Google+ And Places Pages Merge, ‘Product Search’ Becomes Pay-To-Play ‘Google Shopping’, Google Is Hunting Web Directories, & More

Google+ And Places Pages Merge, ‘Product Search’ Becomes Pay-To-Play ‘Google Shopping’, Google Is Hunting Web Directories, & More

This Week’s Industry News

Compiled By Rocket Clicks Staff

Google Begins Integrating Places And Google+ Local Business Pages

As a business, would you prefer a Google Places listing or Google+ Page? Good news! Pretty soon, you won’t have a choice. Google has begun e volving all Google Places pages into Google+ Pages for local businesses. Google+ is also beginning to feature a “Local” tab, and Zagat ratings are also getting some increased exposure:


Google Places Plus Pages


Google Places Plus Pages

Source: Search Engine Land

‘Google Product Search’ Is Now ‘Google Shopping’

Google Product Search has been rebranded into Google Shopping, and now only features businesses that pay Google for their listings. Google’s justification is that a pay-to-play strategy elicits more trust from customers, and the system will run similarly to the current one used for Product Listing Ads. The search engine is also experimenting with a new layout that combines Product Listing Ads and Product Search displays at the top of the SERPs.

Source: Search Engine Land

Facebook Stock: Not Such A Great Investment At The Moment

Facebook’s initial public offering has been far from a runaway success. After gaining a scant 23 cents on its debut, Facebook’s stock fell below $30 on Tuesday. The stock is now at $27, a 40 percent decrease in value from the $45 high mark it briefly experienced on it s first day of trading.

Source: Mashable

400,000 Gmail Users Experience Outage

Gmail experienced an outage Wednesday that left some of its users without access to their accounts. While the problem affected only 0.11% of their user base, that user base is 350 million people according to Google. Since the problem has been resolved.

Source: Mashable

Google’s Knowledge Graph Generating More Searches

Since launching Knowledge Graph, a fact database that generates more contextual search results, Google has seen a jump in the number of searches being carried out on the site. The results make sense given that Knowledge Graph encourages users to do more searches by providing links to related searches, much like Wikipedia.

Source: Search Engine Land

Study Finds 20% Of Web Directories Have Been 86’d Or Incarcerated By Google

If you do any directory link building, you may want to raise your standards (if you haven’t already). SEOmoz has released the results of an internal study that revealed 20% of all web directories have been banned or penalized by Google. Their researchers scoured 2,678 directories, and discovered 200 were banned and 340 were penalized by Google.

Obviously this revelation doesn’t apply to directories targeted in niche markets that are actually used, so update your link building accordingly. As the Supreme Court once said, “I shall not today attempt further to define the kinds of material I understand to be embraced within that shorthand description, but I know it when I see it.”

Source: SEOmoz

Needy Facebook Wants To Be More Involved In Your Online Life

If you feel that Facebook isn’t already a big enough part of your web browsing experience you may be in luck. A Facebook browser that integrates the social network into your web activity even further could be coming soon according to one report. Such a development would be a big step towards making Facebook the web for a lot of people rather than just a site.

Source: Mashable

Notable Commentary

Heavy On The SEO Sauce

Someone Has Recovered From The Penguin Update

After every Google algorithm update named after a black and white-colored animal, there are winners and losers, and losers that eventually become precedent-setting winners. In the case of Google Penguin,, a WordPress information hub, was hit pretty hard but has since survived to tell the harrowing journey back to Google traffic normalcy.

Analysis By: Barry Schwartz, Search Engine Land

Debunking Your Biggest SEO Fears

If you don’t watch SEOmoz’s Whiteboard Friday segments, you probably don’t work in Internet marketing. This past week, Rand Fishkin dispelled some of the biggest myths that scare SEO professionals.

Analysis By: Rand Fishkin, SEOmoz

Keywords Are The Least Of Your Worries If You’re Doing Enterprise SEO

Ian Lurie starts off his column on enterprise SEO with a joke sure to produce a few eye rolls from industry professionals, before launching into a useful discussion about the significance (or lack thereof) of keywords in an enterprise campaign. Lurie argues there are many bigger issues that deserve the focus often put on keyword research and implementation.

Analysis By: Ian Lurie, Search Engine Land

How George Lucas Makes His Star Wars Bones

The Star Wars franchise has grossed around $33 billion in overall revenue since 1977. Wired uses a colored Millennium Falcon to break down the main and secondary sources of google voice  for George Lucas’ now-defiled legacy.

Analysis By: Michael V. Copeland, Wired Epicenter