites such as citysearch.com
. Make sure you are listed on these sites if your business is applicable and ask your customers to leave positive reviews as well.
- Searching in Google for a phone number of a competitor that ranks well in Local Search might bring up all the citations of their company. You can then use this list to submit to the same places.
- The panel was asked if cross linking with other local businesses will improve your local listings. The answer was that it will not necessarily improve your local listings, but it is generally a good practice to do that for link building or cross promotion purposes to get new business.
I hope that this coverage was helpful to our readers. Our staff and I will try to bring you more coverage from industry trade shows in our future issues as we attend over 12 trade shows annually. For anyone who needs professional help with local search, we also offer local search submission and optimization services, so make sure to contact us for a proposal.
Save 20 Percent on Registration
at the Performance Marketing Expo
Submit Express is continuing to take our act on the road as we exhibit and attend the leading trade shows and industry events in order to learn more information and spread the word about our search engine services. One of our next stops is the Performance Marketing Expo in Miami Beach on September 27-29. It a major event which brings together affiliate marketing professionals such as retailers, advertisers, affiliates, and networks to share tips and forge new business opportunities.
It's one of the biggest shows of the year and something that is a must-attend if you are involved in affiliate marketing. You have the chance to take advantage of special discounted pricing to register at the show if you haven't done so already. Enter the code "PMESE20" when you register online for the show and you'll receive a 20 percent discount on your fees. So what are you waiting for? Sign up for the show and come see us while you are there.
Submit Express at BlogWorld 2010
Submit Express will be returning to the BlogWorld Conference from October 14-16 in Las Vegas. The show is the world's largest social media conference and brings together bloggers from all over the world along with podcasters, social media experts, internet media producers and online marketers for three days of interactive information.
You can find out more information about the show at http://www.blogworldexpo.com. Make sure you stop by our booth at the show - and make sure that you bring The Force when you do:
White Hat Meets Black Hat SEO at Blog World Conference last year.
Our CEO Pierre Zarokian poses in a picture with an unexpected visitor.
Breaking Down the Impact of the Yahoo!/Bing Merger
When Microsoft and Yahoo! announced a search alliance last summer, it sent shockwaves through the Internet community. Yahoo! would leverage the Microsoft Bing search technology for its own search pages while flexing its online advertising deal on behalf of both companies. The deal was seen as a win-win for both companies as they attempt to wrest market share from Google, which has more users and searches in the United States than both Microsoft Bing and Yahoo! combined.
While the merger made sense for Microsoft and Yahoo! on many different levels, SEO professionals, advertisers and online marketing experts were left to ponder exactly how it would impact their lives. Yahoo! announced on July 20 that it was beginning to test the integration of Bing organic and paid search information for up to 25 percent of its search market. The beta nature of the testing means there are still plenty of unanswered questions but there are certain facts that are becoming clearer as the process continues.
Most importantly, it's becoming obvious that optimizing for Bing's existing standards is going to be important whether you are doing SEO or PPC campaigns. Some of these changes are clear-cut, such as adjusting ad titles to meet Bing's 25-character requirement instead of Yahoo!'s 40-character maximum.
Other changes will be more subtle. On the PPC side, the Microsoft adCenter is going to become the default interface for managing Yahoo! advertising campaigns. While it's not a complex system and should be easy for new people to pick up, it's still important to take some time to familiarize yourself with it as soon as possible. New services will also give previous Yahoo! advertising clients additional services such as enhanced negative keyword limitations, the ability to block domains or opt out of the Yahoo!/Bing network and advanced campaigns targeted through demographic criteria such as location, gender, age or race.
With organic search information expected to roll over to Bing by September, people involved in SEO campaigns need to make sure that they are optimizing for Bing quickly. Many of the basic SEO concepts that have applied to Google or Yahoo! in the past also hold true for Bing but there are some unique exceptions.
For example, Bing places less value on backlinks as Google does and more emphasis on links surrounded by anchor text. On-page optimization factors such as keywords linked with URLs, title tags and internal link anchor text are all factors which appear to be weighted heavily by Bing when it makes its search engine ranking determinations.
The Bing Webmaster Central is a useful place for SEO professionals to learn more information about the optimization specifics for the search engine. One useful resource is the "Backlinks" section which provides similar data on backlinks and inlinks as the Yahoo! Site Explorer. Webmasters, SEO firms and marketing professionals will want to compare data between the two sites during the rollover in order to better understand how the changes are impacting their links.
Google and Verizon Pact Draws Net Neutrality Concerns
When Google and Verizon executives participated in a conference call with reporters on Monday to explain their new joint pact, they had hoped to convince the tech community about their commitment to net neutrality. But despite words from Google CEO Eric Schmidt and Verizon CEO Ivan Seidenberg that they were committed to providing equal access to the Internet for all customers, many critics are pointing to the framework outlined by the two companies as a way for them to provide faster Internet access with better services to higher-paying customers.
Several members of the Open Internet Coalition -- of which Google is a member -- have been outspoken in stating that they believe the legislative framework announced by Google and Verizon is a potential threat to net neutrality. In a statement, Facebook said that it had serious questions about the rationale behind the pact and its implications for creating an open Internet.
"Facebook continues to support principles of net neutrality for both landline and wireless networks," said spokesman Andrew Noyes in a statement. "Preserving an open Internet that is accessible to innovators -- regardless of their size or wealth -- will promote a vibrant and competitive marketplace where consumers have ultimate control over the content and services delivered through their Internet connections."
Meanwhile, a statement from Amazon noted that while co-location of servers helps companies such as Google be closer to its customers, Google reserving parts of Verizon's high-speed lines for customers paying a premium for faster service is a different matter.
"We've long supported net neutrality and although we agree that network operators should be allowed to offer additional services, we are concerned that this proposal appears to condone services that could harm consumer Internet access," said the statement.
Google Realtime Allows for Advanced Real Time Searches
PC World reports that Google has given its real-time search engine its own landing page and made improvements to its functionality. The new Google Realtime search engine gives people one place to come to see real time results culled from sites such as Twitter and Facebook. Previously, people looking to find real time search results on Google needed to toggle on filters inside the standard search page.
In addition to having a new home, Google Realtime has also been tweaked in an attempt to improve the quality of results. Google Realtime now lets users filter their real time search results in a variety of ways. For example, you can now choose to see only results from certain geographic areas or just results which include images.
"When we first introduced our real-time search features last December, we focused on bringing relevance to the freshest information on the web," a post on the Google Blog noted. "Our goal was to provide real-time content from a comprehensive set of sources, integrated right into your usual search results. Today we're making our most significant enhancements to date, giving real-time information its own home and more powerful tools to help you find what you need."
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