Google Shopping

It seems that Google is at it again; the leading search engine knows exactly how to stay ahead of the competition; to be constantly improving. Google is constantly renovating and face-lifting each division before the competition has even caught up.

Google’s newest improvement is in their Google Shopping section, where they will be selling Product Listing Ads to merchants looking to promote their products in a more detailed and favorable light. Not only will this change provide an additional income stream for Google, but merchants will be motivated to keep their ads more up to date; with accurate purchasing information, any recent offers and product availability, since they will be paying for the spot. The program has been in the testing stage since last fall, already racking up about 50 online merchants and more than 10 million orders, but the full transition won’t be complete until fall 2012.

One of the features that is available immediately, however, is Google’s Trusted Store badge, which assigns report card style grades on each merchant’s shipping and service. This new section of Google Shopping can help customers feel confident in their online shopping experience. The “badge,” as Google calls it, is only awarded to the exceptional online stores that deliver a great overall experience to their customers. These merchants typically ship quickly and reliably, offer exceptional customer service and are trustworthy and reputable to work with. Another great feature is that you can also opt in to get up to $1,000 lifetime purchase protection per shopper, giving you access to Google’s diligent customer service team to help resolve any product issues you may run into.

One of the biggest questions companies have for Google is, “how will organic web results be affected by this transition?” Google assures its clients and customers that Google Shopping will not constitute a reversal on its paid inclusion policy. Google said in a statement that, “paid inclusion has historically been used to describe results that the website owner paid to place, but which were not labeled differently from organic search results.” Google guarantees that there is a difference between Google Shopping results—which must be paid for by merchants—and their organic search results, which companies have worked hard at achieving.

While this is great news for companies that have hired austin search engine optimization companies, who have implemented a successful SEO campaign, Google is showing a reversal in their views on how Google Shopping should operate. Just eight short years ago when the product categories were first introduced, Google stated that their free listing of results would provide users with relevant and unbiased search results. Allowing merchants to buy placement goes against their original concept and objectives for Google Shopping.

About the Author: Allison Schnur is the Marketing Manager of ArteWorks SEO, a full service Austin SEO firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about our top rated search engine optimization company please visit http://www.arteworks.biz.

What’s the Difference Between Link Building and Link Buying?

Search Engine Optimization is one of the best ways to market your company and website online. While companies are now realizing the importance of links in regards to SEO, they have no clue what the difference between link building and link buying is. Knowing the difference and making sure your SEO Company is doing everything ethically can mean the difference between a top ranked site and a site that’s banned from Google, or at least severely punished.

Buying links is a highly risky practice, since Google frowns upon buying and selling links, and won’t hesitate to penalize companies that do. So what is link buying? And how can you tell if your SEO Company is involved in this practice? Link buying is when websites will buy or rent links to another website. You pay a fee to be featured on a website, usually a spam-filled or irrelevant one, and the link will contain a keyword that increases your page rank. Link buying became popular as search engine optimization became more competitive in the early 2000’s, and buying links became a faster and cheaper alternative to link building.

Link building is the act of creating credible anchor text links with your company’s desired keywords. Common link building practices including blogging, creating links in niche directories, posting on forums, and social networking sites. With link building, you are creating valuable and relevant link bait such as blogs and posts for your followers that link back to your company’s website. Link building, unlike link buying, is a more tedious, manual process that takes much longer and requires much more consideration and expertise.

Then why go the hard way? Because it’s the right way. Google considers link buying to be against their terms of service, since it creates an unfair and unregulated search engine. Google is driven to produce the most relevant search results for its users, and buying links is a way to cheat your way to the top. Luckily, Google cracks down on link buying, and can and will penalize sites that are engaging in the illegal SEO tactic. They are even making examples out of some of the bigger companies that have allegedly been involved in link buying.

So how do you know that your SEO Company is doing everything by the books? Typically, link buying is a much cheaper practice, so if you’ve been approached by SEO Companies willing to get you ranked for a small fee, you should be extremely cautious. An honest SEO Austin Company will gladly show you how their time is being spent and can account for each service they are charging you for. Link building reports aren’t always included because let’s face it, some things need to be kept “trade secret.” The proof is in the pudding. If you are moving up on the search engines, you can bet that your SEO company is doing the work, including link building, ethically and within a major search engine’s terms of service.

About the Author: Allison Schnur is the Marketing Manager of ArteWorks SEO, a full service Austin SEO firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about our top rated search engine optimization company please visit http://www.arteworks.biz.What’s the Difference Between Link Building and Link Buying?