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After a few weeks of testing, Google My Business has officially announced that all business owners can now upload videos to their Google My Business listings.

Business owners can “view videos added by customers and upload videos about their business for customers to view,” said Google’s Allyson Wright.

Videos can be up to 30 seconds in length and may take up to 24 hours to become visible on the business listing in Google Maps and local search results.

Because others like Google’s “Local Guides” can also upload videos to business listings, GMB will also soon give businesses the ability to mark offensive or inappropriate videos on their listings.

To get started adding videos to your own listings, open your Google My Business Dashboard and click “photos,” followed by the “video” tab at the top of the page. From there, select the option to “Post Videos.”

Just drag and drop your video to the box.

Let it upload.

And wait for it to appear. Within about a day, the video should become visible for you and anyone who sees your listing.

Wright also provided these notes about the new feature:

  • Videos will appear in the overview tab of the Google My Business Dashboard.
  • Customer uploaded videos can be found in the “customer” tab.
  • Merchant uploaded videos can be found in the “by owner” tab.
  • All videos can be viewed together in the “videos” tab.
  • After upload, it could take up to 24 hours for the videos to appear. Once live, they will display where local photos do.

Business owners may be able to upload videos to their Google My Business accounts in the near future, based on a new feature popping up for some account owners.

Colan Nielsen from SterlingSky noticed that some of his clients now had access to a new panel for uploading videos showcasing their stores or products.

Several others have since reported seeing the option appearing in their own accounts, however, not everyone says they can use the feature quite yet.

For now, it is unclear whether the feature is just one of the many tests Google runs on a regular basis or a slow rollout of a widely anticipated feature. Google has yet to release a statement on the issue.

It’s worth noting that this isn’t the first time videos have started showing up in GMB accounts. During the earlier years of Google My Business, Google included a similar video upload option. The tool disappeared long ago.

Since then, Google has allowed “Local Guides” – volunteers who help Google gain in-person information about businesses – have been able to upload videos to local listings. Actual business owners or account operators have not been able to until now, though.

While many can already upload videos, few have reported actually seeing their videos show up on their listings yet. When they do appear, videos are likely to be shown under the photos tab, as they do in the listing for Voodoo Doughnut in Portland:

Business owners using GMB have been asking for the ability show videos for years because they can provide a more complete view of both their stores and their products. Hopefully, the appearance of this feature for some is a sign of a much wider roll-out coming soon.

Google has been testing the waters with putting autoplay videos in search results for a few weeks, and today they made it official. The company announced a less intrusive (and less annoying) version of autoplay videos are being rolled out to search results starting today.

The videos will take the place of the static images that have been shown as a “preview” for video search carousel results, such as when YouTube videos are shown in the results.

You can see what this looks like in action in the GIF below:

As the company explains in the announcement, the autoplay videos will help users get a better idea of what videos contain before they decide to click.

”…you now have access to video previews directly in search results, giving you a better idea of what you’re about to watch before you tap.”

If you’re worried about the new feature eating up your data plans on mobile devices, you can breathe a sigh of relief. The search engine says autoplay video previews will only play when you are connected to wi-fi, unless you decide to enable the feature on mobile networks within the settings menu. You can also completely opt-out of the autoplay videos in the same place.

For now, only some using the Google Search or Chrome apps for Android will be able to see the autoplay videos in their searches. The feature will be rolling out to all of these users over the coming week and is expected to be expanded to other devices and search apps in the future.

Before long, Facebook’s video service is going to look a lot like YouTube. Facebook announced several new features to their mobile app that will seem very familiar to YouTube users and will make videos an even larger part of the Facebook platform than before.

Among the features is the new ability to collapse videos into a floating window, so you can browsing your Facebook seamlessly while you watch a video. The change will make watching videos on the platform less of an interruption and more a part of the experience.

