Dear Google,

Dear Google,

  • Market Share of Search

  • Market Share of Mobile OS

IDC: Smartphone OS Market Share 2015, 2014, 2013, and 2012 Chart

  • Market Share of Browsers (us) – 43%

We don’t really have a choice do we?

As long as links are manipulated, many businesses will fail.

When a website has bad links and gets punished for it, people can get mad.

When a website has natural links and their competitors win with bad links, people can get mad.

Website Punishment is Not The Answer

It makes no sense to punish a website for links, there has to be a better way. Punish the webmaster not the website.

You preach for webmasters not to worry about links, however, if one can be punished by them and one can inherit a site that has them (knowing or not?), falling in rankings can seriously make people worry. Links are a webmasters responsibility, not a businesses, the business should have no tie to a link profile, the webmaster should.

The way things are today, when an uneducated webmaster doesn’t check a backlink profile, he’s in jeopardy of wasting a lot of time and money.

Suggestion for Google Search

License Webmasters, make webmasters take credibility for their own links. How? Make every business that wants to rank in Google, get their license to Google (Current webmaster can have a timeframe).

A license to Google should require some solid form of identity: social security number, a copy of a passport, license number, EIN, IDK something. Once webmasters are accountable for their own links, they would refrain from building manipulative links and they will think carefully before linking to someone. Unlicensed users links shouldn’t count. Google can help the search community without punishment. Isn’t the goal to create a better user experience?

Top 5 ranking sites should receive a congratulations letter with a Google Webmaster License request,


 

“Congratulation your website has made it into Google’s top 5 for several awesome terms in your market.

[You rank for your brand, more terms!]

Keep up the great work!

Notice: In order to maintain your credibility, Google asks that you add your Google License number into your webmaster tools account. Don’t have a Google license? Get one here”


 

Encourage us to do better and reward us for good work, don’t punish.

In the real world, people incorporate their businesses, it helps consumers from being cheated and protects people. In this case it will encourage better user experience for all.

Transparency – we are with our personal information. Can you imagine working on a project for an entire year only to find out the previous webmaster created a crappy link profile, it’s a bummer.

Punish the culprit, not everyone else!

Perhaps my suggestions are not the right solutions, but I can tell you that punishing people isn’t right either.

 

Yours Truly.

Thumbtack.com – Is Google Making Money on Organic Search?

Recently, the company Thumbtack appeared on two of my clients organic result pages.

I added my client to Thumbtack thinking, nice local citation. About a week after setting up the citation, I get this:

 

Unnatural link building scheme


 

Hi [client],

 

You can get 30 more points if you add a link to your Thumbtack service profile on your personal website. Instructions are below.

 

Your profile will feature a profile badge.

 

Let us know if you have any questions,

– The Thumbtack Support Team

 

Instructions:

 

1. Copy and paste your profile link to your website with a description of your profile

<a href=”https://www.thumbtack.com/mo/kansas-city/personal-injury-lawyers/“>legal</a>

 

If you would prefer to add a button or a badge instead of a link, you get one here.

 

2. Once you are done, respond to this email with the URL of the link, badge, or button.

I’ll verify the link and will credit the points and badge to your profile. 


 

This Strategy Violates Google’s Link Building Guidelines

The points they offer to clients who provide the links helps them rank in their system. They then ask for credit money in order for clients to bid on quotes with five others. Each credit is valued at $1-$5 based on the vertical.

My clients who are PI lawyers would have to pay ~$10 to bid on a lead with 5 other firms.

Google Investment

Further research shows that Google’s invested $100 million in Thumbtack:
http://www.bloomberg.com/news/articles/2014-08-20/google-capital-leads-100-million-investment-in-thumbtack

Link removal is bull shit

Looks like this profile was built and still dominates after all the Penguin updates.

http://www.semrush.com/info/thumbtack.com?db=us

Questions: Will Google punish a site if they have their hands in its pocket?

It remains to be seen whether Google acts on the information I have provided when I reported Thumbtack’s link acquisition tactics.

Have any of you come across a similar situation?

It seems to me that despite Google’s continuous protestations that organic search results are independently determined and not manipulated, this appears to be a way for Google to make money on organic traffic.

By providing companies in which they have a direct financial investment with superior positioning, Google can avoid the appearance of organic search results manipulation.

Thumbtack’s advantage in this case comes not from Google actively assisting them, but because Google permits them to violate the standards that punish our sites.

Thumbtack, in essence, has an exemption from applying white hat SEO tactics. They can be confident in pursuing tactics that allow them to rank without any fear of potential consequences.

Google Antitrust Issues

While antitrust efforts in America against Google’s abuse of its dominance in the search market have gone nowhere, there seems to be a more robust regulatory framework in Europe.

Hopefully, the antitrust challenges to Google’s modus operandi in Europe will wake up the Federal Trade Commission.

