Google Kills A Aardvark & ABC’s

Wanted: Google Places Page Visibility

Calling all cars, calling all cars.  Be on the lookout for a massive search engine that has killed dozens of small business marketing gambits and mortally wounded the titan of marketing.

Among the dead are A-Aardvark, ABC whatever, A-ABC whatever and similar efforts to be on the top of any category in the Yellow Pages.  The Yellow Pages themselves are in intensive care, and not expected to survive.

If you were to look in any yellow pages directory in any city in America, you could find an ABC named company in a dozen or more categories. Why, because it paid to be in the top listing in the yellow pages.

The beauty of the yellow pages was the fact that the people who used it, were in a buying mood. They had a need to find the right person for a specific purpose.  Most businesses would welcome an actively interested prospect over three casual browsers any day.

That was the magic of the Yellow Pages and why they were able to charge such huge sums to advertise.  Outrageous sums. But it worked.

You had three options.

Go with your free listing and not expect to get a lot of calls.

Buy visibility from a bolded text, to being listed in multiple categories, or to really be seen, to invest in display advertising. If you went for display advertising, the cost quickly hit the stratosphere.  But as expensive as it was, it obviously worked, or people would have stopped using it.

The third option was to game the system, by naming your company something like A-aardvark commercial cleaning, or plumbing, or dry cleaning etc to get the top listing in your particular category.

The yellow pages franchise was a huge money maker for many decades. But today it is all but dead. And despite their efforts to reinvent themselves as an internet directory they are having the life crushed out of them by the ten-thousand pound gorilla, Google.

And recently Google has initiated is coup de grace.

For years now, Search Engine Optimization specialists and knowledgeable marketing consultants have been encouraging businesses to set up their web sites to show up when people searched online for “Accountant” and then your home town. This tactic and related tactics gave their clients the visibility display ads and the A-aardvark strategy offered yellow pages advertisers. Visibility at the top of the category.

At one time, it was only young people who were computer savvy. Today virtually every age group is equally and nearly totally computer oriented when it comes to searching for information.  Yellow pages use has shrunk and most people find information that they used to get there online.  Google has virtually 80% of that traffic. But this is old news. It’s been that way for almost a decade now.  But there is new news.

For the last several years Google has been experimenting with its Google Map. It has evolved over time and may continue to do so, but in its current status it shows up to seven businesses in virtually every category the Yellow Pages ever dreamed of. And since it knows where a person is searching from, it can serve up those businesses that serve that market area.

The new game in town is to find a way to be the A-aardvark on the Google Places Page which is what they are now calling the Google Map feature.

Currently, you can often get there just by claiming the page Google may have already set up for your business and filling in the information they ask. As time goes on, the savvy business will seek advice from experts in the field. Such experts are popping up like dandelions after the first warm spring rain.

There are some tricks to the trade, but the actual work is not rocket science nor particularly difficult. But you want to find such a person and get yourself a fist mover advantage.  It will take a year or two before all your competitors catch on to the new changes. In the meanwhile, if you move quick, you can capture more than your share of the new customers in your market.

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The author Earl Netwal calls himself the Micro Business Specialist. He is a Minneapolis Internet Marketing Consultant. He provides support to businesses who are interested in becoming more visible online using Google Places and other techniques. He offers an inexpensive ebook which provides useful advice in filling out a Google Places Listing at Google Places Map.

[tags]Yellow pages, Google, Google Places, Google Places Page, Google Places Page Rank, Google Places Page Ranking[/tags]

How Much Is A Top Google Listing Worth?

I bet you have taken the time to search for your businesses web site on Google just to see where it ranked. When you searched for it by name using your url or most of the words of your domain name it probably did pretty well. However if you are a bakery, and search for “Bakeries”, the odds are that you are in the nether regions of the 13,900,000 listings.

A lot of small business people have given up on their websites as a result of this apparent invisibility. The gallop to the internet was all the rage before and after the dot com bust. However, for most small businesses, it has had little if any positive effects for their business.

The alternative that was easiest to figure out was to buy pay per click ads. They cost money, but at least they had an active prospect on the other end – usually. When some one did click on the ads, they were shown your offer and either did or didn’t buy.

At first a lot of keywords were real cheap, as little as a dime or less. Some still do, but many clicks these days run from $2-5 each and some go well beyond that into the $20 -$50 each and even much higher. You really need to know what you are doing to spend that type of money. And yet it can be well worth it.

