Google Places is now Google Local

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Google is on the change again.  As we often see Google likes to keep everybody on their toes and at the same time improve their services to their users.

Google Places has been a great way to get local businesses recognized not only by the search engines but also by the local Google users. Google has now taken this a step further by integrating social interaction into the service.

The new service is now called Google Local. By combining Google Places and Google+ searches will now be more relevant to the end user, and will give priority to sites which your family and friends have found useful. Also for restaurants Zagat ratings have been included replacing the old Google star ratings.

What does this mean for you? Social is now going to be playing a much bigger part of SEO, especially Google+. At Fusion 360 we have seen this coming and have prepared for it. We will carry on producing great content and find more followers for you Google+ page.

This is exciting news and combines two great services allowing higher qualified visitors to your site.

Retired: Google Product Search

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Google Product SearchFor many years e-commerce sites have looked to Google Product Search (once known as Froogle, then Google Base) to promote their physical products for sale on Google. This was a free service offered by Google, however this is about to change.

Google has decided to scrap the service for a paid product listing service. Google has tried to change it’s service many times to make it better by trying to have merchants keep the information about their products more current. This has not had the effect and input from the merchants Google would have  liked. By switching to a paid model Google believes the products will be kept fresh and updated.

Although this may not affect your website or business it is always great to know the changes Google makes to see what direction the company is looking to be heading.

The internet is now a little more clever

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Have you ever searched to see how much money a famous actor has? Have you ever searched for Transformers 3 to find out what it’s budget was? Or searched to see what number President Abraham Lincoln was? Well Google just made all that a little more easy for you with Google Knowledge Graph.

Working with sites like Wikipedia Google is now able to show you information like this including a picture when you perform a search without you ever needing to click on a link. The information simply appears on the right hand side where the sponsored listings would usually be.

Google is always trying to improve the way it’s search engine works by providing it’s users with the information they are looking for as fast as possible and with this update it certainly helps speed things up.

Right now Google Knowledge Graph does not show information about businesses, however it will be improved and you can bet it will be added sooner or later.

Google Penguin 1.1 Update

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Google PenguinIn April of this year Google released an update to their search algorithm which decides where your site will be ranked on Google. This update was to filter any websites that Google saw as spam and give higher rankings to more credible websites.

This is a great update by Google allowing sites like yours to receive higher Google rankings.

Now Google has released a further update, Penguin 1.1 to filter out any websites that were missed at the initial launch. Though this will unlikely affect you (it will actually only affect <0.1% of searches) it is worth noting.