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The Ultimate Guide To LinkedIn B2B Marketing Strategies

The Ultimate Guide To LinkedIn B2B Marketing Strategies

The Ultimate Guide To LinkedIn B2B Marketing Strategies

Why you need to be on LinkedIn for your B2B business

If you own a B2B business, you need to be on linkedIn, here’s why.

 

Every single second you spent reading this line, there is one new account being created on LinkedIn.

It is a rapidly growing platform that has huge potential, potential to bring you more customers.

You might think why do I need LinkedIn? I’m not looking for a job, I’m not looking for someone to work for me either.

Here’s the point that you miss, realized how you said job and work automatically when you mention LinkedIn?

LinkedIn is widely viewed as a platform for jobs, for professionals. When you’re running a B2B business, who’s your customer? Other businesses of course and people in those other businesses ARE professionals.

Professionals who most probably has their own LinkedIn account.

Forget Facebook, forget Twitter, LinkedIn is 277% more effective at lead generation than either of those platforms.

What’s more, those leads will be the kind of people you want. People in a business or in a position where they can say, hey there’s this product I saw on LinkedIn that might be useful for our company. Leads that can actually convert.

50% of LinkedIn members are the decision makers of their company. They hold the power and is at the position where they can actually buy your product or service for company use.

If this can’t convince you enough I have more stats coming in.

LinkedIn generated leads for 59% of B2B marketers and not only that, 38% of them also generated revenue.

Marketers are saying they got real leads, real customers and real revenue from LinkedIn.

You can get em too.

How to get on LinkedIn and get those leads coming in

If you already have a LinkedIn account, that’s great! You already nailed the first step.

Make sure you set up a personal profile that is up to date.

Now I’m sure LinkedIn will guide you through all the jazz. Adding a profile picture, adding your alma mater, adding connections et cetera.

Those are all good, follow all those steps to make your profile look like someone living and breathing and EAGER is actually behind the profile. Don’t look like a half-finished profile that probably hasn’t been logging in since the day it was created, we don’t want that, no one wants that.

Having a personal account is not enough, it is only the very first step. What you need to set up next is your company account.

Set up your company page. After following all the guidance from LinkedIn in filling up your business profile, here are some extra tips.

1. USE KEYWORDS TO OPTIMIZE YOUR PROFILES

You need keywords in your company profile. Now now, keyword is not some fancy SEO magic that can only be accomplished by gathering moondust and phoenix feather in the cauldron and stir it anti-clockwise for 3 and a half circles.

What is your business?

Where is your business?

How can you help your customers?

Answer those 3 questions, and you get your keywords. Think of it from your customer’s point of view, what will they type into the search bar when they want to find your business?

Make sure you answered these 3 questions in the first TEN ish lines, cause that’s how much everyone can see without expanding the box. Also while you’re at it, make sure they will want to expand that box, because that is where they can see the link to your company homepage.

LinkedIn only shows the first ten-ish lines before clicking on expanding, so fit in your important stuff there.

Pretty much like Facebook, you can publish posts on your company page.

Use keyword driven, and relevant content that addresses the pain points of your targeted audiences.

 

Use tools like LSIGraph to get keywords that can fit in naturally to your profile.

2. ESTABLISH CONNECTIONS TO REACH MORE POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS

Now that you have your business page on LinkedIn, you can and should go ahead follow the company page.

Not only that, you can also connect to your company page by adding it in your Experience tap saying this is the company you’re currently working for.

Here is one important tip to get a wider connections web. Ask all your employees or co-workers to follow these two steps. That is follow the company page and list it as your current employer.

What this does is, you’re basically amplifying your existence on the platform.

Every employee is a connection to your business, and every one of them has their own connections that will be looking at your employee’s profile page and see that oh, ok this is the company he or she is working at.

They might be curious and click it and be lead to your company page. Again, they might look at the page and think, well, this seems like a nice company that has useful and professionals posts that can help my own professional life, and they might click follow.

You see, by simply having someone list your company in their profile, they are endorsing you to their own connections. On the other end, you’re endorsing them too, you’re telling everyone on the platform that this is your employee.

Add your company to your experience tab and encourage your employees to do the same to amplify your business network.

So, people who are interested in your business, they might be intimidated to just go ahead and interact with you directly, they might find one of your employees and look at their profile first.

You want to be building a network, a map where people has an easy access to find you, your business, or anyone who works for you.

3. LINK TO YOUR WEBSITE AND CONTENTS TO INCREASE EXPOSURE

The most important part of your business’s online presence is probably your website homepage. Link that on your LinkedIn business profile.

Don’t forget to boost your LinkedIn page on your company website too. Create a little follow button to encourage your visitors to go ahead and follow your LinkedIn page.

If your company website runs a blog, link those blog posts on your LinkedIn page too.

Post a little sneak peek on your post then link them back to your blog for the full thing. Or if you like, create original content to post on your LinkedIn page, then link them back to some related blog posts for further reading.

The thing is, treat your company page, not like a homepage, you already got your website for that. Instead, you want to treat it like a landing page and a navigation page.

Consistently update your company page and link out to your website for more valuable articles or informational pieces. That way you can broaden your exposure while maintaining an active page at the same time.

Bring your content marketing right into your LinkedIn page

When someone logged into LinkedIn, they’re logging in as a professional. Not a mom checking out how her son is doing at the college town, but as a career woman, eager for some professional advice or leader insights on an industrial problem.

 

Your content works for you even when youre not, and LinkedIn is a great platform to let your content work.

LinkedIn is a platform for professionals, that’s why we have decided that you need a LinkedIn presence for your B2B business at the first place right?

So how can you translate this into your content marketing strategies?

One rule, keep it professional.

On LinkedIn, more than any other place, you need to post contents that are focused, informative and insightful. You may crack a joke and use a meme on Twitter, but please refrain on LinkedIn.

1. KNOW YOUR AUDIENCE AND TARGETED PERSONA

I know we talked about how 50% of LinkedIn members are positioned high enough to be decision makers in their company. But in smaller companies, the line may be blurred.

Professionals holding different positions in the company have different concerns when they’re looking for purchasing a B2B service or product.

Many transactions, in fact, most in B2B, don’t have a single buyer. For that reason, one piece of content might do a great job of reaching one person, while not performing well with other decision makers. This is why we need an overlapping persona analysis when building out content. — Rand Fishkin, Wizard of Moz, Moz

What you need to do is this, think hard and long on who you want to be targeting. In your industry, your niche, who will be the one making the decision on a purchase? What will be their concern?

You need to address their concerns, from the developer’s to the board member’s, and tell them the exact outcome that concerns them IF they buy your product.

This is why, when you’re planning a buyer persona you also need to check for overlapping personas. You want to be able to appeal to, and impress these people of different levels that they need your product and how it will benefit the company as a whole.

2. USE LONG FORM CONTENTS

Professionals are so busy all the time, why would they want to read my thousand words content? They won’t if it’s irrelevant.

The thing is, they are professionals, they already know a lot about what they need to know.

But, stay with me, if you can tell them MORE about something they already know, you’ll be getting their attention. And things like that can’t be done in a hundred words.

So long form contents, in this case, is really more in depth and detailed contents. Case studies are especially always a welcomed sight.

