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February 2010 Features » Google Maps Exposure, Ad for Smart Phones, Caffeine Update

Nancy McCord, Owner of McCord Web Services LLC.Dear Friend,

Lots has been changing on the Web this month. Google is in the news again with another big increase in the number of users searching using their search engine. Google's market share is now at about 67.9% with no other search engine really being close to competitive.

Our newsletter will therefore showcase a few new things that have happened on Google this last month.

Best Regards,

Nancy McCord

Connect with me online on Twitter | Facebook | LinkedIn | Plaxo | Naymz

Google Maps Exposure | Ads for Smart Phones | Google Caffeine Update

Are You Missing Google Local or Google Maps Exposure Opportunities?

Don't miss free advertising opportunities, add your listing to Google Maps.You can get free exposure on, when you match a local search query, if you have a Google Local Business account. What makes it all even sweeter is that the exposure is free.

First, if you don't have a Google Local Business Center account, I would strongly recommend that you consider setting one up as sometimes local searches are shown above the organic results accompanied by a map. Why wait when you can set one up for without charge?

Google allows you to add up to ten photos to your account and many details about your business location and the services you provide. You can even select categories for which your business would show as a match to searches.

Although a Google Local Business Center account is free, many business owners don't know that there are two very important steps that they need to do to take advantage of additional advertising opportunities.

First, if you advertise on Google AdWords, make sure to list your phone number in your Local Business account to get involved in AdWords smart phone click to call ads when they are available. Second, make sure to synch your local business account and AdWords accounts together.

It is important to know that the exposure you get on Google Local Business or Google Maps is totally free and you don't need to be an AdWords advertiser to have your listing show in search results.

What affects where your business is ranked in the local results that are returned is still an unknown factor. It used to be that businesses with more reviews or in closer proximity to the geographic center of the city searched, appeared in the top positions. Now, how to get into the top positions is unclear and does not seem to be a factor of any one set of known efforts.

There are some unscrupulous optimization businesses who are soaking customers under the guise of guaranteeing top Google Local Business placement. So, be careful and ask to see placement results from the last two months if you are considering using a position improvement service for Google Local Business listings.

Google has been making major changes in the Local Business Center steadily this past six months and has just recently rolled out a new program called Favorite Places. We expect to see more changes in the Local Business Center in the months to come as Google adjusts how businesses are displayed and ranked and possibly creates its own business review tool. If we can determine what helps a business place better in this changing program we will make sure to let you know.


Brite Idea Tip: Google AdWords Ads to Show on Smart Phones and Will Offer Click to Call

Brite Idea TipGoogle will be rolling out a new mobile advertising program in AdWords this month. But to have your ads show on iPhones and other smart phones you need to make sure that you are opted in. Here’s how you can tap into this mobile network so that when Google rolls out the program to your account you will be automatically able to participate.

For quite sometime in the campaign control panel you could select to show your ads on iPhones and Smart Phones or just on desktop PCs. Now Google is going to finally enable special features just for iPones and Smart Phones.

First, to get in the game, you need to make sure that you have set up a Google Local Business account and have your telephone number listed there. Make sure to review our previous article above if you don’t already have a Google Local Business account.

Second, you need to go to your campaign settings in AdWords and select to show your ads on iPhones if you have not already. Go to the setting for Networks, Devices, and Extensions. Make sure to select all available devices.

Third, you need to make sure that in campaign settings you have selected to synch your AdWords account with your Google Local Business Center account. This allows Google to grab your phone number for the program from your Local Business account. Go to your AdWords campaign settings and select Locations, Languages, and Demographics. Click open the show relevant addresses within your ads. Click edit for business owners and allow Google to synch your Google Local Business account with AdWords.

Additionally, Google has stated that they will be offering a click to call feature with these new mobile ads which will make it easy for a potential customer to reach you right away by phone to purchase your products or services or to ask a question.


Confused About the Google Caffeine Update? Join the Club

Confused about Google Caffeine? Join the club!We've heard conflicting reports about the release of the new Google Caffeine update and whether it is already live. First, the professional chatter in the first week in January was that the new Google “Caffeine” algorithm was out. Then, on January 14th, the professional chatter was that, no, the algorithm had been delayed. So who do you believe and why would the update possibly be delayed?

As with all important new algorithm adjustments on Google, there is a fine tuning period after launch. When the infamous Florida update was rolled out several years ago, the blowback that Google received was so strong, parts of the algorithm were tweaked for performance to soften the impact or rolled back all together.

It could be with the Caffeine update that Google is additionally fine-tuning the algorithm based on results from the one data center that they have announced is running the update live and has been since November.

At this time, we can all only guess as Google in not confirming or denying the reports. My personal feeling is that the algorithm is not live yet. When a new algorithm is released the professional webmaster forums are filled with whiners and complainers. I have just not seen the volume of complaints that typically accompany an important new update as of yet.

As I frequently prowl the forums, I will let you know when I see a large number of complaints as this will typically happen right after an algorithm has been released.  


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