TOP 10 Internet Marketers To Follow In 2019

top 10 internet marketers

Gary Vaynerchuk

Gary is famous with his inspiring talks on productivity and marketing. He’s all about social media, content and storytelling. Gary focuses a lot on future marketing and “preaches” amazing principles. If you need some real inspiration, learn some great marketing and push out of your comfort zone, follow his youtube channel.

Neil Patel

Neil Patel is one of the greatest references to Digital Entrepreneurship in the world. He is the co-founder of Quick Sprout, Crazy Egg, Hello Bar and KISSmetrics. His tools and consultancies have already made companies like Amazon, General Motors and HP make a jump in profits. Pointed by the UN as one of the top 100 entrepreneurs under 35, Patel’s posts are a must-read for the digital entrepreneur. Visit Patel’s website and Twitter profile to follow.

Matthew Woodward

He’s an award-winning businessman and internet marketing blogger, 28 years old, very successful, and lives in North West of the UK. He made internet his huge and utmost passion from a very young age and his blog has been seen on many websites.

He started his career when he was 13, with some game reviews and because of that, he developed an interest in competitive gaming. And after some time he created his first community-based website. That website allowed people to share their own experiences through demos or videos with their best possible actions.

Mathew believes that he was the first person to do a 360 no scope in multilayer FPS game when nobody even thought about it. After the first release, people fell in love with him and his work so much. They even personally visited and praised him for his work.

Ann Handley

Another top internet marketer from whom you can learn so much – Ann Handley. She is an exceptional and a top, top internet marketer. Ann has a very unique and different vision of internet marketing. And there is no doubt why so many people follow her approach to internet marketing.

Born in Boston, Ann is the world’s first Chief Content Officer and an acclaimed writer. Plus, a communicator, digital marketing pioneer, and Wall Street Journal best-selling author who inspires and empowers everyone who wants to create a market and be successful in their business.

Mike Klingler

Mike Klingler is an Internet Marketing Geek with amazing knowledge of online marketing automation. Mike teaches online Marketing automation using marketing funnels and evergreen online marketing strategy. Mike Klingler helps you master online marketing with over 20 years of his online marketing experience.

Mike has cultivated an extensive scope of marketing skills and worked with Fortune 500 companies and the next door Local Business.

Visit Mike’s website, YouTube and Twitter profile to follow.

Rand Fishkin

Rand Fishkin is considered an expert in SEO. He is the founder and CEO of one of the fastest growing software companies: Moz. Rand is a co-author of two books on SEO and co-founder of Inbound.org. In addition, it is one of the most well-known search marketing experts in the world. Here is Fishkin’s Twitter profile to follow.

Jon Loomer

Loomer is amongst the top 10 from the Forbes list and marketing specialist with blogs. He brings up daily tips on his Twitter that are well worth it. Follow Jon’s blog here!

Brian Dean

If you haven’t heard of Brian yet, you should – he has now become an SEO legend. He has written some of the best and most shared SEO and link-building content on the web!

He has no problem with getting traffic (over 50,000 uniques per month!) but he came to me because he wanted to begin focusing on improving his low conversion rates.

Jon Morrow

Jon Morrow is an extraordinary blogger, programmer, marketing strategist and speaker. He founded Boost Blog Traffic and writes for several well-known sites on digital marketing, including Copy blogger – one of the most popular blogs in the world. Here is Jon’s Twitter profile to follow.

John Carlton

If you’re a real marketer, you sure know John Carlton. This is the guy from copywriting and he is the founder of CopyBlogger. He is still in the list of top marketers promoted by Fobers Magazine. John is one of the biggest references in the world when it comes to marketing for the niche. With tips on how to get more conversions, sales and engagement in these social networks, Carlton also brings courses dedicated to teaching people who want to undertake and apply the concepts of digital marketing to leverage their business.

Get to know his new media workshop and follow her content in his Twitter profile. Follow him on his website and Twitter profile.

Migration SEO Strategies to Protect Rankings, Boost Traffic, and Drive Sales

Migration SEO Strategies

If an ecommerce site can’t be found in organic search engine results, does it even exist? It doesn’t matter if you sell across multiple channels or not — ranking on page one is the price of admission to compete in the product discovery and consideration phases of a customer’s buying journey.
According to Forrester, 71% of consumers use search engines to learn about new products and services; 74% research and compare products via search engines prior to completing a transaction.
But what happens if you decide to replatform? The answer is simple: those rankings are vulnerable. The good news is that with the right strategy, you can not only maintain those rankings but also boost organic traffic and sales. Let’s dive right in and show you how to preserve your rankings with a solid replatforming SEO plan.