Facebook is also testing implementing a new list of recommended videos to watch next after users finish watching a video. If you don’t see something that piques your interest, you can also look in the all new dedicated Facebook video feed, where you’ll find nothing but user shared videos.

The dedicated video feed acts much like your normal News Feed, but exclusively for video and can be found by tapping the “Videos” icon along the bottom navigation menu of the Facebook app.

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If you see something you think you might want to watch, but can’t at the immediate moment for some reason, you can now save it for later, allowing you to easily return when you are someplace more suitable for watching video. All your saved videos can be easily found in the “Saved” bookmark in the menu.

Facebook is still working out the kinks on most of these new features, so don’t expect them to be rolled out too soon. Instead, it appears the new features will see a slow testing and rollout phase, with no telling when we will see a full launch.

 

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Expect to see a lot more videos in your Facebook feed. According to the social media platform, people around the world are posting 75% more videos to Facebook compared to this time last year, and that growth is even greater in the U.S. where video uploads on the social network have risen 94%.

Unsurprisingly, this surplus of video content has also led to a much greater amount of videos being featured in users’ news feeds. Facebook says the number of videos featured in news feeds has risen 360% over the past year.

“With people creating, posting and interacting with more videos on Facebook, the composition of News Feed is changing,” said Facebook in the announcement. “Globally, the amount of video from people and brands in News Feed has increased 3.6x year-over-year.”

“Since June 2014, Facebook has averaged more than 1 billion video views every day. On average, more than 50% of people who come back to Facebook every day in the US watch at least one video daily and 76% of people in the US who use Facebook say they tend to discover the videos they watch on Facebook.”

With the fast growth, Facebook is poised to overtake YouTube as the primary place for marketers to post videos, especially as previous studies have found that on desktop Facebook has already surpassed YouTube in monthly video views.

Facebook also included suggestions for video creators to ensure you get the most reach possible for videos on the platform:

As a creator, you should be conscious that people will discover your video in News Feed next to a photo from a friend or a status update from a relative. Your video needs to fit in, and it needs to be something that your audience will want to watch and share.

With the launch of auto-play and the surge in mobile use, it’s also important to focus on posting videos that grab people from the first frame of video. Shorter, timely video content tends to do well in News Feed. Keep in mind that auto-play videos play silently in News Feed until someone taps to hear sound, so videos that catch people’s attention even without sound often find success.

With the constant stream of news coming out of the online marketing industry, it can be hard to keep up with all the latest updates without missing some important information. That’s why we compile all the news you may have missed this week all in one convenient place every Friday. Let’s get started:

Google Updates Guidelines Regarding Redirects

Google has had a policy against redirects intended to deceive or manipulate search engines or users, but this week they updated their Webmaster Guidelines to explicitly include mobile-specific redirects. They also include an example of a deceptive mobile redirect with a scenario where “desktop users might receive a normal page, while hackers might redirect all mobile users to a completely different spam domain.” Google details the revisions in an announcement on their Webmaster Central Blog.

Google Wants To Help You Remember Where You Parked

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According to Android Authority, Google’s latest update to the Android version of the Google Search App includes a new feature which can help users remember where they parked their car and even give directions on how to get back to that spot. For users parking at large venues, malls, or in heavily-populated areas, this could potentially be a lifesaver. The parking reminder works by asking if you want to save a location as a Google Now card. Then when you are ready to get back to your car, you just tap on the card in the app and directions will appear.

Search Ads Get More Revenue per Conversion When Integrated With Social

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Online marketing is quickly reaching the point where you can’t approach it in a vacuum and hope for success. The days of keeping SEO, PPC, and social media marketing apart are fading fast, if they aren’t completely gone already. A new study from Marin Software confirms this y showing that advertising performs vastly better when integrated with a social advertising strategy. Jessica Lee breaks down the details of the study at Search Engine Watch, but you can also get the full white paper here.