New data and new case studies are the kinds of long-form content that provide values to someone who is already a veteran in a field.

What’s more, your own service and own product is the perfect tool to create such kind of long-form contents.

That way, you’re killing two birds with one stone by creating valuable long-form content and showcasing your product at the same time.

3. CREATE MEDIA RICH POSTS

Posts with images have six times the engagement compared to a post made up of only text, while posts with video got 3 times the links compared to your good old text post.

There’s nothing wrong with text posts, I’m saying you can make them even better by sprinkling in an image here and there.

Images can actually be useful in a couple of ways. Use an image to summarize the points, draw attention to a certain point, evoke emotions, present data and more.

The most important role of images when you’re creating an in-depth, long-form content is really to show the readers, how things are.

 

Link your audience to the post back at your website and attract them using images.

Especially when you’re making a case study, showing them directly what happened is the most straightforward way to showcase your project.

Your readers will also be more interested in looking at the situation first hand instead of trying to imagine what it’s like by piecing together the words you’re weaving.

Reaching your audience on LinkedIn

Now that you know why you need to be on LinkedIn for your B2B content marketing, you know what kind of content you need to make it work, the most important question is, how can you reach all those powerful LinkedIn users and turn them into leads and finally convert them into customers?

Now let’s start with the first step, looking for those who fit into your targeted persona.

1. LOOK FOR YOUR POTENTIAL CUSTOMERS DIRECTLY

One strength of LinkedIn is how their search bar functions, you can filter your search by location, companies they have served, or currently employed, the industry they’re working in, and their profile language.

And that’s only for a free profile if you upgrade to one of their premium plans you can further filter your search to look for those who fit your targeted persona the most, like what positions they held in their company.

No other social sites let you search for users this way, this is a powerful tool for you to identify your potential leads.

LinkedIn has a search filter system that is perfect to look for your potential customers.

Once you have found them, them as in your potential leads, you can ask to connect with them directly.

Your connections are automatically served their connections, which in this case, your posts on their LinkedIn homepage.

Some people don’t welcome connecting with people they don’t know though, so here comes the second way.

2. JOIN GROUPS TO ESTABLISH YOURSELF AND MAKE CONNECTIONS

There are hundreds of groups on LinkedIn where conversations and discussions go on for days.

Find groups that are relevant to your business and start mingling with other members to establish yourself and build a bigger network.

Look for groups specific of your niche, and don’t just join any groups, you want to make sure they are active groups, where the members are actually checking in and engaging with each other.

Join one, or a few, if you’d like. Join their conversations, mingle with the other members. Now you can start filtering members who has the potential to be your prospects.

Since you’re active in the same group as them and have probably interacted with them a couple of times, they are more willing to accept your invitation to connect.

Voila…

Now, you have your optimized profiles, you have your optimized content, and your prospects in your connection. Paired with a consistent update and effort you can start seeing those leads trickling in.

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Platform Analysis: Breaking Down The Social Media Big Six

We did the research on the 6 most popular social media platforms so you don’t have to!
Read the detailed overview.
Match it to the type of business you’re running.
Discover which fits best!

 

Read More

Google Alternatives

https://vpnandgo.com/google-alternatives/

Complete Guide to Removing Google from Your Life

We are all aware that data collection goes on every time we go on the internet.

From ISP’s to the NSA, data collection is here, and there isn’t much individuals can do about it.

If these two areas are not bad enough, there is Google placed in the middle who collects more data than any other business around the globe.

Everything we do is seen by Google, even if they offer some of the best free services, they are all harvesting snippets of data with each page we visit, or search we make.

Many individuals don’t know there are plenty of opensource alternatives, which we can use as replacements.

Nowadays, there is a vast number of individuals that are fed up with targeted ads, and the intrusion of privacy.

Google is a part of our lives and individuals don’t often realize how much information they hand over to Google subconsciously.

There are countless areas, where their services appear harmless, but underneath, they operate the same as all of their others.

With all this, and more, we will look at how you can rid your life of Google, or at least minimize the impact of their snooping and intrusion of your privacy and use alternatives to Google where possible.

Privacy Concerns

When you look at the list of Google products, it is extensive. From Chrome, Google Maps, Google Docs to name but a few.

These applications and services are everywhere, and are used by millions because of their convenience. One of the more recent additions they include is their Google assistant. Privacy using this will be all but shattered.

With this service, individuals can do anything from ordering pizza, booking flights, or anything else they can think of. Each time a single word is uttered; this can be stored and harvested so a profile of your habits is being directly fed to Google.

Even governments are making a stance against this intrusion, and this can be seen with the European Union’s launch of the General Data Protection Regulations.
Google may have links with the NSA and CIA, while not proven, it is often spoken about.

If this is true, it means the American government agencies have access to the habits of their citizens, as well as habits of anyone who uses the internet.

Users may not be aware, that when they order something online, or use the Google assistant, this online privacy intrusion is now encroaching into their off-line lives as well as.

To reclaim our privacy, we need to be doing what many others are already undertaking.

That is to stop using Google products just because they are convenient, and look for better alternatives, they are out there, and in some cases, they are actually better.

5 Reasons You Should Consider Not Using Google Products

There plenty of Google Privacy Issues all users of the internet should have concerns over. The data harvesting will not get any better, and will only get worse as time goes on.

Here are five reasons users should consider ditching Google products and to look for other alternatives.

1. Tracking

This is the most basic concern, and any user who uses Google search or has a Gmail account will have a profile of their activities. Here, they use their analytics to pull out all relevant information on users.

What makes this worse is this information is given to marketing corporations around the world, so your information is becoming even less private.

Users may not think this goes on, but the company made almost $100 billion in 2017 by selling on user data to marketers.

2. Google Chrome

While this browser enables tracking on a completely different level, there is the concern of all your activities being recorded.

This is the main culprit of all Google products and services that delivers information back to them.

While users can use ad-blockers, Google are even looking at blocking ad-blockers so they can continue targeting ads.

3. Gmail

While this delivers an effective email account. This doesn’t mean it is safe. Not only can they use this to track you and your contacts, hackers are busy gleaning email addresses and information. The service may appear secure, but email accounts or email servers are hacked on an almost daily basis.

4. Data leaks

Users may thing Google Docs is a secure alternative to other online office products.

Nowadays, it may be more secure than it used to be, but a few years ago, there was a big that allowed 0.5% of all the documents stored on the servers to be leaked.

The number of documents stored no compared to then will be significantly more, so if there are bugs in the service now, this number will rise considerably.

5. Google Maps

How will you feel if you knew someone knew where you were every second of the day?

Google maps knows your location, especially if you do searches for other locations. Your starting points are used to calculate distances to a destination. This information can be used by anyone with criminal intent.

In the case of Google, they can see everywhere you stop or go on your route.

Google Search Engine Alternatives

When looking for Google search engine alternatives, you need to understand why this need is there. For one, Google Trackers are in around 75% of the top million or so websites on the internet.

Any search results you find, means there is a likelihood you will be tracked by more than a few occasions.

Aside form this, there is the website tracking which is different to the search terms you are looking for.

There are a few Google search alternatives, and while users may think they don’t deliver good results, they are in some cases better than Google because their results are not manipulated. You will see real world results, and not results that Google wants you to see.