Why Is Your SEO at Risk?

Google and other search engines use complex algorithms to rank your site’s pages. Your content, site architecture, and user experience are some key on-site factors that impact the outcome.
Search engines regularly crawl your site and index each page, recording metrics like traffic, page speed and bounce rates (among many others) and factor them into your rankings. Each time something changes between crawls, it has the potential to impact your rankings.
If your replatform doesn’t take this into consideration, you can end up losing a lot of traffic and sales. Changing on-page content, failing to properly tell search engines where your links moved, and letting outdated pages get lost in an ever-growing crowd of content are all major SEO replatforming mistakes.
“If a merchant changes too many things during migration it’s hard to tell why the data points are changing,” warns Carla Wright, Merchant Engagement Lead at Shopify Plus who’s helped lead the replatforming SEO strategies of brands like ColourPop, Quay, Kylie, and CR7. “Only after you've completed your migration and have a benchmark on your new platform, should you begin implementing changes to your content strategy.”

What to Include in a Replatforming SEO Checklist

There is no “one size fits all” SEO replatforming strategy. Every ecommerce business must carefully review your site structure, current performance, and your long-term goals. Still, there are some key concepts that apply across the board.
At a minimum, you must follow these steps in your SEO “pre-replatforming” checklist ...
  1. Map Redirects One-for-One
  2. Minimize On-Page Changes
  3. Monitor Duplicate Content
  4. Track 404 Errors Rigorously
  5. Make It Mobile, Make It Fast
  6. Optimize After Replatforming

1. Map Redirects One-to-One

It’s rare to simply switch platforms while keeping the exact same URL structure across your site. Redirects ensure that visitors are still able to access the same content on new URLs while directing search engines to the new pages and informing them that the content is legit.
“If managed correctly, your migration will not result in any traffic loss. That involves informing search bots of the new URL of every page and making as few changes as possible to both the content and the structure of your site,” explains Wright.

Wright always advises merchants is to spend time on your redirect mapping for accuracy; focus on one:one redirects versus many to one. “What I mean by that is don’t redirect 100 product URLs to a collection (many to one), rather than spending the time to map each product to the same new product URL (one:one),” she advises.
When Red Dress Boutique decided to replatform, the company worked with Visiture, an ecommerce search marketing agency, from the beginning to complete a comprehensive audit and consultation prior to the migration. The Red Dress Boutique team adopted the agency’s technical SEO recommendations, like …
  • Carefully considering 301 redirects to retain organic traffic
  • Diligently checking that meta descriptions carried over
  • Paying attention to changes in the website’s robots.txt file and XML sitemap generation to ensure that unnecessary pages didn't get indexed and impede crawl efficiency
“Executing on each action item is one of the ingredients that made this platform migration so successful,” says Dana Harbour, Founder of Red Dress Boutique.
Red Dress Boutique search results




Google Incognito results for “affordable women’s dresses”

Just months after replatforming and implementing their SEO maintenance strategy, Red Dress Boutique reduced its annual costs by over $100,000 while also achieving double-digit sales growth.

