Google Authorship Markup was a rich snippet or short line of code that could be added to your site by verifying your email address in Google+ and then connecting your email address as a contributor to any blogs or publications for which you had posted content.
In his post, John says the decision was made to remove Authorship Markup from the search engines results pages (SERPs) because it didn’t provide users the value they had hoped it would. He also notes that during their testing period removing the markup from results didn’t seem to have an impact on traffic to sites or cause an increase on clicks on ads.
What does this mean for you? If you took the time to implement authorship on your website (many people didn’t because it was a clunky process that often didn’t work) you’ll see a change in the way your results appear in the SERPs. However, content you’ve shared on Google+ will still appear very similar in search results for friends and followers when it’s relevant to their query.
Overall John states “we're strongly committed to continuing and expanding our support of structured markup (such as schema.org). This markup helps all search engines better understand the content and context of pages on the web, and we'll continue to use it to show rich snippets in search results.”
While Authorship was one of many things that were thought to boost SEO on a website, this goes to show that sometimes even Google isn’t sure what it wants to see when it comes to how to improve search results.
At Modern Earth we have developed an affordable advanced organic search engine optimization process that has proven effective despite the changing desires of Google (and other search engines). We will personally work with you to get to know your business, your target demographics, and your business goals; then develop and execute a complete online marketing strategy to help you achieve those goals! Whether you have an existing online presence, or are starting from scratch, we have the right solutions for an online world.
1 out of every 5 searches is related to location. Think about it; you’re out with friends and decide you want thai food, someone pulls out their smartphone and does a search for the nearest restaurant. Thats what Google Places was about.
Google Places allowed business owners to claim their listing and update it with any relevant information: physical location, business hours, parking availability and photos of your storefront. Gain insight into how many people are searching for businesses like yours, what they searched for to find you, where they’re coming from to you and how many times your listing has been viewed.
So How does Google My Business differ from Google Places? The streamlined user experience puts all your information on one page - easy to manage and easily found in search, map search and Google+. In order to reach your places page users had to do a google search, click on your listing on the map and then see more details; way too many steps.
There are two new, free, services: Reviews and Insight; login to your Google+ account now to begin using them.
- “Reviews” allows customers to provide an online review of your business. These reviews, and their associated star ratings, will show up in search results next to your business listing making you stand out against your competition.
- “Insights” gives you data for three common social metrics, Visibility, Engagement and Audience. Visibility breaks down how many views of your page and content occur over a given number of days. Engagement tells you which of your recent posts were engaged with the most, what sort of engagement it was and the average number of actions by post type.
- “Audience” lets you know how many new followers you’ve accumulated over a set time period (the last 7, 30 or 90 days). It also breaks down your followers by country and gender and age.
All this data at your fingertips can be incredibly powerful. Engaging with your customers where they find you online and giving them the information they’re looking for will make them customers for life. Knowing who they are, what they like (or dislike) about your business, and how they interact with you online lets you give them more of what they want.
Claiming your Google My Business page and activating these two services makes it easier for you to learn who your customers are and what they’re saying about your company so you can give them what they’re looking for!
We’re excited about this year’s big ICTAM event, and if you have ever wondered about social media, you should be too! The INNOVATORS 2014 promises to be a night worth Tweeting about! Here’s the info:
Tweet this! ICTAM's signature event, The Innovators, is back! In 2012, Sir Terry Matthews set the standard with his "no holds barred" style. Last year, Bruce Croxon captured our audience with his down to earth wit and humour.
This year, ICTAM celebrates the game changing innovation of Twitter. Twitter has grown into a global town square and a public place to hear the latest news, exchange ideas and connect with people - all in real time.
Date:Wednesday, April 23, 2014
Location:RBC Winnipeg Convention Centre - 375 York
Time:Networking Reception - 5:30 pm
Dinner - 6:30 pm
Tickets:ICTAM Members - $100.00 (After April 9th $125.00)
Future-Members - $125.00 (After April 9th $150.00)
Member Table of 8 - $750.00
Future-Member Table of 8 - $900.00
Dress Code:Business Attire
Don't miss this signature event! Register at www.ictam.ca or Call 204.944.0533 TODAY!
It was Small Business Week across Canada last week, with numerous events that celebrate the contribution made to our economy by small and medium business.
I was thrilled to roll out a two part seminar called the Social Media Kickstarter at the Canada Manitoba Business Service Centre. There were about 30 people in the room, and 10 remote locations dialed in via conference call. I had fun, and I hope the participants felt empowered to “go forth boldly” with their professional social media plans.
One of the questions that came up in the session, specifically about how Social Media is used to build engagement and create meaningful conversations that can lead to getting customers was “Does anyone really care” – do people care what seeing someone’s reception area is like before they visit, does anyone care that a plumber is posting information on how to prevent flood damage in your home, that restaurant patrons are photographing their food and writing mini reviews? Don’t people just care about the hours someone is open (on their website), that they can reach a plumber fast when they need one (emergency number on their website) and what do average people know about being food critics anyways? Why should we believe anything anyone says online? Isn’t this all just a waste of time?
It was a very sincere question, by someone who was feeling overwhelmed at the thought of adding “more work” to their day, when all they wanted to do was “do business”.
My thoughts? Every business builds their client base one sale at a time. Whether in a B2C or B2B environment, people are more likely to buy from people they know than from people they don’t. And according to Eric Qualman, in his “must-see” YouTube video Social Media Revolution based on his seminal work “Socialnomics: How Social Media Transforms the Way We Live and Do Business” – 90% of consumers trust peer recommendations, only 14% trust traditional advertising. Word of mouth has always been a strong business driver, and social media has transformed “word of mouth” into “world of mouth” (another Equalman idea).
