Google is shutting down Google Plus. What does that mean for you?

Saturday, February 2, 2019

Google Plus Shutdown and SEO

Google sets April 2 closing date for Google+, download your photos and content before then.


Google has an official closing date for its troubled Google+ social network: April 2.

The search engine giant says on that date Google+ accounts and any pages created will be shut down and begin being deleted. Should you have any photos or other content you want to save, "just make sure to do so before April," the company said in a blog post.

Photos and videos also stored in Google Photos will not be affected. Google has posted directions on how to download an archive of your Google+ content. Any photos and videos backed up in Google Photos will not be deleted.

Google began accelerating its shutdown last year after announcing in October 2018 that a vulnerability found earlier in the year had potentially compromised up to 500,000 users' data. Google says that it found no evidence any profile data were misused.

Then two months later, Google said a software update in November had caused a security bug that leaked the data — such as name, email and occupation — of 52.5 million users.

Google said in the blog post the decision to shut down Google+ was made "due to low usage and challenges involved in maintaining a successful product that meets consumers’ expectations."
Even though the free consumer version of Google+ will cease, Google+ will continue on as part of Google's G Suite for enterprises.

What does it mean for your business SEO?

Google+ was owned by the search engine giant and any social signals sent out by Google+ were expected to deliver strong SEO benefits.

But that didn’t quite happen. Google+ could never quite become Instagram, Pinterest, or Facebook. It was always an “also ran”, despite Google’s best efforts to leverage its pre-eminent position as a search engine behemoth.

Even if you were active on Google+, promoting your business or those of your clients, the exit of Google+ from the social media scene will have minimum impact on your SEO. Social media signals from other sites will easily make up for any perceived dip in SEO performance. Remember, social media signals have some SEO value but not in the same category has backlinks or a well-designed website with good internal structure.

How will the shutting of Google+ Affect My Social Media Strategy?

How frequently were you using Google+? Users were few and user engagement was low. Webmasters were getting multiple times better returns for their efforts on Facebook, Twitter, and other social media platforms. Nobody was really using Google+ in isolation. It was invariably a part of an overall social media strategy that included posting content and networking on other social media sites.

Simply remove the Google+ social media icon from wherever you’ve displayed it on your website. It’ll soon be a dead link and you don’t want dead links emanating from your website.

Will Google + shutting down affect my Google My Business Listing & Reviews?

No worries, your Google My Business page will be unaffected by the shutdown. Many people confused Google+ with GMB (another reason Google+ failed), but they are separate entities. For excellent search results keep posting on your GMB page. That should more than make up for any loss you sustain from losing Google+.




The 3 Best Ways Your Business Can Utilize Hyperlocal Marketing

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Small Business Marketing

In this globalized age, where internationally recognized brands’ marketing efforts spread far and wide, it can seem like the new industry buzzword ‘hyperlocal’ is a recent phenomenon. In fact, before the advent of the internet, TV, or radio — markets were very much hyperlocal in nature.

However, with today’s technology, marketing to micro areas can be done in a much more efficient and impactful way than merely shouting the loudest. With ‘Near me’ Google searches increasing by 500% from 2015 to 2017, this could be a strategy you can’t afford to miss out on. Not only this, but the recent change to the Facebook algorithm means generic blanket marketing campaigns are being trumped by hyperlocal, targeted efforts. Here are the top 3 ways your business can succeed in building local relationships through hyperlocal marketing: 

Hyperlocalize your social media strategy

The world has a staggering 3.03 billion active social media users as of April 2018, with 81% of all small and medium businesses using some kind of social platform. Marketing on social media has become a no-brainer for the vast majority of companies, but few of them are taking advantage of the benefits that adopting a hyperlocal strategy can bring.

Remind consumers of the rich value of their local communities by serving them hyperlocal content through social media channels. Digitalizing the daily smiles and friendly chats that consumers have in their local communities through a hyperlocal social media strategy can help you build relationships and brand trust.

This can be done on Facebook through regularly posting image and video content centered around your store, local employees, happy customers, and points of interest in the area. Facebook is also a great place to get local customer feedback, which builds trust between you and the target audience, like the guys at Five Guys did.

With Instagram, you can post updates to an event on your story, tagging local influencers involved and the location where it’s being held — which extends your reach to other people browsing content in the same area. Instagram’s ads are highly visible, with the potential to receive a lot of interaction when targeted properly. 