Initially the pay per click ads were on the right side of the “organic” listings. The term organic listings refers to the free information that Google would find relevant to a searchers keywords. These free organic listings are the target we are shooting for when we try to get a top Google listing. Eventually, Google added some ads on the top of the left side as well, but we are still referring to the top organic listings.

When thinking about the value of this top organic spot, we can compare the value by looking at the equivalent cost of the top ads for the same search term.

It would cost $25 for 100 clicks to the advertiser. And this would be the equivalent value for 100 clicks on any of the organic searches.

Thus if a business were to get their organic site listed so that it got a hundred clicks a day, that listing would be worth the equivalent of $25 a day to them.

Now multiply this out for higher pay per click rates of say $2-5 each or much higher. Some keywords get a lot of searches every day, and this could multiply the value. The term “dog training” for example gets over a half million searches every month in the US alone. Dog training is a competitive word that would cost you $2.44 on average if you wanted to get the maximum pay per click volume for it. According to Google’s Traffic Estimator, if you were the top advertiser, you would expect to get 358 people clicking on your add every day, costing you $895.28. [Note that estimate of 358 people is 2% of the daily traffic.] (550,000 / 30 / 358) = 2%]

On the surface this would seem to indicate that have a top organic listing for Dog Training on Google would be worth almost $900 a day, assuming that the top listing got the same number of clicks as did the top ad.

It does not.

It probably gets a lot more.

Some time ago, as many as a fourth of all visitors would click on one on the ads on they typical results page. Recently, that number is closer to 18%

Industry experts suggest that a whopping 43% of people will click on the top organic result. This is significant.

It is even more significant when we understand that the percentage of people clicking on ads means those clicking on any of the ads.

Thus the top organic search result is getting between 8 and 22 times as many clicks as the top pay per click ad!

Calculating the results for our Dog Training example where the pay per click ad was worth about $900 a day, our top ranked listing should be worth roughly anywhere from 7 to 20 thousand dollars!

And that is why, getting to the top of Google’s Organic search is so valuable. As a result a whole new consulting industry has emerged to deal with this potential for value creation. Getting a listing to the top of the search engines is a worthy goal.

There are some additional caveats that need to be taken into account, but the central thrust of the above still holds true. People who choose the ads may for example be more actively looking to make a purchase compared to those who click the organic results who may be more interested in getting information.

Being the top organic listing may be meaningless, if the page people are taken to does not result in a desired action, etc.

That said, it should be obvious that getting a top organic search result is worthwhile.

[tags]Google, google Ranking, Organic Search value, top organic search, SEO, SEO Value, Why do SEO, Search Engine Optimization, pay per click[/tags]

Protecting Your Reputation Online

Mike Paetzold back again for day 2 of my stop here as part of The Old Bald Guy’s Blog Tour. This week we are discussing helping off line businesses use the net effectively.

As Google or one of the other search engines becomes the first place that people look for a business instead of older sources like the Yellow Pages it is important for businesses to at least be found there.

Even more important than that is to know what others are saying about them. The advent of the Web 2.0 world has created a lot of sites where customers can rate the service of a variety of businesses. Most are interactive and will allow you to respond if you know the content is there.

As the search engines make this content easy for people that are looking for you to find it is important to know exactly what is being said about you.

Fortunately Google has made it quite easy to find out exactly what is being said about you. This gives you a chance to address problems.

The way Google does that is through a service called Google Alerts. It is easy to set up an alert on your business name, your own name, your product names or on any topic and they will send you an email telling you exactly what they have found as they find it.

First go to and you will see a screen like below.

2009-12-01 0957

Just add your topic, use comprehensive for your type, decide how often you want to hear, put in the email you want to receive the alerts at and click the create button.

Now each time Google finds that topic on any new web page of any type you will be notified. Now at the very least you will know if there is something being said that can hurt you or your business.

This will allow you to address any problems you may find quickly and not get surprised. If it is an interactive site like a forum or blog you will have the opportunity to address it in the same place that someone looking for you will find it.

It pays to be aware, have your own web presence and to be proactive in protecting your name online. Don’t be caught by surprise and go set up an alert today.


About the author



Mike Paetzold has been online since 2000 and runs numerous blogs and works with offline businesses through Coal Region Web Services. Currently you can find out what he is up to at Mike Paetzold Recommends.

