Archive for September, 2013

Google’s Hummingbird Update

September 30, 2013

Along with a Google Doodle that had the world going crazy with their spacebars, Google also introduced an exciting new update to mark its fifteenth anniversary. Named “Hummingbird”, this update is centered on Google’s algorithm, aiming to refine search results, and help Google respond to complicated queries with more accurate answers. This is made possible by broadening the use of Google’s Knowledge Graph, which helps the search engine to decode the concepts behind user searches, instead of merely providing keyword-based results. Google Hummingbird update is believed to affect 90% of search queries.

Here is a look at how the update is expected to refine search results:

  • A search query that does not have a simple answer will now return a comprehensive set of relevant facts. An example of this is the results that show upon searching for “impressionist artists” on Google.
  • This update has a significant impact on voice searches, as Google will now try to decode the meaning behind the search, instead of simply focusing on the keywords. For example, if you are searching for “best place to buy pizza in New York”, Google will now show up results for pizza restaurants in New York even though “restaurant” was not a part of search term.
  • Google now links a subsequent search to the previous search. For instance, if you had searched about for “images of the leaning tower of Pisa”, and your next search is “When was it built”, Google will understand that your second query is in reference to the previous one.
  • An example of how search results after the update are superior to previous results is a search for “prescription for acid reflux”. While this previous turned up a list of drugs, the search results for this query are now more user friendly, even questioning the need of drugs for the treatment of this disorder.

The Hummingbird update is bigger and huger than Google’s previous updates like the Panda and Penguin updates. This is because while those were merely modifications in the existing algorithms, this is a complete replacement, structured to meet the search requirements of today- as opposed to those of ten years ago. While the Hummingbird update is expected to take the search engine experience a step ahead, there has been no major impact witnessed on website traffic so far, as was the case with Google’s past updates. The thumb rule remains- keep publishing high-quality content and Google will reward you.

To know how Google’s Hummingbird update will affect your online business, call us at – (855) 375-9654

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SEO Benefits for Texas Based Businesses

September 23, 2013

SEO, or search engine optimization helps you take your business venture to the next level, by making you visible on the first page of search engines for keywords specific to your industry. This is done by applying a combination of techniques and strategies, which help to achieve a high-ranking placement on search engines like Google, Bing, and Yahoo.

Along with improving your organic search rankings, good SEO practices also lead to a website that is faster-loading, and more user-friendly. Since SEO does not involve payment as is the case in PPC advertizing, it offers a cheap and reliable way for businesses to work on their online presence. The list below explores the various benefits that SEO has for Texas-based businesses:

  • SEO empowers the purpose for which most businesses have a website, which is to be able to reach out to a wider customer base. It ensures that the website that you have built is actually visible to the right users when they search for keywords of services that you provide.
  • Right from social media platforms to mobile marketplaces, you can explore a wide range of new online markets through effective SEO practices for your business.
  • SEO-optimized websites means websites that are easy to navigate and adaptable to a wide range of platforms, including mobile and tablet devices. This helps to achieve a higher conversion rate for your business. For instance, if a person is searching for, say, “good restaurants in Austin, Texas”, you can expect to get a customer on your website willing to order food, if your site is optimized for this keyword.
  • Better rankings help to build better brand awareness, since the average web user is more likely to trust a website that appears higher on SERPs.
  • Hiring a reliable SEO company helps you to make the most of SEO for your business, by adopting coming-of-age practices, such as social media optimization, along with proven SEO techniques like RSS feeds and newsletters.
  • SEO gives your business a chance to stand out among your competition, and gain a significant advantage over similar businesses with non-optimized websites. For example, if your website is search engine optimized, a user performing a specific search such as “hardware stores in Killeen, Texas”, will be able to quickly locate your business and retrieve your contact details.

In a nutshell, SEO offers round-the-clock promotion for your business, helping to increase the ROI for your business through targeted traffic and long-term positioning.

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How To Get Found In Mobile Based Searches

September 16, 2013

A vast majority of internet users in the present “smart-phone era” are using their mobile devices as the principal internet access points. In shocking statistics, the mobile-based search share for Google is estimated to be a whopping 97% globally. This explains why it is important for businesses to up their mobile based search engine optimization techniques. This is especially true for local businesses, since people on the go looking for a local business are a lot more likely to carry out a mobile search than log in through a computer. The following tips tell you how you can figure higher on mobile search results for your business:

  • The best way to get your mobile site to show up on Google is to work on your desktop site SEO and add a mobile redirect to channelize these efforts to your mobile SEO. Google reuses desktop site rankings for mobile searches, which explains why the www versions of websites pop up in mobile searches, instead of the “m” versions.
  • If you do not have one yet, get a responsive website design now! This way, you do not have to worry about creating consistent content for both your mobile site and desktop site. Responsive websites are definitely the way to go keeping in mind the evolving internet scenario over the next decade.
  • Considering the dramatically lower time between search and action on mobile searches versus desktop searches, it makes sense for local businesses to ensure that users have an optimized experience when they visit their site through a mobile search. While getting responsive is a big part of the game, you also want to make sure that you have a fast-loading mobile landing page, display easy-to-play videos for smart-phone users, etc.
  • Measuring your ROI of mobile search is a good way to keep track of whether your efforts are paying off, and if more needs to be done.
  •  Finally, remember that when it comes to the mobile world, even the slightest error in the device, link, or site design can influence the content being viewed and even pop up an error message. Be sure to check thoroughly for errors and eliminate barriers to appease your customers and the search engines.

At Centex Technologies, we create responsive website designs, mobile applications and mobile websites for businesses. For more information, call us at – (855) 375-9654

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What is Pay Per Gaze?

September 6, 2013

Google has recently been awarded the patent for its pay-per-gaze technology, which is capable of changing the face of technology in the years to come. This futuristic invention is designed to be used on a “head-mounted gaze tracking device”, which seems to be a perfectly fitting description for Google Glasses. Despite Google’s repeated assurances that users of Google Glasses will not have to worry about their experience being hampered by ads popping in their field of vision, the pay-per-gaze patent suggests otherwise. On the other hand, it is quite possible that the reason behind Google securing this patent could be to ensure that no other company tries to implement it on Google Glasses or similar devices.

In what is being described as “creepy” and “invasive”, this technology will be able to read people’s emotions through an image recognition algorithm, which shall track items viewed by creating a “gazing log”. This shall represent a goldmine of information for advertizers, who shall be able to know not just how long a user gazed at their advertizement, but also how he felt about it. The advertizers shall then be charged on a “pay-per-gaze” basis, depending on the number of people who gazed at their advertizement long enough. This system shall be applicable to advertizements across all mediums, including billboards, television advertizements, website banners, etc.

The patent shall be able to determine emotional responses to images viewed by tracking pupil dilation patterns of the users. Another feature covered in Google’s pay-per-gaze patent is the history search feature, through which the gazes of a particular user can be compared to their purchasing history. In other words, Google Glass shall be capable of tracking user purchases, including those made online as well as in the real world. This could be the Holy Grail of advertising, as it could track the influence of an advertizement, right through the final outcome of purchase.

Pay per gaze is being described as the next step in the ubiquitous pay-per-click advertizing system. Individual privacy in this gaze-tracking system will be protected by removing personal-identifying data from the information provided to advertizers. In addition to this, it is likely that users will be able to opt-out from having their gazes tracked. How this patent will change the face of advertizing, and whether at all, Google will choose to implement it in its augmented reality head-ware, remains to be seen.

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