July 2016 Newsletter

In This Issue:

Random Free Hosting Site

We'd like to congratulate Rod Broussard for being the winner of this month's free site hosting. At the beginning of each month we will call up our own site's homepage. Whomever's site is the featured site when the page loads will get FREE hosting of one domain for one month. It's just our way of saying thank you.

Google Local SEO Guidance

Google updated its help page for Google My Business, a resource that provides insights into how local enterprises may improve their local rankings. While ensuring company information (physical address, phone number, category, hours of operation) is complete and accurate will provide a strong signal to the search engine, there are many other factors, including:

Relevance: Above all else, Google needs to know that your local listing matches what a consumer is looking for. To optimize relevance, ensure your business information is detailed and accurate.

Proximity: Businesses that are closer in terms of the searcher's location will rank higher in local results than those further away. If users do not specify a location, Google will attempt to calculate distance based on what is known about their location.

Relevance and proximity are important signals to send, but the search engine introduced another signal that puts local SEO more in line with global SEO.

Prominence: In much the same way that "authority" matters in the purely digital realm, how well-known a business or location is, or its prominence, can also provide a strong signal to the search engine. Some places are more prominent in the offline world than others and Google's search results attempt to reflect this in local ranking. Specific locations (famous museums, landmark hotels, or well-known store brands that are familiar to many people) are likely to be prominent in local search results Google indicated, but prominence is also based on information they already have about a business from across the Web (like links, articles and directories).

Google review count and score are also factored into local search ranking: more reviews and positive ratings will probably improve a business's local ranking. Google also indicated that position in Web results is a factor too, so SEO best practices also apply to local search optimization.

Relevance, proximity and prominence provide Google with signals that will be used to rank a business for a specific local query, but there are still others that must be addressed - and they play a bigger role in the success of an enterprise than just achieving a top ranking for a local query.

Google also confirmed that customer reviews and ratings are indeed factors in local search ranking. It has long been suggested that review signals are important, and while it is unknown the degree to which customer reviews/ratings influence ranking, today's local enterprises are doing everything they can to use this factor to their advantage.

Angie's List

I imagine all have heard the ads for Angie's List. I believe there was a time when signing up with Angie's List had a fee to it, but no longer. Angie’s List is a community where members and local providers can connect. Your profile is your first impression to members, so make it count! Build a robust profile that includes a business description, operating hours, areas of specialty, responsiveness, reviews and more. Members consider this information before deciding who contact.

You may "claim" your business for free by filling out a form. It takes about five minutes to fill in the form and then there's additional data elements you may desire to add, such as company logo, hours of operation, etc.

Old Article Worth Seeing Again

Have I Been Pwned?

Have I been pwned? is a free resource for anyone to quickly assess if they may have been put at risk due to an online account of theirs having been compromised or "pwned" in a data breach. All you have to do is enter your e-mail address and this service will tell you if any of your personal data has been breached. You may also sign-up to be notified when future pwnage occurs and your account is compromised.

All the data on this site comes from publicly leaked "breaches" or in other words, personal account data that has been illegally accessed then released into the public domain. Have I been pwned? aggregates it and makes it readily searchable.

New Sites Joining Us Or Completed Recently

Help these folks by visiting their site. All ya'll will remember how hard it is to get those initial "hits" so the search engines notice your site. So take a minute and visit their site.

  • Hill Country Dermatology - The premier dermatology group in central Texas. Four Board Certified Dermatology physicians with over 100 years of combined experience treat all facets of skin disease and skin cancer.

  • Off the Vine Wine Tours - Off the Vine Wine Tours brings Napa Valley to Fredericksburg, TX and Texas Hill Country by offering exceptional 290 Wine Trail wine tours allowing you to relax and enjoy yourself.