Some recent updates to Google’s Local Guides Program expand it to offer more levels and more ways to contribute. It will also bring new perks and overall improve the program for both contributors and users. Here’s what you need to know. What is the Local Guides Program? Local Guides is a program that allows anyone […]
A successful attorney’s entire job rests on one question: can he persuade the jury to view the case as he does? If he can, he wins. Steal these 10 conversion lessons from attorneys to make your SaaS onboarding emails more persuasive and, in the process, increase your conversions. 1. Know Your Goals How do you […]
Google Fined An Astounding $2.7 Billion By The EU For Manipulating Searches
The European Union has fined Google a record $2.7 billion (2.4 billion in euros) fine for skewing search results in favor of Google’s own shopping site. But that may be only a fraction of the ultimate costs of the EU’s demand for Google to cease and desist.
Although Google has plenty of cash to keep it afloat, it may lose much more than the $2.7 billion due to a potential loss of ad revenue along with a regulatory backlash against Google’s other services, including restaurant reviews, maps, and more. This, in addition to the EU’s threats for more penalties.
The decision, brought by Margrethe Vestager, the EU’s antitrust chief, brings a 7-year investigation to an end. The investigation came in the wake of accusations from both small websites and well-known sites like News Corp., Microsoft, and Springer SE. While politicians in Europe have called for sanctions against Google, or even demand that it be broken up, U.S. critics challenge the accusations by claiming that EU regulators are deliberately targeting successful American companies.
A binding order from the EU demands that Alphabet Inc., Google’s parent company, must “stop its illegal conduct” and start giving equal treatment to competing price-comparison services, and notify the EU of its plans to do so within 60 days. It’s up to Google how it wants to accomplish this.
The ultimatum was issued by Vestager, imposing a 90-day deadline to incorporate the changes and give smaller price-comparison competitors a chance against the Google shopping ads that appear alongside search results. The EU states that it plans to monitor Google over the next five years and “may impose stiffer fines in the future” up to 5 percent of Google’s daily revenue if the demands aren’t met.
Kent Walker, Google’s general counsel, shared that the company disagrees with the EU’s findings and may decide to seek an appeal.
According to the EU, Google has promoted its own comparison-shopping service as far back as 2008, putting its own services at the top of search engine results when shopping for a new item. Comparison-shopping rivals only have results popping up on page four, putting them at a distinct disadvantage, since the first page garners 95 percent of all clicks.
A lawyer at the Parisian Firm Simmons & Simmons declares that it’s normal for a private company to favor its own services. But the EU’s decision imparts obligations to Google that one might expect for a water or power company. Such companies were once considered a state monopoly.
The fines levied on Tuesday may only be the first in a series of heavy penalties aimed at Google by EU antitrust committees. This comes at a difficult time for Google, which is already fighting for its Android phone software and its AdSense internet advertising service. Vestager hinted that she may also look into Google’s travel, maps, and restaurant reviews, which have also engendered complaints.
In spite of the recent record-breaking penalty, Google is unlikely to be fazed by the $2.7 billion fine when it holds a cache of $90 billion. More concerning is the way EU regulators are trying to force Google to change its online shopping search results, one of the biggest revenue sources for the internet giant, and one of the greatest weapons in its arsenal of online competitors.
At SEO Houston Pros our SEO Experts in Houston confirm that although this ordeal with Google may seem like a bump in the road, we have addressed similar issues in the past. We take pride in keeping ourselves ahead of the curve and by doing so are able to keep ourselves up-to-date on all new algorithm changes. More importantly, SEO Houston Pros spends rigorous hours studying those changes brought to Google’s search engine platform.
We at SEO Houston Pros are incapable of taking on every client, as we only work with 1 client per niche in any given area, but to see if you are a good fit for our services, contact us now by filling out our contact form, or to expedite the process for consideration fill out our discovery application to see if your business qualifies for our service, and one of our executive SEO architects will be back with you promptly.
5 Signs That You Need To Have With A New Website Design
Your website needs to reflect your brand in the best possible light, especially considering that most likely it is the first place that a prospective customer will learn about and see your business. If your website design is outdated and either is not responsive or looks like it from the 1990’s, then it is definitely time for you to upgrade! When a visitors lands on your website, the individual will determine within a couple of seconds whether they want to leave or stay. Frequently, this decision will be based on the way your website navigates, feels and looks. On your home page, do you have a video or music auto-playing? Is your home page lacking engaging images and full of large blocks of text? Does your site have pop-ups on it? If your answer to any of the questions is yes, then you should definitely consider getting your business website design revamped.
Should Your Website Design Be Updated?
If you are wondering whether or not to hire a professional web design company, then you should consider the following tell-tale signs that your site needs to be re-designed right today!
1. Your Website Is Not Mobile-Friendly
Take your phone out and type your website URL in one of the major search engines. What does your website look like? Is it easy to navigate? Is your site easy to view? Take the time to look around and think about these questions. If you discover that it is slow, time-consuming or difficult to move around the website that you have currently on a tablet or mobile phone, it’s time for something new! Most people who are visiting your website will be coming via a mobile device and those numbers will only continue to grow over time. If people are not able to navigate your website easily on a mobile device, then they will leave immediately and get the information they are looking for from your competitor. So don’t allow this basic conversion to prevent you from getting new customers and leads.
2. An Outdated Appearance
Basically speaking, if your website has an old appearance individuals won’t take the time to really review it and check it out. If your website has an old appearance, that means that it is outdated and most likely it is difficult to navigate. Everybody wants to quickly and easily locate what they are searching for when they land on a website. Your site should have plenty of graphics that point to your major products and services, and the main navigation tabs need to highlight your business’s key areas, and every page of your site needs to have a call to action. As a general rule of thumb, get your website redesigned every three years at least. Given how fast technology changes and consumers needs change, this will help to ensure your website stays current.
3. Slow Loading Speed
One of the major components of website design is usability. Are the images on your home page loading slow? Does it take longer than two seconds for the pages on your site to load? In general, people will leave a web page after they only wait three seconds for the page to load! As a society overall we are going to increasingly become more impatient. However, we have the technology as well to meet those demands – so take advantage of this and use it! There isn’t anything users hate more than when it takes a website forever to load. By having a professional company do a new website design for you, they will make sure the loading speeds for you site meets industry standards.
By getting a new website design done by a professional company, they will ensure these loading speeds stay within industry standards.
4. Your Website Is Not Optimized For Search Engines
If your website pages are not optimized, how can new users find your business? Keep in mind that most new customers will learn about your business online. That means that you need to appear within the search engine listings whenever phrases that are relevant for business are being searched. For example, if you are a Houston real estate agent, the best way that you can be found online is optimizing your web pages for some of the main key phrases like “Houston realtor” through using search engine optimization in Houston. By working on your organic marketing on a consistent basis, you can get your business found on Google for the relevant phrases that are relevant to your business.
5. Your Social Media Accounts Are Not Linked And Integrated
Social media offers a huge opportunity. Getting on Instagram, LinkedIn, Twitter and Facebook will allow you to encounter new prospects that you have never met before. If your point is to acquire new prospects and customers, then you need to have your social media accounts integrated and linked with your website. With assistance from an experienced brand management and web design company, you can get easy access to all your social platforms using just a click of one button.
We Are Web Design Experts That Can Help You!
Do any of these concerns relate to your current website? If you are ready for your website to get a new design, then give us a call today! We can provide your business with a customized solution that will improve the website experience for your users.