Here are 5 alternatives to Google search that can stop the company logging all your search queries.

DuckDuckGo

For privacy, DuckDuckGo is better than Google. Its reputation as being a privacy centric option is well documented. It doesn’t track any search results, online activity which leads to minimal ads following you around.

It delivers a clean user interface and delivers results from other search engines. There is a DDG extension you can add to your browser to further enhance privacy.

It offers one extra cool feature, you can search sites such as YouTube, Wikipedia and Amazon using an exclamation mark (!w as an example). A drop down allows you to choose from a number of sites using their ‘Bangs’ feature. You can set the default search engine to use this in many browsers.

Qwant

Qwant is a popular search engine that is located in France. The company claims to never harvest user data or record searches for means of targeting ads.

It delivers a feature set similar to DDG such as their Qwick Search Shortcuts which works in the same manner as the ‘Bangs’ shortcuts. Users are presented with a user friendly interface with everything being neatly organised.

When you search, you will be presented with three categories, which comprise News stories, Web and Social.

This search engine has a separate section for music lovers; they can hunt out new music or lyrics which uses the power of AI.

Search Encrypt

Search-Encrypt is a meta-search engine (they extract results of your search from the network of search partners), they make privacy the chief concern to ensure your online safety.

The website claims they keep no user information and uses local encryption to secure searches.

Search Encrypt does its best to prevent custom search filter bubbles. It has over 23 million visitors every day.

The top feature of this alternative to Google search is any local search history will expire, and they remove this every 15 minutes with browser inactivity.

Start Page

Ixquick was an independent search engine besides Google that showed their own results.

Another search engine went into development called Start-Page. This was to include Google best search results but without tracking. In 2009, the two merged and operate under StartPage.

Besides delivering a good number of results for each search query, they offer a proxy service. Users are safe browse securely and anonymously.

To promote the internet with no cookies, users have a custom URL generator. This eliminates any need for cookies. They can save configurations in a privacy focused way.

Additionally, users can change themes. The search engine offers Air (the default), White, Night (Dark mode) and other modes.

Bing

Microsoft’s Bing is the number two most popular search engine. It has a decent market share and is the second largest search engine delivering visual when delivering search engine results.

They deal search results in this high-quality search engine from Yahoo!

The background of the search changes continually to show sports, nature, animals and many other images.

Bing presents ads and services such as conversion, translation, spell checking, sports scores and much more. This is the main Google competitor, and has mobile apps for Android, iOS.

Gmail Alternatives

With close to a billion users, it’s easy to see why Gmail rules the roost of top email clients. Users should never use only one email address, and this is true when it comes from the company which has more information on your than any other organization on the planet.

With claims of email spying in 2013 as a means of better targeting ads, and with this coming, the chance to synch all your email accounts using Gmail, they have a chance to see every email you send or receive.

With this, here are 5 alternatives to Gmail you can use. Using one of these, you will be able to have more than one email client open at once.

Outlook.com

This is closely linked to your Windows operating system. Once you use it, you will find it is one of the best email alternatives to Gmail. It integrates well with Windows and you can synch all your OneDrive, OneNote, contacts, calendar and more.

Outlook.com doesn’t spy on your emails and you can set an expiration period where emails are automatically deleted.

Zoho Mail

Zoho is one of the top CRM packages around. With this, they deliver document storage and another 5 BG of free storage. For business, this can be the best Gmail alternative.

If you have a domain name, it is easy to setup your own email address through Zoho. Features include a simple interface without advertising, great synchronization with notes, documents, calendar, links, and seamless integration with the Zoho mail and CRM side of the online service.

FastMail

FastMail has a reputation of being a feature rich email client. It used to be one of the popular Gmail alternatives when it was a part of the Opera web browser; it was pulled from this and went to a subscription-based service.

With this, business users get an ad free interface that is simple to use along with an antispam feature that is fully customisable. In addition, a calendar app synchs with your email, and thus allows you to send automatic replies.

Tutanota

This email service is based in Germany, and with this, users are presented with end-to-end encryption of their emails.

Being open source, there will be no behind the scenes shenanigans, and it can be the best free email account software for the privacy conscious.

The Android/ iOS app has no links at all with Google, so there is no chance of users being bombarded with ads.

Users can also choose from 5 domain names, get 1GB of free storage, and file transfer sizes of 25 MB.

ProtonMail

This is another encrypted email service that is based in Switzerland where they also have all their servers. Emails are encrypted end to end, and there is not even any personal data needed to setup your email account.

ProtonMail is another opensource app, so nothing is hidden. It is easy to use and comes with a modern inbox design, which is optimized for productivity.

There is a free option, which allows 150 emails per day, and after this, you will need to upgrade which delivers much more on their already excellent service.

Google Calendar Alternatives

There are plenty of people who use the Google Calendar, but this does need a Gmail account to use. For many the Google doc’s calendar does little apart from being a convenience if they have a Gmail account.

Here are 5 great alternatives to this service that will help you manage your time efficiently.

TimeBlocks

TimeBlocks is a cross-platform task and calendar application. It helps users manage time effectively.

It comes with an attractive design, which facilitates the visualization of events. Users can code tasks by colours according to different categories.

One feature is the ability of assigning stickers to a specific day. This helps recognize any events with a quick glance. Users can add Google Photos accounts to search for pictures taken on specific dates.

TimeBlocks is free; however, some features only come when the app comes with a premium subscription.

TimeTree

TimeTree is an excellent free multi-platform calendar application for users who want to keep personal and work calendars separate. Adding to this, they can share and view their calendar easily.

Users can create event calendars in the application. Users may have calendars for different events, but, they can see everything in their daily schedule in the ‘My schedule or Feed tabs’. TimeTree runs on the web, iOS and Android.

Kolab Now

Kolab Now is a group of tools, which is in fact based around a secure email client. It is open- source, so there is no way the source code can be made to do anything it should without anyone noticing.

As well as the email side of things, users can look forward to text messaging, and address book and efficient calendar.

The service is cross-platform so it runs on Windows, Chromebooks, Mac and Linux along with others.

It is easy to access Kolab on the web, as it is to use their Android and iOS apps. All the services to do with this calendar application are based in Switzerland, so users will know it faces strict privacy laws.

Mailbox.org

Mailbox.org is a virtual office that covers all areas. Once you log in, you can see all your tasks on your planner and calendar. It comes with a full featured address book and users can synchronise it across devices.

This app works online or offline and you can invite friends to tasks on your calendar by email.

Mailfence

With the Mailfence calendar, you can integrate plenty of things with no worries about missing any of them.

There is the Mailfence documents, Mailfence contacts and the group chat for collaboration between members.

The service allows you to share with whom you wish even with individuals who don’t have a Mailfenceaccount.

With no tracking and free from government surveillance, users are safe while they are arranging all their tasks and memorable dates.

Google Chrome Alternative

The Google Chrome browser powers many other browser on the market, however, all of these strips out the intrusive parts. It is these parts of Chrome, which relay info back to Google, and is the main area where they get some of their data harvesting from.

Downloaded files, each URL you type, asks users to sign into their Google account, connects to sites in the background without asking for permission.

