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Cheese: What are its types and its value in your diet

Undoubtedly, cheese is an integral part of the Mediterranean diet. Also many people work in cheese production. It is a product rich in nutrients, prepared by processing the milk of cow, sheep, goat or buffalo.

The history of cheese

The history of cheese-making is lost in the depths of prehistory. No one knows how it first appeared or how the processing of milk in order to turn it into cheese was introduced.

The beginning of cheese-making, according to historians, took place after the domestication of the first ruminants, around 8000 BC. A legend attributes the preparation of the first cheese to a random event. Once upon a time, a merchant crossed the desert carrying milk in a pouch made of sheep stomach.

The heat of the desert and the presence of natural rennet on the wall of the container, caused the milk to ferment which “cut”, that is, it was separated into cheese and whey. The merchant tasted it, was fed up with the cheese, quenched his thirst with the whey and tried to reproduce the process, thus beginning the art of cheese-making.

In ancient Greece, cheese-making had already developed in the years of Homer. In fact, in the Odyssey, reference is made to the cheeses prepared by Cyclops Polyphemus in his cave from the milk of his sheep. However, cheese-making in a more organized form developed later, in Roman times.

How many types of cheese are there?

Cheese is the most popular dairy product in the world. There are hundreds of types of cheese and thousands of variations of them, while most people have to display dozens of local cheese products.

There are many ways to divide cheese into types, and all cheeses belong to more than one category at a time. For example, there are soft, semi-hard and hard, sweet and salty, yellow, blue and white, fresh and long ripening, those that melt at high temperature and those that remain solid, etc.

What are the most popular types of cheese in the world?

The most popular types of cheese worldwide are parmesan and mozzarella from Italy, cheddar from England, French Brie, Dutch Gouda and of course Greek feta, which is gaining more and more fans all over the world. Both its flavor and the worldwide spread of the benefits of the Mediterranean diet have boosted feta sales in Europe and America.

How are cheeses combined?

The delicious combinations of cheeses are unlimited. Almost all cheeses can be eaten alone or in combination with other cheeses and cold cuts. Usually in a plate of cheeses and cold cuts, the mild ones coexist with the most intense and spicy flavors.

The cheeses are combined with all kinds of baked goods such as bread, rusks, breadsticks, etc., as well as fruits such as figs, grapes and watermelon. Some cheeses such as gruyere and cream cheese go well with honey, creating interesting and special combinations.

The wine that traditionally accompanies yellow cheeses is dry red, while white cheeses go best with mild, fresh, white wines.

As for beer, it has always been a perfect pair with cheese. The connoisseurs even claim that the darker the color of the cheese, the darker the color of the beer. That is why they combine white cheeses with blond beers, light yellow cheeses with red beers and yellow and blue cheeses with dark beers.

What is the nutritional value of cheese?

Cheese has great nutritional value, as it contains all the benefits of milk in high concentration and is more digestible. Contains 10-30% proteins of high nutritional value. In fact, hard cheeses contain more protein than even meat.

Cheeses contain fats that depending on their type range from 1% to 50%. Low fat cheeses that do not lack rich flavor are now widely available on the market, while they are suitable for those who follow a low fat diet.

The calcium contained in cheeses is more easily digested by the human body than that of milk, while it is also found in much higher concentrations, especially in yellow cheeses.

Also, cheese contains linoleic acid which can potentially reduce the risk of developing chronic diseases, such as cardiovascular disease. Finally, in small quantities it can be consumed by people who are lactose intolerant as it contains much less lactose than milk.

Greek cheese production

Greece produces a wide variety of cheese products, based mainly on goat’s and sheep’s milk.Let’s see some of the most popular Greek cheeses and their characteristics.

Feta

The most common Greek cheese. It is a soft, white, salty cheese, made from sheep’s or goat’s milk, has a sour taste and is preserved in brine. It is usually eaten raw, plain, in a salad, accompanied by fruit, or used to fill pies, baked or fried.

Kefalograviera

It is a hard cheese that looks like gruyere but has a saltier taste. Produced from sheep’s or goat’s milk. It is usually not consumed plain but grated, flavoring the pasta with its spark.

Kefalotyri

A very hard cheese, with a spicy salty taste produced either from sheep, goat or goat’s and sheep’s milk. Its rich aroma is due to its minimal maturation in three months. Its color varies depending on the milk mixture used in its production.

Myzithra

Mizithra is a special cheese produced by mixing whey with fresh sheep’s or goat’s milk. We find it either dry, ideal for rubbing, or green, eaten raw or as an accompaniment to fruits and pastries.

Read more about cheese production:

Local Citations: The Complete Guide


Local citation management is a core part of local SEO and can be a great foundation to build upon, especially for businesses just starting out on their journey and agencies working with them.

In this complete guide to local listings management, we’ll walk through:

  • What local citations are, in the context of local SEO
  • Why local citations matter and how they can help you 
  • How to successfully execute a local citation building campaign
  • And more!

Get ready to learn everything there is to know about local citations. In fact, you might want to bookmark this resource and come back to it throughout your local SEO journey.

The post Local Citations: The Complete Guide appeared first on BrightLocal.



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Justin Abrams On Human Experience Marketing & Adaptation of Technology


In part one with Justin Abrams, the Senior SEO Consultant at BrightEdge and also the co-founder of Cause of a Kind, we spoke about SEO customer success and a bit about mountain climbing. In part two we go into human experience marketing and the adaptation of technology.

(0:16) Human Experience Marketing:

As you will quickly see, Justin has a special skill of understanding the person he is talking with and really being able to relate to that person on their own level. Our first topic of conversation was related to how to use human experience in your marketing. Justin explained there is a shift in digital business going on. Early on, people were focused on driving web performance but SEOs were like the black sheep of the business. Now, there is this shift going on from a search marketer to a human experience marketer. It is all about how does what I write, what services I provide, what I build server a human need. It is about putting the human at the epicenter of the decision making process.

(8:05) Adaptation of Technology:

We have seen a huge increase in start ups, and some of these companies that has changed human behavior, such as Uber. We are starting to see new technologies being built around human needs. Technologists and developers are now thinking about the next step in their human experience and how their customers, friends, etc can be helped with technology. Doing a search first experience is what many are thinking about. Looking at the data to see if search data to see if there is a need for a new technology, is there a market, is it competitive, and so on. Organizations are looking at all of this from a search first perspective.

You can learn more about Justin Abrams on LinkedIn.

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.



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Local Quizness – What Happened in Local SEO in March?


The world of local marketing never stands still, and staying on top of the trends can take its toll. 

That’s why we created Local Quizness – a monthly quiz to help you recap the biggest stories affecting local businesses and marketers. Test your knowledge in 10 quick questions – and rest assured you’re aware of the news that matters most.

Happy with your score? Share this on Twitter using the hashtag #LocalQuizness!

If there are any you missed, check out all the links below:





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Alex Genadinik On How To Start A Business During COVID-19


In part one, Alex Genadinik of Problemio and I spoke about why it is important to focus on niches for SEO. In part two here we talk about what you can do to make money online during COVID-19. But the truth is, most of the information you see online about making money online does not really help you make money online, it just helps those posting the information make money online.

So you need to think about how you can solve a problem that is out there, he said. Often this may be easier for someone on their second career. But he said when it comes to affiliate marketing, it is often a scam. But often, when you have experience, you’re in your second career, you have something unique to offer. He said it is the “been there and done that” but you still can offer to teach it. He said often you can still make a lot of money teaching in the space versus doing that in the space.

This is really not something that happens overnight. It takes years and years and hundreds of pieces of content to succeed. Often you tell customers to have a blog, but often these people do not have enough time and resources to launch a successful blog. He said it can be very lucrative to do a coaching program, even without that much traffic to the program. Again, it goes back to finding your niche.

You can learn more information about Alex Genadinik at Problemio.com and also check out his t-shirts waveifyoulike.com.

You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.



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How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal


*Updated Feb 2021 to talk about tracking competitors easily with Local Search Grid*

If you’re wondering who your competitors are, what their local SEO strategies are, and if there’s a gap in the market for you to exploit, then you’ve come to the right place. 

In this overview, we’re to show you how to use BrightLocal’s tools to map your competitive landscape and pinpoint opportunities for growth.

The five BrightLocal tools to help you crush your competitors are:

  1. Google My Business Audit
  2. Local Search Rank Checker report
  3. Citation Tracker report
  4. Local Search Audit 
  5. Local Search Grid

Let’s take a look at a Google My Business Audit first.

1. Tracking Your Competitors with a Google My Business Audit

A Google My Business Audit lets you quickly assess the status of your Google My Business profile and how it compares to your top online competitors.

