Google Aims To Help Small Businesses With Boost

Google Aims To Help Small Businesses With Boost

By Mike Sachoff – Wed, 10/27/2010 – 5:10pm.

Google launches Boost for small businesses

If you own a business and have claimed your free business listing in Google Places, which then appear on Google and Google Maps, then you will be glad to know the search and advertising company has introduced another way to help your business get noticed.

The company has introduced Google Boost, which allows business owners to create online search ads directly from within their Google Places account.

The Google Small Business Blog offers more details. “Boost ads are eligible to appear in the ‘Sponsored Links’ section of Google.com and Google Maps search result pages. For example, if you’re a restaurant owner in San Francisco who has signed up for Boost, your ad may show up when someone does a related search like the one below, indicating a cuisine and location that matches yours.”

“Beyond the basics like your company name, address, phone number and website, your ad may also include the number of reviews you’ve received, an average star rating and a link to your Place page to help potential customers find additional useful information about your business. When a map appears alongside the results, a blue pin will help folks quickly find your location on the map. Businesses using Google Tags will also see their yellow tag appear in the ad.”

Currently Boost in in beta in San Francisco, Houston and Chicago. Interested businesses can sign up to receive notification when Boost comes to their area.

AdWords Small Business Corner Introduced

AdWords Small Business Corner Introduced

By Doug Caverly – Thu, 08/19/2010 – 2:41pm.

New subforum designed as place to share advice

Small business owners who would like a little help when it comes to AdWords have a new option in terms of places to go for advice.  Google’s created the AdWords Small Business Corner to act as an environment where individuals can get together and exchange tips.

GoogleOverwhelmed with the number of tools available?  Find yourself signing into AdWords every six minutes to little effect?  It’s these sorts of things (and more) that Google means for everyone to address with the new section of the AdWords Help Forum.

A post on the Inside AdWords Blog explained, “This new category is not about troubleshooting specific account issues, but rather about sharing and learning from the experiences of others.”

Sample topics then included “[c]hoosing the right tools to measure results,” “[h]ow to write great ads,” and “[f]inding the right frequency to sign in to AdWords.”

Assuming enough people weigh in (and that is a major hurdle with every new community) the Small Business Corner should prove quite useful.  Small business owners are in a pretty good position to understand other small business owners’ needs, after all.

And with regards to the community’s chattiness, we’ll note that topics are averaging about five replies each at the moment.

Google Allows Businesses To Respond To Reviews

By Doug Caverly – Wed, 08/04/2010 – 2:32pm.

New Place Page option

Whether your approach to a bad review is to apologize or go berserk (or something in between), Google’s made it possible for business owners to have their say.  Owners can now respond to reviews posted on the Place Pages of Google Maps.

GoogleOwners should proceed with caution, of course.  While there’s value in appearing attentive and making a quick reply, everything on a company’s Place Page will probably stay accessible for years or even decades, so owners should be sure their comments will put their business in a positive light.

That said, a single negative review doesn’t have to represent a major conundrum.  A post on the LatLong Blog stated, “By responding, you can build stronger relationships with existing and prospective customers.  For example, a thoughtful response acknowledging a problem and offering a solution can often turn a customer who had an initially negative experience into a raving supporter.”

And it should be possible to enhance the value of good reviews, too.  The post continued, “A simple thank you or a personal message can further reinforce a positive experience.”

Anyway, in order to reply to a review, business owners just have to make sure they’ve claimed their Google Places listing.  Then it’ll be possible to see a “Respond publicly as the owner” button and take whatever approach seems best.

Of course, staying silent remains an option.

Googler Discusses How To Discover Start-Up Ideas

By Doug Caverly – Tue, 07/20/2010 – 2:30pm.

Creative examples go beyond standard “solve a problem” advice

Established businesses may not need new ideas; it’s hard to argue with a product line that is already profitable.  On the other hand, even successful products an be improved – think where we’d be if people hadn’t started adding seatbelts, power steering, and eventually airbags to cars – so a post from one Google employee about finding startup ideas may be worth a look.

Matt Cutts, the head of Google’s Webspam team, is more or less regarded as an unofficial spokesperson for Google, which is obviously a pretty big and successful outfit.  But his post does a good job of making suggestions that every small business owner (and would-be small business owner) can follow.

Cutts recommended, “[W]alk around your house or apartment, and look for ‘hot spots.’  A hotspot can be an area of high information density, clutter, stress, disorganization, or any place that has a suboptimal solution.  Then think about a web or cloud solution to that hot spot.”

He later continued, “You can make it easier to organize something (can you convert something physical to digital and store it in the cloud?).  You can sell niche versions of a product (e.g. Threadless for T-shirts), you can let people make something that they couldn’t make before (CafePress for T-shirts, LuLu for books), you can pool people with similar interests (a blog like Craftzine, or a forum for book lovers or body builders), you can review products in a particular space, you can teach someone to do something.”

Not bad advice, right?  A list Cutts supplied of more random ideas/subjects that people have turned into successful businesses may get some creative juices flowing, too.

Good luck coming up with something interesting if you decide to pull out the figurative drawing board.

Had Enough of Google and Bing?

Had Enough of Google and Bing?

By: Chad Sweely

If you have been keeping up with WebProNews recently, you would have noticed that Bing (Microsoft’s search engine) has been receiving a lot of attention lately, especially in the “new features” department.

Some of the articles that have recently been appearing on WebProNews are provided below:

Though Google and Bing are the two most popular search engines, they are not the only search engines out there, even though the search world wants you to think so. With this in mind, I would like to bring your attention to some of my favorite alternative search engines.

  • DuckDuckGo.com

    A clean and simple search engine that is fast, and sorts top results into categories. This is great if you need to perform a quick search!

  • WebWombat.com.au

    Primarily for Australian searches, this site can be used to perform refined searches, along with zooming into sites to see more elaborate content from your search queries.

  • Jayde.com

    This search engine that is also owned by the iEntry Network (parent company of WebProNews) is a great way to find listings of business-to-business companies that can work for your business.

For a complete list of other search engines around the web, please be sure to visit our directory’s Search Engines category. This category has been subcategorized to make finding the search engine that you are looking for more refined with subcategories like: Blog Search Engines, Image Search Engines, Shopping Search Engines, and many more. All of the search engines included in our directory have been user submitted.

If you know of a search engine that you would like to see added to our listings, I would highly recommend submitting it to our directory to be included in our listings, so you can share the specific search engine with other WebProNews eBusiness Directory users and to help the search engine that you are submitting to gain more exposure on the web.

Happy Surfing! :)

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