This is some of the features, and are the areas, which are intrusive. To top all these, the Chrome browser reports home every 30 minutes.

Here are some alternatives to Google Chrome:

Tor Browser

This browser is one of the best ways you can secure your online activities. It is focused on privacy and is based on Firefox.

It uses a separate network, and can be slow. It is mainly used on the desktop, as the Android apps are still net yet fully released.

If you have heard of the dark web, then this is how users access it. If you want privacy, then this Tor browser is the best Google Chrome alternative.

Opera

This is one browser, which is based on Chrome, but it includes its own feature set. It now includes a VPN, although this isn’t fully featured.

Even if it doesn’t work as a full VPN it can be worth enabling it so there is no way Google can trace anything back to you.

It is a good alternative, and users who use it will miss nothing that Chrome offers.

Firefox

The new incarnation of Firefox ‘Quantum’ is as fast as any Google Chrome apk download on Android. It is open-source, so there is no messing with the code, and it is not as harsh on system resources as Chrome.

While many browsers use Chrome as their base, this is built from the ground up and delivers a better experience without tracking in many areas.

Brave

Brave is touted, as being much faster than Chrome, but this isn’t the best features. It has a built in ad-blocker, a tracker blocker so any software, which follows you around the net, will have a hard time.

Like others, which are against the way Chrome reports home, this browser is open-source and was created by the co-founders of the Mozilla, project. These just happen to be the ones who started Firefox.

It can be the best Chrome alternative, but it still lacks as many features without needing to rely on Chrome extensions.

Safari

This browser is for users of macOS or iOS. It is fast and like many Apple software, it is secure. It comes with some solid security features and blocks ads and trackers.

The interface is user friendly and can synch across your devices. There is no risk of it letting your data slip back to Google because Apple isn’t the type of company to let anyone take advantage.

Google Drive Alternatives

Countless individuals use online storage. Google Drive is no different, but is Google Drive secure? From outsiders it is secure.

Data is encrypted when you send it and Google re-encrypt it at their end. However, if you as, is Google Drive Private?

Google scans and analyses everything you upload. While they say it is to protect and offer features, it boils down to seeing how they can make money from you with ads.

Here are some decent Google Drive alternatives:

Sync.com

This Canadian company makes it easy to share and access your documents and files. They use end-to-end encryption so everything is 100% private.

Files of any size can be sent to anyone, and multiple users can access the same sets of folders. You are always in control of your files, and the best is backups are synced automatically.

Mega

While not as capable as some of the cloud services, this is still among one of the best zero-knowledge services.

Users can use private encryption and you can encrypt links to send to other users when sharing files.

While it does allow users to view photos and play videos in a secure manner, it still struggles in the Microsoft office department.

Box

This cloud storage service focuses on security. No matter if you need to comply with any local regulations such as GDPR, there are plenty of tools to help you along the way.

It allows you to automate your workflow in a secure manner. You can set file access and sharing and control any data you have on your cloud-storage.

Everything is encrypted by AES 256-bit encryption that is the same as many VPN’s use. It is a solid Google drive replacement that will not be sharing your data.

pCloud

This online storage solution says even the administration cannot see your files. You can use their pCloud Crypto for this, and only you has the key. Files can be shared on a broad range of devices; they can be shared and worked on.

While it is a paid for service, users can sign up and get 10GB free storage for a single account. Like others, there is file management, sharing, backup and many more.

Dropbox

It was this storage service that really began it all. It is a decent alternative, but even their security and privacy is not the best when you look at others. What it lacks for in security, it makes up for in other features and usability.

Office online is well integrated and delivers very fast data syncing. If you have things, which are not sensitive, then it makes a viable option against Google Drive, but for sensitive data, the above options are a better bet.

Google Docs Alternatives

Google docs are not in fact a suite of applications, they are web pages hosted in your browser. Like many things Google, the company itself can see them.

They do claim they don’t see anything or their web spiders are not allowed to trawl these areas, but you never know.

Here are some Google doc alternatives:

Only Office

This Google doc’s alternative comes with all the same features, and a few more. It has the same collaboration and editing and can be used for personal use.

A business will need to stump up the extra, which delivers many more business centric tools.

You can also integrate a cloud storage account, and from the main dashboard, you can do what you wish with your documents. The one downside is it is only available for Windows and Linux.

Nuclino

With Nuclino, you have a Google docs, photos or other information works in the same way as a website. There is no scrolling through lists, and you can keep organised visually.

The docs themselves are free from bloat and are a pleasure to use compared to the slow Google docs is now.

However, you wish to work with a team, and then Nuclino can help you to achieve this in a safe and secure manner.

Zoho Docs

You may not have heard of the name, but Zoho is a creator of business applications. They deliver secure CRM packages that combine plenty of Google doc alternatives.

It is more than a match for anything Google offers because the company specializes in this kind of software.

It also allows offline working and even a separate desktop app for this.

Office 365

It may appear that Office 365 is Microsoft’s effort at online office. Nevertheless, it is a different beast because it is not free. However, it leaves Google docs in the dust to what it offers, and even language support trounces Google.

Not only this, but with the number of devices it works on, you can see why it is the preferred option. Some users even ditch the full desktop variant for this slimmed down version of the full office suite.

Libre Office

Libre office is another free office suite. It closely follows Microsoft Office because it was seen as a viable alternative. This alone lets you know it is heads above what Google docs can offer.

Device support, customer support and integrations are far ahead. It is a great tool for document creation and it is opensource so there will be no reporting home one every document you create.

Google Photos Alternatives

Although you have the convenience of access with Google photos, there is still the concerns of Google scanning what you upload and store. Not only this, but there are some restrictions on your pictures.

You actually have limited space, which is shared with other Google services, and if your pictures or videos are over a certain size, they will be down sampled. This means you may not be able to store an original quality picture.

Here a few Google Photos alternatives:

Shoebox

This photo service allowed unlimited storage of pictures and free backup. This allows you to have access without any pictures being on your device. It is 100% private and comes with bank-grade encryption.

It did have limitations in picture size, but this was clear. You could also share these pictures with families and friends.

Piwigo

This great Google photos alternative is opensource. Like other apps, there will be no code manipulation.

It has been online for almost 20 years and allows plenty of advanced features. There are themes plugins, batch management and permission control.

It is suitable for individuals, professionals and corporations. You can store medium sized galleries to vast image banks of pictures.

You can store any number of pictures with the same speeds regardless of numbers.

Flickr

Flickr is online photo management tool where you can set the access. You can easily display your work or keep it private with no access.

It allows for short video uploads and will not change any of the quality of your pictures.

You can organise and synch to the cloud in a couple of clicks. To top this, it is nice and secure.

Slidebox

Google uses machine learning to organise your pictures. This means they do know what you are uploading.

Slidebox lets you do this manually. It may sound cumbersome, but you will thank yourself for doing it, and then you can remove Google photos from any devices you have it on.

You can easily create folders and with a swipe on the screen of your iOS or Android device, you can move them where you want or delete them.

Cluster

Cluster is free and acts like a personal and private social media platform. You can take your pictures, shove them in folders, and invite friends or family to view them.

You will see who has looked at them and commented. You can also be invited to contribute to other peoples albums. This service does collect some user data to improve services.