It uses your business location and business type to identify the competitors which are ranking top in the local pack for the search terms and search the location you’ve chosen.

The audit is split into corresponding search terms based on your business type and reveals nuggets of information about your competitors such as:

  • the number of citations, links, and reviews they have
  • their star ratings and number of photos on Google
  • the primary business category they’re using
  • their website authority

This data is benchmarked against your own so you can see the areas that may be helping their search rankings that you may not have focused on, giving you some really actionable insights. 

For instance, in the Google My Business Audit report below, we can see that Sodoma Law is ranking in sixth position for the search term ‘divorce attorney’. We can also see that Arnold & Smith, Collins Family Law Group, and McIlveen Family Law Firm are their three main competitors because they rank in first, second, and third positions, respectively. 

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

Working our way across the table, we can see that Sodoma Law has more citations and website authority (a score that predicts your website’s ability to rank on search engine results pages) than the top three companies, but far fewer reviews. So, to try to rank higher for the search term divorce attorney, they need to gain more high-quality reviews (which our Reputation Manager tool is perfect for).

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

See the below Help Center articles for more information on setting up and understanding a Google My Business Audit report:

2. Tracking Your Competitors with a Local Search Rank Checker Report

Next on the list is a Local Search Rank Checker report. This is a great way to see how your rankings benchmark against your competitors.

To track your competitors in a Local Search Rank Checker report, you can add a maximum of four competitors to the section called ‘Monitor competitor search rankings’ when you set it up.

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

If your report is already set up, you can add competitors by going to ‘Actions’, selecting ‘Edit Report’ and then scrolling down to the Advanced Settings where you can click on the ‘Competitors’ tab.

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

Not sure who your competitors are? The best way to learn is to search for a term related to your business, such as ‘lawyers Charlotte NC’ and see who appears in the local pack or ahead of you in terms of their local positioning. 

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

When your report is finished, there will be an additional tab called ‘Competitors’ where you can see how your competitors rank for different keywords in the different search engines. 

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

For example, the image below shows where Sodoma Law ranks for certain keywords on Google. In the Rank column the letters A, B, and C indicate where the solicitor appears in the Local Pack and the numbers show their overall ranking position on Google. A dash means we didn’t find any mention of the business in the top 50 results. 

Sodoma Law currently ranks B for the keywords ‘Family Lawyer’, but doesn’t appear in the top 50 results for any of the other keywords. Two of their competitors rank in positions A and B for the keywords ‘Best Lawyers’. To bump the two competitors off their top spots they will need to include the keywords ‘Best Lawyers’ throughout their content.

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

See the below Help Center articles for more information on setting up and understanding a Local Search Rank Checker report:

3. Tracking Your Competitors with a Citation Tracker Report

Third on the list is the Citation Tracker report, which lets you monitor competitor citations and helps you to fill any gaps. We find the competitors by looking for what businesses are ranking top in Google Maps for the business type + location (e.g. plumbers in manhattan).

Once you’ve run your Citation Tracker report, you’ll see a tab called Competitor Citations. Here you’ll be able to see a list of citations and business mentions that your top five competitors in search have, excluding any that you already have. 

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

To discover who your competitors are, simply click on the red pins. 

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

For a better understanding of the citations that are worth you registering for, take a look at the Citation Authority and Citation Value columns. 

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

Citation Authority is based on Domain Authority, a metric calculated by Moz. It’s the SEO score for a website and a prediction of its ability to rank well in search engines. This is calculated out of 100. The higher the number, the more influence that site may have.

Citation Value is unique to BrightLocal. It’s determined using the frequency with which a website appears in citation records. The more a website is used as a citation source, the higher its value. These values are calculated from unique research conducted by BrightLocal.

If there are any citations in the table that have high Citation Value and/or Citation Authority scores, they would be good to go after first. 

To do that, in the column called ‘Actions’, click the ‘+’ icon and you’ll be taken straight to the citation site. Once there, you should be able to fill in your business details to register a citation request. Keep in mind that your citation may not be added to a directory immediately. 

Alternatively, check out Citation Builder, where we do the hard work for you by building citations on key sites, cleaning up your existing citations, and removing harmful duplicates.