2. Minimize On-Page Changes

It can be tempting to change everything at once as part of the replatforming process. You’re already changing platforms, so why not all of the content and design, too? However, Wright warns that if Google has been crawling your site for a while then a dramatic change to everything from the words and images on the page to your site architecture will be “noticed” by the search engine, and can lead to a reindex and an unfortunate dip in your organic traffic.
No one knows exactly how search engines determine the top rankings, but many SEO experts suggest to keep your site as identical as possible after you replatform to preserve your current rankings. Paul Rogers, an ecommerce consultant at Vervaunt says that he’s seen ecommerce businesses lose “~50% of their organic traffic and revenue” because they overlooked and undervalued the technical SEO impact. That includes forgetting to:
  • Mirror the structure of the website — ensuring all categories and even any non-primary pages receiving traffic are retained on the new site
  • Review how dynamics pages are handled, such as filter pages, search pages, and pagination which require consideration as to how you want them to be crawled and indexed on the new site
Likewise, remember that the fewer aspects of your site that are changed during the replatforming process, the easier it’ll be to identify the root cause of any SEO fluctuations that happen because you will have a baseline from which to begin your measurement. It’s as important for testing SEO performance as it is for improving your overall conversion strategy.
One month after relaunching with the help of its digital marketing agency, Insterstellar, BackJoy achieved a 101.88% increase in sales from organic traffic. As part of the SEO strategy, the agency focused on making it easier for search engines to index the site, and worked with the BackJoy team to run a number of tests with the goal to convert more of the site’s newfound organic search traffic, including …
  • Landing page and traffic source combinations
  • Product bundles to lift sales
Six months after BackJoy’s organic search traffic tests, the site achieved a 22.11% lift in conversions. “The conversion rate numbers are really good and are constantly getting better,” says Tre Vertuca, BackJoy’s President and COO. “We’re glad we can do a lot of this on our own now but we’re also grateful to Interstellar and their expertise.”

3. Monitor Duplicate Content

“SEO is mostly about content,” advises Wright. While technical components can and do impact SEO, your platform should handle the basics which allows you to focus on creating content that attracts and converts your buyers. If you have multiple shops or a multi-domain strategy, you’ll need to have your team expert, an agency partner or platform launch expert work through how to transition your content and ensure that technical changes are well planned out.

One reason why is that search engine algorithms aren’t always the biggest fans of duplicate content. Of course, it’s not always possible to avoid. There are many reasons why your site might have duplicate content, including:
  • HTTP and HTTPs: Most software-as-service platforms default to HTTPS (Hypertext Transfer Protocol Secure) and should issue an SSL for every shop’s domain. If you miss a redirect from HTTP to HTTPS, HTTP version would be accessible and would be hosting duplicate content.

  • Subdomains versus TLD: Using a number of Top Level Domains (TLD) means that you as a domain administrator also need to put in the extra work to inform a search engine that your two, or many, domains are related. Subdomains imply that to the search engine.

  • Dev environments: whether you host your own dev shops or use additional stores for staging be sure they include a no index tags. In the event that you remove the password on the development shop, you don’t want that indexed by a search bot.
In many of those cases, you should use canonical URLs (e.g., the most authoritative URL you want search engines to see) to direct search engines to the original content. “Canonicals basically say to Google, ‘Hey, if there is more than one result, I want you to pick this one,’” explains Wright. On Shopify, canonicals are set by default to help manage any duplicate content issues that happen over time. However, they are still editable to accommodate advanced SEO strategies.
code canonicals
Also, if you have dynamic pages that display different content each time they’re viewed, make sure they’re not indexable. These steps ensure that your most valuable pages won’t have to “share” diluted rankings, and you won’t be penalized for duplicate content.

4. Track 404 Errors Rigorously

Replatforming is a great time to identify and resolve all of the 404 errors on your site. Doing so will help to boost your organic rankings after you move over to the new platform.

Unable to scale its SEO strategy with its old ecommerce platform, The Emazing Group replatformed with help from Traffic Control — an integration that allows merchants to automatically generate unlimited redirects. This enabled its ecommerce team to fix years of “404 error pages”: 650,000 pages, to be precise.

And, as all of its brands’ sites moved, the company found it easy to optimize page titles, meta descriptions, SEO-friendly URLs, and their internal linking structure. Even more important, the company’s SEO strategy resulted in 130% YoY organic traffic increase, and 22.59% increase in conversion rates which resulted in a 227% revenue increase, or $98,000, for an average month via its iHeartRaves brand.
Sequin bra search result




Google Incognito results for “sequin bra”

Similarly, EmazingLights now ranks number one for a number of sales-driving keywords:
Search results for light glove




Google Incognito results for “light gloves”


“We were able to lock down top spots for some of our most valuable keywords, bringing in new customers and more revenue than ever before,” says Katie Knoll, Digital Marketing Manager at The Emazing Group.

5. Make It Mobile, Make It Fast

At the end of March 2018, Google announced that the company has officially prioritized the mobile version of a site’s content to rank pages. Carla Wright explains, “This approach is called mobile-first indexing, which means that Google will use the mobile version of a page for indexing and ranking to better help their (primarily mobile) users find what they’re seeking.”
But there is another factor on your ecommerce site’s mobile pages that you must prioritize — waiting for a slow loading page that you clicked on from a search result using your smartphone can be extremely irritating.

