The search engine titan’s stock has more than quintupled since it went public in August 2004. But will Google’s next five years be as successful as the past five?
Can you believe that it’s already been five years since Google went public?
The search engine giant debuted on Aug. 19, 2004 at $85 a share. Today, the stock trades at about $445. That’s a nearly 420% return during a time when the Nasdaq is up only 8%. And shares of top rival Yahoo! have been nearly cut in half during the past five years.
Yet, it doesn’t look like all those Googleaires are too interested in celebrating their 5-year anniversary as a public company. Check out the Google (GOOG, Fortune 500) homepage and you don’t see one of its usually witty cartoon renditions of the logo like you do on other “holidays.”
Nonetheless, it’s been an interesting five years for the search giant to say the least.
The company has used its strong stock price and mountain of cash reserves as currency to scoop up the likes of YouTube, DoubleClick and Postini to name a few.
Google has also remained relatively focused its core search business, resisting the temptation to go overboard in the glitzy, but not all that profitable, social networking business. And that’s a good thing.
It’s common knowledge in the industry and online that Google Inc also bought my company happily named Google back in 2004 before going public.
I often wonder what would have happened if I had not agreed to accept their out of court settlement and NDA back then, mind you I can take away many friendships made and the knowledge that we are one of the few elite company’s in the world who actually know how it is done.
May be I will write a book one day, we only agreed a 3 year non disclosure and keep your mouth shut until we are up and running.
Nothing has changed really, Google is fundamentally the same, it works the same, they have just added and titivated a few thing, how do we know this? well everyone of our clients is still page one, yes even 5 years on.
In the past, hotel chains were only working on taking their Brand to the next level and used to spend millions of dollars on expensive advertising budgets. Many Hotels had so good name that their Marketing was restricted to retaining old customers but today that is not enough. With the growth of Internet – Travel & Leisure Industry also saw a shift in the pattern of the customers. Attracting New clients became tough, competition increased and according to a recent survey nearly 40 % of the bookings are booked online.
According to one survey conducted in recession times – Hotels that had an Ongoing SEO Campaign saw less fall in hotel bookings in comparison to the Hotels that didn’t have an SEO Campaign. 500 Hotels in the US were surveyed. Experts say that Internet hotel marketing is key for growth and gaining traffic.
It is expected that Online Bookings will increase in the days to come which seems to be true due to the reason that today Online Air Tickets bookings are increasing , cars can be rented online hence hotels are going to be searched and booked more online in future. The use of fax and phone for hotel booking have drastically fallen down which was the main source of booking in past especially from used by Corporates for Hotel bookings.
Hotel Industry has avoided the fact that ” If Hotels avoid the manner how the customers want to communicate and wants to keep on using the traditional methods of Hotel booking then it will be do difficult for them to retain old customers and survive”.
Few hotel online marketing strategies we use are:
1) We add Customer Reviews (testimonials) and ratings to their hotel’s F & B, Room Service, Hygiene, Internet Service at the Hotel etc. which has increased mileage in hotel bookings.
2) Many of our clients saw a drastic increase in their business in matter of days after we uploaded their Business (Hotel) Address on Google Maps.
3) As a part of Internet Marketing we can Promote the hotel by Releasing Internet Press Releases which is a proven technique of Search Engine Optimization in which we can Promote Deals and educate the customers by providing them knowledge about our Hotel and the services we offer in a very informative and innovative manner.
We Optimize your existing website to generate more traffic and ultimately increased revenue. Our SEO Campaigns are designed to provide everything you need to raise your website rankings in search engines like Google, Yahoo and Bing. To begin with, your website will be researched by our Experts and an SEO Analysis will be provided which contains the Suggestions and inspection report of your website.
Feel free to contact our SEO Experts and request for an SEO Analysis !
When you own a business, your website is one of your most important tools that can be used to reach new customers and generate higher sales.
Whether you have an established website that is not currently working for you, or you are a complete newbie to the online marketing world, improving your website so that it generates traffic and increases sales is the right thing for your business.
Without a high quality website that attracts visitors and provides you with a way to capture information, you are not using the Internet’s power to its full potential. The information below can provide you with an idea of why a good website is so important for your businesses’ bottom line.
Why is a Quality Business Website so Important?
