Search engine optimization for small and very small businesses.

Archive for the Google Category

And Now, Google Transit!

Google is on a roll, it seems. They’ve just rolled out another beta product called Google Transit. They describe it like this:

Google Transit Trip Planner enables you to enter the specifics of your trip—where you’re starting, where you’re ending up, what time of day you’d like to leave and/or arrive—then uses all available public transportation schedules and information to plot out the most efficient possible step-by-step itinerary. You can even compare the cost of your trip with the cost of driving the same route!

For now, Google Transit only covers the Portland, Oregon area, but they plan to roll it out to your neighborhood RSN! <real soon, now>

Google Catalogs

Update: Yet another Google effort that didn’t last. It was discontinued in 2015.

According to Google’s new (beta) catalog search engine at

Google Catalogs helps you browse and search merchant-provided catalogs right on your computer. You can flip through any catalog to find what interests you, or simply type in what you’re looking for, and you’ll find every place that your search term appears in the catalog. If you’re not sure what catalog to look in, just search all of the catalogs in our index.

How to Survive Future Google Updates

If you want your website to survive future Google updates without painful swings in your ranking, it’s important to understand what Google is trying to do. Google wants to present high quality web sites that are interesting and valuable to web surfers in its search results. Whenever Google updates the ranking algorithm, they try to give those sites more relevancy.

If you want to survive future Google updates, you have to make sure your web site has certain characteristics.

Your web site should have a certain age

The older a website is, the less wildly it will fluctuate with each algorithm change. If your website has been around awhile then search engines know you’ll probably still be around tomorrow.

Your web site should have good content

Search engines want to redirect web surfers to web sites that provide useful information. The more content your website has, the higher you’ll rank. It’s tougher to get good search engine rankings with a website that has only a few pages.

Links from other sites are still important

The more websites that link to you, the higher your link popularity, and that’s a critical part of your ranking in Google. Links from sites that are related to your topics carry more weight than links from non-related web sites.

Consider why the link popularity principle was devised: another website thinks your site is a great resource and so they link to you. If you get links like that, you’ll get solid search engine rankings. See our article on how to improve your site’s link popularity.

Make sure your web site is search engine friendly, and easy for them to index

Many websites have great content but it is nearly impossible for search engines to index them. If you want high search engine rankings, you should make it as easy as possible for search engines to index your site. As a start, see our article on 5 critical mistakes that can make your site invisible to the search engines.

We can expect many more ranking algorithm updates from Google and the other search engines. If you prepare your web pages as described above, you don’t have to be afraid of upcoming changes.

What Has Google Changed In the Jagger Ranking Algorithm Update?

Google wants to make its search engine results pages more relevant by removing some of the spam. It seems that the following elements are the most common reasons that some web site rankings have dropped in Google:

  • hidden text on your web pages (especially text that is hidden in invisible CSS layers)
  • paid links or other links that are considered outside of Google’s quality guidelines
  • overuse of internal links or anchor text as the sole source of optimization

Of course, Rank Magic utilizes “best practices”, so none of our clients have been adversely affected by the recent update.

Google Bowling

Can Your Competitors Sabotage Your Search Engine Rankings?

Up until now, its always been thought that there was nothing a competitor could do to damage your rankings in the search engines, other than by making their site better and more relevant than yours. But it looks like the latest Google algorithm change has introduced a loophole that could allow an unscrupulous competitor to force your web site out of the Google listings altogether. Yikes!

Michael Pedone writes about this in He explains the loophole and offers some advice on what Google needs to do to correct the problem. He writes:

A small loophole has turned into a devastating black hole, sucking in and wiping out countless quality websites in the process. And it just may be their competitors sending them into the abyss.

Is your head spinning yet? I mean, it was bad enough knowing that with every Google update, your business may go up or down in the rankings depending on the whims of the Google geeks. But now add into the mix the fact that your competitors also have a hand in your search engine health and wellness … well, Houston, we have a problem.