Google scores page speed in aggregate as part of your ecommerce site’s search engine rankings. The company recently trained a deep neural network — “a computer system modeled on the human brain and nervous system” — and discovered an enormous jump in bounce rates based on mobile load time. Having a fast, mobile-first SEO and ecommerce website strategy is now a “must-have” to provide an optimal customer experience.
Mobile load time and bounce rate increases
In the case of PWAs (progressive web applications), Chris Love — a PWA and SEO expert — recommends that you render as much of your HTML on the server side first, “as a static web page. Then either rendering on demand server-side as much as possible and leave the last bit for client-side rendering.” Following this approach will ensure that your pages will index faster and be directly linkable.
He adds that you shouldn’t use heavy JavaScript to render your pages in the browser either. “When it comes to pages that need to be indexed and ranked by Google this means almost 100% of the page should be pre-rendered on the server. Google likes this because it can consume the content and score the page for search results,” he says.
Another option is to use accelerated mobile pages (AMP): an open-source project (sponsored by Google) that enables content on mobile websites to render almost immediately. The important word in that last sentence is content. To be AMP compliant many features that ecommerce stores rely upon — namely, advertising tags and JavaScript — must be disabled. Moreover, you can only use Google-approved HTML and host the page on Google infrastructure.
Nonetheless, AMP ought to be considered based on your needs. “Google-sponsored research shows that AMP leads to an average of a 2X increase in time spent on page. The data also shows ecommerce sites experience an average 20 percent increase in sales conversions compared to non-AMP web pages,” says Eric Enge, CEO of Stone Temple Consulting. Because the AMP code is open-sourced, merchants can use accelerated mobile pages either on Shopify or through their PWA.

6. Optimize After Replatforming

With constantly changing algorithms and updates, SEO should be a permanent, ongoing part of your ecommerce growth strategy. So you’ll need to keep the momentum going after you make the switch. And even if your site is performing well, it can always do better.
Think of replatforming as an opportunity to perform an SEO-SWOT analysis (Strengths, Weaknesses, Opportunities, Threats) on your site, which can provide you with valuable insights on how to move forward.
You’ll also be able to evaluate how your new platform can help bridge any gaps. Of course, as mentioned above, be mindful of the impact of your changes and their timeline as they relate to the physical migration process of your ecommerce site.
For further SEO growth opportunities, ask yourself these six questions:
  1. Is my content valuable and helpful to readers? As Carla Wright mentioned earlier, this is the most important factor in your search engine rankings. This post explains how to maximize the success of your product descriptions to build on the success you’ve already achieved.

  2. Does my site use meaningful and targeted keywords? The more relevant they are to a user’s most specific searches, the better.

  3. Does my site use HTTPS? It stands for HyperText Transfer Protocol Secure which is an important trust signal for customers who give you private information or credit card information. In 2014, it became a ranking factor, and every domain on Shopify has an SSL certificate issued for it. Shopify Plus also gives you an EV certification which is often overlooked.

  4. Are my URLs short-and-sweet at 75 characters or less, containing my keywords and using only alphanumeric characters? URLs are less important for keywords than they were five or so years ago. However, it’s important to ensure they are as straightforward and driven by the most relevant keywords for each product or page.

  5. Are my directory structures simple, with three or fewer levels of depth? “Behind the scenes, sites can use specific markup (code) that makes it easy for search engines to understand the details of the page content and structure,” says Wright.

  6. Is my site mobile-friendly and do those pages load quickly? You should have covered this during the replatforming process, but it’s always a good time to test and see how those pages can be improved even further.
Finally, James Corr, Owner of Only Growth advises that you resubmit your new sitemap to Google Search Console to ensure Google reindexes your new site after you replatform. He says that you can expect to see a 5 to 10% drop in traffic in the first month, which is normal as search engines re-analyze your site over several months. As long as the percentage of web pages indexed continues to increase, then you know you are on the right track.

