Google is Given 90 Days to End its Anti-Competitve Practices

Google have been hit with the largest fine the European Commission has ever imposed.  It has been deemed that Google has abused its power to promote their own paid ads within Google search results.

What has happened?

The EU fine was £2.1bn, but it could have been £70.8bn (10% of annual revenue)!

If Google Shopping is not changed within 90 days, it could be facing a fine of 5% to its entire parent company’s ‘Alphabet’ average daily worldwide income.

Alphabet, the parent company of Google, current have in excess of $172bn of assets. The fine is not a concern to them, but the future strategies of Google will be a primary concern for the company.

Google have promoted paid shopping ads, making them more visually appealing and dominating their high positions within the search results for paid customers.   The more a user pays for a shopping ad, the more visibility the ad gets in the search results (amongst other more complex algorithms).

For the past seven years the European Commission has been investigating Google Shopping.

The complaints are said to be raised by Microsoft and other companies.

Quotes taken from the BBC News:

“An entire industry has suffered because of Google’s unlawful, anticompetitive behaviour, and it has become a genuine struggle for survival for the likes of [us],” the chief executive of Kelkoo Richard Stables told the BBC.

“At the same time, Google’s abuse has raised costs for merchants, and it has meant higher prices for consumers and much more limited choice.”

“What Google has done is illegal under EU antitrust rules,” declared Margrethe Vestager, the European Union’s Competition Commissioner.

“It has denied other companies the chance to compete on their merits and to innovate, and most importantly it has denied European consumers the benefits of competition, genuine choice and innovation.”

What could this mean going forward?

The EU Civil Service could look at how Google gives precedence to Google maps, flight price results and most importantly, the way local business listings are displayed within the search results when using Google.

Source: http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology-40406542

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Fertile Frog Wins Bolton Wanderers FC Logo Competition!

Our in-house Graphic Designer Matt entered the Bolton Wanderers logo competition with his friend Tom Walsh to commemorate the 20-year anniversary of their stadium.

After a couple weeks of waiting we got an email back to let us know that we had been shortlisted for the final 6 logos. Bolton Wanderers FC received over 100 entries for the competition to win two season tickets for the 2016/17 Sky Bet Championship campaign.

The winner of the competition will also see their design on next season’s ticket stock, season cards, programme cover and various other marketing collateral as Bolton Wanderers celebrates 20 years at its home.

Take a look at the final 6 logos that supporters had to choose from:

With a total of 45% of all the votes, we won the competition… In fact we smashed it!

Our design will now feature on the club’s marketing material for the 2017/18 Sky Bet Championship campaign, including season ticket cards, ticket stock and the match day programme. Keep your eyes pealed over the next season to see if you can! Final logo below:

 

First Stage:
https://www.bwfc.co.uk/news/2017/may/club-launches-logo-competition-for-20-year-stadium-anniversary/

Shortlist:
https://www.bwfc.co.uk/news/2017/may/logo-competition-shortlist-announced/

Final Announcement:
https://www.bwfc.co.uk/news/2017/may/logo-competition-winner-announced/

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7 Ways To Promote Your Business Using Pinterest INFOGRAPHIC

Over recent years we have found that Pinterest has become a powerful marketing tool to build brand awareness and drive traffic to your website. Every day millions of users pin and search for content and images based on their interests.

This powerful social network can be somewhat underrated, when in essence it only enhances search engine optimisation. When considering Pinterest for SEO, the process isn’t as difficult as you may initially think. SEO with Pinterest is all about utilising a simple, strategic process.

The following infographic highlights our top 7 tips on ways to promote your online business using Pinterest.

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Is Your Website Mobile Responsive?

60% of potential customers use their mobiles to find you!

Do you have a company website that is not optimised for mobile phone users? You could be potentially missing out on a large percentage of customers who visit your website on their mobile, but then leave because they find the usability difficult to find what they need.

