Google is shutting down Google App Maker, a tool that allows you to make custom apps for your business. App Maker is included with G Suite Business and Enterprise editions, as well as with G Suite for Education. [Read more…]
Starting in January 2020 (this month), Google Chrome will start warning users when they visit websites that are not using TLS 1.2 or higher on their secure website. This is a change in Google’s policy about SSL secure HTTPs websites, as they previously have said that it did not matter which type of SSL certificate that a website uses as long as it was HTTPs. We are now learning that it does matter, and the server and the SSL certificate must support at least TLS 1.2 or higher. [Read more…]
The URL Inspection Tool inside Google Search Console is down. Requests made to Inspect Any URL that is on a verified website in Google’s Search Console has a message saying that you need to try back in a few hours.
Apparently Google mistakenly sent out invites to their highly-sought-after Google Cameos app, then promptly un-invited many of those same people. In the second email, they claim that they made a mistake. Google Cameos is an invite-only Google App that allows celebrities and other noteworthy people, to create videos of themselves answering questions. Those videos are then uploaded to the celebrity’s Knowledge Panel directly in the Google search results. [Read more…]
Every month, there are over 5 billion searches on Google for restaurants. 3 billion searches for hotels. 1 billion searches for clothing stores. 600 searches for hair and beauty salons. 5 million searches for coffee shops (Google My Business data, December 2019). These are all local businesses with physical locations. Customers visit those locations. But what if you’re NOT a local business.
What if customers don’t visit your location? Do you really need a Google My Business (GMB) listing? Probably not. Let me explain.
As you may or may not recall, I have a theory that some Google My Business listings are hurting websites and not helping. So, I removed my Google My Business listing. Not only did I remove the GMB listing once, but I removed the listing twice. Essentially with a 3-month time difference between the removing of the listing. It’s been a few weeks since the second removal of the Google My Business listing, and I have some interesting data to report. [Read more…]
Google AdSense is getting rid of their iOS and Android apps in favor more a more favorable mobile experience. According to an email sent out to Google AdSense publishers such as myself, that means that they will no longer support the Google AdSense app. There will no longer be a Google AdSense app that you can use on your phone. [Read more…]
Google is shutting down Google Bulletin, as well as the Google Bulletin App, which will stop working in about two weeks. Bulletin is an app where you could create stories about your local community using photos, videos, and text. It was in beta in the United States and Canada, and certain metro areas were targeted. However, this Google product never got out of beta, and they have decided to shut it down. [Read more…]
Do you have a Google Account that you use frequently? I have more than one Google Account, but one that I primarily use for things like my calendar (Google Calendar), Google Drive (Google Docs, Google Sheets, etc.), and Gmail. If someone were to get access to that Google account without my permission, they would get information to those, as well as access to other data that’s tied to that Google Account. I don’t currently have Google Pay set up, but if I did and someone got access to my Google Account then it could lead to more hassles, especially if they bought stuff. [Read more…]
Google is saying goodbye to the old Google Search Console. In a post on the official Google Webmaster blog and a tweet, they said that from “now on, if you try to access the old homepage or dashboard you’ll be redirected to the relevant Search Console pages.” So, essentially this is a goodbye to the old Google Search Console, as many of the reports that we’ve been accustomed to over the years are going away. The information isn’t going away, though, as the data has been moved over to an equivalent report on the new Google Search Console. [Read more…]
Is Google required to list your business or your website in their search engine results? When I mention the word “list”, I am referring to whether they are indexing your website in their search results or whether they are listing your business in the Google Maps listings, for example. Being listed is different than ranking. Let me also explain that this post, and anything in this post (such as comments from others) in no way should be seen as legal advice, as I am not a lawyer and don’t claim to be one. You should always consult the advice of a qualified lawyer or solicitor about your unique situation. If you are a lawyer and would like to make a comment (and I can quote you), get in touch with me and we’ll talk about it. I may update this post. That said, though, let’s get back to the question: Is Google (or Bing or Yahoo!) or any search engine (or website) obligated to list you? [Read more…]