YouTube Alternatives

It might be time to say goodbye YouTube. Although there is lots of content here, you are presented with what Google wants you to choose from.

When you watch one video, your options change. This means they know exactly what you find interesting, and with this, they can bombard you with targeted ads.

Here are some alternatives to YouTube:

Vevo

This is one of the best alternatives to YouTube for music lovers. There is an endless supply of music videos available but it does lack some of the diversity of YouTube so the first couple of times you may be disappointed.

You always find high quality content, and the site is easy to use.

Veoh

This site allows uploading videos of any length, so it can be one of the best alternative YouTube sites.

It delivers a clear user interface and has millions of videos available for users to choose from. You can start some social sharing to build up your popularity before you explode like many YouTubers. All this without the ads.

Bitchute

Bitchute is a P2P video platform. It focuses on people and free speech. It is free to join, and from then you can create your own videos and upload them at your leisure.

As you upload a video, these are decrypted, split into sections and spread around the cloud like torrent files.

This video sharing website pulls the files back together as users want to watch them. Because of this, it is hard to censor or ban any of the videos. It is a YouTube alternative, but it may serve specific sets of individuals.

DailyMotion

This is the best alternative for YouTube. There are tons of options where users can discover sports, music festivals, comedy and video game streams.

The audience is massive and there are over 3.5 billion watched videos each month.

It is as old as YouTube and delivers a pared back experience. The difference being users can upload copyrighted material as well as nudity. This delivers more freedom for creators and uploaders.

Vimeo

Last on the YouTube replacements list is Vimeo. It is not directly trying to compete with YouTube but it is one of the better alternatives. It is home to artistic creators and delivers a great place for them to show off their work.

The downsides are you have limits on the upload limit. This is small by comparison and can be upgraded with a fee.

alternatives to google maps

Google Maps Alternatives

Google maps is useful in a few situations. It can still record everywhere you go and pass this information back to Google. This can build up a lot of information over time.

There are a few Google maps alternative, and some even work offline whereas Google maps doesn’t.

Apple Maps

User experiences can vary between regions, Apple maps can actually deliver better results for directions than Google maps.

It is due a complete overhaul where the mapping data has been captured by Apple itself. It is not one to count out as being a great alternative.

Citymapper

This service comes for iOS and Android. Its focus is urban travel and will include all travel options in its results. This comprises bicycles, ferries, rail and any other means. It also integrates with Uber and Lyft and any local ferries if there are any.

Setting addresses for home and work, you are delivered real-time estimates.

Maps.me

No connection, no problem for this alternative to Google maps. It is not quite as accurate as Google Maps, but using GPS, it means you are never without a mapping application. It is one of those apps you just need for when Google or your connection fails you.

Google Play Store Alternatives

Every app you install on your Android devices, this goes back to Google. If they are paid apps, then this is even worse as your payment details are sent back.

You may not think Google holds data here, but each time you go to your Google Play Dashboard, it knows what apps you installed, removed and what is stored on your device.

Google store tracking can find out more than other areas because you are inputting data directly.

Here are a few Play Store options:

Aptoide

This Android alternative store was built on the same standards as the Play Store. It has an interface that is comparable and has over 700,000 apps for users to choose from. With over 3 billion downloads it is holding its own against the Google offering.

Aptoide comes for phones and tablets along with versions for smart TV’s and set-top boxes. Users can download APK’s directly before installing them. It is safe and easy to use.

Yalp Store

This allows you to download APK’s directly from the play store. These will update and you can search for alternatives.

It also allows you to carry out package manager features such as listing, running or uninstalling apps.

This does still connect to Google services via a built in account. This means you don’t need a Google account to use it.

F-Droid

F-Droid focuses on free and opensource apps. Users may ask is F-Droid safe because of this?

The entire site and store is run by volunteers and because of this and the opensource nature, everything is safe for users.

The apps don’t have reviews so you may need to do some research to find the best F-Droid apps, but it is a great alternative where you may find something different.

Amazon Appstore

This has become one of the best Play Store alternatives free and paid for apps. With over 334,000, there is plenty to choose from.

It also dishes up a free app of the day. This allows users to obtain a premium app for nothing.

Books, music and movies are also available cheaper than on the play store.

APKMirror

This store only hosts free apps. Additionally it is a website only as they don’t have their own Android store app. All apps are tested for malware and guaranteed safe for download.

With a user-friendly interface, users can easily search the many different options.

1AppMarket

This Play Store alternative delivers fast download speeds and ease of use. It only serves free apps and comes with no malware in any of the files.

There may not be as many apps available when users search market apps, but it is still steadily growing, so it will have decent numbers soon.

Google can collect data regarding your activities

In Conclusion…

When you go through all of the above, you can see all the areas where Google can collect data regarding your activities.

It isn’t right that one company can know so much about each individual, and users do need to do something against it.

With all the alternatives listed above, it can be a great start to stop Google from trespassing on your privacy.

The options above are just the tip of the iceberg, and there are many other areas where you can stop google from watching and tracking what you do online.

It can be hard, and it can be difficult for some people, but to regain user privacy, it is something many privacy conscious individuals are either contemplating, are in the process of or have already switched in certain areas.

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Reading Between the Lines – Three Deeper Takeaways from John Mueller at BrightonSEO

Reading Between the Lines – Three Deeper Takeaways from John Mueller at BrightonSEO

Last Friday I had the pleasure of watching John Mueller of Google being interviewed on the BrightonSEO main stage by (Distilled alumna!) Hannah Smith. I found it hugely interesting how different it was from the previous similarly formatted sessions with John I’ve seen – by Aleyda at BrightonSEO previously, and more recently by my colleague Will Critchlow at SearchLove. In this post, I want to get into some of the interesting implications in what John did and, crucially, did not say.

I’m not going to attempt here to cover everything John said exhaustively – if that’s what you’re looking for, I recommend this post by Deepcrawl’s Sam Marsden, or this transcript via Glen Allsopp (from which I’ve extracted below). This will also not be a tactical post – I was listening to this Q&A from the perspective of wanting to learn more about Google, not necessarily what to change in my SEO campaigns on Monday morning.

Looking too closely?

I’m aware of the dangers of reading too much into the minutia of what John Mueller, Garry Ilyes, and crew come out with – especially when he’s talking live and unscripted on stage. Ultimately, as John said himself, it’s his job to establish a flow of information between webmasters and search engineers at Google. There are famously few people, or arguably no people at all, who know the ins and outs of the search algorithm itself, and it is not John’s job to get into it in this depth.

That said, he has been trained, and briefed, and socialised, to say certain things, to not say certain things, to focus on certain areas, and so on. This is where our takeaways can get a little more interesting than the typical, clichéd “Google says X” or “we think Google is lying about Y”. I’d recommend this presentation and deck from Will if you want to read more about that approach, and some past examples.

So, into the meat of it.

1. “We definitely use links to recognize new content”

Hannah: Like I said, this is top tier sites…  Links are still a ranking factor though, right? You still use links as a ranking factor?

John: We still use links. I mean it’s not the only ranking factor, so like just focusing on links, I don’t think that makes sense at all… But we definitely use links to recognize new content.