Seize Your Replatforming Opportunity to Improve SEO

Although the thought of replatforming can be scary, it’s important to consider all of the positive outcomes that result from investing the time to do it right. One of those opportunities is that it is a great time to improve your SEO.
The tips in this post are more than enough to help you get started. But if you’d like more, we recently released our most-detailed guide to ecommerce migration and replatforming ever … be warned: this behind-the-scenes and hands-on look isn’t for the faint of heart.
Instead of a surface-level sales pitch, it includes everything you need to know about large-to-enterprise migration.
https://www.shopify.com/enterprise/replatforming-seo-strategies

Google New Rich Results Testing Tool

Google rich results testing tool

Google announced at 21/12/2017 that they have released a new-and-improved version of its Structured Data Testing Tool, available in beta as the Rich Results Test. The name of the tool "rich results" reflects – as noted in the announcement post – the fact that what Google had previously referred to as "rich snippets, rich cards, or enriched results" will now be called "rich results" as their official documentation moving forward.

Google said the new testing tool “focuses on the structured data types that are eligible to be shown as rich results.” This new version enables you to test all data sources on your pages, including the recommended JSON-LD, Microdata or RDFa. Google said this new version is a “more accurate reflection of the page’s appearance on Search and includes improved handling for Structured Data found on dynamically loaded content.”

The new Rich Results Testing tool currently only supports tests for Job posting, Recipe, Course, and Movie. Google said it will be adding support for other rich results over time.

The new google tool also has a drawback that, this tool does not currently show schema.org syntax errors, which currently used by millions of website.

Eligibility for rich results

The Structured Data Testing Tool never explicitly states whether a given page (or code block) is eligible for rich snippets. The closest the tool comes is to provide a "PREVIEW" link when results are capable of generating a rich result, and only then after you click through to the eligible data type.

Eligibility is now front-and-center in the Rich Results Test response, with pages that are eligible for rich results clearly labelled as such, along which data type ("Detected structured data") for which the page is eligible.

It's equally obvious when a submitted page isn't eligible for a rich result.

There is also a third category pertaining to rich result eligibility, seemingly triggered when a page could be eligible for rich results if errors were corrected.

Details on these errors are provided in a pane on the "Detected structured data" section of the test results.

Again, be cognizant that only job postings, recipes, courses and movies are currently supported by the tool, as per the prominent message at the top of a test results page.

13 Actionable Tips to Optimize the New Google Questions & Answers

Tips for Optimize Google Q & A

13 Quick Tips to Optimize the New Google Q & A


The new Google Places Q & A offers a lot of potential for both helping and hurting a business. Here are some thoughts on how your business should approach this new and untried feature in the Google Local Knowledge Panel.

How will New Google Q & A Work?


Usually, A Q&A website is a website where the site creators use the images of pop culture icons to answer input from the site's visitors, usually in question/answer format; Like Quora and Yahoo Answer.

Tips - 1: Give Informative Answers

Treat New Google Q&A as an opportunity to solve a potential customer’s future problem. The better you answer, the more likely your customer will upvote your answer and this will help your get new clients and more brand awareness.

Tips - 2: Get out in front of them.

Crowd sourcing can be intimidating to the typical business but its best if you approach this, like reviews and photos, proactively. Having good Q & A’s posted will limit the opportunity for mischief.

Tips - 3: Start Now.

Write out some questions that you can post to your listing. This will give the early postings a chance to be upvoted more over time.

Tips - 4: Make sure that You really Write Frequently Asked Questions.

It's imperative that you listen to incoming phone calls and list out the actual questions that clients frequently ask before they come into the store. This will save you and them time which is one of the things that purchase funnel optimization is about. The obvious candidates here are the very real concerns about parking questions, special hours, appointments and other conveniences.

Tips - 5: Think long tail as well.

Once you have identified the low hanging fruit, brainstorm some of the less frequently asked questions (but asked) about some of your less well known services. “Does this bakery offer gluten free choices?” I am NOT saying to treat this as a keyword spamming opportunity. It isn’t but going niche can be helpful.

Tips - 6: Communicate

Engage with Q&A visitors. Upvote great answers, follow people who are interested in your topics. Show that you’re genuinely interested in developing your credibility. Stop trying to sell and start focusing on leading, influencing and connecting instead.

Tips - 7: Plan for Scanning.

Customers are a busy lot and you want to be sure that both the questions are easy to read and the answer are brief but accurate. Be brief and too the point. These need to be short answers to real questions.

