Google should be broken up, or so Euro MPs say

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We all know Google is certainly not a small company, for many people it is so big they consider it a public service rather than a private enterprise. This often leads to dismay when Google change something, even cries of “they can’t do that!” Well, as we know, they can do whatever they like, just the same as McDonald’s could start charging £100 for one fry or launch a swan burger.

It seems recently though Google’s magnitude has been causing some concern in political circles too, the search giant have been accused of favouring their own services and companies in search results over that of possibly more suitable offerings from unrelated companies. Clearly as a private concern Google is entitled to offer up whatever results it feels correct, after all, its existence is down to it offering good results. If it stops doing that it won’t be popular and so won’t continue to be the most successful search engine.

Taking into account the companies rights to act as they so please there is still some worth in the Euro MPs suggesting Google should be broken up. As I mentioned, the brand has become so big that users sometimes fail to recognise it’s commercial position and as such don’t take the results in a commercial context. This does give some credence to the claim then, that by prioritising its own services Google is actually not acting responsibly.

The European parliament has voted for the break up, much to the dismay of various US trade bodies, but as it stands the final decision lies with the EU competition commissioner Margrethe Vestager.

This all stems from a case brought in 2012 by Google competitors taking issue with how, among other things, Google displays its vertical search engine services, uses content from across the web in their own services like reviews, and how Google sells its ads around search terms. Initially there were a number of concessions put to Google that they turned down, and so the case rumbled on. The recent revival and vote is suggesting the only way to resolve the issue is to simply break up the company thus dividing the search business from advertising and other commercial services. The aim, or at least the suggestion here is that it would allow room for other businesses to move in and offer similar services.

Whatever happens, and the likleyhood is that not much will for some time, Google will continue to innovate and dominate search and its ancillary services for the forseable future. But nothing is forever, and the digital world has shown us time and time again that new comers can change the world, remember Yahoo?… only just!


Bright FM Awards 2014 Highlights

Artemis were proud to present the award for Best Business in Sussex at the Bright FM Awards 2014 last Friday night with a multitude of local businesses in attendance. We thoroughly enjoyed a fabulous evening which saw plenty of well-deserved awards handed out.

Below you will find a collection of snaps from the Bright FM Awards Evening. Everyone here at Artemis would once again like to congratulate all the deserved winners on the night and thank Bright FM for a superbly organised and enjoyable evening:

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Why Do Big Brands Struggle With Local SEO?

Despite the fact that local search is widely regarded as such an important part of SEO, there are still many big brands who struggle to get to grips with it.

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Local SEO Is VERY Important

The importance of local SEO hasn’t gone unnoticed but it seems that, due to the significant benefits of regional exposure and brand recognition, local SEO has been pushed to the back of the priority list in the past.

Big brands tend to have more money and should probably outrank others because of this but their struggles don’t seem to be going away, so what are the mistakes that big brands are making when it comes to local SEO?

Badly Managed Data

The first big mistake that big brands make is that they don’t manage data well enough. Let’s take retail enterprises for instance. During the co-ordination of names, addresses and phone numbers, they also have to process and confirm images, website URL’s, menus, services, store hours and much more which can severely compound the data management process.

How to Fix the Problem:

The best way to cope with this problem is to put the data management process first and think of better ways to organise it. Store all the information you gather in a secure database, such as a cloud and provide administrators, managers or specialist personnel with the authority they need to update the stored information regularly.

Inaccuracies 

Another big problem is not keeping up-to-date with listings and profiles that you make. It’s important to remember that big brands are widely noticed on a digital basis, so having profiles that are out of date on third-party sites such as Google, Yahoo, Foursquare and Bing can cause serious problems in the long haul.

An important local ranking factor is the normalisation and cross verification of local information. This process helps Google to know what (in relation to retail enterprises) stores to show first in search results.

How to Fix the Problem:

If you’re keen to sort out inaccurate profiles and listings, you need to verify all your locations again. If you’re not quite sure where to start with this, try using Google My Business and simply manually import all the listings. This might seem like quite a tedious process but it is certainly well worth it in the long haul.