A high-quality business website provides you with a way to capture the enormous amount of traffic that is on the Internet. It also makes your business more accessible to your customers.
It does this, by giving website users a way to contact you or find out valuable information about your products or services without having to get on the phone, and during non-business hours.
There are literally millions of people searching the Internet for various reasons on any given day. If you are not trying to capture some of those visitors, then you are losing out on many potential sales each month. Just as your store gives you a physical presence a high-quality website provides you with an online Internet presence.
Benefits of Having a Good Website
As a business owner, there are many benefits to having a quality website that is able to not only generate traffic but also increase sales for your company. The first benefit that a business website can provide you with is it enables you to have access to customers that you otherwise might not have contact with.
Without a website, you are only able to reach your potential market through traditional means, and not those potential customers that primarily use the internet for their purchase research.
By enlisting the help of an internet marketing service company, you can create a highly effective direct response website that enables you to reach out to Internet traffic.
By adding an opt-in form to a quality website, you can increase your earning potential each year by at least 20%. An opt-in form provides a means of capturing visitors’ contact information. This is very valuable as it will allow you to send current and potential customers information about promotions, important updates, and special sales events throughout the year.
The visitors on your list will be people that you know are already interested in the services that you are offering, and by sending out a sales message to them your rate of return will be much higher than with an untargeted ad in the newspaper.
One of the most important benefits that a business website provides is that it allows you to remain a step above your competition. If other related local businesses do not currently have websites, you are already reaching far more people than they are.
By creating a high-quality website that can generate massive traffic and drive sales, you are ensuring that your site will be listed before the competitions’ in the search engine rankings.
How to Develop a High Quality Business Website
Unless you are professional, the best way to develop a high-quality business website is to seek out an Internet marketing company or web designer that can create a customized plan for your business.
These companies have experience marketing to those online, and they can help your website by marketing it for targeted driven traffic, and ensuring that it gets ranked well within the search engine listings.
Off-line business owners can increase their revenue by creating a business website or revamping their old one. Without a high-quality site that is able to generate traffic and increase your sales, your online presence will do you no good. Enlist the help of a professional Internet marketing company to develop a website that will help your business thrive.
The Gap has chosen to forgo traditional television advertising for its new fashion line, instead opting for social media as its marketing channel.
Born to Fit, a new line of denim wear, will be using Facebook as its main advertising channel in order to reach consumers.
Created by AKQA, the campaign will feature banner ads placed on blogs to state what each page is there to do. The banners on popsugar.com – a lifestyle and entertainment site – state the journal is ‘born to strategise’.
Although the campaign will also use more traditional marketing methods such as cinema, print and outdoor ads, their purpose is to send more consumers to the Facebook page. Once there, users will find a video of Rada Shadick – Gap’s fit engineer – explaining the inspiration behind the new line.
Experts in the online marketing sphere recently suggested that it was necessary for digital advertisers to harness the power of social networking as it offered good campaign opportunities.
Brought to you by FreshTraffic – experts in Search Engine Marketing & Internet Marketing.
Even before it made a widely anticipated announcement on July 29 that it would partner with Yahoo to do battle with Google in the market for search-related advertising dollars, Microsoft commenced a $100 million campaign to attract users to its new search engine — Bing.
Early reports show that since its June 3 launch, Bing has managed to draw more users than its predecessor, Live Search. According to Wharton faculty, however, while Microsoft’s campaign — which is both a re-engineering and a rebranding of Live Search — has been successful so far, it is unclear whether even such a well-funded effort can make significant inroads in a market dominated by Google. On the other hand, they believe the campaign helped pressure Yahoo into what may ultimately be an important partnership for Microsoft after months of fitful negotiations.
Aside from the big spending on advertising, Microsoft imbued Bing with features that were not available in Live Search, including better parsing of images and a focus on four key consumer-oriented areas: product comparisons, travel planning, health research and finding local businesses. Microsoft’s aim: Position Bing as a “decision engine” that can cut through the clutter on the Internet.
Prior to the launch, Microsoft was able to generate buzz among Bing’s early reviewers and adopters, a critical component of marketing in the age of social networks and blogging. Live Search lacked that virtual word-of-mouth support. Live Search also lacked another marketing component that Bing shares with Google: a name that can be easily used as a verb.
