“Much Adoodle about Nothing?” What Kind of Backlash Should Google Expect from the Chavez over Jesus Doodle Decision?

Just one day after Google’s decision to honor the birthday of the founder of the National Farm Workers Association, labor leader and civil rights activist Cesar Chavez, nearly half the world seems to have an opinion. While the choice to honor a devout Christian on one of the most significant Christian holidays has been downplayed, up-played and outright villainized, it remains to be seen if Google will suffer long-term consequences from its decision to ignore the Easter holiday and one of the most significant historic figures of all time.

Originally created in 1998, you can see a timeline of Google doodles at google.com/doodles, which began as a simple homage to holidays with cheeky and childish images, but became decidedly worldlier and more educational throughout the years. Google users have come to expect a new doodle on National holidays, as well as the lesser known holidays and significant dates. The Google doodle has also become Google’s way of expressing their sense of creativity and opinions in a fairly uncontroversial way; until now, that is.

Now the question remains, was Google’s choice to ignore Easter simply an attempt to uphold its duty to remain relevant on a global scale? Or were they consciously making a political stance in honoring a left-winged activist just one year after President Obama declared March 31st as Cesar Chavez day? Or, even more realistically, were they just flaunting their power with their now reported 86% search engine market share? Proving that they no longer have to answer to anyone?

Whether you’re a devout Christian or not, most Americans agree that Google had to foresee the backlash coming, and that they could have potentially made a solid stance on their religious and political views (something many large companies have been doing this past year, especially surrounding the gay marriage issue). So the question remains, will the devout Christians be flocking to use Google’s biggest competitor, Bing, who celebrated Easter with their simple and far less controversial Easter egg background? Or will the frustrated users eventually come running back to Google, whose market share is directly reflected in their mastery of search engine optimization functionality?

Google did release a statement to the Washington Post that read, “We enjoy celebrating holidays at Google but, as you may imagine, it’s difficult for us to choose which events to highlight on our site. Sometimes for a given date, we feature an historical event or influential figure that we haven’t in the past.” Fox News was quick to point out that Google has never honored Jesus in the past, on either Easter or Christmas.

In Google’s defense, however, the Chavez family released a statement showing their appreciation for the honor. They stated, “coincidentally, his birthday this year falls on Easter Sunday. We understand the concern that some people have, but for many there is no contradiction. Cesar lived the gospel according to Jesus Christ: he helped the poor and outcast.” Could Google have actually thought they were actually taking the least controversial route? At this point it seems that all we can really do is speculate and watch as the aftermath unfolds.

Author: Allison Schnur is the Senior Project Manager of ArteWorks SEO, a full service search engine optimization firm located in Austin, TX. For more information about SEO, SEM, or social media please visit http://www.arteworks.biz.

Why is Google Shutting Down Products?

Google has become one of the most cutting-edge companies in the entire world and they got that way through taking a lot of risks with their products. Some of these risky programs and applications have been profitable, and others not as much. Luckily, Google’s leaders know when to pull the plug on these products, and have a “spring cleaning” of sorts. Their latest round included The Google Mini, Google Talk Chatback, Google Video, iGoogle and Google Symbian Search App. While some of these products may be unfamiliar to you, there are almost always devout users that don’t take the news very well. iGoogle shutting down, for instance, has left quite a few loyal “Googlers” pretty upset, and they’re letting Google know just how they feel.

Google recently released this statement: “On November 1, 2013, iGoogle will be retired. We originally launched iGoogle in 2005 before anyone could fully imagine the ways that today’s web and mobile apps would put personalized, real-time information at your fingertips. With modern apps that run on platforms like Chrome and Android, the need for iGoogle has eroded over time, so we’ll be winding it down. Users will have 16 months to adjust or export their data.”

While it may be an inconvenience, Google is giving users a significant amount of time to find a replacement product, since they feel iGoogle is becoming antiquated anyways. While this may be true, and other apps may be more effective, Google could be potentially harming their brand by introducing and eliminating products too quickly. First of all, apps like iGoogle integrate with Chrome, which helps Google stay in front of users every time they open their browser. More importantly, Google may be discouraging users from trying their newest products, since users may be more reluctant to get attached to their products.

One the other hand, Austin SEO companies understand Google takes pride in introducing new and ever-changing products, and has built an empire with this technique. While a small amount of users will inevitably be affected in any cutback, Google is freeing up the space and capacity for the newest and most effective products, which may capture millions of users. So how many products and services has Google burned through in the past few years? Here is a list of just some of the most recent cuts:

  • Google Buzz
  • Google Wave
  • Code Search
  • Jaiku
  • Google Labs
  • Google Bookmarks Lists
  • Google Friend Connect
  • Google Gears
  • Google Search Timeline
  • Knol
  • Google Health
  • PowerMeter
  • Slide (and Super Poke Pets)
  • Aardvark
  • Google Desktop
  • Fast Flip
  • Google Notebook
  • Sidewiki

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.

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.

Google AdWords for Video

Google didn’t become the number one search engine in the world by staying in one place. It is one of the most innovative and forward-thinking companies on the planet and in true ‘Google fashion’, they’ve introduced the newest online marketing concept this week; AdWords for Video. Google has teamed up with YouTube, who they purchased in 2006 for a cool $1.65 billion, to create yet another great opportunity for online advertisers.

The concept is simple; AdWords for Video is available to online advertisers who are looking to purchase keywords to promote their videos. The keywords will allow videos to be found during relevant video searches and the companies will pay only for the targeted video ads that people actually view. Not only can they promote their company through AdWords for Video, but they can also gain access to detailed information about how, when and where their ads were viewed, which can give them valuable insight as to where their marketing dollars are being best spent.

The concept was created over two years ago, as the rise of SmartPhones has encouraged a frenzy of advertisers running towards mobile apps and internet videos. YouTube’s Group Product Manager was talking with some of his business-owner friends and recommended that they advertise on YouTube. The thought had never crossed their minds, and they were curious to learn more. Singh headed up the project for the past two years and has found that, on average, “YouTube video ads drive a 20 percent increase in traffic to your website and a 5 percent increase in searches for your business.”

AdWords for Video had a soft launch in September, when the program was first announced to the public and has been in beta testing with a select few advertisers. Now AdWords for Video is having its official launch and Google has even appointed nine business ambassadors to go public with their success stories. The program integrates your company’s video campaign into the AdWords dashboard, which makes AdWords for Video fairly intuitive for regular AdWords users. Google is even giving away $50 million in free Google AdWords advertising to encourage businesses to give it a try. While Google AdWords can be set up and managed by your own company, hiring an experienced SEO company can help maximize your online advertising dollars. A good Austin SEO company will optimize your keywords through a fully integrated campaign, saving your company its valuable time to focus on what it does best.

ArteWorks SEO is a full service Austin SEO company who has been active in the search engine optimization business since 1995. For more information or to contact us regarding our services, please visit www.arteworks.biz.