Please take the time to view your companies website on a mobile phone and check it is:

  1. Easy to browse & navigate
  2. Uncluttered
  3. Telephone numbers ring when tapped
  4. Products / services are simple and clear
  5. Fast to load
  6. Layout adjusts to the screen size (responsive)

If you would like a free health check on your website’s mobile performance. Contact us at www.fertilefrog.com and let us give your website a professional health check.

Reference: https://www.thewebmaster.com/seo/2017/may/2/60-percent-online-searches-mobile-devices/

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Why Does my Real Estate Business Need a Website?

In today’s world, information technology has advanced in leaps and bounds. People are now turning to the quickest and most convenient source of information; the internet. It naturally follows that with mobile internet in the equation, anybody with a real estate business needs a website to remain relevant.

The thing is, in real estate, the playing field is defined by you, the agent and for the most part, how you conduct business really matters.

The market dynamics have changed, and there are many agents out there vying for the same piece of cake that you are. You need to brand yourself and market yourself effectively; to do this and many other things, you need a website. Here are some more reasons why your real estate business needs a website;

You become resourceful to your client

This is a very important quality. Creating a website where both current and prospective customers can learn more about the services you offer. More to that you need to ensure that your presence on the internet offers valuable information about the real estate market.

Branding yourself

Of course, every other agent will have a website. You don’t want to be another cute face on a corporate site. By having your own website, you can create your brand. Your website directly reflects your values, authority, ideology and what you have to offer. Property buyers want to work with someone they can trust. Even if majority of home sellers and home buyers get to work with agents from personal referrals, they first follow and find about the agents on the internet. The question you should ask themselves is; what do they find when they search your business.

Grow your personal brand

It is easy to argue that the extra cost of having a personal website is unnecessary since your agency or broker supplies you with one. Well, that may not be entirely true. What if you left the agency or brokerage? It important to have a personal brand. People want to meet and work with a person. You need to have an edge over the competition and not be lumped up with everyone else in the office by having a generic website.

You become preferred

You need to get your clients to learn about you and your services. Your website is the best opportunity for your clients to decide whether they are making the right choice. You can appeal to your potential clients by adding Mortgage Calculators, Home Buyer Tips, Loan Programs Information and M L S listings. These will increase the value of your website and make it the only website that clients want to go to.

Networking opportunity

With a website, it is easy to get networks and referrals. You can take advantage of having a website to write blogs on other authority real estate sites or even Q & A sites like Quora and then back-linking to your own site. This way, you get audience and drive traffic to your website where you can go ahead to make conversions. Blogs are also a great place to link social media sites like Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn and Instagram. This will help you increase your online presence and drive traffic to your site.

Lose the new to the game syndrome

You may be losing business simply because you are new to the office or even new to the market. Part of this is because there is no information about you anywhere. Potential clients think that you are new to the game since there is nothing about you anywhere. It happens all the time to people that do not have a website. A robust website will put information about you out there so you are not seen as a novice.

How can Fertile Frog help your real estate business?


In just one month of working with the local estate agent, Ben Rose, Fertile Frog managed to increase the number of searches that clicked through to their website by 91% and the total number of views have increased by 99%! This is just one example of how our SEO Experts have helped clients to increase their rankings and therefore get more customers.

Conclusion

In today’s economy, it is important to have a unique value proposition where you are your own resource for your clients. You should be focused on creating a personal brand while staying relevant in your area of expertise. Having your own real estate website ensures that you are actualised in all these areas and make sure your bases are covered. Only remember that all websites are not created equal so it’s important to require a professional web designer to do some good work for you.