Hannah: So if you then got effectively a hole, a very authoritative hole in your link graph… How is that going to affect how links are used as a ranking factor or will it?

John: I dunno, we’ll see. I mean it’s one of those things also where I see a lot of times the sites that big news sites write about are sites that already have links anyway. So it’s rare that we wouldn’t be able to find any of that new content. So I don’t think everything will fall apart. If that happens or when that happens, but it does make it a little bit harder for us. So it’s kind of tricky, but we also have lots of other signals that we look at. So trying to figure out how relevant a page is, is not just based on the links too.

The context here is that Hannah was interested in how much of a challenge it is for Google when large numbers of major editorial sites start adding the “nofollow” attribute to all their external links – which has been a trend of late in the UK, and I suspect elsewhere. If authoritative links are still an important trust factor, does this not weaken that data?

The interesting thing for me here was very much in what John did not say. Hannah asks him fairly directly whether links are a ranking factor, and he evades three times, by discussing the use of links for crawling & discovering content, rather than for establishing a link graph and therefore a trust signal:

“We still use links”
“We definitely use links to recognize new content”
“It’s rare we wouldn’t be able to find any of that new content”

There’s also a fourth example, earlier in the discussion – before the excerpt above –  where he does the same:

“…being able to find useful content on the web, links kind of play a role in that.”

This is particularly odd as in general, Google is pretty comfortable still discussing links as a ranking factor. Evidently, though, something about this context caused this slightly evasive response. The “it’s not the only ranking factor” response feels like a bit of an evasion too, given that Google essentially refuses to discuss other ranking factors that might establish trust/authority, as opposed to just relevance and baseline quality – see my points below on user signals!

Personally, I also thought this comment was very interesting and somewhat vindicating of my critique of a lot of ranking factor studies:

“…a lot of the times the sites that big news sites write about are sites that already have links anyway”

Yeah, of course – links are correlated with just about any other metric you can imagine, whether it be branded search volume, social shares, click-through rate, whatever.

2. Limited spots on page 1 for transactional sites

Hannah: But thinking about like a more transactional query, for example. Let’s just say that you want to buy some contact lenses, how do you know if the results you’ve ranked first is the right one? If you’ve done a good job of ranking those results?

John: A lot of times we don’t know, because for a lot of these queries there is no objective, right or wrong. They’re essential multiple answers that we could say this could make sense to show as the first result. And I think in particular for cases like that, it’s useful for us to have those 10 blue links or even 10 results in the search page, where it’s really something like we don’t completely know what you’re looking for. Are you looking for information on these contact lenses? Do you want to buy them? Do you want to compare them? Do you want to buy a specific brand maybe from this-

This is one of those things where I think I could have figured this out from the information I already had, but it clicked into place for me listening to this explanation from John. If John is saying there’s a need to show multiple intents on the first page for even a fairly commercial query, there is an implication that only so many transactional pages can appear.

Given that, in many verticals, there are far more than 10 viable transactional sites, this means that if you drop from being the 3rd best to the 4th best among those, you could drop from, for example, position 5 to position 11. This is particularly important to keep in mind when we’re analysing search results statistically – whether it be in ranking factor studies or forecasting the results of our SEO campaigns, the relationship between the levers we pull and the outputs we see can be highly non-linear. A small change might move you 6 ranking positions, past sites which have a different intent and totally different metrics when it comes to links, on-page optimisation, or whatever else.

3. User signals as a ranking factor

Hannah: Surely at that point, John, you would start using signals from users, right? You would start looking at which results are clicked through most frequently, would you start looking at stuff like that at that point?

John: I don’t think we would use that for direct ranking like that. We use signals like that to analyze the algorithms in general, because across a million different search queries we can figure out like which one tends to be more correct or not, depending on where people click. But for one specific query for like a handful of pages, it can go in so many different directions. It’s really-

So, the suggestion here is that user signals – presumably CTR (click-through rates), dwell time, etc. – are used to appraise the algorithm, but not as part of the algorithm. This has been the line from Google for a while, but I found this response far more explicit and clear than John M’s skirting round the subject in the past.

It’s difficult to square this with some past experiments from the likes of Rand Fishkin manipulating rankings with hundreds of people in a conference hall clicking results for specific queries, or real world results I’ve discussed here. In the latter case, we could maybe say that this is similar to Panda – Google has machine learned what on-site attributes go with users finding a site trustworthy, rather than measuring trust & quality directly. That doesn’t explain Rand’s results, though.

Here are a few explanations I think are possible:

Google just does not want to admit to this, because it’d look spammable (whether or not it actually is)
In fact, they use something like “site recent popularity” as part of the algorithm, so, on a technicality, don’t need to call it CTR or user signals
The algorithm is constantly appraising itself, and adjusts in response to a lot of clicks on a result that isn’t p1 – but the ranking factor that gets adjusted is some arbitrary attribute of that site, not the user signal itself

Just to explain what I mean by the third one a little further – imagine if there are three sites ranking for a query, which are sites A, B, & C. At the start, they rank in that order – A, B, C. It just so happens, by coincidence, that site C has the highest word count.

Lots of people suddenly search the query and click on result C. The algorithm is appraising itself based on user signals, for example, cases where people prefer the 3rd place result, so needs to adjust to make this site rank higher. Like any unsupervised machine learning, it finds a way, any way, to fit the desired outcome to the inputs for this query, which in this case is weighting word count more highly as a ranking factor. As such, result C ranks first, and we all claim CTR is the ranking factor. Google can correctly say CTR is not a ranking factor, but in practice, it might as well be.

For me, the third option is the most contrived, but also fits in most easily with my real world experience, but I think either of the other explanations, or even all 3, could be true.

Discussion

I hope you’ve enjoyed my rampant speculation. It’s only fair that you get to join in too: tweet me at @THCapper, or get involved in the comments below.

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How Often Does Google Update Its Algorithm?

How Often Does Google Update Its Algorithm?

Posted by Dr-Pete

In 2018, Google reported an incredible 3,234 improvements to search. That’s more than 8 times the number of updates they reported in 2009 — less than a decade ago — and an average of almost 9 per day. How have algorithm updates evolved over the past decade, and how can we possibly keep tabs on all of them? Should we even try?

To kick this off, here’s a list of every confirmed count we have (sources at end of post):

2018 – 3,234 “improvements”2017 – 2,453 “changes”2016 – 1,653 “improvements”2013 – 890 “improvements”2012 – 665 “launches”2011 – 538 “launches”2010 – 516 “changes”2009 – 350–400 “changes”

Unfortunately, we don’t have confirmed data for 2014-2015 (if you know differently, please let me know in the comments).

A brief history of update counts

Our first peek into this data came in spring of 2010, when Google’s Matt Cutts revealed that “on average, [Google] tends to roll out 350–400 things per year.” It wasn’t an exact number, but given that SEOs at the time (and to this day) were tracking at most dozens of algorithm changes, the idea of roughly one change per day was eye-opening.

