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Make the Web Perform

Industry news, quick tips, and more from the ThinkSEM team.

How Does the Google Pigeon Update Affect Local Twin Cities Businesses?


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Paul Jahn | 30 Jul 2014

Written with co-poster Sarah B Danks. The other day, Barry Schwartz from Search Engine Land wrote a compelling article regarding what they are dubbing the Google Pigeon Update, which aims to deliver more relevant local search results. Scrolling through the comments on the article, it looks like some folks are happy about the update, some definitely […]

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Google Introduces Free Dynamic Sitelinks in AdWords


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Sarah Danks | 30 Jul 2014

If it’s free, but you don’t want it…is it still a good deal? It’s no secret Google rolled with dynamic sitelinks for AdWords clients last week: “We’re introducing dynamic sitelinks: automatically generated sitelinks that appear below your ad text, connecting potential customers to relevant pages on your website more easily.” Great! But, wait…what’s that mean? […]

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Optimizing Your Local Search Business Efforts for Users


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Paul Jahn | 29 Jul 2014

Local Search Optimization It’s long been said: it’s imperative to have a consistent name, address and phone number (N.A.P.) across all local listings online. From Google to Yelp, Foursquare to Internet Yellow Pages, and data aggregators such as InfoGroup, Axciom, Factual (relatively new in the field) and, most importantly, your website, all sources should have […]

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Native Advertising: To Do It or Not To Do It?


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Sarah Danks | 25 Jul 2014

Written with co-posters Kayla Hollatz & Paul Jahn. The term “native advertising” is becoming more prominent marketing speak these days, similar to how “content marketing” has been gaining popularity in the last couple of years. You’ve all seen promoted Tweets and suggested Facebook posts, at the least. But is native advertising just sponsored content on social media venues? Absolutely not. Evidently […]

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Ghost Buttons: Effective or Downright Scary for Conversions?


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Kayla Hollatz | 21 Jul 2014

Web design fads come and go, but one of the latest trends in minimalist design is the ghost button. For companies that want a clean aesthetic, these buttons have become a no-brainer, but should they be? First, what the heck is a ghost button? Before you start picturing your CTA button shaped like Casper the […]

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Bing Goes Academic, Includes Ratings for School Searches


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Paul Jahn | 18 Jul 2014

Written with Co-Poster Sarah B Danks. Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land found some great information regarding Bing adding school rankings to search results. They’re included in the Bing Snapshot box you often see at the right of the main results. Visually, it’s placed very similarly to where Google has its knowledge graph. The Bing […]

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Google Maps Steps Up Their Game for Mobile Devices and Tablets


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Paul Jahn | 15 Jul 2014

Not to be outdone by Apple (we previously wrote about their mobile maps upgrade), Google Maps has stepped up its game. Greg Sterling wrote a compelling article regarding Google making maps apps more competitive with Yelp for iPhones and iPads. Here is what a few folks have to say about the new app:     […]

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PPC Branded Search Caveat: Beware the Competitor Brand Bids!


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Sarah Danks | 11 Jul 2014

Last week I posted about why you should be bidding on branded terms within your PPC campaigns. So, sure, if you run pay-per-click accounts you need to allocate some budget to branded search, but within that realm there are SOME keywords I don’t believe you should be including in the branded mix. I ran across an […]

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Google Your Favorite Names, Find Their Trusted Twitter Profiles


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Paul Jahn | 10 Jul 2014

Jessica Lee with Search Engine Watch writes a compelling article regarding Google tending to index specific tweets from influential people more often. It provides some good examples on how accounts with high followers with an even higher amount of links can be indexed more. This brings me to think about people I trust, similarly to our blog […]

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MnSearch Summit 2014 Recap


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Sarah Danks | 10 Jul 2014

It’s been 13 whole days since the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association’s inaugural conference. AKA the MnSearch Summit. AKA the Day Search Got Warm & Fuzzy. Seriously. There was a lotta marketing love going on. Without further ado, here’s a recap of the day… Lee Odden of Top Rank Marketing: Where Does Search Fit in the Digital Marketing Mix? […]

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The Human Algorithm in Search Results


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Paul Jahn | 10 Jul 2014

For years, the SMX search marketing conference has been the go-to for both SEM industry vets and beginners. It’s a place to learn things new, brush up on skills and network at the same time. At the latest SMX Advanced in Seattle, Justin Sanger from SupportLocal gave a compelling presentation, now on YouTube, titled Local & The […]

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Yelp, Google, TripAdvisor – Which Reviews Do You Trust When Searching for Businesses?


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Paul Jahn | 09 Jul 2014

Local search industry veteran Greg Sterling found some interesting Nielsen survey results regarding Yelp being the best-quality, most trustworthy local review site. Yelp was the clear winner in all categories followed by TripAdvisor, Angie’s List, CitySearch, and then Yellow Pages to bottom out the list. Strangely enough, they either didn’t include Google in their list […]

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PR Company Taking a Stand Against SEO Spam


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Paul Jahn | 03 Jul 2014

This is great news. Greg Jarboe at Search Engine Land writes on how PR Newswire press release guidelines are now targeting search engine spam: These guidelines are designed to reduce the distribution of low-quality content over PR Newswire’s distribution network and the exploitation of press releases on its website to artificially manipulate search rankings.   Recommended […]

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Why You Want to Include Branded Search in Your PPC Campaign


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Sarah Danks | 03 Jul 2014

Any good PPC manager will tell you you’re crazy if you’re not dedicating some sort of focus on branded keywords within your pay-per-click account. But, you ask, why do I need to dedicate time, resources and — more importantly — money to branded terms? Especially when ANYONE knows that a business website will ALWAYS show […]

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Content is King But Community is Queen


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Kayla Hollatz | 03 Jul 2014

It’s the week after the first MNSearch Summit, but we are still buzzing about all that we learned from the speakers. Among these speakers was Rand Fishkin of Moz who gave a keynote presentation on Why Content Marketing Fails. During Rand’s presentation on content marketing, what struck a chord with me was the increasing influence […]

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