See the below Help Center articles for more information on setting up and understanding a Citation Tracker report:

4. Tracking Your Competitors with a Local Search Audit

Another great source of competitor information in BrightLocal is a Local Search Audit

In a Local Search Audit, under the ‘Links & Website Authority’ heading, you’ll find the average score for your competitors, as well as your business scores on the following:

  • Google Index Count: the number of pages that Google has indexed on your site
  • Link Count: the number of links that lead from other websites through to yours
  • Linking Domains: the number of websites that link to your website
  • Majestic C Flow: a link-related score that’s calculated based on the number of inbound links your website has 
  • Domain Authority: a search engine ranking score that predicts your website’s ability to rank on search engine results pages

How to Track Your Competitors Using BrightLocal

Your aim should be to rank higher than the competitor average for each of these, so this table gives you great insight into where you might want to prioritize your efforts first and in the future.

For example, if your number of Linking Domains is below your competitor average, then reaching out to trusted websites and asking them to link back to yours would be a good place to start.

See the below Help Center articles for more information on setting up and understanding a Local Search Audit:

5. Tracking Your Competitors with a Local Search Grid Report

Local Search Grid tells you how well you’re ranking for specific keywords compared to your competitors, giving you an idea of who you’re actually competing against so you can start to build a strategy for improvement.

In the ‘Overall’ competitors table you will see:

  • Avg Rank: the competitor’s average ranking score
  • Reviews: the number of customer reviews the competitor has
  • Rating: the competitor’s average star rating
  • Category: the primary category a competitor is using in their Google My Business profile

So if, for example, if you saw that you had more reviews and a similar star rating to your top three competitors, but that your Category was different, then changing that within your Google My Business profile might help to improve your rankings.

Local Search Grid Table

For a side-by-side comparison and to see a competitor’s rankings on a grid, simply click on a competitor’s name in the table.

Local Search Grid

You can also view competitors by grid point. This is useful if you want to learn how you can outrank a competitor for that grid point.

Simply open the keyword tab and click the grid point that you want to investigate further. 

Locla Search Grid - Grid Points

A popup will appear showing a list of the competitors and where they are ranking for that keyword in that particular grid point, as well as the following information:

  • Proximity: the distance the competitor is from your business in meters
  • Reviews: the number of reviews the competitor has 
  • Rating: the competitor’s star rating
  • Category: the Google My Business category that they use

Local Search Grid

You can use this information to get ahead in a similar way to the information in the ‘Overall’ competitors table. 

See the below Help Center articles for more information on setting up and understanding a Local Search Grid report:

Your next steps

To get the edge on your competitors, set up these four reports to track their local SEO efforts and plan your next moves. 

The BrightLocal Help Center has information on how to create and read all of these reports, and the Bright Ideas section on our website has advice on how to improve all aspects of local SEO from link building and review generation to Google My Business optimization.



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Vlog Episode #103: Phillip Thune On Writing Content, Finding The Right Author & Google Panda Penguin Shifts In Content


In part one, Phillip Thune, the CEO of Textbroker, and I spoke about FindWhat Days In 2000 To Running Textbroker in 2020. Here is part two.

How To Prepare To Write:

In part two of my interview with Phillip Thune, we talk about tips on how to prepare to write content. It starts with an author briefing, including who your audience is, what does that audience want, do the keyword research, do the competitive analysis, and then how to convey that information to the author who will write this. Giving examples of what style you like, what phrases you like, to the author will help the author write the best article for you. In short, the more instruction you give to the author, the better off it will come out.

How Do You Find The Right Author For The Right Topic:

The way Textbroker is able to find the best author for the topic requested is a topic he gets a lot. So when you submit a request, you pick a topic. Each author defines which topics they like to write about and they can pick the content assignments by category – they can self select it. Clients can also search for specific authors if they want.

While many of his clients do not communicate the results of the content campaign back to Textbroker, Textbroker can measure their success other ways. Most importantly, his clients measure if the authors are producing quality and the results they want.

Google Panda & Penguin:

When Panda came, the overall volume of content requests spiked and continued big time. Then Penguin came out a couple of years later, and they saw a bit of a deep in content requests because those content requests were done for third-party content links. He saw a shift immediately to high quality authors where content quality shifted higher. So there was a shift from high quality but lower volume content after Panda and Penguin.

Content Quality Assurance & How To Write Better:
Part of this is that Textbroker does educate and help produce better quality from their authors. So getting a 3 star writer to be a 4 star writer can and does happen. But it is rare to see a 2 star writer turn into a 5 star writer. But at the same time, clients rate these authors manually and often these reviews are very subjective – so the ratings are a bit hard early on.