A lot can rest on a name change — and Microsoft desperately needed to update its search engine moniker, says Jehoshua Eliashberg, a Wharton marketing professor. “Microsoft had a bad experience with MSN Search and Live Search, and it makes sense that the company had to rebrand,” Eliashberg notes. “Bing is a much more effective name.” Jerry (Yoram) Wind, another Wharton marketing professor, adds that Microsoft really had little risk in renaming its search engine. “Live Search didn’t have traction before, so there’s no group of consumers who will be upset [that it has been replaced].”
“Rebranding a product is necessary when it no longer has the brand positioning or value perception in the consumer’s mind that a company wants,” says Wharton marketing professor Eric Bradlow. “This rebranding can be done via advertising, changing the features of a product or — ideally — doing both. Name selection is also important. Bing has an exciting sound to it and is memorable.”
Thus far, Microsoft has been modestly successful at attracting traffic to Bing. According to comScore, which measures web use, Bing drew 8.4% of all Internet searches in June, a gain of 0.4% over Live Search’s performance in May. Google had 65% of the June search traffic, while Yahoo drew 19.6%.
Microsoft’s next challenge is considerably more difficult. Wind says that Microsoft has to keep promoting Bing to illustrate commitment to the name and to retain customers. Generating enough excitement to get consumers to try Bing is one thing — retaining them is quite another, according to Wind.
Is Bing good enough to keep people coming back and make it an alternative to Google, which has millions of satisfied customers? Wharton marketing professor Peter Fader, who co-directs the Wharton Interactive Media Initiative with Bradlow, says the hand-off from attracting to retaining customers is often difficult. “Marketing officers don’t do a good enough job of generating trial versus repeat customers. It’s easy to get people to try something — you just shout at them enough — but the traditional aspects of marketing are useless in getting repeat customers. The product has to deliver the goods or people will just go back to Google.”
Microsoft executives are upbeat about customer retention, and hope even to turn Bing into a verb, like “xerox” or “google.” Kevin Turner, Microsoft’s chief operating officer, said at a recent conference that the Bing moniker was “pretty unforgettable” and it’s up to Microsoft “to turn this into a verb.” Reaching that goal is easier said than done. For example, Wind notes that he has “googled on Bing.” “We’ve still got a long way to go,” said Turner, “but we have momentum.”
Fader says that Microsoft’s marketing of Bing is primarily focused on brand awareness and getting consumers to try the search engine, but the software giant’s ads are clearly aimed at taking on Google directly — even though Microsoft’s search engine has little chance of toppling the market leader. So why target Google? Because Yahoo was — at least initially — the real target, says Fader. “Bing has absolutely no chance of beating Google, but if it can crowd out the other players, it can be a solid No. 2,” he notes.
“There is historical precedence for this type of campaign,” Fader points out. “The Bing campaign is exactly the same as the Visa campaign [in which] it said consumers needed a Visa [card] because American Express wasn’t accepted everywhere. After a while, everyone knew you should carry a Visa and an American Express card. Visa wasn’t targeting American Express, though. It was trying to crowd out MasterCard. It’s the same thing here. Yahoo was Microsoft’s MasterCard.”
The early June search traffic showed that Microsoft’s crowding out strategy worked. Youssef Squali, an analyst at brokerage Jeffries & Company, said the comScore numbers indicate that Bing’s gain came at Yahoo’s expense. “Bing’s share gains seem to come directly at the expense of Yahoo while Google remained unchallenged,” Squali wrote in a research note.
Wharton management professor Lawrence G. Hrebiniak adds that those early gains by Bing probably provided leverage for Microsoft’s successful effort to partner with Yahoo. “Microsoft was playing Bing two ways. The first was to position Microsoft as a bigger search player. The second was to secure a search and advertising pact with Yahoo.” Offering a credible search engine of its own made it “easier for Microsoft to go to Yahoo and say, ‘If we combine, we can have 30% of the search market.’”
More than Search
However, Bing and the partnership with Yahoo are about much more than chasing Google in a search engine competition. Wharton experts say the search effort represents a defensive strategy that can protect Microsoft’s multi-billion dollar businesses, such as Windows and Office, while enabling new business models.
