Good Night, and Good Luck, G+

A mirage in the middle of the desert. Okay, maybe there was a small pond and a few palm trees. Even with it’s great intentions and strong potential to serve purpose for online users in the social sphere of the internet, it was all in all, a social desert. As that’s how it’s solely been since the beginning. Despite its huge spike of traffic in its baby years, Google+ didn’t have what it took to keep us coming back. As if the mass migration from Myspace to Facebook wasn’t good enough, G+ tried to follow an act that just couldn’t be matched.     When the worlds most powerful influencer launched what was supposed to the the next biggest platform, it was welcomed with much excitement and celebration, however, its time of arrival wasn’t perfect. Arriving in 2011, Google+ was well behind the social game, especially when FB was growing at a rapid pace. As FB is known for its advertising, its collection of user data was also growing at a rapid pace. Google needed to compete. However, isn’t collecting insight, turning it around and developing world beloved products Google’s strong suit?Google gained massive amounts of press behind their launch, guaranteeing that Google+ would soon be the preferred platform over its competitors. Surprisingly, in no time G+ went from a shining light to a dull glow.    In the short run, Google was seeking a quick fix to pick up on a few gains. It made sense. While logged into your account, Google would track the time you spent browsing, sharing, liking and commenting on the web. Between your user and personal data, the deep integration system stretched all the way to it’s other products (Calendar, search, Youtube, etc.)     This sounds perfect in theory: a product that would soon have everyone leaving Facebook, and making the move to G+…but wait a second, why? While Google’s efforts might have been all there, the concept, timing and authenticity wasn’t. Although people were curious about the new product, it lacked enticing factors to keep people at the party. One of the main reasons people flocked to G+, but didn’t actually stay there is the fact that it didn’t offer anything better than the competition. Sure you could post your photos to G+ and all of your 3 friends spread out over your 10 “circles” would see it, or you could post to FB and have all your friends see it. Simply, there was no motivation to stay. Managing one social account in your life is already hard enough, so setting up a social identity on a new platform would take a lot of energy, time, and most of all, proven confusion.     Photo Courtesy of Wall Street Journal For obvious reasons, G+ is facing some significant changes. Sundar Pichai– the Senior Vice President of Products at Google– sees it  not disappearing entirely, just shedding it’s skin. While the social component seems to be leaving, Photos and Streams– previously components of Google+– are sticking around for round two. Secondly, Google is taking components of the fallen product and integrating them into Contacts which will be a big thumbs up for Google among it’s dedicated following. As Bradley Horowitz– longtime Product VP at Google– puts it, ”It’s important to me that these changes are properly understood to be positive improvements to both our products and how they reach users.” Cool! While David Besbris’, Head of Social Networking at Google, role is unclear, Horowitz has recently been placed in charge of running Google’s Photos and Streams.   Google+ marked the company’s most concentrated effort to rival social media giants, but ultimately has yet to gain true value. What we can establish from this long and simply, convenient relationship with Google + is that it was good while it lasted. Although it did not last long, what did happen was an avenue for another product to be created (Photo and Streams) that could potentially be what we wanted in the first place. Or maybe Tinder just stole Google’s “Plus”, but that’s another story…    

Four Free Online Tools I Can’t Live Without

These days, time can often be in short supply, especially for those of us in the Internet Marketing field. Countless start-ups have risen to the occasion to combat the ever-mounting challenges of time management, as evidenced by the wide variety of tools and apps on the market. But where does one start? In this post, I have identified four tools that have proven to be especially helpful in managing and streamlining my workflow. Continue reading “Four Free Online Tools I Can’t Live Without”