Tips - 8: Write for Your Audience

A lot of businesses and marketers automatically go into sales mode when they see someone with a problem that their product can fix. But that’s not the approach you want to take. Here’s the problem with trying to immediately sell to someone who asks a question:
  1. People hate being sold to
  2. It doesn’t seem genuine
  3. You want to build a relationship first
  4. It turns you into a salesperson, not an authority/expert
Instead of shoving your products and services down their throat, come up with a well written, valuable piece of content that addresses their question. Remember, you’re not just responding to the one person who asked the question. You’re responding to potentially thousands of your future customers who might buy your services or products.

Tips - 9: Customers Voice

Write them using your customers voice. These are meant to be accessible and easy to understand, not marketing pieces.

Tips - 10: Make the Answers Useful

Make them useful to both parties, your business and the customer. Obviously the goal here to facilitate interactions between the right kind of customer and your business.

Tips - 11: Control Yourself

Control yourself and don’t over do it. Its best if there are fewer rather than more. (I am not yet sure what that means but…)

Tips - 12: Make A Plan for Disaster.

This is a crowd sourced environment after all and we all know that weird and unpleasant things can arise. Write down a plan so that in the heat of the moment you don’t do something stupid. Usually the first step is to take a breath and call a trusted advisor (to talk you off of the cliff).

Tips - 13: Monitor and Update

Monitor your Knowledge Panel for new questions. If they are legit be the first to answer. Use your Google My Business login and the answer will be noted as from the business owner. This is likely going to be a problem for multi location chains as their is no API or in dashboard notification but it is necessary. Hopefully Google will prioritize the development of tools to deal with this both proactively and at scale.

What's your tips? Please share your opinion in the comment form and Follow me at Quora and Yahoo Answer.

Google Rolling Out Questions & Answers

Google Business Listings Q&A

Google Rolling Out Questions & Answers In Google Business Listings

Google has announced and started to roll out Places Questions & Answers, a crowd sourced and business sourced Q & A product for local Knowledge Panels. Tim Capper has a great summary as well that is worth the read.

Essentially the product is designed to allow Google to offer additional FAQ type content via the Knowledge Panel that answers consumers most frequent and “long tail” questions about a Place.

The product is initially rolling out on Android Google Maps only. At some point in the near future it will be available on all mobile browsers as well.

Here is Google’s description of the product that was provided during a preview of the product:

What

Questions and Answers allow business owners to answer questions directly from potential customers. Merchants can also anticipate FAQ’s by adding commonly asked questions and their answers.

Merchants and other users can both thumb up content to boost its ranking and flag content that is incorrect or spam.

Why

Users have many place-specific questions that are going unanswered right now. By allowing them to ask the business owner and each other, we can help them make decisions more quickly.

Example questions our users have about places:
  • “What dishes should I try?”
  • “What should I definitely do/see?”
  • “How much seating is there for large groups or special events?”
  • “Is there space to park a baby stroller?”
  • “What’s the lighting like inside?”
  • “Is delivery or take-out offered?”
  • “Which credit cards are accepted?”
  • “Is this a good date night restaurant?”
  • “Are service animals allowed?”
  • “Can I bring my kids here?”
  • “Where should I look for parking?”
  • “Do I need reservations for a Friday night?”
  • “Are there coupons?”
Great in concept for Google and perhaps the consumer, but the devil is for sure in the details as to whether it will be good for the business.

Google has said that moderation will be much like reviews in being mostly automated with some human curation. If the product fails the failure is likely to be in the moderation and more importantly, spam moderation details.

If antagonistic competitors figure out the moderation rules, I see it as very likely that passive aggressive negative information could easily be posted. Will staff in India be able to understand the subtlety?

And of course there is always the “lets turn everything into an ugly promotional tool” mindset that many have that could pollute the waters with incredibly spammy content.

As the product is currently designed (it feels given the very limited release and limited interfaces more like a beta,) it puts the difficult task of monitoring directly on the shoulder of the business owner. They need to continually goto their Android Maps app and check to see if the questions are meaningful and if they need to answer the question or whether the consumer answer is adequate.

Posts and Websites “felt” very business friendly. This on the other hand will feel like a poke in the eye to most businesses. Being required to regularly go back and check the crowd sourced status of a listing due to fear of the “crowd” might be off base, is one more task that appears to offer little of value to the business and will take additional (and very limited)time.

Like reviews, I don’t doubt though that effectively embraced and managed it can help a business. I am just not sure most of them will see it that way.