He said any author who writes something always goes into draft mode first. You always need someone to edit it. If it is not reviewed by an editor, it probably won’t be good. You really need to have an editorial review process in place.

Phillip Thune can be followed on LinkedIn or on Twitter @PhillipThune.


You can subscribe to our YouTube channel by clicking here so you don’t miss the next vlog where I interviews. I do have a nice lineup of interviews scheduled with SEOs and SEMS, many of which you don’t want to miss – and I promise to continue to make these vlogs better over time. If you want to be interviewed, please fill out this form with your details.

Forum discussion at YouTube.





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The Year in Local Search – 2020


2020 has nearly come to an end (cue sighs of relief!) 

While this year presented many challenges, especially for local businesses, it also created the opportunity for triumph. Google My Business introduced more new features than ever, and we saw the good side of many organizations that strived to provide extra resources and relief to those in need.

Although we may all be glad to see the back of what’s been a pretty hectic year, we’d be remiss not to look back on all the exciting things that have taken place. For us, it’s been a year filled with GMB news, updates, and changes, and we even had some laughs along the way too, (Four Season Total Landscaping anyone?)

So, before we say “so long” to 2020 for good, we invite you to join us in reflecting upon the year in local search.

What would a year in review be without GIFs? Keep your eyes peeled throughout and let us know how many TV shows or films you recognized in the comments below!

January

Suffice to say, the year started out strongly, if not a little stressfully (when isn’t that the case for local SEOs?) We saw the introduction of new features in Apple Maps, as one of Google Maps’ biggest rivals strived to achieve feature parity through the introduction of “Collections”, real-time transit information, and indoor maps.

Arguably, what shook the local SEO community more though, was news of a featured snippets shakeup

Originally spotted by Mark Barrera, it was later announced by Google Search Liaison Danny Sullivan that sites ranking in a featured snippet position would no longer be able to rank with that same URL on the same page of SERPs. 

Sure, this is old news now (literally), but at the time it shook the local SEO community and raised a whole host of questions, such as “are featured snippets worth getting?

Here’s what local SEO Twitter had to say at the time:

February

The Year in Local Search - 2020

In the month of Mardi Gras, Valentine’s Day, and of course, National Ukulele Day (yep, it’s a thing apparently!) local SEO news was uncharacteristically quiet. Perhaps Google was recovering from the unprecedented excitement that the featured snippets shakeup caused?

What we did notice, however, was a big change in the local SERP display for users in Europe

On February 21st, what’s known as the “find results carousel” was spotted across European SERPs. This new feature saw third-party directories such as Yelp, Yell, and Tripadvisor appear front and center in local search results, like so: 

Dentists in Brighton EU SERP

At the time, there was some speculation that this update might have been Google’s response to the EU’s hefty antitrust fine

So far, this SERP feature has stayed firmly in Europe, but one BrightLocal reader did suggest they’d like to see it rolled out elsewhere:

It would be nice if they released this everywhere. A lot of people choose not to use directories, yet they take up a large portion of the SERPs. This way would allow them to be separated and other, more useful, websites to populate those positions.

Sarah, BrightLocal Reader (New Local SERP Display Puts Directories Front and Center)

March

The Year in Local Search - 2020

As Spring rolled around, so too did the first effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on local businesses.

While the month got off to a positive start with the launch of our very own Local Search Industry Survey, we were soon brought down to earth as Google announced the suspension of many of its most popular features.

In a post published on Friday, March 20th, Google announced that it was temporarily disabling and limiting some key features in Google My Business.

During the unprecedented COVID-19 situation, we are taking steps to protect the health of our team members and reduce the need for people to come into our offices. As a result, there may be some temporary limitations and delays in support as we prioritize critical services. 

Google

Among the features suspended were: new reviews, review responses, Q&A, adding/claiming/verifying listings, and editing business information.

At first, it’s safe to say that this came as a huge blow to local businesses, many of which were relying on new reviews to help tide them over and keep them front of mind in hopes that they’d be a top choice to customers when they reopened. (See the #5starchallenge below…)

Additionally, GMB Product Expert Jason Brown noted at the time that Google Posts were also “failing”, due to being disabled. 

That said, GMB by no means left us high and dry. While some features were suspended, new ones were introduced, such as ‘mark this business as temporarily closed’.