“I view the Bing marketing as a component to an overall defensive strategy at Microsoft with respect to Google,” says Eliashberg. “Increasingly, the two will compete head to head” in areas beyond search.
Google has a web-based suite of applications that aims to compete with Microsoft Office in consumer and small business markets. And Google’s enterprise application division is designed to take away Microsoft’s corporate customers. The Mountain View, Calif., company also has recently announced plans to create an operating system for netbooks, small computing devices intended to be tethered to the Internet. Microsoft’s Windows XP is currently the dominant operating system on netbooks, the fastest-growing slice of the PC industry.
Efforts by Redmond, Wash.-based Microsoft to keep market share from Google will revolve around free, web-based versions of its most popular products. For instance, Microsoft is planning a web-based version of Office that will be free to consumers who are willing to accept the advertising that comes with the product.
“Bing is [a] pawn in this broader game that Google and Microsoft have going,” says Fader. “It’s a big chess game [with] Microsoft and Google competing on many fronts. Ultimately, Microsoft and Google will end up respecting each other’s turf by threatening nuclear war. Neither really wants to be in the other one’s space, and they will be perfectly happy when they carve up the market.”
nitial gains may not indicate future success, and marketing can only go so far. Wharton faculty say it will take six months to a year to accurately gauge Bing’s momentum. “If I’m a Google user, it’s still unclear why I would switch to Bing,” says Wind. “In order to switch, you have to have a good reason, and in general, people are happy with Google. Microsoft had to create a fair amount of buzz and excitement to lead people to try it, and the company did that. But how do you retain them?”
Microsoft doesn’t have to go back too far to see the historical disconnect between attracting and retaining customers. In June 2007, IAC/InterActiveCorp invested nearly $100 million in advertising for its redesigned Ask.com search engine, and by October of that year it drew 4.7% of Internet search traffic. But by June of this year, its portion of the traffic had declined to 3.9%.
While Microsoft is unlikely to topple market leader Google, Bradlow says that the company’s new search engine has a chance to gain traffic with its focus on key verticals like health and travel. “Focusing on a marketing niche definitely makes sense. Typically, when there is an 800-pound gorilla, the adoption of a follower happens first on a niche basis, and word-of-mouth becomes a great source of recommendations.” In that respect, Microsoft’s strategy to “conquer things one vertical at a time” gives Bing a chance, he suggests.
But marketing alone will not make Bing a success. Microsoft has to convince habitual users of Google to switch to Bing. “It’s very hard to get people to change habits, especially when you’re competing against a brand [like Google] that has become a verb,” says Eliashberg.
Due to the wide spread nature of internet and Web 2.0 trend the online presence is becoming increasingly competitive. Search engines are continuously working towards improving their search results to give accurate and relevant information to the users. Search engine algorithm tends to change every now and then and one has to adapt the changes immediately to be in the top of the race.
Search engine optimization (SEO) is a broad sense is the set of methods used to boost website traffic, increase ROI that the website receives from the search engines, and businesses are affected depending on their placement in search results. It is an iterative and ongoing process, which keeps on changing as per the search engine rules.
Some of the major updates for 2009 till now in the field of SEO are as follows.
Google Improves Flash Indexing
Google has enhanced its search engine’s capacity to index Adobe’s Flash files, which are very popular on the Web but tricky for search engine spiders. Google and Adobe’s created a new algorithm which now indexes text content in Flash. As a result Google Bots now indexes textual content in .SWF files of all kinds and extracts URL’s embedded in Flash.
The Latest update on flash indexing made by Google on June 19th was that Google announces that when Google encounters SWF files on the web, we can:
•Index textual content displayed as a user interacts with the file. We click buttons and enter input, just like a user would.
•Discover links within Flash files.
•Load external resources and associate the content with the parent file.
•Index sites scripted with AS1 and AS2, even if the ActionScript is obfuscated. Update on June 19, 2009: We index sites with AS3 as well. The ActionScript version isn’t particularly relevant in our Indexing process, so we support older versions of AS in addition to the latest.
Canonical Link Element
In short, the canonical element is a line of code that you add to pages that may be duplicates. The canonical link element rel=”canonical” is added to a page within the header (head) of a page, typically by developers.
In this code, you designate the “canonical,” or “proper,” URL. Engines, in turn, note this URL and apply link popularity and authority to the canonical version instead of applying them to duplicate URLs.
