Dec. 03, 2018
There is an explosion in the number of SEO, Website Design, PPC with the creation of so many new "agencies" as well as "software services" to those businesses, whose sole purpose is to get websites found on "search" or help shape results on "pay per click." On an average day our company receives 15-20 requests for our business on topics such as "page ranking", "pay-per-click advertising", "website design", and "website hosting."
Google is shaking things up when it comes to search and the others like Bing, Facebook, and advertising venues are following their lead. To be fair many of these agencies are not doing their jobs, and some are actually doing their customers a disservice. I recently took on an account that was paying an agency a monthly fee, and the client's website had hundreds of broken links, and over 500 spelling errors. All of the website "movies" were being hosted on YouTube instead of their own server.
To counterbalance SEO's tricks and cheats, and the need for most businesses to hire an Agency, Google has been working on ways that improve search results, make them more fair. One of the most recent adjustments, and quite obvious is distance. Besides taking into account the searching parties preferences, results now take into account how far the business is from the person searching.
Another area where Google has been improving its quality in regards to search results is with both owners of the websites and visitors to those businesses. Business owners taking ownership of their listing and populating the information is much more efficient than scraping that information from their website. They also keep reminding the owners to post special offers and holiday hours, making Google even more effective. Visitors are a great source because they are given a set of questions regarding pictures and the like, following their visit on whether the information is relevant and what is best at describing the business or product.
Google Ads (formally "Google Adwords") has an automated keyword setup available, efficient for most small to medium websites, that is as effective if not more so than most of the "experts." The user is asked a series of questions and is presented with an easy to follow quick set up for their advertising spend. You can select what kind of campaign, calls or clicks, choose the "ad wording" with a little help in the way of suggestions. The Keywords are chosen by artificial intelligence, and the user can manually remove non-relevant keywords.
Google, Bing, and other media advertising sites now offer, depending on a company's spend, a one-on-one with a specialist to help adjust "keyword purchases" and "settings." A 30-45 minute phone call, that is free and followed up by the tech completing the setup for them. Following the meeting, the advertiser gets to complete a survey on the quality of the service. A follow-up email is sent to the advertiser after the meeting, so that they can get additional help or ask questions on the adjustments done. There is also the option of requesting additional consultations in the future.
Google Analytics announced it is going to make Analytics available to the masses, allowing novices to make their way through what was once an overwhelming experience. Asking simple questions, Google replies with charts and simplified answers that most people want from all the tables and figures.
Website hosting has been a competitive business for, and now it's getting even more competitive. Yahoo has announced a $3.99 a month (starting) hosting service, with a "FREE" domain name. The user gets a single page and email address and can add services as they grow. Not a big fan, but for the small shop down the street a good deal. Google has been offering a "FREE" web page on Google.com for sometime now, I am not familiar with it, but it is free. This is in addition to Google offering websites to post "what's new" and "special offers" (Bing also allows the posting of special offers for free).