Is Google taking cues from Internet Yellow Page Publishers? Probably not; although, the new features added to Google AdWords local business listings have been included on Internet Yellow Page listings for some time. These features include links for directions to an advertisers business, street view maps, and the ability to save directions and send them to either a phone or email.
With Google’s understanding of local consumers, it’s no surprise directional features were chosen to enhance the relevancy of local business listings. After all, consumers searching for local businesses are in an advanced stage of the buying process and are seeking specific information such as phone numbers, directions, proximity, hours of operation etc. What is surprising is that it took Google so long to realize these links aid a consumer’s search, increase click-throughs, and subsequently, increase Google’s revenue.
Google might also consider adopting a custom link feature similar to the YellowPages.com enhancement. This provides flexibility for businesses to include specific links on their ads in order to accomplish specific business objectives. Assuming a business knows their consumer better than Google, this may further improve relevancy for consumers.
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Google Streetview recently helped a Virginia police departmentÂ solve a kidnapping case.Â A cellularÂ phone carrier was able to provide the police department with approximate coordinatesÂ fromÂ a GPS signal, which the police then used in conjunction with Google Streetview.Â Streetview has come under fire as an invasion of privacy, but this is a good example of how it can be used to benefit everyone.Â If it was not for this tech savvy police officer, the little girl could still be missing.Â
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The fact that XML sitemaps could possibly affect crawling and indexing by search engines has been a long-time speculation. I even remember being at SES Chicago 2007 and sitting in on a session about sitemaps and the representative from Google, when asked if an XML sitemap could speed up the time a site was crawled and indexed, responded â€œno.â€ Maybe it was just a front or maybe even he didnâ€™t know at the time; however, according to a recent test conducted by SEOMoz there is proof that submitting an XML sitemap to Google and Yahoo will impact the rate at which your site gets crawled.
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For most business sectors “flat is the new up” is the newly coined phrase of the recession.Â As the holiday season comes to an end and the final online retail sales for 2008 are calculated, it looks like at least for now online retailersÂ are holding their own.Â Although comScore estimates that online retailers saw a 3% decline in sales between November 1 and December 23, as a whole the online retail industry saw an estimatedÂ 7.2% increase in salesÂ from 2007 until 2008 according to eMarketer.Â Â Sales are projected to grow atÂ an even slower pace in 2009, but that story will have to wait to be told.
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The results are in and the verdict is that Americanâ€™s love for video online is spreading like wildfire. Monday, comScore released its November 2008 data showing U.S. online video consumption grew 34 percent compared to a year ago. That means 12.7 billion online videos were viewed in November.
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An IYP userÂ could be sued by a chiropractor over a negative review he left on the popular site Yelp.com.Â The chiropractor claims that the review is not an opinion, but a complete fabrication, and that the dispute stems back to a billing disagreement.Â The implications from this case could be huge… If the case is decided in favor of the chiropractor- does this mean that other businesses may try to go after disgruntled reviewers who left negativeÂ opinions?Â And if the case is decided in favor of the reviewer- would this pave the way for unhappy customers to blow out of proportionÂ bad experiencesÂ to get back at a business for one poor incident? It’s not exactly as groundbreaking as Brown v. The Board of Education, but it should still be interesting to see how this one turns out.
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