YouTube Now Lets Channel Owners Attach Short Intros To Their Videos

This week, YouTube announced that channel owners can now add a three-second intro to their videos, allowing them to build a stronger and more cohesive brand presence across the video platform. Channel owners must upload the intro as an unlisted video, then click “Add a channel branding intro” on the InVideo Programming page. At that point, channel owners can select which videos should include the intro. However, YouTube has said intros can not be used as ads, sponsorship, or product placements, and should not be used by channels whose videos act as advertisements.

Twitter Earns 14 Million Monthly Active Users in Q1 of 2014

Twitter’s earnings report for the first quarter of 2014 shows they continue to grow in just about every area, even outperforming Wall Street estimates in all but one area. The area in which they have continued to struggle is gaining monthly active users, but even there Twitter is showing very positive signs. While not beating Wall Street estimates, Twitter monthly users did grow by 14 million since Q4 2013, culminating in 255 million total users. This is substantially more growth than shown n Q4 2013.

Vine is Coming To Desktop With New Features

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Up until now, Vine has been confined to smartphones, but this week the social video platform has made the leap to desktop with a well laid-out website and some new features. The new features include top navigation in the left which includes the home feed and popular now feed, and all feeds can now be linked together in TV mode. The biggest addition however is the new search bar that lets users search by tag, person, or location for the first time. You can get more details in the announcement on Vine’s blog, or you can see the new site for yourself here.

Big vs. Small

One of the most common excuses I hear from small businesses who aren’t taking advantage of online marketing is the fear that a smaller local business can’t compete with the big names you frequently see at the top of the search results. It is such a prevalent concern that Google’s head of search spam, Matt Cutts finally had to address it in one of his frequent Webmaster Help videos.

Specifically, Cutts was asked:

How can smaller sites with superior content ever rank over sites with superior traffic? It’s a vicious circle: A regional or brick-and-mortar brand has higher traffic, leads to a higher rank, which leads to higher traffic, ad infinitum.

Thankfully, the notion that bigger brands automatically can leverage traffic to maintain high visibility is (mostly) false, as Cutts explains. In many ways, search engines are one of the great equalizers, in that they theoretically rank all sites the same way. Big brands are held up to the same standards as smaller or more local businesses.

I would wager Cutts specifically chose this question as it is worded in a way that allows for the most optimistic answer. Cutts is absolutely right when he says that smaller sites with superior content can quite possibly overtake their more recognizable competition. When businesses get to a certain size, they can become lumbering and sluggish, which makes it much easier for a more agile brand invested in their online presence to perform higher.

The larger brand may still get more traffic, but you can steal their spot in the rankings by getting real engagement and interest in your content.

The real trick is finding your niche. While Cutts’ answer prides content quality and performance over all others, he forgets to mention that some brands may be able to outperform you in many markets. The big brands may be large and encumbered, but they also have the resources to put up a good fight for online visibility, which a small brand with less resources may not win across the board.

However, if you can find your niche, you don’t have to worry about outperforming the well-funded giant in every aspect. You just have to beat them in your one special area. If you have your niche covered well, you’ll be able to grow into other niches until you gradually become a giant too.

You can see Matt Cutts’ full Webmaster Help video below:

For an industry that relies on as much data as the SEO market does, there is never much certainty that the popular optimization tactic being preached at the moment is a legitimate strategy. We rarely have the definitive answers from the source needed to keep all the confusion down, and new myths seem to spring up overnight.

To counter the constant flow of SEO myths, Google’s distinguished engineer Matt Cutts used one of his recent Webmaster Help videos to debunk many of the misconceptions surrounding the world’s most popular search engine.

This isn’t the first time Cutts has used his regular video message to debunk SEO myths, but this time he focuses on a specific type of myth that has become increasingly widespread as Google seems to keep narrowing their guidelines and offering greater space to ads.