April

The Year in Local Search - 2020

Sadly, we’re now firmly into the Covid-19 territory of the year. As the impact of March’s news and local business closures worldwide continued to be felt, we reached out to our customers to see how they had been impacted.

We don’t need to tell you, but at this point, the landscape was looking pretty bleak. 

How local businesses are handling covid-19

Additionally, local marketers were now feeling the effects of nationwide business closures, with many of our respondents reporting losing clients and revenue.

The impact of Covid-19 on local marketers

Despite these dark times, our poll respondents remained optimistic and full of insightful tips to help each other out. Just take a look at some of the responses we received:

In down markets the most successful companies do not stop marketing, they push it. When everyone else is cutting back, it’s the perfect opportunity to move forward.

We recommend keeping calm, kind, and in contact. The worst thing that could be done is panic. Everyone is scared and the future is murky at best, but if we stand strong and craft messages of acknowledgment and hope, then the customers and clients alike will bounce back from this time of uncertainty stronger and more profitable than ever.

Fortunately, things didn’t stay this way for too long. But it’s important to look back and see just how far we’ve all come despite the obstacles thrown our way. 

Here’s to the resilience that local businesses and marketers alike have shown this year!

May

The Year in Local Search - 2020

In the month that we saw Google reviews begin to return (hooray!) Google My Business rolled out three new attributes for local businesses to take advantage of.

Potentially another way to help local businesses bounce back amid difficult times, the attributes allowed local businesses to highlight how they were adapting and continuing to provide services with stay-at-home orders (and the like) in place.

As of May, businesses – namely restaurants – were able to specify whether or not they provided curbside pickup, no contact delivery, or dine-in. 

Sure, this may not have been the most exciting update of the year, but it provided a great deal of help to keep consumers informed and help to keep businesses in service!

Plus, we were kept busy with news of the second broad core algorithm update of the year and high flux caused by a bug with Google.

June

The Year in Local Search - 2020

As June rolled around, along came more features provided by Google to help local businesses in a continually challenging time.

In an attempt to help businesses speed up their recovery from the impact of Covid-19, several new features and support measures were introduced, including: 

  • Smart campaigners getting free promoted pins in Google Maps
  • ‘Grow My Store’ report providing tips to help local businesses improve visibility
  • New details on Google’s shopping tab
  • International Small Business Week

Since Google’s announcement in June, there hasn’t been a huge amount of chatter about these items.

That said, this change definitely did signify the start of Google’s big push in getting consumers to shop local (see: the ‘Shop Local’ adverts airing in the UK right now). 

July

july by GIF CALENDAR

Remember when local SEO expert and contributor Andrew Cock-Starkey predicted that Google My Business would introduce paid aspects in 2020? It may have seemed less likely to some at the time, but in July of this year we saw a pretty controversial test taking place on GMB profiles.

On July 22nd, GMB Product Expert Tom Waddington spotted that GMB was offering the opportunity to upgrade your listing for $50 per month and get a coveted Google Guaranteed badge.

In what was arguably the biggest news of the year thus far, this news did not come as a welcome surprise to many…

In fact, the controversial test sparked concern that this potential paid option would lead to businesses not worthy of ranking simply “buying” their way into the top slot.

Meanwhile, some thought that this option could give Google too much power:

That said, the reaction wasn’t all bad. This change did spark some thought that paid-for Google Guarantee profiles could help to reduce spam somewhat, which I’m sure we’d all agree would be welcome.

August

The Year in Local Search - 2020

After lots (and lots, and lots…) of Covid-19 related-local SEO news, August finally brought with it some good old fashioned Google My Business news in the form of GMB’s direct edit.

Interestingly though, this feature wasn’t entirely new.

In 2017, Google announced that users would have the ability to edit their GMB listing without leaving search. In August 2020, we simply saw an update to this existing functionality.

So now, without needing to login to the Google My Business site, GMB owners can do the following directly from search results:

  1. Update profile information
  2. Create posts
  3. Reply to reviews
  4. Add photos

While a version of this feature had existed for a while, news of the Direct Edit experience did seem to raise some concerns, such as “does the Direct Edit experience pose a threat to agencies?”

It seemed that some feared this could lead to clients trying to make edits to their listing more frequently, as well as blurring the agency/client relationship line.

Fortunately, any concerns were soon put to rest and seemed to blow over pretty quickly.

September

The Year in Local Search - 2020

September was yet another filled month for local SEO news, with the highly anticipated Local Search Ranking Factors survey being released by Whitespark. We also witnessed many changes to the fast-evolving Local Services Ads by Google.