You can also find out and keep current with WordPress at his blog WordPress Made Easy.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Helping Offline Businesses Use The Net Effectively

Let me take a minute to introduce my self. I am Mike Paetzold and will be visiting here this week as part of my Old Bald Guy’s Blog Tour. During this I am stopping at various blogs for a week at a time to guest blog.

This week I am really excited as after discussing list building, affiliate marketing and blogging the last 3 stops here we will talk about helping offline business use the internet to supplement their brick and mortar business.This is an area that can be a perfect win – win for the offline business owner and the person who can supply what they need to take advantage of the net.

Earl has written about this topic quite extensively and we will not look at it from an off line business perspective but from a consultant perspective as most internet marketers have skills that can be of considerable value to the offline business owner.

Most of my offline business customers do not have the time or the inclination to learn what is needed to effectively use the web for their business. They do understand the power but taking their time to go through the learning curve will hurt their current business model. This creates a huge opportunity for those that are interested in helping them.

Businesses are quickly learning that a lot of the old ways of generating customers like the Yellow Pages are becoming obsolete. When a customer is looking for something they are much more likely to start at Google then they are the Yellow Pages.

The increase in local rating sites for various service businesses has made it a necessity for a business to be following what is being said about them.

All of these things are opportunities if you can show an off line business how it can benefit their bottom line.

Over the next 4 days I will discuss the following here –

  • Protecting your online reputation
  • Website mistakes
  • Easiest way to get good SEO
  • Making Google your friend

See you tomorrow.

About the author

align=left Mike Paetzold has been online since 2000 and runs numerous blogs and works with offline businesses through Coal Region Web Services. Currently you can find out what he is up to at Mike Paetzold Recommends.

You can also find out and keep current with WordPress at his blog WordPress Made Easy.

Follow Mike on Twitter

Squidoo – Rank on Top Twice!

Squidoo – Rank on Top Twice! PodcastSquidoo – Rank on Top Twice!

Getting your web site to be top ranked on Google and the other search engines is a complicated task. Particularly, if you are one of many within a given market area.

A little known tool for many main street businesses is an internet portal called Squidoo.

It’s similar in many ways to sites like Facebook, and Myspace in that it allows people to create a web presence easily, but unlike the aforementioned, it unabashedly permits commercialization.  That means you can put up sites that advertise your business.

The easiest way to do so is to reuse much of the content you have on your web page now.  Just rephrase and reorient it to fit the new medium.

Squidoo calls it’s pages, lens.  There are a group of modules that you can create and edit in minutes once you get the hang of their system.  There are a lot of interesting things you can do with the various modules. The main thing you want to do is use your Squidoo lens as additional advertising tool for your services and as a funnel to send traffic to your main web site.

The most critical point when setting up your first lens is what you call it.

If you are a butcher in Minneapolis, you want to do some keyword research as to the best term to use for your market. It may be “butcher”, it may be “quality meats”, it may be any number of things.  What ever it is, you want your first lens to use the best of the picks and then add the words, “in Minneapolis” or what ever the top geographical term is in your market. Then after you set up a lens,  “Quality Meats in Minneapolis” set up another for “Best Brats in Minneapolis.”   Since Squidoo is free, there is no reason for you to not set up multiple Lens on your best keyword phrases.

If you do, you will often find that your Squidoo len(s) will get higher ranking than your own web page, even if you have optimized your web sites meta tags geographically, as I do for my clients.

That’s because Squidoo itself has a high PR or page rank in the eyes of Google.

Now what you want to do is include links in your Squidoo Lens to your web site’s home page.  This helps raise your web sites ranking in Google’s eyes as well.

It sees Squidoo as an “authority” site and gives more credence to links coming from it.

There is a lot more to internet marketing than just having a web site.  That’s what keeps internet marketing consultants like me in business.

While Squidoo is easy to use, like everything, there is a learning curve.  Once you master the basic mechanics you also need to learn the strategies to make it work for your particular needs.  There are a number of eBooks about Squidoo out there.  I publish one called Squidoo Basics. It is a general introduction to Squidoo.

There are other formats beyond Squidoo, like Hub Pages, but Squidoo is probably the best place to start building a broader internet presence.  To get started all you need do is open an account at

In due course, you will not only get your web site on the top of the Google Rankings in your home town, you will also have a Squidoo page there as well.  When prospects see you listed not once, but twice, in the top of the local listings, they will begin to understand that you are the person to go to locally for home staging services.

And that’s where I intend my clients to be.  On top of their local markets.