Social media allows “future customers” to get a sense of who we are, to see what real people think, and to see how we interact with our community. It allows current customers to deepen their relationships with their service provider, learn about new offers from their favourite retailers, and have questions answered in an interactive forum that is not tied to business hours.
Why do I care if my plumber provides me with helpful information to keep my basement dry? Because that saves me heartache and expense, and it allows me to feel that he cares enough about me as a customer to help me prevent problems. That creates a feeling of trust. Do I care who my doctor’s new receptionist is? It is more comfortable to already be familiar with the face behind the counter, to know where to go when I enter the building. It makes the service more personal. Do I care what other diners think about the new restaurant on the corner? Even though some reviews may be “fake” – overall, I can get a sense of what the food is like, what their service standards are, and that informs my decision to go or not.
In each of these cases, the relationship becomes more warm, more personal, with less stress or friction. I will feel increasingly confident about making recommendations, because there is demonstrated tangible proof to back up my word of mouth, when you look at a hair-stylist’s Instagram photos, or the list of similar reviews on Yelp. We vote with our dollars, and we get informed, we interact and we make decisions using these various platforms that connect us to our businesses and service providers in a deeper relationship than has ever been possible in traditional advertising.
There is no question that the business case for using social media exists. Some companies may choose to NOT use these tools, and that is their choice. That simply means that I will find their competition when I am searching online. I will see what other people can do, read how they respond to customer concerns, and become aware of their sales and special events because I’m being invited to participate. I can’t find you if you aren’t there. And if you are there, then I hope I can find you, and that what you are presenting will hold my attention and make me feel welcome as a new customer. That’s the power of social media. We can have a relationship long before we make a transaction – even if you are in another city. And it’s always easier to do business with people you know.
Enjoy the Day,
This was the fourth year that the Modern Earth Tweet Team was privileged to “live tweet” the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce annual MBIZ Awards Ceremony. This year, Modern Earth Founder and CEO Dan Belhassen was one of the Masters of Ceremonies, sharing duties with Jamie Jurczak, Chair of the MB Chamber Board of Directors, and a Partner at Taylor MCCaffrey LLP.
We reassured Robert that the @modernearth shirt was under Dan’s white dress shirt. No worries. This year’s Tweet team consisted of @modernsusan (Susan Hurrell, Dir. Marketing), @modernemma (Emma Sadonick-Carriere, Online Marketing Specialist) and @modernphilip (Philip Giles, President of Modern Earth Web Design).
Held at the gracious @TheFairmontWPG hotel, the evening was attended by their Excellencies the Lt. Governor Philip and Mrs. Lee, members of the Provincial Legislature, and civic officials from both Winnipeg and rural Manitoba. It was a fast paced evening with awards being presented between the courses of a wonderful meal.
The Twitter Stream was vibrant throughout the evening, with more interactivity, replies and retweets than in previous years, no doubt due to the increasing use of social media by a growing number of Manitoba businesses. See a compilation of the evening’s tweets (sadly without replies and retweets).
This year, 15 companies were nominated in five categories. This year's winners are:
Outstanding Small Business
D.A. Loewen Electrical - founded in 1948 and located in Winkler Manitoba. They provide agriculture, commercial/industrial and residential electrical services and contracting. The company's strengths begin with the people who work for D.A. Loewen Electric; their integrity, commitment and "the customer comes first" attitude are integral in making the company what it is. In addition, they strive to be a leader in providing electrical services through professional, knowledgeable and reliable service, while conducting themselves with honesty and integrity.
Outstanding Medium Business
EPIC Information Solutions - a Winnipeg-based information technology company established in 1995. They partner with only the best technology companies to make up the foundation of their solutions, such as HP, IBM and Microsoft, and have built an outstanding Services Organization that, when coupled with their technology partners, delivers superior customer solutions to their customers.
Outstanding Large Business
HyLife - started in September 1995 with headquarters in La Broquerie, HyLife also has operations across Southern & Western Manitoba and a plant in Neepawa. HyLife is a vertically integrated pork production operation that has expanded from commercial production to being fully integrated from farm to fork with 1500 employees and sites across Southern & Western Manitoba. The keys to their success have been the ability to turn challenges into opportunities and a dedicated, determined and innovative management team.
Long Term Achievement Business - Winnipeg
Manitoba Blue Cross - is located in Winnipeg, Manitoba at 599 Empress Street. The organization has existed as Manitoba Blue Cross for 39 years but its history dates back to January 1, 1939 when The Manitoba Hospital Services Association began offering hospital benefits on a prepaid basis. The company is built on providing peace of mind to Manitobans for nearly 40 years and creates and delivers benefit and health care solutions to improve the quality of life and well-being of their clients and customers.
Long Term Achievement Business - Rural
Chabot Implements - started in 1935 by Charlie Chabot, has grown to four locations in Manitoba namely Portage, Steinbach, Elie and Neepawa. Chabot Implements is Manitoba's oldest family owned and operated Case IH equipment dealer which services and sells lines including Case IH, Bourgault, Kubota, MacDon and more. Chabot currently staffs 80 employees within its four locations. Their goals are to continue to provide excellent service to their customers and excellent career options in their communities.
Modern Earth and the METweetTeam would like to congratulate the winners, and thank the Manitoba Chambers of Commerce for once again including us in this most prestigious event.