Google’s Local Services Ads have been around for a while now, and they continue to be a popular choice for local businesses to gain more paid exposure in SERPs.

And if 2020 showed us anything, it’s that LSAs are showing no signs of slowing down. During September we saw two major changes to Google feature…

Firstly, bidding was introduced to a select few beta testers. While LSAs had previously been available at flat sums — making them an affordable and accessible option to many SMBs — this news meant that LSAs became even more competitive.

It’s safe to say that this news wasn’t welcomed with open arms by the local SEO community, who often found LSAs to be an affordable, low-maintenance way to help local businesses gain visibility.

By some, the move to auction-based bidding seemed like Google prioritizing profit over user experience:

Soon after, LSAs were finally rolled out across Europe. Previously, the ad option had only been available to the US but as of September 2020 LSAs are now available to 10 countries throughout Europe: Germany, UK, France, Austria, Belgium, Ireland, Italy, Netherlands, Switzerland, and Spain. 

In 2020, it’s clear that Google’s been placing even more emphasis on LSAs, so keep your eyes peeled for yet more changes in 2021.

October

The Year in Local Search - 2020

In the spookiest month of the year, yet more exciting GMB news emerged.

Spotted by Sterling Sky’s Colan Nielsen, Google began beta testing ‘Preview Call History’ in the GMB dashboard.

In the past year, call tracking has become even more popular and encouraged, with services like CallRail fast gaining popularity.

And, although call tracking is important, it’s definitely a function that has caused some confusion in the past (Where does the call tracking go? Does it interfere with NAP? And so on.)

So, the introduction of native call tracking (even if it does have limited reach) could be very much welcome. 

Regardless, it seems like this is very much early doors right now, but watch out for call history previews next year.

November

The Year in Local Search - 2020

As if 2020 hadn’t been stressful enough, in November we had elections, holidays, and lots and lots of local ranking fluctuation.

While November might have been a pretty quiet month for local SEO, there was one local business that took center stage, occupying headlines globally…

Enter: Four Seasons Total Landscaping.

The unsuspecting gardening firm based in Philadelphia made headlines when it was chosen to host a press conference by Donald Trump and his team on November 7th. 

Naturally, that’s not where the press conference was supposed to be hosted – but somewhere along the line, it had gotten mixed up for the Four Seasons premier hotel chain.

What might have begun as an awkward scheduling snafu was an absolute success story for this small business. 

Sure, it might have resulted in some negative GMB reviews (which have since been dealt with) but the press that Four Seasons Total Landscaping received was priceless.

And, as we know, press pays! According to Business Insider, the small gardening firm has made a whopping $1.3 million in merch sales alone.

In what’s been a testing year, this piece of lighthearted news among tense times can surely be seen as a triumph for SMBs.

December

The Year in Local Search - 2020

With the holiday season upon us and the end of year in sight (cue more sighs of relief) you’d think that local SEO news would take a day off and give us a rest, but alas!

Always trying to keep us on our toes, Google rolled out its third and final broad core algorithm update of the year on December 3rd, leading to rankings flux and all-around stress from the local SEO community.

Although the dust hasn’t quite settled yet, we can expect that (as always) there will be winners and losers from this algorithm update.

In the meantime, all we can do is hold on to our hats and not make any drastic decisions before we know what’s changed (however tempted we may be!)

Here’s to 2021!

So, among everything else, it’s been yet another busy year for local SEO. But importantly, it’s heartening to know that in testing times the local SEO community, agencies and SMBs alike, are able to overcome the hurdles thrown their way.

From all of us at BrightLocal, we sincerely hope that 2021 brings with it a brighter, better year for local businesses and marketers. No matter what, we’ll be here bringing you the latest news, guides, and support through it all. 

What was your favorite news item of the year? Let us know in the comments below!

P.S. Want to test your local SEO news know-how from each month? Check out our Local Quizness series – the ultimate challenge for local SEO news lovers.

Stephanie Newton

Stephanie is responsible for managing BrightLocal’s community outreach and engagement, as well as producing and managing content to help inform and educate the local SEO community.





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The basics of kitchen remodelling

The kitchen is one of the most important areas of a house, and one of the most expensive, in case you want to remodel it. Here are the basics of kitchen remodelling. Montclair roofing and their trustworthy workers manage kitchen remodelling services as well as carpentry, painting, contracting, house restoration and renovation services.