Want to know how we can increase your rankings? Please get in touch with a member of our team; *protected email*

 

 

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“Fred” The New Unconfirmed Google Ranking Update

Introducing Fred

Google, one of the leading online search engines, is always seeking ways to improve users’ web experience. However, ever since the advent of search engine optimisation (SEO), the internet has become awash, with low quality content. A simple online search will not always bring the desired results, as low-value content websites utilise SEO to achieve higher search engine rankings. As far as site rankings are concerned, Google seeks to do away with these low value sites that put revenue generation above quality web experience. Unconfirmed reports suggest that “Fred” is the new Google Algorithm Ranking Update that is set to impact on the SEO world.

Low-value content sites consist of numerous adverts that seek to lure visitors to make a purchase or click on an affiliate link. While it is not wrong to market products and services online, Google feels that meaningful sites consisting of quality content should rank higher than sales sites. “Fred” will significantly reduce traffic to these low quality content sites by up to 50 percent or more. A number of web masters have already experienced the impact of Fred, first hand. Ever since its test run on March 8, 2017, quite a number of “low-value” content sites dropped out of the top indexes, with keen SEO experts noting that some keywords, sank deep on search results.

Google is yet to confirm if the update will be permanent or they will resolve to roll back to the previous algorithm. SEO experts are still in the dark concerning the changes, as Google has not come out openly to state its position about the current situation. As it has been the case with recent Google algorithm updates, the Company has remained silent about their update activities. However, Gary Illyes from Google was categorical about the development, stating that the search engine Company makes an average of three updates per day. In view of the uproar surrounding latest Google update, it is safe to say that “Fred” is a reality.

Impact on SEO and Internet Marketing

The impact of Fred on both Search Engine Optimisation and online marketers has been immense. Web masters and developers have to re-strategise on their SEO tactics. Although Fred has not affected SEO tools in anyway, web developers have to refrain from optimising websites just for the sake of driving traffic and acquiring high rankings. Seemingly, SEO experts will not find a way around the Google Algorithm Ranking Update, as it concentrates on the content of the site rather than the SEO tweaks. The idea of developing high quality content is a good one and SEO experts, as well as web masters, should consider developing sites that are useful to the end-users.

Meanwhile, considering the recent developments, it has become imperative for online marketers to develop high quality content sites rather than fluff their landing pages with a myriad of adverts. It is just a matter of time before Google confirms this algorithm update. When that happens, marketers who are yet to make the shift will have to bear the consequences. Their sites will not only drop in rankings, but might also become obsolete due to poor traffic. Additionally, the competitive edge that they might have had over their rivals will be no more.

End users stand to gain the most from the implementation of Fred. Gone will be the days when a simple online search would bring up irrelevant results or poor quality content, because of optimised sites that utilise common user keywords. The stringent measures by Google, come as good news to end users as it will ensure that they have a wonderful search experience. It will also be easier for users to find what they are looking, as the algorithm seeks to shove low-value content down the rankings.

In conclusion,  SEO experts, as well as internet marketers should not fret about the Google Algorithm Ranking Update. On the contrary, they should embrace it with open arms. Developing high quality content sites can go a long way in attracting prospective customers. Additionally, it is advisable for marketers to provide content that is not only meaningful, but also devoid of numerous adverts that seek to generate money. Web users love a wonderful online experience. If a site owner is able to provide that exceptional online experience, well and good. Chances are that a quality content site will drive more traffic, and eventually gain higher rankings in search results.

For more information about SEO and Google updates, get in touch with a member of our team; *protected email*

 

 

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BBC News Alert – Is your website protected?

It has always been important to ensure your online web presence is protected, but this year more than ever!  It has been estimated that over 1.5 million blog pages and thousands of websites have been exploited and defaced by hackers. These unscrupulous hackers have managed to spoil several pages due to a major security flaw on WordPress software and because of this, WordPress are urging site owners to update their software to avoid hackers taking over their website.

The BBC have highlighted this issue in their recent technology news alert; www.bbc.co.uk/news/technology.

