Market Appeal Blog and News

Google Launches Major Push to Get Local Businesses Online

Google Business

Google launches campaign to get small, local businesses online


A new campaign from Google is the start of a major push to get more local business online and, more importantly for the search engine, part of the Google ecosystem. The Let’s Put Our Cities on the Map program encourages small business owners to check how their business appears in Google Maps and Search and, if necessary, update their listings. For businesses that don’t have an online presence yet, Google is even offering a free domain and hosted website for a year to give them a starting push. It’s a clear sign from the company just how important local business listings are for its future ambitions. (more…)

Yahoo Begins to Lose Search Market Share After 2 Months of Growth


Yahoo loses search market share


It seems that the growth Yahoo saw in December and January following a deal to become the default search provider for Firefox has finally slowed and reversed, with the company seeing a small decline in market share over February. After Yahoo replaced Google as Mozilla’s default search engine, its market share jumped to 11.8% in December, then up again to 13% in January, but has now dropped down to 12.8%, with the drop split evenly between Google and Microsoft. Google continues to dominate with 64.5%, while Microsoft holds 19.8%. (more…)

Google Gets Boozy with Cocktail Recipes in Search


Google is your mixologist: cocktail recipes added to search


Google’s ‘quick answer’ and Knowledge Graph results continue to expand, but the latest addition is one of their most fun yet: cocktail recipes. Users can now search for common cocktails to find recipes, preparation instructions and even advice on the best glass to use. There’s an extensive range of drinks available, from a mint julep to a cosmopolitan. The search giant even showed their sense of humour while announcing the service on Twitter: “Because it’s always 5 o’clock somewhere: Cocktail recipes now served on Google Search.”


60% of users choose mobile devices for local search, survey finds


A new survey from Thrive Analytics has found that mobile devices have overtaken desktop when it comes to local searches, with 60% of local searches coming from either a smartphone or tablet. This is driven in part by a segment the study dubs ‘mobile fanatics’ – the 40% of the U.S. smartphone-using population shunning desktop devices in favour of consistently searching on mobile. The study provides further evidence of just how important it is for businesses with a local customer base to focus on mobile SEO.


Google get into the insurance game in the U.S.


Google is further expanding its already broad product base with its latest service, Google Compare. The service is starting small, with a focus on car insurance, and is currently exclusive to California, but expect it to expand in the coming months. Compare looks to be an updated version of the car insurance comparison service Google already offers in the U.K., but with only 14 providers compared to the 126 available over here.

AdWords Users Can Now Access a New App – But Only in Canada


Google AdWords Launches Android App – But Just in Canada


Google AdWords has continued to improve the tools available to advertisers with the launch of a new Android app to help advertisers manage their campaigns on the go. The bad news is that, so far at least, you can only use it if you live in Canada – though Google promise to expand support to other countries soon. For those who can get at it now, the new app lets advertisers view campaign statistics, update bids and budgets, receive alerts and notifications and even contact a Google expert right through the app. The app is free to download from the Play Store – but, again, only in Canada. Stay tuned.


Bing Lets You Order Takeout Straight From Search


In the continuing battle to add new, unexpected features to search, Bing has just come out one step ahead, adding an ‘Order Online’ button to searches for restaurants that offer online ordering systems for takeout. The button takes you through to U.S. ordering platforms like eat24 and BringMeThat – no word yet on when it might appear in the U.K. for JustEat and HungryHouse. This could be a big help for SEO-savvy takeout places, and is a sign that Bing are just as committed as Google to expanding the purpose of the search engine.


Google Search Penalizes Sites With Unwanted Downloads


Be careful if you’re too quick to force downloads of marketing materials from your sites – Google has announced in a blog post that Search now “incorporates signals that identify such deceptive sites.  This change reduces the chances you’ll visit these sites via our search results.” Chrome users will even now begin to see warnings before they visit sites with unwanted downloads, while AdWords is beginning to disable ads that lead to such sites. All of this means one thing: if you’re still trying to force downloads on visitors to your site for any reason, you really need to stop.

Could Google’s Latest Doodle Cause Epileptic Seizures?


Google’s Alessandro Volta Doodle May Cause Seizures

This week Google celebrated 270th birthday of the inventor of the battery, Alessandro Volta, in its latest Doodle, but not everyone was a fan. One searcher complained that the image, which contained a series of flashing lights, risked trigger a seizure in people with photosensitive epilepsy. Emileigh Starbrook wrote that the Doodle “caused an immediate migraine” for her, but that “it is very possible it could cause an epileptic seizure in someone who is more sensitive to it than I am.” Starbrook requested Google take the animation down just in case. It doesn’t look like Google did remove it, but will they consider epilepsy sufferers in future Doodles?


Google Webmaster Tools Data Ran a Week Late


The data Google Webmaster Tools always runs a day or two behind, but last week saw a pretty exceptional delay, with widespread reports that the system stopped updating for almost a week, leaving webmasters in the dark about their sites’ performance. Data stopped loading from February 7th for many users, and was still out-of-date over the weekend. Thankfully, things are now back up and running with the usual two-day delay, though this serves a reminder that even Google have service outages – which will be little comfort to those reliant on that data last week.


New Loading Effects Tested for Google Mobile Search


Reports suggest that Google are testing a variety of new loading effects for mobile searches, though it’s not clear if the aim is to increase efficiency, speed, or simply user experience. New effects include the logo fading away as the user types, to return once the search is complete. Another sees image searches load up rectangles in colours drawn from the image’s colour palette while the full pictures load. Check out Rubén Gómez’s video to see the new UI in action.