Lastly: http://thumbtack.pissedconsumer.com/ (Angry Consumers Abound)

 

Disclaimer:

The only links on this page that are actually Not Followed is Google’s link…

I mean Thumbtacks link…

 

Foundation Optimization – A Local SEO Index

Local SEO Index Image

If you want to rank a local listing in Google for competitive terms it’s important to have a good understanding of how search works. This index covers everything you need to know about optimizing a local listing.

Once you complete all these local SEO recommendations you will have a great advantage on your competitors and you will also capitalize on other marketing opportunities.

We used Moz’s Local SEO survey and included great content to guide you throughout the SEO learning process:

  • Learn
  • Apply
  • Experiment
  • Rank
  • Evaluate 

The following are the Overall Ranking Factors from Moz’s Local Survey:

  • Place Page Signals Scored 19.6% Categories, Keyword in Business Title, Proximity
  • On-page Signals Scored 18.8% Presence of NAP, Keywords in Titles, Domain authority
  • External Loc. Signals Scored 16% IYP/aggregator NAP consistency, Citation Volume
  • Link Signals Scored 14.4% Inbound anchor text, Linking domain authority, Linking domain quantity
  • Review Signals Scored 10.3% Review quantity, Review velocity, Review diversity
  • Personalization Scored 8.3%
  • Social Signals Scored  6.3% Google+ authority, Facebook likes, Twitter followers
  • Behavioral/Mob. Signals Scored 6.1% Clickthrough rate, Mobile clicks to call, Check-ins, Offers

Below we’ve listed each of these factors and made recommendations to great articles and guides. These links are in order from most important, to least, they can teach you a good amount about Local SEO, how to properly layout your foundation and optimize your listing.

Place Page

On-page

External Loc.

Link

Reviews

Personalization

Social

Behavioral/Mob.

Conclusion

Staying on top of all the ranking factors is not a one man job, don’t be a jack of all trades, master of none. Use tools, find help and create quality. I’ve seen listings rank in 2 month with little work and some take over a year. Keep your head up and stay focused or hire someone good. If we missed any content that belong on this list please email us and well be happy to add it.

Local Search Tips for the Healthcare Industry

As an online marketing consultant specializing in the healthcare industry, I work with doctors & healthcare professionals every day. Here are 15 strategies for increasing website traffic.

Source: www.brightlocal.com

This is one of the best articles ever created for local Healthcare businesses. If you are working with a healthcare professional or are a healthcare professional this articles has some amazing takeaways.

See on Scoop.itGoogle Maps Marketing

Local SEO Tools FTW – Google Maps Marketing Tools

This article is not about which tool is best for optimizing a local business listing, this article is about combining all of them to tower over your competition. In traditional SEO when researching good link building opportunities, it’s recommended to use all research tools available:

  • Open Site Explorer
  • AHREF
  • Majestic SEO
  • Raven Tools
  • Google Search

Well the same goes for a Google Maps listing, with a combination of tools a business can discover more directory opportunities and gain beneficial knowledge from several sources. In the local search world many people compare local SEO tools, in my opinion these tools are best when combined. An expert should use all their tools, I use:

  • BrightLocal
  • WhiteSpark
  • MozLocal
  • Google Search

How To Use All These Tools

First set up MozLocal, MozLocal handles all the aggregating directories that are extremely irritating to set up, it shows which of the most common directories are completed accurately and It shows duplicate listings. MozLocal is extremely economical when considering the cost of submitting to all the directories they provide in their annual plan.

MOZlogo

After MozLocal is set up, it’s time to set up BrightLocal. BrightLocal provides businesses with data and it generates excellent competitor analysis reports that show a business where it stands, it helps the business determine how much work it should take before results appear.

BrightLocal is one of the most amazing Google Maps marketing tools, it helps find competitor citations and it has accurate ranking reports. BrightLocal also lets you white label all your reports and they offer a review widget that you can add to your clients site, when creating the widget you can customize it and select the best review sites for whichever particular area the business is located.

Bright Local Logo

Although BrightLocal offers great tools it does not necessary help find many niche related citations and citations outside of competitors results, this is where WhiteSpark comes into the equation.

Unlike MozLocal & BrightLocal, WhiteSpark finds an incredible amount of citation building opportunities, not only for localized opportunity but for niche related as well. If you are in a very niche related business or you have a ton of competitors, WhiteSpark will help you discover lots of great directories, a real edge over your competitors.

WhiteSpark Logo

Lastly, searching for your “Niche + Location + Directories” in Google will help you discover citation opportunities, but that’s not all… you can also learn which review sites Google is watching, understanding the information Google is returning can be very beneficial for a local business. In some cases you will see review site like YellowPages ranking above all local listings on a SERP, in this case it would be wise to get some reviews on YellowPages. Reviews are important and understanding which review sites are right for your business is easy to discover with Google.

Google Logo

Conclusion

With our powers combined…

captain planet kids

We are Captain Citation!

Captain Citations

I’d love to learn more about how others use their local SEO tools, please add your comments below.

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