Apple Ousts Google Maps
I’ve been saying for a year or more that Google’s biggest threat in search is going to be Apple. One step in that direction is the replacement of Google Maps, and last week Apple announced that they are removing Google Maps and replacing it with their own mapping technology with iOS6 in Fall 2012.
What does this mean for SEO? In the future, optimizing for Siri might be as important as optimizing for Google.
With the advent of Apple’s app for mapping will come ad revenue for map searches, voice command integration with Siri, and the increased importance for optimization within this new platform.
Read more about Apple and Google Maps by clicking on the links below.
A quick insight into what Apple will be facing by entering into the map app market:
Why Apple’s New Maps App Faces Challenges Ahead
Informative article from Businessweek, highlighting Apple’s motives and Google’s bonuses:
Apple and Google Fight to Be Top Mapping App
Google Says Responsive Web Design Best for Mobile SEO
Mobile search is gaining steam. In the near future, it will be head-to-head with desk-top searches. Why is this important? Google uses different parameters to search sites on a mobile device.
According to Google, the best way to optimize mobile search is to use responsive web design. This promotes the same web address across all platforms.
There are other viable options that will give you good rankings in a mobile search but they’re not as straightforward. If you’re not going with a responsive design, you’ll need to visit the Google Developer site to find the appropriate code, placement, and specifics for the user devices you are targeting.
Read more about what Google recommends for Mobile SEO:
Step by step article on how to respond to Google’s new directives for optimizing mobile search:
Google Finally Takes A Clear Stance On Mobile SEO Best Practices
Switching from Google Place Pages to Google+ Local
Google has replaced Google Place Pages with Google+ Local pages.
If you had a Google Place Page, Google has already done the work for you by automatically converting it to a Google+ Local page. There is a consistent format between all pages and, as a business owner, you should optimize your Google+ Local page for best results in Local SEO.
This switch to Google+ Local gives business owners more incentive to start a Google+ Local page. Why should you do this? Google will now integrate search results based on Google+, maps, photos, and reviews. This means you will have a greater opportunity to rank high in varied search results, all by optimizing your Google+ Local page.
Read more about Google+ Local:
Straight from Google, a brief explanation of Google+ Local:
Helping people discover and share local businesses with Google+
An interesting article which brings up the commercial relevance of Google+ Local:
Google+ Local to Replace Places as Google Makes a Play for More Mobile Ad Dollars
No More Free Product Listings: Google Product Search is now Google Shopping
In an effort to promote high quality content and data, Google has implemented Google Shopping and dissolved Google Product Search. Along with this change is paid-inclusion, once maligned by Google.
Only vendors who pay Google will be listed within the Google Shopping Pages. A merchant’s position within the shopping pages will be based on Google ranking algorithms. According to Google, the search results are not biased on the amount bid for the inclusion. However, bid amounts for click through rates will differ.
Google’s response to detractors of paid inclusion is that a monetary relationship with vendors promotes better relationships and higher standards for both merchant and end user.
Read more about Google Shopping:
Complete, informative, and well-researched article on the nuances of Google Shopping and paid-inclusion:
Google Product Search To Become Google Shopping, Use Pay-To-Play Model
Interview with Matt Cutts @ SMX Advanced 2012 Conference
At the SMX Advanced 2012 (an annual search marketing conference) the most anticipated speaker was Matt Cutts from Google. Matt leads the Google WebSpam Team and frequently gives insight into the best practices of optimizing for Google. Here are some of the more interesting Q&A’s with Matt.
Question: Penguin & Panda Updates: Are they penalties?
Cutts: No. They’re algorithm updates designed to get spam & low quality sites out of the Google results.
Question: Is SEO going to get more difficult?
Cutts: Yes. “I believe, if you ask any SEO, is SEO harder now than 5-6 years ago, I think they’d say it’s a little more challenging. You can expect that to increase. Google is getting more serious about buying and selling links. Penguin showed that some stuff that may work short term won’t work in the long term.”
Question: Does Google hate SEOs?
Cutts: No. Google likes SEOs who follow the Google Webmaster Guidelines. The updates are directed toward black hat SEO. “It’s a war on spam. If you go on the black hat forums, there’s a lot of people asking, How do I fake sincerity? How do I fake being awesome? Why not just be sincere and be awesome?”
Question: Are links (backlinks) a dying signal for ranking well and are they going to be replaced by social signals?
Cutts: No. Links will remain an important factor to ranking well in Google.
Question: Is a high bounce rate bad?
Cutts: Not necessarily. “It’s not a bad thing when someone finds their answer right away and bounces.” He also suggests that a Google search does not use Google Analytics data.
Read more of the Matt Cutts interview and watch a video about Matt’s responses: