Tag Archive | "Need"

What you need to know about Google Merchant Center identifier enforcement updates

The changes that can affect the visibility of your products in Google Shopping.



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Why we need to think of entities and the future of SEO

It’s time to think of the future of SEO. What should we focus on? It’s time to find out more about entities and how they affect our SEO strategies.

Brighton SEO is an exciting conference for everyone who wants to find out more about the latest trends and tactics in all things SEO. No matter how experienced you are, there’s always a session to inspire you to try out new ideas.

Greg Gifford, Vice President of Search at Wikimotive, talked about entities and the future of SEO.

Brighton SEO speaks of the future of SEO

Defining entities for SEO

Google is considering an entity a thing or concept that is singular, unique, well-defined, and distinguishable. In fact, according to Greg Gifford, entities are the most important concept in SEO.

It was back in 2012 that Google moved to entity search. Real-world entities and their relationships started being ranking signals. A year later, Google started focusing on the semantics to make its ranking algorithm smarter. Then we found out in 2015 that ranking search results started being based on entity metrics.

Thus, it’s time to start focusing more on entities and how they affect our SEO.

It’s useful to remember then that every site consists of numerous entities. The internal links are simply the relationships between entities. Our content is simply made up of entities and their relationships.

The future of search

When thinking of the future of search, we need to keep in mind that Google is becoming smarter.

Here are Gifford’s tips that will future-proof your SEO strategy:

  • The ranking will be more about real-world signals. This means that we need to explore the right balance between our current SEO tactics and the brand we are building with old-school marketing.
  • Voice search is all about the intent of conversational queries. Conversational content will become very important.
  • Mobile search will continue to make local SEO vital for everyone. Consuming content through mobile phones is pushing us to think of our mobile strategies and how we can improve them. In fact, local SEO will be the key to our future success. As Greg Gifford reminds us, links from local businesses will matter even if they are unrelated to your business.
  • Google My Business is your direct interface to Google’s entity information about your business. It is further blending into mobile SERPs that will blur the lines even more between online and offline actions. In fact, real-world offline actions related to business entities will help your ranking.
  • Start writing content that answers questions in a unique way. It’s helpful to read your content out loud. Conversational content will help you master the new world of entities and their relationships that affect ranking.
  • Another excellent tip that can be very helpful is to think like you’re targeting rich snippets. It’s not the goal but it’s the right mindset to help you create more relevant content.

Four things we need to stop doing in SEO

According to Greg Gifford, we need to stop doing these things that will affect the future success of our SEO strategy:

1. Stop concentrating on keyword matching

SEO will be less about writing content with the right keywords and more about having the best answer based on the intent of the search.

2. Stop concentrating on single pages

Build your entity and pay attention to how it’s connected to other entities instead.

3. Stop thinking about optimizing individual page elements

The optimization should not focus on one page but rather on the overall entities and how their relationships can improve your success.

4. Stop concentrating on link building as the most important SEO tactic

Links will probably always matter but will be less important as Google gets better at understanding entity signals.

Focus on the entities and their relationships

There are many interesting takeaways from this session in Brighton SEO that can be useful when planning your strategy for 2020.

  • Make sure you’re paying attention to local SEO.
  • If you want to improve your online business, focus on the right balance between offline and online relationship building.
  • Mobile search will be more important than ever so make sure you create content for mobile users.
  • Your content should be conversational. Don’t be afraid to read it out loud before you publish it.
  • There’s no need to spend too much time on individual pages and keywords if you forget to look at the bigger picture.

You can also find the session’s slides here for more details.

What future trends can you spot for SEO in 2020? Share them in the comments.

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What You Need, When You Need It: Vital Digital Marketing and Sales Training

Copyblogger has always been a place that encourages creativity. We want to help people have creative careers and do meaningful…

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MozCon 2019: Everything You Need to Know About Day Three

Posted by KameronJenkins

If the last day of MozCon felt like it went too fast or if you forgot everything that happened today (we wouldn’t judge — there were so many insights), don’t fret. We captured all of day three’s takeaways so you could relive the magic of day three. 

Don’t forget to check out all the photos with Roger from the photobooth! They’re available here in the MozCon Facebook group. Plus: You asked and we delivered: the 2019 MozCon speaker walk-on playlist is now live and available here for your streaming pleasure. 

Cindy Krum— Fraggles, Mobile-First Indexing, & the SERP of the Future 

If you were hit with an instant wave of nostalgia after hearing Cindy’s walk out music, then you are in good company and you probably were not disappointed in the slightest by Cindy’s talk on Fraggles.

  • “Fraggles” are fragments + handles. A fragment is a piece of info on a page. A handle is something like a bookmark, jump link, or named anchor — they help people navigate through long pages to get what they’re looking for faster.
  • Ranking pages is an inefficient way to answer questions. One page can answer innumerable questions, so Google’s now can pull a single answer from multiple parts of your page, skipping sections they don’t think are as useful for a particular answer.
  • The implications for voice are huge! It means you don’t have to listen to your voice device spout off a page’s worth of text before your question is answered.
  • Google wants to index more than just websites. They want to organize the world’s information, not websites. Fraggles are a demonstration of that.

Luke Carthy — Killer Ecommerce CRO and UX Wins Using A SEO Crawler 

Luke Carthy did warn us in his talk description that we should all flex our notetaking muscles for all the takeaways we would furiously jot down — and he wasn’t wrong.

  • Traffic doesn’t always mean sales and sales don’t always mean traffic!
  • Custom extraction is a great tool for finding missed CRO opportunities. For example, Luke found huge opportunity on Best Buy’s website — thousands of people’s site searches were leading them to an unoptimized “no results found” page.
  • You can also use custom extraction to find what product recommendations you or your customers are using at scale! Did you know that 35% of what customers buy on Amazon and 75 percent of what people watch on Netflix are the results of these recommendations?
  • For example, are you showing near-exact products or are you showing complementary products? (hint: try the latter and you’ll likely increase your sales!)
  • Custom extraction from Screaming Frog allows you to scrape any data from the HTML of the web pages while crawling them.

Andy Crestodina — Content, Rankings, and Lead Generation: A Breakdown of the 1% Content Strategy 

Next up, Andy of Orbit Media took the stage with a comprehensive breakdown of the most effective tactics for turning content into a high-powered content strategy. He also brought the fire with this sound advice that we can apply in both our work life and personal life.

  • Blog visitors often don’t have commercial intent. One of the greatest ways to leverage blog posts for leads is by using the equity we generate from links to our helpful posts and passing that onto our product and service pages.
  • If you want links and shares, invest in original research! Not sure what to research? Look for unanswered questions or unproven statements in your industry and provide the data.
  • Original research may take longer than a standard post, but it’s much more effective! When you think about it this way, do you really have time to put out more, mediocre posts?
  • Give what you want to get. Want links? Link to people. Want comments? Comment on others people’s work.
  • To optimize content for social engagement, it should feature real people, their faces, and their quotes.
  • Collaborating with other content creators on your content not only gives it built-in amplification, but it also leads to great connections and is just generally more fun.

Rob Ousbey — Running Your Own SEO Tests: Why It Matters & How to Do It Right 

Google’s algorithms have changed a heck of a lot in recent years — what’s an SEO to do? Follow Rob’s advice — both fashion and SEO — who says that the answer lies in testing.

  • “This is the way we’ve always done it” isn’t sufficient justification for SEO tactics in today’s search landscape.
  • In the earlier days of the algorithm, it was much easier to demote spam than it was to promote what’s truly good.
  • Rob and his team had a theory that Google was beginning to rely more heavily on user experience and satisfaction than some of the more traditional ranking factors like links.
  • Through SEO A/B testing, they found that:
    • Google relies less heavily on link signals when it comes to the top half of the results on page 1.
    • Google relies more heavily on user experience for head terms (terms with high search volume), likely because they have more user data to draw from.
  • In the process of A/B testing, they also found that the same test often produces different results on different sites. The best way to succeed in today’s SEO landscape is to cultivate a culture of testing!

Greg Gifford — Dark Helmet’s Guide to Local Domination with Google Posts and Q&A 

If you’re a movie buff, you probably really appreciated Greg’s talk — he schooled us all in movie references and brought the fire with his insights on Google Posts and Q&A  

The man behind #shoesofmozcon taught us that Google is the new home page for local businesses, so we should be leveraging the tools Google has given us to make our Google My Business profiles great. For example…

Google Posts

  • Images should be 1200×900 on google posts
  • Images are cropped slightly higher than the center and it’s not consistent every time
  • The image size of the thumbnail is different on desktop than it is on mobile
  • Use Greg’s free tool at bit.ly/posts-image-guide to make sizing your Google Post images easier
  • You can also upload videos. The file size limit is 100mb and/or 30 seconds
  • Add a call-to-action button to make your Posts worth it! Just know that the button often means you get less real estate for text in your Posts
  • Don’t share social fluff. Attract with an offer that makes you stand out
  • Make sure you use UTM tracking so you can understand how your Posts are performing in Google Analytics. Otherwise, it’ll be attributed as direct traffic.

Google Q&A

  • Anyone can ask and answer questions — why not the business owner! Control the conversation and treat this feature like it’s your new FAQ page.
  • This feature works on an upvote system. The answer with the most upvotes will show first.
  • Don’t include a URL or phone number in these because it’ll get filtered out.
  • A lot of these questions are potential customers! Out of 640 car dealerships’ Q&As Greg evaluated, 40 percent were leads! Of that 40 percent, only 2 questions were answered by the dealership.

 Emily Triplett Lentz — How to Audit for Inclusive Content 

Emily of Help Scout walked dropped major knowledge on the importance of spotting and eliminating biases that frequently find their way into online copy. She also hung out backstage after her talk to cheer on her fellow speakers. #GOAT. #notallheroeswearcapes.

  • As content creators, we’d all do well to keep ableism in mind: discrimination in favor of able-bodied people. However, we’re often guilty of this without even knowing it.
  • One example of ableism that often makes its way into our copy is comparing dire or subideal situations with the physical state of another human (ex: “crippling”).
  • While we should work on making our casual conversation more inclusive too, this is particularly important for brands.
  • Create a list of ableist words, crawl your site for them, and then replace them. However, you’ll likely find that there is no one-size-fits-all replacement for these words. We often use words like “crazy” as filler words. By removing or replacing with a more appropriate word, we make our content better and more descriptive in the process.
  • At the end of the day, brands should remember that their desire for freedom of word choice isn’t more important than people’s right not to feel excluded and hurt. When there’s really no downside to more inclusive content, why wouldn’t we do it?

Visit http://content.helpscout.net/mozcon-2019 to learn how to audit your site for inclusive content!

Joelle Irvine — Image & Visual Search Optimization Opportunities 

Curious about image optimization and visual search? Joelle has the goods for you — and was blowing people’s minds with her tips for visual optimization and how to leverage Google Lens, Pinterest, and AR for visual search.

  • Visual search is not the same thing as searching for images. We’re talking about the process of using an image to search for other content.
  • Visual search like Google Lens makes it easier to search when you don’t know what you’re looking for.
  • Pinterest has made a lot of progress in this area. They have a hybrid search that allows you to find complimentary items to the one you searched. It’s like finding a rug that matches a chair you like rather than finding more of the same type of chair.
  • 62 percent of millennials surveyed said they would like to be able to search by visual, so while this is mostly being used by clothing retailers and home decor right now, visual search is only going to get better, so think about the ways you can leverage it for your brand!

Joy Hawkins — Factors that Affect the Local Algorithm that Don’t Impact Organic 

Proximity varies greatly when comparing local and organic results — just ask Joy of Sterling Sky, who gets real about fake listings while walking through the findings of a recent study.

Here are the seven areas in which the local algorithm diverges from the organic algorithm:

  • Proximity (AKA: how close is the biz to the searcher?)
    • Proximity is the #1 local ranking factor, but the #27 ranking factor on organic.
    • Studies show that having a business that’s close in proximity to the searcher is more beneficial for ranking in the local pack than in traditional organic results.
  • Rank tracking
    • Because there is so much variance by latitude/longitude, as well as hourly variances, Joy recommends not sending your local business clients ranking reports.
    • Use rank tracking internally, but send clients the leads/sales. This causes less confusion and gets them focused on the main goal.
    • Visit bit.ly/mozcon3 for insights on how to track leads from GMB
  • GMB landing pages (AKA: the website URL you link to from your GMB account)
    • Joy tested linking to the home page (which had more authority/prominence) vs. linking to the local landing page (which had more relevance) and found that traffic went way up when linking to the home page.
    • Before you go switching all your GMB links though, test this for yourself!
  • Reviews
    • Joy wanted to know how much reviews actually impacted ranking, and what it was exactly about reviews that would help or hurt.
    • She decided to see what would happen to rankings when reviews were removed. This happened to a business who was review gating (a violation of Google’s guidelines) but Joy found that reviews flagged for violations aren’t actually removed, they’re hidden, explaining why “removed” reviews don’t negatively impact local rankings.
  • Possum filter
    • Organic results can get filtered because of duplicate content, whereas local results can get filtered because they’re too close to another business in the same category. This is called the Possum filter.
  • Keywords in a business name
    • This is against Google’s guidelines but it works sadly
    • For example, Joy tested adding the word “salad bar” to a listing that didn’t even have a salad bar and their local rankings for that keyword shot up.
    • Although it works, don’t do it! Google can remove your listing for this type of violation, and they’ve been removing more listings for this reason lately.
  • Fake listings
    • New listings can rank even if they have no website, authority, citations, etc. simply because they keyword stuffed their business name. These types of rankings can happen overnight, whereas it can take a year or more to achieve certain organic rankings.
    • Spend time reporting spam listings in your clients’ niches because it can improve your clients’ local rankings.

Britney Muller — Featured Snippets: Essentials to Know & How to Target 

Closing out day three of MozCon was our very own Britney, Sr. SEO scientist extraordinaire, on everyone’s favorite SEO topic: Featured snippets!

We’re seeing more featured snippets than ever before, and they’re not likely going away. It’s time to start capitalizing on this SERP feature so we can start earning brand awareness and traffic for our clients!

Here’s how:

  • Know what keywords trigger featured snippets that you rank on page 1 for
  • Know the searcher’s intent
  • Provide succinct answers
  • Add summaries to popular posts
  • Identify commonly asked questions
  • Leverage Google’s NLP API
  • Monitor featured snippets
  • If all else fails, leverage ranking third party sites. Maybe your own site has low authority and isn’t ranking well, but try publishing on Linkedin or Medium instead to get the snippet!

There’s lots of debate over whether featured snippets send you more traffic or take it away due to zero-click results, but consider the benefits featured snippets can bring even without the click. Whether featured snippets bring you traffic, increased brand visibility in the SERPs, or both, they’re an opportunity worth chasing.

Aaaand, that’s a wrap!

Thanks for joining us at this year’s MozCon! And a HUGE thank you to everyone (Mozzers, partners, and crew) who helped make this year’s MozCon possible — we couldn’t have done it without all of you. 

What was your favorite moment of the entire conference? Tell us below in the comments! And don’t forget to grab the speaker slides here

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Search Engine Roundtable Vlog – Searching The Roundtable Files – Need Your Help

I am attempting to start a new vlog series on the topic of SEO and SEM where I interview you – the SEO/SEM community about topics on SEO/SEM. I think I am going to call it Searching The Roundtable Files Vlog or something like that (if you like it or dislike it, let me know in the comments).


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Enough is Enough – Tech Companies Values Need To Change, Says Marc Benioff

“I feel so strongly that we are at a point in our industry where enough is enough,” says Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff. “We need to get the values straight with these tech companies. There are some things going on in regards to the manipulation of their consumers, the misuse of the data, and serious issues with privacy. Those values need to change and some of those companies need to be held accountable for what’s going on.”

Marc Benioff, CEO of Salesforce, discusses how he supports the government investigations into the tech industry in an interview with Jim Cramer on CNBC:

We Are At a Point In Our Industry Where Enough is Enough

I feel so strongly that we are at a point in our industry where enough is enough. We need to get the values straight with these tech companies. There are some things going on in regards to the manipulation of their consumers, the misuse of the data, and serious issues with privacy. Those values need to change and some of those companies need to be held accountable for what’s going on. So I’m actually all in on this (DOJ review of big tech). I actually think it’s maybe too little too late. They should be more aggressive. We’re following behind what the European Union is doing.

The European Union are the ones who are the leaders in this area. Not just in privacy with GDPR but with their European action against these companies when they misuse data, misuse privacy, or take advantage of customers. There are things that have happened in our industry that are embarrassing to me. So let’s clean it up and let’s get back to where Facebook is not the new cigarettes. That’s what I’ve been saying to everybody. Let’s make it all great again if you will. Let’s make tech have the values that we all want it to have and let’s take care of our customers and put consumers first. This is what I think is important.

Absolutely, The Tech Industry Has Brought It On Themselves

Absolutely, (the tech industry has brought it on themselves). I think that now is the time for them to basically clean it up. It’s not too late, it never is. That is what has to happen. You can see companies who have not made these changes and their executives have walked out. They buy these huge companies and you’ve seen them (top execs and founders) walk out. These people are friends of mine.

I’ll say, why are you leaving this company? “Well, I don’t like the values. I don’t like what’s important to that CEO. That CEO said this to me so I’m leaving.” Wow. That’s amazing. Then you saw the customers leave and you saw advertisers leave. That has to change. I think that there needs to be corrective action and it needs to come from the government. I’m for the regulations that are coming in here.

Enough is Enough – Tech Companies Values Need To Change, Says Salesforce CEO Marc Benioff

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Jeff Bezos: We Need To Have Billion Dollar Scale Failures

“At Amazon, we still take risks all the time,” says Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos. “We encourage it. We talk about failure. We should be failing. Our failures have to grow with the company. We need big failures if we are going to be moving the needle. We need to have billion dollar scale failures. If we are not, we are not swinging hard enough.”

Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon, discusses how to be a successful entrepreneur by being customer obsessed in a conversation at the Amazon re:MARS conference in Las Vegas:

The Most Important Thing Is To Be Customer Obsessed

If you want to be an entrepreneur, the most important thing is to be customer obsessed. Don’t satisfy your customers, figure out how to absolutely delight them. That is the number one thing whoever your customers are. Passion. You have got to have some passion for the arena that you are going to develop and work in. Otherwise, you are going to be competing against people who do have compassion for that. They are going to build better products and services.

You can’t be a mercenary. You have to be a missionary. Missionaries build better products and services. They always win. The mercenaries are just trying to make money. Paradoxically, the missionaries always end up making more money.

We Need To Have Billion Dollar Scale Failures

You have to pick something that you actually have a genuine passion for. You have to take risks. You have to be willing to take risks. If you aren’t going to take risks, if you come up with a business idea where there are no risks there, those ideas are probably already being done. There being done well by many many people. So have to have something that might not work. You have to accept that your business is going to be in many ways an experiment. It might fail. That’s okay. That’s what risk is.

At Amazon, we still take risks all the time. We encourage it. We talk about failure. We should be failing. Our failures have to grow with the company. We need big failures if we are going to be moving the needle. We need to have billion dollar scale failures. If we are not, we are not swinging hard enough.

Disagree and Commit

If I have a new idea and I want to see it pursued I do have to build support for it. You need very smart people to embrace the idea and move it forward. We have a framework at Amazon, it’s one of our leadership principals, it’s called disagree and commit. That is extremely useful. After you discussed an idea, you do need to make a decision and move forward. The whole team needs to really commit to that. When I really feel strongly about something and the team disagrees with me I have a helpful phrase that I look to use which is, “I want you to gamble with me on this.”

The truth is when you are in a position like that nobody knows what the right answer is.  You’re not saying I’m right on this. Go do this. You’re saying I want you to gamble with me on this because I don’t know if it is right either. I disagree and commit all the time. I promise the people when I do it, I’m very clear in saying, “I don’t agree with this. I think it is probably not going to work. But I will never say I told you so and I’m going to be on your team. I will do everything I can to make it work.”

Broadband Access Is Going To Be a Fundamental Human Need

A recent big bet (we’ve taken at Amazon) would be Project Kuiper. This is our LEO satellite constellation. The goal here is broadband everywhere. One of the things this does, it’s just the way the systems work, you have equal broadband all over the surfaces of the earth. Not exactly equal, it tends to be a little bit more concentrated toward the poles, unfortunately. You end up servicing the whole world.

It’s really good because by definition you end up accessing people who are under bandwidth including rural and remote areas. I think you can see going forward that access to broadband is going to be very close to being a fundamental human need as we move forward.

Amazon’s Jeff Bezos: We Need To Have Billion Dollar Scale Failures

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Evergreen Googlebot with Chromium rendering engine: What technical SEOs need to know

Googlebot now supports many more features and will make it easier for developers to ensure their sites work with Googlebot.



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Customers Need an Easy Button for Cloud

“Customers need in a lot of ways, I hate to say it, but almost an easy button for cloud,” says Matt Liebowitz of Dell Technologies Consulting.  “Often when they try to build it themselves, they bring the components together themselves, but it’s really difficult to do that integration work. But this product, Dell Technologies Cloud, is going to help accelerate for us in consulting so that they can quickly get to a state where they have a functional cloud that they can start consuming.”

Matt Liebowitz, Global Multi-Cloud Infrastructure Leader at Dell EMC, discusses how to migrate enterprises to the multi-cloud in an interview with theCUBE at Dell Technologies World 2019 in Las Vegas:

Multi-Cloud is Not Just Using More Than One Cloud

The most common thing we see from customers when they say I’m doing multi-cloud is they’re actually using more than one cloud. That’s not multi-cloud. You really need to tie it together with a cloud management platform, something that can bring all the pieces together that’s API enabled so that they can programmatically access resources. When customers tell us they’ve got multi-cloud but they’re really consuming something in Azure and something in AWS they’ve just created more IT silos. We’re trying to get away from that. They can use all those clouds but wrap it together in that common control plane so you can understand your estate and actually manage it and consume it.

I think most customers are responding. The needs of the business are changing and they need to respond more quickly so they just consume cloud resources as they can. That often leads to the sprawl. We try to just wrap it together, do an analysis, figure out what’s out there, and help them not only understand where the applications should live but wrap an operating model around it so they can start consuming it properly. They can then understand what they’re going to advertise in their service catalog.

Are You a Digital Laggard or a Digital Leader?

We take what analysts do and we also have our own studies and indexes all the way starting from what we call digital laggards all the way to the digital leaders. What we found is actually most of the customers are either laggards or they’re just starting out. Maybe they’ve made some loose investments but they haven’t walked the path that far. There’s stuff kind of everywhere. Customers don’t often know where to start but I think they’re responding to the needs of the business. I don’t think it’s anything that they’re doing that’s wrong but it’s a little bit of the Wild West for sure.

It’s all about business value and business outcome. The customers who are the most successful have a business reason for what they’re trying to do. They’re not going to public cloud because Gartner said they should, they’re doing it because they know they’re going to get an outcome. They’re going to be able to go into new markets or operate faster and deploy applications faster. Those are the ones that are further down the line. I would say the ones that are the laggards are the ones that are just sort of peeking under the covers of what they should do. They’re just starting out there. They’ve got some workloads in multiple clouds and they need to get a handle on it but they’re just starting.

Customers Need an Easy Button for Cloud

Customers need in a lot of ways, I hate to say it, but almost an easy button for cloud. Often when they try to build it themselves, they bring the components together themselves, but it’s really difficult to do that integration work. I’m in consulting so we’re all about the outcome. But this product, Dell Technologies Cloud, is going to help accelerate for us in consulting so that they can quickly get to a state where they have a functional cloud that they can start consuming. Then we can help them with the day two to actually drive business value, consumption of the cloud and that sort of thing.

We have a framework on how we approach things for multi-cloud and for lots of other things. We use a methodology that we call as-is-to-be where we determine their current state, project where they’re going to be in the future and build a roadmap that’s actually actionable. Then I think what differentiates the methodology is we tie it to a business case. We tie it to an outcome and a financial outcome so that executives and IT leaders can see that this is not just another IT project. They’re going to get true value out of it. We build a roadmap pretty quick, within three to six weeks, that’s actually actionable. We build consensus and that’s how we get started.

Customers Need an Easy Button for Cloud, Says Matt Liebowitz of Dell Technologies

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Google Home & Assistant Listings May Need Google Guaranteed Label

You’ve seen the Google local services ads before, they have the Google Guarantee label on them. But when the Google Assistant started showing ads, people asked how does one not pay to show up in the local listings if you need the guarantee label but those come from local services ads.


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