Cutts starts by tackling the myth “if you buy ads you’ll rank higher in Google” and the opposing legend that not buying ads is the key to high rankings. In Matt Cutts’ perspective, these fables are tied to the notion that Google makes all of their decisions in an effort to force webmasters to buy more ads.

The problem with that idea is that it doesn’t actually reflect how Google thinks about their operations. The fact is, webmasters are rarely the main priority for the search engine to begin with. Instead, according to Cutts, Google’s rationale behind all changes is simply that they want to return the best search results possible to keep users happy and keep them coming back.

Of course, no one is denying that Google would like users to see ads and generate revenue, but that is never the prime motivation for changes like algorithm updates.

On a similar note, Matt uses the second half of the video to discuss the offers he sees for software packages that clam to help users make money and magically fix their SEO – for a small fee, of course.

Just as you can’t buy your way to high rankings with ads the chances of a random purchased software package making you money is almost zero. Matt lays out another scenario: “If someone had a foolproof way to make money online, they would probably use that way to make money rather than packaging it up in an ebook and selling it to people.”

In the end, most of the myths are born out of a misunderstanding of Google’s goals. Too many SEO professionals think of their job strictly in terms of increasing visibility and rankings, or upping their ROI. But the search engines are just looking for the best content possible. You can spend your time trying to game and cheat to get to the top, or you can align yourself with the search engine and try to provide users something of value. According to Cutts, that should be enough to fix many of the problems less honest SEOs tend to run into.

You can watch the full video below:

Online video has reached a new level of importance in our lives over the past few years. YouTube is still the dominant service for free online video hosting and sharing, but several other platforms have taken YouTube’s lead and expanded on it in numerous ways.

Instagram and Vine have imposed limits on their video lengths to make them as sharable as possible, while Vimeo has focused its efforts on hosting primarily high-quality and visually stunning videos instead of the shaky cell-phone footage so prevalent on YouTube.

The question remains, which services do you invest your energy and resources into? If you are hoping to use the social video site to increase your brand’s visibility, you want to tailor the content you are creating to the platform most suited to your demographic.
You can get a complete breakdown of all of the major services in the infographic below.

The graphic was created by Russel Cooke, and explains what makes each service unique, as well as how each could benefit a business. If you know your market, you should be able to identify which service is most likely to connect you with your audience. From there, it’s just a matter of making content that will excite them.

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Internet commenters aren’t quite known for their excellent grammar or insightful conversation. While there are plenty who contribute and expand on content with helpful information in the comments, there are also more than a few who struggle with language or actively try to troll other users with garbled borderline nonsense.

For most users, these types of commenters are a simple annoyance at most. But, for those who spend long hours crafting grammatically correct and easily-readable content, the less readable comments can cause some worry. While quality content is most important for users, content creators also aim for high legibility because it can affect rankings.

It is no secret that nonsensical or poorly written content doesn’t tend to perform well on search engines, but what about those comments that aren’t so carefully put together? Can comments with bad grammar or readability hurt your content’s rankings? According to Matt Cutts, Google’s most popular spokesperson, the answer is not really.

“I wouldn’t worry about the grammar in your comments. As long as the grammar on your own page is fine … there are people on the Internet and they write things and it doesn’t always make sense,” Cutts said in a recent Webmaster Chat video. “You can see nonsense comments on YouTube and other large properties and that doesn’t mean that YouTube video will be able to rank.”

The primary exception to this rule is spam comments. While nonsense comments or poorly written comments aren’t much of a problem for you, spam comments should still be removed to protect your SEO and generally improve user experience and site quality.

“Just make sure that your own content is high-quality. You might want to make sure that people aren’t leaving spam comments, if you’ve got a bot, then they might leave bad grammar,” Cutts said. “But if it’s a real person and they are leaving a comment and the grammar is not slightly perfect, that usually reflects more on them than it does on your sites, so I wouldn’t stress out about that.”

So breathe easy content creators of the internet; so long as you keep putting effort into making great content, you should be safe from any trouble with Google.