In fall of 2011, Eric Schmidt was called to testify before Congress, and revealed our first precise update count and an even more shocking scope of testing and changes:

“To give you a sense of the scale of the changes that Google considers, in 2010 we conducted 13,311 precision evaluations to see whether proposed algorithm changes improved the quality of its search results, 8,157 side-by-side experiments where it presented two sets of search results to a panel of human testers and had the evaluators rank which set of results was better, and 2,800 click evaluations to see how a small sample of real-life Google users responded to the change. Ultimately, the process resulted in 516 changes that were determined to be useful to users based on the data and, therefore, were made to Google’s algorithm.”

Later, Google would reveal similar data in an online feature called “How Search Works.” Unfortunately, some of the earlier years are only available via the Internet Archive, but here’s a screenshot from 2012:

Note that Google uses “launches” and “improvements” somewhat interchangeably. This diagram provided a fascinating peek into Google’s process, and also revealed a startling jump from 13,311 precisions evaluations (changes that were shown to human evaluators) to 118,812 in just two years.

Is the Google algorithm heating up?

Since MozCast has kept the same keyword set since almost the beginning of data collection, we’re able to make some long-term comparisons. The graph below represents five years of temperatures. Note that the system was originally tuned (in early 2012) to an average temperature of 70°F. The redder the bar, the hotter the temperature …

Click to open a high-resolution version in a new tab

You’ll notice that the temperature ranges aren’t fixed — instead, I’ve split the label into eight roughly equal buckets (i.e. they represent the same number of days). This gives us a little more sensitivity in the more common ranges.

The trend is pretty clear. The latter half of this 5-year timeframe has clearly been hotter than the first half. While warming trend is evident, though, it’s not a steady increase over time like Google’s update counts might suggest. Instead, we see a stark shift in the fall of 2016 and a very hot summer of 2017. More recently, we’ve actually seen signs of cooling. Below are the means and medians for each year (note that 2014 and 2019 are partial years):

2019 – 83.7° /82.0°2018 – 89.9° /88.0°2017 – 94.0° /93.7°2016 – 75.1° / 73.7°2015 – 62.9° / 60.3°2014 – 65.8° / 65.9°

Note that search engine rankings are naturally noisy, and our error measurements tend to be large (making day-to-day changes hard to interpret). The difference from 2015 to 2017, however, is clearly significant.

Are there really 9 updates per day?

No, there are only 8.86 – feel better? Ok, that’s probably not what you meant. Even back in 2009, Matt Cutts said something pretty interesting that seems to have been lost in the mists of time…

“We might batch [algorithm changes] up and go to a meeting once a week where we talk about 8 or 10 or 12 or 6 different things that we would want to launch, but then after those get approved … those will roll out as we can get them into production.”

In 2016, I did a study of algorithm flux that demonstrated a weekly pattern evident during clearer episodes of ranking changes. From a software engineering standpoint, this just makes sense — updates have to be approved and tend to be rolled out in batches. So, while measuring a daily average may help illustrate the rate of change, it probably has very little basis in the reality of how Google handles algorithm updates.

Do all of these algo updates matter?

Some changes are small. Many improvements are likely not even things we in the SEO industry would consider “algorithm updates” — they could be new features, for example, or UI changes.

As SERP verticals and features evolve, and new elements are added, there are also more moving parts subject to being fixed and improved. Local SEO, for example, has clearly seen an accelerated rate of change over the past 2-3 years. So, we’d naturally expect the overall rate of change to increase.

A lot of this is also in the eye of the beholder. Let’s say Google makes an update to how they handle misspelled words in Korean. For most of us in the United States, that change isn’t going to be actionable. If you’re a Korean brand trying to rank for a commonly misspelled, high-volume term, this change could be huge. Some changes also are vertical-specific, representing radical change for one industry and little or no impact outside that niche.

On the other hand, you’ll hear comments in the industry along the lines of “There are 3,000 changes per year; stop worrying about it!” To me that’s like saying “The weather changes every day; stop worrying about it!” Yes, not every weather report is interesting, but I still want to know when it’s going to snow or if there’s a tornado coming my way. Recognizing that most updates won’t affect you is fine, but it’s a fallacy to stretch that into saying that no updates matter or that SEOs shouldn’t care about algorithm changes.

Ultimately, I believe it helps to know when major changes happen, if only to understand whether rankings shifted due something we did or something Google did. It’s also clear that the rate of change has accelerated, no matter how you measure it, and there’s no evidence to suggest that Google is slowing down.

Appendix A: Update count sources

2009 – Google’s Matt Cutts, video (Search Engine Land)
2010 – Google’s Eric Schmidt, testifying before Congress (Search Engine Land)
2012 – Google’s “How Search Works” page (Internet Archive)
2013 – Google’s Amit Singhal, Google+ (Search Engine Land)
2016 – Google’s “How Search Works” page (Internet Archive)
2017 – Unnamed Google employees (CNBC)
2018 – Google’s “How Search Works” page (Google.com)

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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The New Moz Local Is on Its Way!

Posted by MiriamEllis

Exciting secrets can be so hard to keep. Finally, all of us at Moz have the green light to share with all of you a first glimpse of something we’ve been working on for months behind the scenes. Big inhale, big exhale…

Announcing: the new and improved Moz Local, to be rolled out beginning June 12!

Why is Moz updating the Moz Local platform?

Local search has evolved from caterpillar to butterfly in the seven years since we launched Moz Local. I think we’ve spent the time well, intensively studying both Google’s trajectory and the feedback of enterprise, marketing agency, and SMB customers.

Your generosity in telling us what you need as marketers has inspired us to action. Over the coming months, you’ll be seeing what Moz has learned reflected in a series of rollouts. Stage by stage, you’ll see that we’re planning to give our software the wings it needs to help you fully navigate the dynamic local search landscape and, in turn, grow your business.

We hope you’ll keep gathering together with us to watch Moz Local take full flight — changes will only become more robust as we move forward.

What can I expect from this upgrade?

Beginning June 12th, Moz Local customers will experience a fresh look and feel in the Moz Local interface, plus these added capabilities:

New distribution partners to ensure your data is shared on the platforms that matter most in the evolving local search ecosystemListing status and real-time updates to know the precise status of your location data Automated detection and permanent duplicate closure, taking the manual work out of the process and saving you significant timeIntegrations with Google and Facebook to gain deeper insights, reporting, and management for your location’s profilesAn even better data clean-up process to ensure valid data is formatted properly for distributionA new activity feed to alert you to any changes to your location’s listingsA suggestion engine to provide recommendations to increase accuracy, completeness, and consistency of your location data

Additional features available include:

Managing reviews of your locations to keep your finger on the pulse of what customers are sayingSocial posting to engage with consumers and alert them to news, offers, and other updatesStore locator and landing pages to share location data easily with both customers and search engines (available for Moz Local customers with 100 or more locations)

Remember, this is just the beginning. There’s more to come in 2019, and you can expect ongoing communications from us as further new feature sets emerge!

When is it happening?

We’ll be rolling out all the new changes beginning on June 12th. As with some large changes, this update will take a few days to complete, so some people will see the changes immediately while for others it may take up to a week. By June 21st, everyone should be able to explore the new Moz Local experience!

Don’t worry — we’ll have several more communications between now and then to help you prepare. Keep an eye out for our webinar and training materials to help ensure a smooth transition to the new Moz Local.

Are any metrics/scores changing?