Security firms such as WordFence and Sucuri picked up on the security flaw back in January and have described the bug as a ‘feeding frenzy amongst hacker groups’. The founder of WordFence, Mark Maunder, said “During the past 48 hours we have seen over 800,000 attacks exploiting this specific vulnerability across the WordPress sites we monitor,”

Some hackers have actually managed to take over websites, rather than just defacing them and so WordPress released a new ‘patched’ version on 26th January, leading to several sites and blogs automatically running updates to prevent them being hacked. However, even after WordPress’ effort to prevent their customers’ sites from being hacked, thousands of website administrators and managers have not updated them and therefore are still vulnerable and at risk of catching the ‘bug’, making it easy for the hackers to take over and exploit websites and blog pages.

A government-backed IT security agency are now seriously encouraging website administrators to update their online platforms and carry out maintenance to protect them from these malicious attacks.

For all our clients on our maintenance plan… you’ll be glad to know that your website is still safe and secure from any nasty bugs or hackers!

If you don’t currently make use of our maintenance plan and want to discuss us protecting your website to avoid it being hacked then please don’t hesitate to contact us.

 

 

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Top 10 Tips for Aesthetics Clinic Marketing

Whether you wish to use traditional marketing methods – in home marketing, publications, leaflets – or more tech-savvy techniques such as blogging or local search engine optimisation, the key to successful marketing is to know your audience. In knowing the target customers for your Aesthetic Practise, you can establish what your strategy needs to be, and what material will most catch the eye. It is imperative you learn to relate to your audience, to be striking, memorable and enticing. Whatever treatments you offer, there is growing interest in non-invasive cosmetic procedures and you need only seize the growing markets.

To help you do so, consider the following Aesthetics clinic marketing tips:

1. Telling stories via columns or social media:

Psychology has proven people retain information better when they are entertained or stimulated. The use of stories, of anecdotes using past patients may help them absorb all the crucial facts about your services, their effectiveness and past customer satisfaction. While also being encouraged to further your relationship, perhaps through a consultation. Keeping the story light-hearted, humorous and relatable is deemed to get the best results.

2. Blogging

The use of a blog is a strong marketing tool because it is interactive, colourful and offers short and sweet material. Blogs are accessible almost anywhere with smartphones and tablets, so building a loyal visitor base for your page will directly translate into new customers.

3. Personalised Messaging

Based on the interests of people that have consulted with you or sought your services, you may message or call them personally to inform them of newly available treatments relevant to what they’d initially contacted you for. This strengthens the customer -aesthetician bond and casts your practice as client-orientated.

4. Setting An Inviting Internal Image

Hiring a decorator or simply working to improve your office’s appearance and comfort will send a positive message to all those that walk in, which is an easy way to attract more clients and keeping the ones you already have.

5. Branding

Creating a strong brand is a long-term marketing technique, but it is the most reliable way to invite clients and even media attention.

6. Radio adverts

This is the easiest way to ‘invite yourself’ into your target customers’ homes, by exposing them to the quality of your services in the comfort of their own home, office or in the car.

7. Speaking Opportunities In Your Community

By speaking in your community, perhaps at local council events, you become the go-to aesthetician, known to be in touch with ‘his or her people’. You also depict yourself as a relatable doctor, which fulfills the ‘human appeal’ side of marketing.

8. Good PR

Through good public relations, you get access to more events, media coverage and self-promotion opportunities. Either hire a professional to handle your public relations or get training on how to do so yourself.

9. Search Engine Optimisation

By hiring a SEO expert, you maximise your chances to appear on the front pages of search engines. Furthermore, you cast your business as ‘popular’ and ‘reliable’ by making more publications that concern it available on the net. This form of internet marketing is self-sustaining, as when more people access articles regarding your treatments, more people share them on various platforms with their friends or own audience.

10. Newsletters

This technique seems straight-forward but need not be overlooked. A strong, information-riddled newsletter provides existing customers with exciting reasons to come back for more procedures or consultations. This may be the best way not to lose clients to concurrence.

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