This provides a hint to a search engine about which is the most important or original page if pages are identical or similar in terms of content, but have a different URL.
Google and other search engines announced support for a canonical link element that can help site owners with duplicate content issues.
Apart from canonical link element Webmasters have noticed few updates in the toolbar PageRank from February 28, 2009. Which was been discussed widely in many discussion forums, medias, etc.
March ‘09 and April‘09
Two major updates were :
i) Regular PR and Backlink Updates
Usually a Google PageRank update occurs every three months. So everyone was expecting an Page rank update in the month of march. Lots of rumors and gossips were spread out among webmasters and finally the wait ended up in the first week of April. This time Google crawled for both Page rank and Backlink. But this year Google gave two more surprises as Google danced similarly in the month of June and July which made a great impact on all the working strategies of SEO.
ii) Search Refinements and Snippets
There were three changes on the Google search result pages which were visible to all the users.
1. The snippet length for the search results has increased. Earlier the snippet was of two lines. Google now displays an extended snippet of 3 lines for queries that consist of three or more keywords. The idea behind this change is that these multi keyword queries are much targeted and complex and hence the short snippet might not contain enough information.
2. Another change is that Google now shows more related searches at the bottom of the search results page. It is very important that you optimize the different pages of your website for different keywords.
3. The third change is that Google now shows local results based on IP addresses. The local results are delivered based on the IP address of the searcher. That means that you will get different results than people in another city.
During the month of May two major updates occured in SEO world
i) Google Show Options
Google announced a new set of features called as Search/Show Options, which are a collection of tools that rearranges the result so that it can be viewed from different user’s perspectives.
If someone is looking for a particular query show options helps you in providing information regarding videos, forums, reviews, etc. Just say For example you want recent updates of your query but in general organic search you don’t get up-to-date information with the result, so these show options help you in getting recent information whether is 2 weeks earlier, 24 hrs or just latest one. There are other features which you can explore in your own time (like the nifty “wonder wheel”).These tools help in elaborating your result as per your requirement.
ii) Microsoft New Search Engine BING Launched
On May 28th Microsoft publicly unveiled its soon-to-launch search engine Bing, which was publicly available on June 3. Bing is Microsoft’s new decision engine. The home page features a rotation of stunning photography, for instance, which can be clicked on to produce related image search results. In search presentation, Bing wins. It uses technology from Powerset (a search technology company Microsoft acquired) to display refined versions of your query down the left side of the page. Bing gave a menu of “related searches,” that included Walkthrough, News, and so on.
Bing brings a new way of thinking to using SERPs, which has shown to demonstrably improve the satisfaction of searchers in finding the answers to their questions.
No More Page Rank Sculpting
PageRank sculpting is an SEO tactic that involves adding the nofollow attribute to links for which PageRank flow is not necessary. Early in 2005, the main search engines introduced a ‘nofollow’ attribute for the A HREF HTML command for coding hyperlinks.
Nofollow is also used extensively in social networks and in forums to limit any value comment spammers get from posting in the forums to their own sites for SEO benefits. PageRank Sculpting was one of the controversial issues among the webmaster. But the engines have evolved their thinking. They realize now that rel=nofollow is a much more versatile tool than when it was first conceived.
Pagerank sculpting used to be really effective around a year ago but Finally Matt Cutts announced in his blog that it’s not the most effective way to utilize your page rank and its not recommended.
Increase in Social Media Importance
With the continuing evolution of the Internet, and increased adoption of web 2.0 functionality, social media activities and discussions are going to take on a more important role in the eyes of a search engine. Social media has provided its users with unlimited opportunity to decide the relevancy of content. The financial downturn will encourage more marketing executives to turn to organic social media initiatives to drive awareness and interest. All in all, 2009 looks to be a year of significant growth for social media.
Discussion forums have built the tr
ust in the eyes of Google. It’s really not a surprise now if forum threads are been displayed in Google’s 1st page of SERP.
Webmaster “Summer Shine”July 2009 Google webmaster team have named there new update as “summer shine”. Webmaster added new feel to the webmaster. Among which some of the major updates are:
i)Site Selector Update:
Site selector lists all verified sites that you own, and allows you to search as you type. Only websites that are verified are been listed and available there.