There are a few other aspects to consider besides the examples provided above in order to be successful with local SEO. These include:

  • Clicks from search results – requires a good meta description or, for franchise brands, structured data mark-up

  • Site speed – loading times and positive user experiences are also essential

  • Mobile-friendly pages for every location – every page for mobiles should be detailed and again provide a positive user experience

There are many different ways big brands can change to dominate local search listings and some of the most important things to consider are poor data management and inaccurate or older profiles.

Other solutions include fast loading sites, good meta descriptions, accuracy and up-to-date profile listings.


The New Radio Ad for Artemis

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The future is Bright! We were very happy to hear our first radio advert today on Bright FM, being a company that spends every waking hour making sure our clients get enquires from the internet this may seem a strange medium for us to be using. However, we do understand that not every business is aware of the power and potential of SEO and as a result are not even looking for help.

So, with the help of the guys at Bright FM, we are reaching out across the county with a simple message and an offer of help for businesses that are struggling to get enough or any business from their current website.

Did you hear our new advert? What did you think of it?

We deal with lots of local clients large and small, get in touch for a free review and let us help you get the best out of your website and online profile. Call us now for a free consultation on 01444 645018.


Office Move!

Last Friday we packed up our server, emptied the tea bags into our cars and headed over to our brand new offices! Located just slightly further up Balcombe Road heading out of Haywards Heath, the new Artemis offices boast an openly laid out space with more desk room, high ceilings, skylights and an iconic design as the whole premises are a converted stable and a Grade II Listed building.

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Over the course of the past few weeks we have been busy planning the move. Having been at Borde Hill for just over a year now, it is sad to be moving out, but with a growing team the move is a real step forward for us.

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The office overlooks a stunning courtyard built in the 19th century where members of the team will be able to have lunch, with colleagues and clients alike looking to take five minutes out of their day to enjoy a breath of fresh air and relax amidst the beautiful countryside and rolling hills of Sussex.

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There are still a few things to be taken care of, with a water cooler on the way and plans for a few tropical fish to be added to the Artemis team, but for the most part we are well settled in the new Artemis Offices!

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We are really excited about starting life in a new office and we hope that our new office will help us to bring an even better online marketing service to all our customers, both old and new.


Content Getting You Down? Why Articles Need To Avoid Keywords And Focus On Relevance Instead

We already know Google’s preferences when it comes to article writing. There’s been quite a rush for high quality content since Google’s Hummingbird algorithm came into play, after the vast majority of the internet saw a drop in search ranking because their content wasn’t informative enough. The question is, how can you improve your articles to meet the demands of the Hummingbird algorithm?

Keywords mean nothing anymore, or at least they don’t have the same effect as they would have in the past. When it comes to writing articles, you need to make sure you aren’t filling it up with things that people aren’t going to be interested in reading. In a way, Google is conforming to the demands of the skilled writers as content becomes more and more important.

If you do decide to do your own content despite witnessing a huge drop in page rank for your past work, you’ll probably need to shift your attention to how helpful and informative something is.

Interestingly, Hummingbird has resulted in questions ranking far better than standard phrases. A standard phrase would be something like “football club Chelsea”, whilst an actual search query would go along the lines of “which football club is based in Chelsea?”  This is all because information and relevance take centre stage nowadays.

If you’re finding that Google keep penalising your articles, it’s probably time to search for someone to write for you that knows exactly what the Hummingbird algorithm is after. It’s quite easy to throw in dozens of keywords without realising, whether you’ve done an outstanding article or not.

When it comes to writing content here at Artemis, we look to deliver the best in conjunction with Google’s demands so that your site ranks as well as possible. We know the importance of making articles far more user-friendly, interesting and helpful to the reader, so you can count on our content team here at Artemis to get the job done efficiently.

Contact us today to learn more about our expertise with SEO and how we can improve the page rank of your site.