The 9 Most Shared SEO Articles of 2014

Another year is in the books, and what a year it’s been! It has been a roller coaster ride for the industry with search algorithm updates, content marketing kicking link building to the curb, and Matt Cutts taking a leave of absence but not before taking down multiple link rings. Here at SEOhaus, our company has grown significantly as we have added more talent to the team and evolved into BrightHaus. As internet marketers gear up for 2015 and eagerly await the newest trends and predictions for the New Year, let’s take a moment to look back at some of the most shared industry articles of 2014. Search Engine Land It’s Over: The Rise & Fall Of Google Authorship For Search Results With over 15,000 shares on social networks, this was by far Search Engine Land’s hottest article in 2014. A long-time lovechild of many SEOs and bloggers, the Authorship death sentence sent many marketers into mourning. In late summer, it was finally time to let go. Thank you, Search Engine Land, for being the friend willing to tell us it was over, and Authorship was not going to come back. Google Releases Penguin 3.0 — First Penguin Update In Over A Year Oh, Penguin. The ice-cold algorithm filter isn’t nearly as welcome as Happy Feet. The bane of many webmasters, Penguin 3.0 was received with mixed feelings. This article was shared over 10,200 times as news of a new Penguin in town spread. Many webmasters eagerly awaited improvements as a result of link removal efforts, while others hoped they would escape the wrath of our flightless friend. Google Begins Rolling Out Panda 4.0 Now Knowing how the industry reacts to algorithm changes, it’s no surprise to see the Panda announcement from May come in third place with nearly 9,200 shares. This was certainly one of the most talked about headlines of the year as it has been over year since the previous Panda update. Similar to Penguin, changes with Panda are always polarizing. Moz 10 Smart Tips to Leverage Google+ for Increased Web Traffic Cyrus Shepard takes home the top prize in 2014 with his Google+ tips garnering over 7,200 social shares. Posted in April, many of his tips are still relevant and helpful today. The core Google+ has not changed in recent months, and this is still a great article to reference when building your presence on the social network. Your Google Algorithm Cheat Sheet: Panda, Penguin, and Hummingbird Search Engine Land gives us the breaking news on changes in search, and Moz contributors promptly fill us in on how to navigate those changes. Although there have been some algorithm changes in recent months, this is still a great resource to refer to and keep in your back pocket. Marie did a great job of bringing problems into light and offering solutions. The Most Entertaining Guide to Landing Page Optimization You’ll Ever Read We all love a good read, so why not have a chuckle while improving your craft? As far as measuring success goes, keyword rankings are a thing of the past. Even improved traffic metrics can make you feel warm and fuzzy inside, but just about every campaign comes down to one thing – conversions. This is a great post, and if you haven’t made your way from top to bottom without skimming, I recommend giving it a go. SEOhaus The Importance Of Social Media In Marketing Not to be pigeon-holed as an SEO company, we began offering social media packages this year. Two of our Specialists – Dylan Taylor and Taylor Mak – fittingly burst onto the blog scene this month and received the most social shares. They’re the social pros, of course, so I remain suspect of them garnering so many shares. Regardless, it’s a great discussion of why social media is so crucial to your campaign’s success. Weekly roundup: Top 5 SEO trends and more I always love a good roundup, whether weekly or annual. Andy highlights some of the top articles of the week, all of which are still very solid resources several months later. Don’t have the time to stay on top of the top headlines every day? Just check in with us when you can to get your recap. Tracking Time: Eye-Opening Insights Into Productivity The third most shared blog post for us this year comes compliments of Richie. As our company continues to grow, we recognize that our team members and their strategies need to be at the forefront of the industry. To better hone our craft, we ran a little experiment here in the haus to identify pain points, time bottlenecks, and ultimately how to up our game. This is a really insightful piece about how we operate.   So there we have it: 2014 in a social nutshell. The top three articles from Search Engine Land all focused on changes made by Google, so it’s interesting to see the difference between a news source like SEL and industry favorite Moz, which has more editorial, evergreen content. Our own blog showed similar trends to Moz with a post about social media taking the top spot for both. If you are a webmaster, which of your posts garnered the most social attention or page views, and what were some of your favorite articles of 2014?