NDP delegates at the party convention in Halifax on Saturday were joined by Betsy Myers who was hired onto the Obama Presidential Campaign.
She told the NDP annual national convention at the World Trade and Convention Centre that a strategy to use the Internet and social media to develop personal contact with voters was what funded, and ultimately won, the drive to the White House.
“We were using tools available to us in 2008. Our competitors were using the tools of 1992 and 1996″. “People want to have a voice and in this new world, people can have a voice in a different way. We embraced that.”
“It worked,” she said of the commitment to electronic communication. “Look at the money we raised. We raised $30 million in the first quarter, mostly in very small donations, at a time when we were 30 points behind Hillary Clinton in the polls.”
“Jerry Booth said,It’s been nice to see some of the old team David, Betsy and others doing the rounds here in Canada trying to bring them up to speed about the new media world.
Times have changed, The tools have changed, It’s your turn Canada.
This goes for every business in every town and every city across the nation, Yes even you Winnipeg.
It’s your turn, Change you can believe in.
It turns out that consumers rely on images in search engine result pages more than Google and Microsoft execs thought. Knowing this can help SEO professionals better optimize sites, according to executives from both companies who spoke at the Search Engine Strategies conference last week in San Jose, Calif.
It also turns out that image search is very important. Todd Schwartz, group product manager of online services division for Bing at Microsoft, shed light on the types of queries that consumers search for on Bing, he says. Following “Web search” categorized as a “vertical,” images took the No. 2 spot.
Not surprisingly, R.J. Pitman, director of product management for global search properties at Google, believes that image search as a vertical sits at No. 1, rather than No. 2. The growth comes from the “more than 1 billion” camera phones being sold yearly, and the ability to share pictures. Google sees “hundreds of millions of searches daily across billions and billions of images,” he says. Images are no longer a “nice to have, but a must have” piece to promote businesses online.
Pitman says Google has begun to rank images based on the quality of the image. People need to stop thinking about the photos as images and look at them as digital bits of information, where pixels in the frame actually mean something. Google considers more than the sitemap feeds, title tags and attached metadata when ranking images. The search engine now looks at what’s in the image. It helps Google find and serve up similar images through object and facial recognition, according to Pitman, who says to consider these facts to better optimize “when building next-generation Web sites.”
International news agency The Associated Press (AP) has adopted search engine optimisation (SEO) as a means to revamp its online readership, according to a report from brafton.com.
A report from the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard University revealed that AP is placing its faith in SEO to restore its readership to the massive levels enjoyed during the golden age of print. The research centre said that it had got hold of a seven-page AP consultation document setting out the group’s plan to better adapt their global coverage to the online world of viral marketing and social networking.
The document, entitled Protect, Point, Pay – An Associated Press Plan for Reclaiming News Content Online, discusses how best to protect the agency’s universal output – used in syndication by news providers around the world – while maintaining its own income stream from unique content. The problem is, as the Nieman Lab points out, that syndicated copy is not particularly useful when it comes to SEO. To deal with this, AP is planning to deny its client news organisations some of its content and keep it instead on a single, centralised AP website.
AP general counsel Srinandan Kasi told Nieman Lab: “We have unique pieces of data, maybe, or we have a unique visual narrative, a graphic. We have unique photos, a photo gallery, and so on.”
“How can you use some pieces of content to drive traffic to other pieces of content? That’s really what’s being addressed here.”
WebProNews recently reported that international news agency Reuters has enjoyed a 500per cent increase in online traffic since 2004 thanks to SEO.
With Twitter being such a hot trend right now, research firms have been anxious to study how people are using the social platform, and analyze trends in aggregate view.
One such company, data analytics provider, Pear Analytics, set out to study the contents of our tweets to determine if, in fact, we’re all just sharing mindless babble, or if there was something more intellectual going on.
Their findings aren’t all that favorable to those of us with lofty views of Twitter, because as it turns out, 40.55% of tweets are pointless babble.
The Pear Analytics group took 2,000 tweets in English from the public timeline over a time span of two weeks, with 200 tweets captured each half-hour from 11am – 5pm CST daily. They then categorized tweets into six different types: news, spam, self-promotion, pointless babble, conversation, and pass-along value.