Should Google link out to SEO websites from the official Google Webmaster blog? That’s the question that is a hot topic right now: on the official Google blog, should Google link out to a website that offers search engine optimization or digital marketing services, no matter how good the resource is, and how much it will help website owners. [Read more…]
If you advertise with Google Ads (formerly Google AdWords), does it impact your website’s search engine rankings in Google’s organic search engine results? This question has been one that so many have debated over and over again for years. In fact, I even recall it being discussed back in the early days of Google. Some still, to this day, swear that you’ll get better rankings if you advertise with Google Ads. Let’s put this myth to rest once and for all: advertising with Google (giving them money) essentially has no impact on a website’s organic (natural) search engine rankings. [Read more…]
Google My Business recently rolled out a new feature called Google My Business short names. Each verified Google My Business listing can add a short name, which is essentially a URL link to their Google My Business listing, along with a link to the listing’s reviews. A sample Google My Business is one that I set up recently, which is g.page/hartzer-consulting/, which redirects visitors directly to my company’s Google My Business listing. This is certainly a welcome new feature, as it makes it easier for businesses to promote their Google My Business listings both online and offline. It’s easier to ask for reviews, as well, as g.page/hartzer-consulting/reviews/ redirect directly to reviews for the business. I analyzed these new URLs and redirects, though, and I see a few problems and potential issues. [Read more…]
Pamela Lund on Twitter described this scenario perfectly: “this is a nightmare come true. I cannot imagine waking up to find that in an account. That kind of spend in 1 day with only fake conversions could easily put a client out of business and into bankruptcy.”. Despite the fact that a Google Ads customer had their daily spend set to a maximum $500 per day budget, Google spent $225,000 (two hundred and twenty five thousand dollars) in one day. [Read more…]
Google Calendar is down. As in inaccessible using a web browser. This is actually the first time I’ve personally seen Google Calendar down, at least since I’ve been relying on it more and more–over the past few years. [Read more…]
Update: June 12, 2019 – On June 11, 2019, I reported that AMP was having an issue where users could not click thru to the website where the content originated, as described below. This actually turned out to be a “bug”, and it was not intentional by Google to not allow users to click thru to the website when viewing an AMP page. This has now been fixed, and I do not think it was an intentional change in AMP.
In a recent change to the Google AMP interface, Google is not making it easy for users to click thru to the website where the content originates. In the latest AMP UI changes, it appears that users can only share the AMP URL or page that they’re on–they can’t click thru to the site that created the AMP content. If this is the case, and it very much so appears that it is, then Google has essentially made a change that keeps the users on the Google domain. Google has literally taken the content (even though the site allows them to), they’re serving the site’s content up to users, and Google won’t let the visitors go directly to the site. Of course I could be totally overreacting, but let’s look at an example of this. [Read more…]
A recent major outage of Google Cloud was caused because of a misconfiguration, not only because of network congestion, like Google initially reported. The outage was described by Google as “network congestion issue in eastern USA, affecting Google Cloud, G Suite, and YouTube”. It also caused services such as Shopify, Snapchat, and Discord to go down. Some people reported that they could not control the temperature in their home or apartment through Google Nest. [Read more…]
Do you often wonder what Google knows about you? I mean, how much are they tracking, do they know whether or not you visit certain websites, when you visited them, how long you visited them? If you add in Android and you have a smart phone that uses Google Android, do you know how much data they are collecting about you? [Read more…]
Google’s organic search engine listings can looks like Ads, but they are not actually Google Ads. Instead, the site owner has updated the favicon on their website to display an Ad logo. That Ad logo image similar to the black and white Ad symbol Google currently displays to designate that a search engine result listing is a sponsored Ad. As an experiment, I updated the favicon on this website to display a graphic that I personally created–which looks similar to Google’s Ad graphic they display next to Google Ads. An example of my site appearing in the Google organic search results on a mobile phone is shown below: [Read more…]
If you weren’t aware, Google tracks all of the purchases that you have made online if the purchase receipts land in your Gmail account. If you’re logged into your Google Account, then you can go to the purchases page and see everything Google knows that you have purchased. But there’s only one problem: the purchases that Google reports that you’ve made sometimes are purchases that other people have made. [Read more…]