Copyright infringement is a big issue even if you think that it isn't
or haven't gotten caught yet. You may want to review how
you are getting images for your own blog and e-newsletter
after reviewing our article on image copyright infringement.
We've also updated one of our previous articles on Google
Maps or Google Local that you will find interesting.
These local listings and maps are now appearing more
frequently at the top, above the organic listings, on
Image Copyright Infringement,
Are You Doing It?
Everybody does it right? Right click on an image from Google Images
or Flickr and then use it on
their own commercial website
or blog without a thought.
First, it is important to know
that not everybody does it.
Only people who don't know
the truth and reality of federal
copyright law are doing it
and they are risking real legal
problems if they are caught.
truth is that every image on
every website is copyrighted
to someone some where. As a
business you simply cannot
snatch someone else's photo
from a web page and call it
your own. You wouldn't dream
of taking their content verbatim,
but you would be surprised
at the people who feel it is
okay to take an image from
the same web page. To prevent
a violation, you need to ask
the copyright owner for their
approval to use an image or
risk a potential copyright
infringement issue. Just because
it's there doesn't mean you
can use it without asking or
just right click to take it.
You don't just pick up items
in a store and pocket them,
you pay right? Same with images
you ask to use them or buy
This is what we tell our bloggers. Stay away from Flickr. Only
certain photos on Flickr with
a special creative commons
license may be used commercially.
Then, it is really problematic and
time consuming to find out
which ones are licensed to use commercially.
Some photo copyright owners
will even list their restrictions
or required attributions on
Flickr so you really need to check first. This is way too
much trouble for most bloggers on the run. So
it's best to just stay away
from Flickr. You CAN use any clip
art images from the Microsoft
Office Clip Art Gallery on
your own computer and can even use these
in commercial pieces - just
not logos that identify your
business. Better yet, go to
an image seller like iStockPhoto
and buy images for your
blog or web use there for a
small one time use charge of
All commercial enterprises are governed under federal copyright
law and web content and web
images are clearly covered
under the rules for copyright
ownership. Now, the rules are
different for personal use
in many cases, but if you have
a blog that promotes your business
and you are not being careful
about where you are finding
your images it's time to re
evaluate your approach before
you are contacted by an attorney
or angry image owner.
The good news is that in most cases the image or content owner
who feels that you are infringing
on their rights will most likely
contact you first to ask for
the offending item to be removed.
Why skirt the law and invite
problems. You certainly don't
want someone right clicking
and stealing your own images
Google Local Placement Revisited
Every one wants to know how to get top organic placement on Google. Who
doesn't, as top placement means more traffic, more leads,
more sales, and more money. Now that Google is placing
local listings, pulled from their Google Local search engine
and Google Maps, more clients are asking me "how do I get top placement?"
I've done a careful study of this issue previously and wanted to share
with you the article as it is timely, now that more Internet
surfers have put away their Yellow Pages telephone directory
and have moved their local business searches onto the Web.
"Why is my competitor the top site on Google.com next to a map?
How can I get there too?" Google Maps is what feeds these Google.com
results. Google has been pretty closed mouthed about their
Google Maps or Google Local algorithm and there really
does not seem to be a lot of information on the Web about
how to garner top placement. I decided that I should dig
into this topic to try to find out what can be done to
try to improve Google Local placement for you.
First, it is important to understand that Google Local will feed
these results into Google.com
and typically these results
are placed at the top of the
page above the organic results
next to a map. Google Local
will return the businesses
that are in closest proximity
to the center of the search
query location. That's right,
Google is auto-sensing your
location for your IP address!
For example, if I enter a search query in
Google for web design Waldorf
Maryland, my own site appears
in the number two position
in the maps section and one
of my competitors appears first.
She is located very close to
the geographic center of Waldorf, has a site similar to mine
and has been in business for
a while. I am actually located about 9 miles or so out of Waldorf
yet appear in a higher position than other sites that are located
actually in Waldorf.
it appears that proximity is
important to the center point
of the search query, but Google
is also taking into account
other key factors when sorting
the results. As I analyze my
own situation, I see that my
competitor has links from several
very specific community sites
that I do not have, such as
a link from the Chamber of
Commerce, The Southern Maryland
Tech Council, and a local business
directory. Specifically, in
my case I have nearly two times
the amount of inbound links
to my site than my competitor
does, but I do not have the
Chamber or County resource
links. Clearly links from local
directories and local resources
are more important for ranking
in this case than the amount
of content on a site and possibly
even the number of inbound
links to a site. Google Local
is very heavily weighting certain
local factors in regards to
determining top Google Map
position that will appear on
Additionally, in my case, reviews do not seem to be an important
issue for my own Google Local
position. In regard
to Google Local position and
service reviews, you will not
necessarily take a position
hit for reviews or lack there
of unless your competitor has
several reviews and you have
The amount of information that your Local Business listing for
Google Local does not seem
to be a big factor either for
top Google Local placement.
In my case, I have a depth
of information and my competitor
has literally no depth of information
in her Google Local listing.
So depth of information, although
important and helpful to readers,
does not impact the placement
within the map returned on
In my case the only clear difference that is impacting Google
Local placement is the type
of local authority links that
my competitor has. As I did
further research on this topic,
I did find some helpful tips
that I would like to share
with you that may help you
as you work to raise your Google
Maps and Google Local position.
- Get links from other local resources. If you are a member of the Chamber of Commerce make sure that they have linked to your website from theirs. Consider other authoritative local listing sites, but stay away from link farms. Other local sites might include the Yellow Pages, local business associations, and local review sites.
- Make sure to include your street address, and at least your city and state on each page on your website in text versus in an image.
- On your contact page repeat your full address with the city
and even list the local areas you service by name.
- Add as much information as you can to your Local Business listing
such as hours driving directions,
areas served, and consider
adding a local coupon or
- If you do not have a Google
Local Business listing which will show in Google Maps and
Google Local, you can
get one free from Google.
You will need to create
a Google account in order
to do so.
If you don't think that you should be thinking about your own
Google Local and Google Maps
position, you may want to think
again. In many cases Google
is now showing Google Maps
listings on top of and above
all organic listings (take
a look at this example). Improving your own position on Google
Local and Google Maps is doable
and can help improve your overall
visibility on the Web.
Follow Up Note: After writing this article I practiced what I
had discovered and have since
moved to the number one position
for local searches in my area.
STOP Fighting Over The Kids
We've just launched a great new website for the new book "STOP
Fighting Over The Kids". This
website is one of our Quick
Launch websites. Quick Launch
is our super fast get on the
Web at a budget price website
program. It uses easy to customize
pre-made website templates
some can even have a custom
look and feel.
This particular website imitates the client's print marketing
pieces both in design and layout.
With a gradient on the left
side bar and a banner that
duplicates their print media
the new website reinforces
the book's and author's "brand".
The website provides opportunities to sign up to receive a free
chapter of the book and points
to Amazon where customers can
buy the book.
The book is not available yet for purchase but by planning ahead
the publisher St.
Gabriel's Press is able to develop a
online waiting list and to
build a search engine presence
before the book is released.
The book is written by one of our client's Mike Mastracci who
is also the owner of the popular
blog called Divorce