Some of our reporting metrics will look different in the new Moz Local. We’ll be sharing more information on these metrics and how to use them soon, but for now, here’s a quick overview of changes you can expect:

Profile Completeness: Listing Score will be replaced by the improved Profile Completeness metric. This new feature will give you a better measurement of how complete your data is, what’s missing from it, and clear prompts to fill in any lacking information.Improved listing status reporting: Partner Accuracy Score will be replaced by improved reporting on listing status with all of our partners, including continuous information about the data they’ve received from us. You’ll be able to access an overview of your distribution network, so that you can see which sites your business is listed on. Plus, you’ll be able to go straight to the live listing with a single click.Visibility Index: Though they have similar names, Visibility Score is being replaced by something slightly different with the new and improved Visibility Index, which notates how the data you’ve provided us about a location matches or mismatches your information on your live listings.New ways to measure and act on listing reach: Reach Score will be leaving us in favor of even more relevant measurement via the Visibility Index and Profile Completeness metrics. The new Moz Local will include more actionable information to ensure your listings are accurate and complete.
Other FAQs

You’ll likely have questions if you’re a current Moz Local customer or are considering becoming one. Please check out our resource center for further details, and feel free to leave us a question down in the comments — we’ll be on point to respond to any wonderings or concerns you might have!

Head to the FAQs

Where is Moz heading with this?

As a veteran local SEO, I’m finding the developments taking place with our software particularly exciting because, like you, I see how local search and local search marketing have matured over the past decade.

I’ve closely watched the best minds in our industry moving toward a holistic vision of how authenticity, customer engagement, data, analysis, and other factors underpin local business success. And we’ve all witnessed Google’s increasingly sophisticated presentation of local business information evolve and grow. It’s been quite a ride!

At every level of local commerce, owners and marketers deserve tools that bring order out of what can seem like chaos. We believe you deserve software that yields strategy. As our CEO, Sarah Bird, recently said of Moz,

“We are big believers in the power of local SEO.”

So the secret is finally out, and you can see where Moz is heading with the local side of our product lineup. It’s our serious plan to devote everything we’ve got into putting the power of local SEO into your hands.

Sign up for The Moz Top 10, a semimonthly mailer updating you on the top ten hottest pieces of SEO news, tips, and rad links uncovered by the Moz team. Think of it as your exclusive digest of stuff you don’t have time to hunt down but want to read!

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I/O announcements have some applauding and others shaking their fists

Now that this year’s I/O conference is in the books, digital marketers have had a chance to digest Google’s big announcements. Chief among them was Googlebot getting pushed to the latest version of Chromium, Assistant delivering results up to 10 times faster and, perhaps the most contentious, Search supporting FAQ and How-to structured data. As you can imagine, reactions weren’t limited to applause from the live audience.

Googlebot’s long-awaited update has engineers and developers nodding favorably.

Super cool. No more testing in Chrome webmaster tools to verify if your site is crawlable.

— Samar Panda (@samarpanda) May 8, 2019

Biggest unsung news 📰 of #io19…Googlebot now indexes the web using the latest Chromium rather than super old Chrome 42. Use modern features with confidence, without SEO issues. Huge! 🙌 pic.twitter.com/VJWjw71MyP

— Eric Bidelman (@ebidel) May 7, 2019

Still, some are keen to point out that this should have come sooner, especially because the update benefits businesses, consumers and Google itself.

it only took half a decade ++ !!

— jameschurchman (@jameschurchman) May 7, 2019

A number of Google Assistant-related announcements were made, but the speed demonstration is what might get users to take advantage of it more often and, by extension, businesses to prioritize integrating with it. Naturally, people drew comparisons with the competition.

Here’s an incredible demo from Google I/O. What they’re doing with the new Google Assistant is light-years ahead of Siri, which is a shame given the couple year head start Apple had. pic.twitter.com/eJiXv4SI7m

— Mike (@ekimgary) May 8, 2019

Siri: We now have better Maps integration
Bixby: We can now recognize multiple voices

Google Assistant: We’ll read your email, find the last time you booked a certain car, then book the same one in the same color for your next trip, which we also put in your calendar……..

— Marques Brownlee (@MKBHD) May 7, 2019

The announcement of support for How-to markup in search results received strong reactions. Some were excited to give it a test drive…

Actually pretty excited about this. Will definitely test out ASAP.

— Alexander Juul (@AlexanderJuul) May 8, 2019

…while others were anxious about what it could mean for the industry.

Hurray for more ways to get less traffic to your website and generate free content for @Google to run ads against !

— PaulsSEOstuff (@PaulsSEOstuff) May 8, 2019

Google is becoming a parasite. Not the mutually beneficial kind either, just a leech. You produce nothing, steal content, to make $$ & now even steal the click.

This can’t and won’t go on forever.

— Kristine Schachinger (@schachin) May 9, 2019

“Google started adding ‘features’ to the SERPS. Features whose content is not created by Google, but which operates off the scraped content of the sites in their index,” Schachinger, the digital strategist and SEO consultant quoted above, elaborated in a follow-up with Search Engine Land.

“These features ‘steal the click’ meant for the site because they are meant to keep people on Google’s page, so they will click on Google Ads. Despite a recent study showing users still, by majority, prefer the ten blue links the how-to feature shows these features are just becoming more (and not less) prevalent. The ten blue links now appear, on average, 1000px down the page, where previously they appeared between 300-400px.”

“In ‘stealing the click,’ Google is only benefiting its bottom line. And for those whose content they are using to do this, it fundamentally alters the previously beneficial relationship between Google and site owners,” she points out. “What happens to their business when site owners start putting their money and efforts elsewhere? And this is not just supposition, I can tell you I know of some enterprise level C Suites that are testing just this, right now, because of the perception that Google is becoming less and less beneficial.”

Adding to the assortment of reactions, some see structured data (such as How-to markup) as an opportunity to gain more visibility by leapfrogging the top organic search results. Others, like Greg Finn, digital marketer and partner at Cypress North, acknowledges that the change does convenience users.

“On one hand, users should benefit in the immediate future by having Google surface every bit of helpful content on a site and showing it directly in the search results. Better yet, webmasters that participate may see a boost as they put themselves into the position of offering better content for Google.”

“The other hand is the scarier one,” Finn admits. “One way to look at it is that they are cutting out the middleman, with the middleman being the website itself. Many of the examples shown simply won’t drive traffic. Take a look at the FAQs and the ‘How To Tie a Tie’ example specifically. There is a monumental downside to Google Search changes that bypass your site & your work, so be careful. Make sure you know who is benefiting on your markup. When websites lose visitors & income, the overall content and output inevitably become worse. That’s my fear here.”

Why we should care. Google has been introducing numerous products and features that insert itself between businesses and users under the guise of getting users the info they want faster. The problem is businesses aren’t necessarily seeing the benefits but Google still stands to gain.

Clicks are becoming more scarce, and that’s an indicator that potential customers are getting less contact with our brands. By investing resources and embracing these new features and markups, are we facilitating search engines at our own expense? If that’s the case, at some point brands are bound to get fed up and seek alternative routes to their audiences, or the search engines will have to offer us more for our efforts and ad budgets.

The post I/O announcements have some applauding and others shaking their fists appeared first on Search Engine Land.

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