Say Goodbye To Google Places

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Local Online Advertising, Search Engines | Posted on 30-05-2012

As we all know Google exists to make the lives of marketers everywhere more difficult.  In their latest move, Google has decided to get rid of Google Places and use Google+ Local as a replacement.  What does this mean?  Who the heck knows, but SearchEngineLand wrote a great article about it today.  My Hustler-like brain makes me wonder why they are doing this.  What I came up with is that it’s a way to force people to use Google+.  You know what they say….”if you can’t grow a social network because people love it, grow it by forcing people to use it.”  I’m not sure who says that but it’s the obvious plan.  The more Google makes their much used services revolve around Google+, the more active users they will get.  The more businesses that jump on the Google+ bandwagon (which will be every local business), the more businesses start promoting Google+ to their customers (ie leave us a review on Google+).  It’s a diabolical marketing scheme and a major pain in the ass for all of the local businesses who spent time building up and optimizing their Google Places pages.

Your Thoughts?

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Google to Switch to SSL and Stop Sending Referers

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Search Engines | Posted on 19-10-2011

Yesterday Google posted a bombshell on their blog.  The post was called “Making Search More Secure.”  The jist of the post is that Google will start forcing logged in users to “secure search” which is esentially – The consequence of this is that users that click a search engine result through a “secure search” will not pass the referring keyword along with them.  This means that your analytics software will be able detect that a user came from Google but not WHICH TERM they used to get there.  This is quite a step back from what’s happened in recent years where we can actually get more and more information about our users, not less.  You will still be able to see the referrers of non logged in users, so you don’t lose all keyword referrer data but you do lose some.

This is going to be wide reaching.  Lot’s of different internet marketing niches rely heavily on analytics and keyword referrer data.  Blackhat SEO’s are going to probably be hit super hard, especially ones who adjust the content of their site to reflect the keywords referred.  Even the most white hat of sites like ecommerce sites are going to be effected because they won’t be able to accurately judge how people are arriving at their sites.

There’s nothing we can do about it.  Google loves making the jobs of internet marketers harder so we just have to adjust.

One thing i’m really surprised about is that Google didn’t execute this new move differently.  Hear me out here:

Google likes people to use Google Analytics because it allows them to accumulate more and more data about the web.  Google also loves to dominate industries.  Although i’m not for it, Google has a huge opportunity here to make every other Analytics software completely worthless and FORCE people to use Google Analytics.  Since Google owns both the search and the analytics they could easily securely transfer the referrer data from the search to Google Analytics using some kind of encryption.  That would make Google Analytics the ONLY analytics software able to give you complete keyword referrer analytical data and give Google Analytics control over the entire analytics industry.

But I digress….

What are your thoughts on this move?

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1 Google Adwords Tip 2 Save Your A$$

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Search Engines | Posted on 18-10-2011

When building out a campaign for Google Adwords there’s often a lot to do.  Not many other online ad platforms have a Quality Score in which the page that traffic is sent to is judged as harshly as Google Adwords.  Between worrying about site structure, relevant content, click through rate and more it’s easy to overlook the simple things.

If you are collecting lead information on your landing page DO NOT FORGET the privacy policy.  I have noticed a trend of Google marking all ads as “Site Suspended” if the site is collecting user information and does not have a clear privacy policy.  Once the site get’s suspended it’s impossible to run any ads.  You can get a “Site Suspended” account reversed but why go through the trouble and time?  Don’t Forget The Privacy Policy!  If you need a free place to create a privacy policy visit

Anyone else seeing this trend more and more?

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SEO Unpredictability

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Search Engines | Posted on 28-09-2011

I’ve been doing a test lately for reputation management using search engine optimization.

I have a product and want to control what people see about it when they search for a term like “Product x Reviews”

In order to do so we’ve created 30+ social media sites using “Product x Reviews” as the title tags.  Over time some of these profiles have ranked page 1 with no effort.  I decided i’d grab 10 of the highest ranking (for that term) profiles that we have and do link building to them to try to dominate the entire first page for “Product x Reviews.”  I purposely did not diversify the anchor text because I wanted to see how easy it would be to rank over authority review sites.  Quite honestly, I expected it to be easy.

What happened though was kind of strange.  Although some of my social media profiles did move up a bit, some of the authority review sites moved down and other random sites moved up to 1, 2 & 3 position.  So in essence I acomplished pushing down the authority review site but a random site rather then my own took it’s place.

SEO is Unpredictable

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Check Domain History Before Creating SEO Properties

Posted by Ad Hustler | Posted in Search Engines | Posted on 03-08-2011

I’ve been doing a bunch of SEO sites lately and I learned an unfortunate lesson which I figured I’d share.

The background: I would launch sites and some would never seem to get indexed no matter what I did.  I could ping them, build backlinks, add content…..nothing worked.

I decided to check on the whois history of the problem domains and they all had something in common.  The common element was that they had previous registrations.  My only assumption is that these previous registrants had a penalty on their sites, hence dropped the domain, yet the penalties remained.

Lesson learned!

When doing domain research before buying domain names for your SEO properties check out if there is a whois history on the domain.  I’ve been using the DomainTools search.  Although previous registrations are not any kind of guarantee that there is a penalty on the domain, I would be particularly careful if your buying cheap .info type domains.

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