On a more strategic level for Google, this product is one more piece of content that will be residing within the Knowledge Panel for the business… first NAP and photos, then reviews, reviews from the web, then Posts and now “Places Q & A”.

Like Google Destinations in the travel industry, it is an effort to create ever more granular content that will keep consumers within Google’s subtly “walled garden” and further limit the likelihood of their visiting your website.

Short haul it could increase conversions, if properly handled, and that would be a good thing… until the gate keeper starts charging more for the privilege or sends the traffic elsewhere.

Here is a FAQ with details that we know about Places Q & A (assembled with the help of the many TCs in Google’s My Business Forum).

Q: Places? That sounds like back to future.
A: It is. Branding has never been Google’s strong point.

Q: Will the product be used for “ranking”?
A: Who knows. Google loves data and they love good data even more. If it is good data, I could imagine that it might some day.

Q: Will the data be good?
A: Your guess is as good as mine.

Q: Who can participate in the launch?
A: This is a Global launch to all Android Users on Google Maps – so there aren’t any testers. Business owners and consumers are targeted for asking and answering.

Q: Is it visible in the GMB dashboard?
A: No, not yet.

Q: Are there any active notifications to the business owner?
A: Yes merchants get notifications through the Android Maps app.

Q: Do you get email notifications if you have a new question and do they go to owners AND managers AND Comms managers?
A: Owners and managers will get push notifications from Google Maps on Android if a question is asked or answered by a user.

Q: Is it visible on desktop browsers?
A: No

Q: Is it visible to iPhone users
A: No, only Android users on the Maps App (for now)

Q: Is there moderation of any kind?
A: Yes. Google will moderate some things automatically (bad words, gibberish), and users will also have the ability to flag. It will be a similar process as the photos/reviews flagging.

Q: Will the moderations work?
 A: If it is like reviews and photos…. it will be opaque and frustrating to business owners but time will tell.

Q: Will the merchant receive any notifications as to the resolution of a spam or flagging report?
A: The review process is similar to photos/reviews. I.E no.

Q: Can a user delete question?
A: Merchant can’t delete a question from another user, they can flag it though.

Q: Can a user delete their own question?
A: I am not sure. I think so.

Q: What if there are competing/different answers?
A: Since the business would be logged into the GMB account when they reply, Google will display messaging that lets people know it’s the owner/business replying.

Q: How does Google determine the “best” answer?
A: We don’t really know. However like on Quora, there is an upvoting option and Google loves data…. if you test it let me know.

Q: Where and how will this display?
A: It shows up within the listing on the maps app for Android users

Q: Will it show in organic search on the desktop?
A: TBD

Q: Is there a limit to the number of questions and or answers?
A: There are no limit to the FAQ’s

Q: When will this be available to the iPhone Google App?
A: That’s not known at this point

Q: What are the rules on taking down a question?
A: Guidelines match reviews pretty closely — for factual questions, Google can take things down that are flagged as incorrect. The rules around spam and abuse are similar to reviews.

Q: Can businesses opt-out?
A: No. Don’t be naive.

Q: Can links be embedded in a question or answer?
A: No, no links allowed.

Q: How does Q & A affect ranking?
A: It doesn’t affect ranking. But Google loves data….

Q: Are you able to post or answer questions via the API?
A: Not currently.

Q: We have hundreds of businesses, how can we post common questions to all of our location listings?
A: Brute force, one at a time

Q: We have hundreds of locations how can we monitor questions.
A: Buy your staff Androids and man the bunkers. If you are lucky, since it is initially limited to Android Maps, there will be few.

Q: What’s to stop merchants from asking their own questions and then have their employees vote up the answers to the top
A: They could do that – nothing to stop them, though it would probably be better if they replied from the GMB account so that it would identify the response as one from the business owner.

Q: Are all business listings eligible for Q & A?
A: Any reviewable place will allow for Q&A.

Q: Will Google use these questions to add to attributes, add answers to Home etc?
A: It is not known at this time but Google loves data….

Q: How about age restricted businesses, Hospitals, financial etc. Will they have Q & A?
A: Any reviewable place will allow for Q&A – a very small number of businesses don’t support questions and answers.

Q: Can you see the Q&As on all platforms and only add new Q&As on Android Mobile?
A: You can only see Q&A on the platforms that you can add Q&A on. So at launch, they will only be visible on Android Google Maps.