Tell local stories

It’s no secret that people identify with stories that have real people behind them, rather than just blanketed, soulless marketing messages. The effect of this is intensified further when those stories are hyperlocal, and could easily have come from anyone in your community. Hyperlocal marketing allows the consumer to feel like they’re buying into the personal. Take a look at gym franchise Orangetheory, which does a great job of showcasing users’ fitness testimonials in local settings on their Instagram, which keeps people engaged and localizes their marketing strategy.

Instagram stories serve the storytelling purpose perfectly, along with Instagram and Facebook Live videos, which are watched 3x more than traditional videos. Tweetstorms also work great for longer stories — where the account posts a series of tweets that consumers can follow with anticipation, often aided by including the same hashtag.

Go out and engage

Active hyperlocal marketing strategies that add value to their communities by engaging with local people are a sure fire way to build meaningful relationships with your target consumers. Just think about how much more memorable a brand is once you engage with it in a real-life way, while it’s doing something memorable in your community. By activating your employees to reach out to the community, your business can get people more than just digitally engaged with your brand.

Just look at the success of Sensodyne’s London event where it offered the public dental checks, the chance to play games, and photo opportunities with Tower Bridge as a backdrop — 232 people participated in a world record attempt, 600 goody bags were distributed, and the brand received 150 mentions, giving them a reach on social media of over 4,000,000.

Run events, or sponsor those already going on, and make sure to market these on your social media accounts, keeping your omnichannel approach seamless. Furthermore, 65% of consumers say that live events and demonstrations help them understand a product better than a standard commercial method — ultimately promising more sales.

With all this in mind, the many benefits that hyperlocal marketing can bring — not least relationship building and brand engagement — make it a strategy for success that your business can’t afford to miss. By framing your brand image around its local impact and local people, a culture of trust and loyalty can evolve between you, your employees, and your consumers.


-by Andreas F├╝chsel
Courtesy of MarTechSeries

Want your new iPhone or iPad delivered tomorrow? Try Amazon.

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

Amazon to start selling Apple products.


Amazon has made a deal with Apple that will see the Cupertino tech company sell its products — including iPhones, iPads, and Apple Watches — directly on Amazon, according to a report from CNET.

Amazon has sold Apple products before, but those have been from third-party sellers, which means that the prices are often variable (and wildly different from the “official” Apple prices) and that sourcing isn’t as reputable.

Apple products will start rolling out on Amazon sites in the US, UK, France, Germany, Italy, Spain, Japan, and India over the next few weeks, including both Apple’s devices and those sold under the Apple-owned Beats brand. The deal doesn’t include every Apple product, though. For example, Apple’s Echo-competing HomePod is notably not going to be sold on Amazon.

In a statement released to The Verge, an Amazon spokesperson commented, “Amazon is constantly working to enhance the customer experience, and one of the ways we do this is by increasing selection of the products we know customers want. We look forward to expanding our assortment of Apple and Beats products globally.”

As part of the deal, only Apple or Apple-authorized resellers will now be allowed to sell Apple and Beats devices through Amazon’s site. Any companies that are currently selling Apple products on Amazon will see their listings taken down starting on January 4th, and they’ll need to apply to Apple to become official resellers before they’ll be allowed to sell them again on Amazon.

Alphabet Inc's Google pulled its video streaming app YouTube from two Amazon devices last year because of several complaints against the online retailer, including its decision not to sell some of Google's products. Amazon now carries the Apple TV, but only after it became compatible with Amazon's Prime Video.

"We’re working with Amazon to improve the experience for Apple customers on their site and we look forward to those customers having another great way to buy iPhone, iPad, Apple Watch, Mac and more," Apple said in a statement.

About 71% of Apple's sales in fiscal 2018, ended in September, were through indirect distribution channels like Amazon. – Reuters

Malware starting to appear in WordPress plugins

Thursday, September 28, 2017

A set of three popular WordPress plugins were discovered to have malicious code in recent updates. Eric Karkovack writes about this newer avenue for hackers and how the industry needs to respond to ensure designers and developers can safely use plugins in their designs.

5 popular UX design patterns that users hate!

Friday, July 14, 2017

UX Mistakes
UX patterns are design solutions that can be repeated for common problems. Their aim is to make user accessibility much easier, which leads to better performance in terms of conversion or retention. However, sometimes these patterns can actually become quite a nuisance for your users instead of benefitting them. That’s why I’m here to show you which UX patterns are really grinding their gears and how you can fix them.