That’s why it’s important to consider all the options before proceeding with a project of any size. Whether you are designing simple designs for your dream space, or you are trying to design a major remodel, below you will find clever ideas and tips for kitchen renovation.

You should know that kitchen remodelling costs a lot of money. After all, a good return on investment means that the space must be purposeful: bright, organized and stylish.

1. Colors for the kitchen

With all the different types of colors on the market, choosing one color can end up being a very difficult choice. In general, white kitchens, but also kitchens in beige shades are the most popular ideas for the color of the specific space.

Of course, black also seems to be the new trend for the kitchen. Although it is a daring color and we avoid it, it gives an elegance to the space, especially if we handle it properly. We are not used to black in the kitchen. Especially if the kitchen is small or not well lit, black is a risky choice. But we have compiled the most modern black kitchens for inspiration.

The good news is that paint color can change easily, so if you want a bold one, you may want to prefer color over tile (which is more expensive and harder to replace). Before you choose the color of your kitchen it will be good to examine your space and choose a shade based on the overall style.

2. Kitchen Cabinets

Cabinets make up one-third of the average renovation budget. They are the ones that essentially determine the whole decoration of the specific space. Whether you love modern or classic style, there are plenty of options. Some materials and colors, however, add clever touches creating a special decorative effect.

While replacing all cabinets can be very rewarding, it can be extremely costly. But there are other ways to renovate cabinets. Some of them are adding lighting, adding wallpaper or stickers or just a paint job. In these ways you can revitalize your old cabinets.

Tips on how to choose the right cabinets

There are many styles of cabinets that are suitable for traditional or modern kitchens. It is important to choose cabinets that match the overall color and style of the kitchen. First, choose what the closet doors will look like, as they are the most visible design elements in the kitchen. So, the style of the door is one of the most important decisions you have to make.

If you have a small space, then you should look for cabinets that offer extra space savings. Some of these are corner carousel cabinets with traditional doors. Next, choose what material your kitchen cabinets will be made of. There is a wide range of materials used to make cabinets. You can choose from stainless steel, melamine, metal or wood. One of the most popular choices for cabinets is solid wood.

3. Kitchen floor

There are a number of different options when it comes to choosing a material for the kitchen floor. Does the space have a lot of traffic? Is your budget tight? Consider our tips for choosing material for kitchen floors, and choose the material that fits and works best in your space.

Wood flooring is the most popular choice and provides a more classic look, compared to other materials. In addition, it is a cheap and alternative to the floor. Materials such as cork and bamboo, among others, are just as economical as kitchen flooring ideas.

If you like the classic style, then you can choose the tiles that give the space a sense of cleanliness, while being extremely durable over time. Ceramic tiles are difficult to get dirty and, at the same time, they are waterproof. If you select this option, select non-slip tiles. An option that is ideal in case you have small children at home.

4. Kitchen counters

Like the floor, the choice of a kitchen counter is based on various factors, from appearance and aesthetics to cost and maintenance. A variety of materials that can be used for kitchen countertops are granite, marble, glass, stainless steel and processed quartz.

Granite

Granite is a 100% natural material, which is cut into manageable sizes for easy processing, and then gets a fine finish. As a natural material it has a high purchase cost. It needs special attention and care. A daily cleaning with water and a mild household cleaner would help maintain them. In addition, it has great resistance to temperature and abrasions.

Quartz

Quartz countertops are gaining in popularity, in relation to granite, due to the variety and uniformity of its colors. Its forms are many and different, in contrast to natural rocks. Like granite, quartz needs special attention and care. However, it is worth noting that this option may cost more due to the fact that quartz plates are sold in small dimensions (functional issues).

Glass

The glass bench is technologically the most advanced there is. Aesthetically it is a very good solution. It is durable and you can find glass in many shades, thus giving a unique style to the kitchen. It has high resistance to heat and stains. It is easy to install and clean, and generally costs relatively little.

The basics of kitchen remodelling

Before you start a kitchen remodelling, it is good to ask yourself what you want to change from the space. Do you have an outdated kitchen that requires a total change? Are the materials old-fashioned and in need of renewal? Can you do it yourself? Are you looking for easy changes to give new life to the space?

Once you have identified the problems in the kitchen, determine what your budget is and decide if you are going to do the work yourself or hire Montclair Roofing for an excellent result.

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