HootSuite Releases "A Game Of Social Thrones" Video To Celebrate Season 4

In order to commemorate the fourth season of HBO’s bloodthirsty fantasy tale Game of Thrones, HootSuite decided to unveil their own unique opening sequence for the award-winning series, albeit with a slightly different concept and one we’re far more likely to understand…

Titled “Game of Social Thrones”, the opening sequence displays the towering castles and courtyards of various different forms of social media, from the ivy-covered blue towers of Twitter and LinkedIn to the complex, mountainous region of Google Chrome and the almighty coliseum that is YouTube.

HootSuite end the sequence with “unite your social kingdoms”, as they make the most of their stunning design abilities to illustrate how they’re capable of improving the social media management for your online business.

HootSuite went on to explain the specifics of their Game of Thrones sequence, saying that “each of kingdoms have characteristics and features unique to the social network they represent”. Take a look at the video and see for yourself how HootSuite portray today’s social media giants.

Whilst we still don’t know who will end up on the iron throne by the end of the Game of Thrones, we’re far more confident here at Artemis about understanding which social media “kingdoms” can really enhance your online business credentials.

Get a free consultation today and discover how we can help you, before King Joffrey decides to condemn your website!


Matt Cutts On Separating Authority From Popularity In Page Rank

In a recent vlog, Matt Cutts brought up the issue of separating page popularity from page rank. It’s something that many people have questioned as past Google algorithms have looked to target popular pages for search queries, although Cutts was quick to suggest that Google would be introducing algorithms that would search for true authority in the future.

Cutts explained that “popularity is a measure of where people go, whereas page rank is much more of a measure of reputation”. His example was that porn sites, whilst attracting a lot of traffic, would hardly ever be linked back to, so there was little authority with these sites. On the other hand, government based sites that don’t have much popularity often have plenty of authority.

Cutts explained that Google currently had some algorithmic changes in the pipeline that would look to make the most of authority rather than popularity. The changes would try and figure out which sites were best for the specific queries being searched by looking at the authority of the source.

Therefore, if someone has worked tirelessly providing information on a website about the travel market, then they have the authority to rank higher in Google. Whilst this site may not be visited often, it is far more likely to provide the answers to a search query to do with travel. This all means that more attention will be focused on specific content on pages and not just the popularity of a page.

Overall, Cutts was trying to address the issue by explaining that page rank was not down to popularity. His news regarding the new Google algorithms is also encouraging for those of us who have put the work in to become excellent sources of information for specific search queries, so the hard work could pay off in the future.

Make sure you get in touch with Artemis today for a free consultation regarding a successful SEO campaign for your online business.


Why Branching Out With Blog Content Could Cost You

If you think being creative with your blog content will only bring about good internet marketing results, you might be left disappointed. A lot of people have various different topics that they would like to include on their blog but it turns out that Google could penalize you for branching out too much.

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We don’t all have incredible amounts of knowledge about various topics, so we can usually slip by this particular issue without incident. However, some of us have looked to make the most of some inspired guest bloggers to get our content noticed elsewhere and this is where Google will look to take action.

It seems there’s no way round it either. If you’re attracting attention from guest bloggers, you’ll probably need to consider losing links back to their page. Of course, you’ll have a tough time persuading guest bloggers to contribute if they aren’t getting anything beneficial for their blog or profile in return.

The issue has come to light after SEO Twitter user DocSheldon responded to Matt Cutts regarding his website being penalised for using topics that didn’t match his websites usual content. Cutts argued that Google’s manual webspam notice was “on point” when issuing a penalty to DocSheldon because Google are ultimately trying to knuckle down on spamming.

So what if the content on blogs, however far from their usual topic, is perfectly legitimate? It seems that Cutts was trying to defend Google’s webspam-fighting techniques by pointing out that DocSheldons guest blog post had nothing to do with his “SEO copywriting blog”, even though it arguably had a lot to do with it, as the Twitter user pointed out:

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So it seems the only answer is to try and focus your content on things that actually relate to your site, but you certainly can’t be blamed for trying to branch out a little and make the most of useful connections between two or three different topics.

It’s up to us to decide whether or not Google are being far too strict with this whole guest blogging situation and, judging by Cutts’ responses on Twitter, a lot of people might share that opinion.