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Where’s Joel H Google Employee?


Sunday May 20, 2012

Reading Time: 5 minutes

This week I have been researching reported problems with Google maps. I have read through many forums, blogs, and news articles; however, last night I came across a Google forum in “Maps help”. The topic was Incorrect information in Google Maps / local business center and the poster opens her post with this statement “To the poor already-beaten-up soul at Google who looks at and responds to these issues…” I implore you to read through this forum. It starts on April 1, 2009, and on April 6th Joel H Google Employee joins the forum to aid these Google users. Before you know it people are posting from all over the world and Joel H is being besieged with questions and he is responsive through April 22. Others keep posting but no word from Joel H. Where’s Joel H Google employee?

I googled this phrase {Joel H Google employee} and found mention of him in other blog posts and other Google maps forums. I will say this, Joel H seems to want to help and if you read these forums carefully you will see he even admits when he is wrong.

I am going to give you two examples of what I have witnessed in Google maps for two of our clients.

  • La Fuente Restaurant in Tucson, AZ: Their Google map listing under local results for Mexican Restaurants Tucson AZ suddenly displayed the wrong domain name (that of a locksmith) and the wrong phone number.
  • Kingsleigh Inn Southwest Harbor, ME: Suddenly their Google map listing under local results for lodging Southwest Harbor ME disappeared; however, the inn next door to them is listed – including 78 reviews of the Kingsleigh and a number of photos of the Kingsleigh Inn!

I can only assume that somewhere worlds have started to collide in Google maps. I don’t know why…some talk about duplicate listings, scrapings, mergings, suppressions, conflating listings…the bottom line is this is a “free” service offered by Google. I could offer the old adage “it is worth what you paid for it”…but really if your listing is wrong through no fault of your own how much is this costing your business?

My advice to every business owner is to check your listing. Take the time to review and learn about Google’s Local Business Center.

I hope Joel H Google Employee reappears in these forums and that Google can solve the “implosion” mystery. Let’s remember these listings are the lifelines for many businesses, this is not a game of “Where’s Waldo”.

Reading Time: 6 minutes
I remember the first time I encountered a “traffic circle“. It was 1988; I was 39 years old and living in New Hampshire. A business associate told me to meet him at a car dealership near the “rotary” in Portsmouth (or thereabout). But there was one problem with his directions. By “rotary” I thought he was referring to a ROTARY(as in the organization) office building. When I finally found him at the car dealership I told him I didn’t see the ROTARY to which he responded: “What are you talking about? You drove through the rotary!” Again I queried and finally he adequately described the nightmare that I had just been subjected to: A traffic circle!

So there you have it. Traffic circle, rotary or roundabouts “a circular arrangement constructed at the intersection of two or more roads in order to facilitate the passage of vehicles from one road to another.”

Recently someone (a client) asked me why I read blogs and why do I comment on the blogs I read. The obvious answer to the first part of this question is that I read other blogs to learn about the SEO and SMO industry, hoping to share the knowledge I glean with our clients and co-workers. I comment on the blogs that I regularly read if I have something to add to the conversation or if I have a question about the subject matter. The by-product of this process is that I develop social media relationships and links with relevance and reputation.

Here’s how I visualize blog commenting as a virtual traffic circle:

  1. A blog post is written
  2. I am notified of the post via an email or RSS feed (it is ok to start into the circle)
  3. I read the post
  4. I write a comment and identify myself with a link to our domain address or blog address – “the intersection is constructed”
  5. Other readers or the blog writer read my comment and perhaps click on the link to our domain address or blog address
  6. New traffic comes to our site – a visitor who may read our blog or search for a service we offer
  7. New visitor leaves a comment (with a link to their site) or sends us an email

Virtual Traffic Circle: “a circular arrangement constructed at the intersection of two or more blogs/websites in order to facilitate the passage of web traffic from one business to another.”

Lately I have read a number of really interesting posts about blogs and blog commenting. Here are a few I would like to share with you. I hope you will take the time to read these posts. You will learn so much.

Drive Traffic to Your Site with a 6-Step Blog Comments Blueprint 

Blogs As Loss Leaders

Value Your Blog Real Estate

Are Blog Comments Dead?

One last thought:

If you are not accustomed to traffic circles (real ones), they can be intimidating. You need to learn about them, understand them, know when to merge, know how to exit to your destination. The same applies to blog commenting and virtual traffic circles, don’t you think? I would love to hear from you on this…merge into the traffic circle and comment!
Reading Time: 7 minutes
story in life
A great photo to highlight the importance of story! Joann Eagen, Agnes Eagen, Pat Kimball, and Judy Eagen, Winter 1951

I am writing this blog today because Chris Brogan has challenged his readers to write about the “importance of story in your life.” Chris was talking about Don Miller’s latest book A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life and from this came the challenge. Apparently if I am timely enough with this post I might receive a free copy of A Million Miles in a Thousand Years: What I Learned While Editing My Life. In an earlier post, February 21, 2010, Chris Brogan encouraged his readers to use social media to “Turn your lens on your family. Tell family stories for future generations.”

For those of you who know me (i.e., my immediate family, team members, relatives, friends, previous co-workers, blog readers), I am most generally known as the storyteller. If you give me a subject I can probably tell you a story from my life that relates to that subject. While many may roll their eyes, get the “hook” or give me the old wind-up signal when I start to tell a story, these are the same people who will ask if the yearly holiday letter is ready to mail or have I posted to the Webconsuls’ blog lately.

When I was assigned to be the Saturday morning blogger for Webconsuls I allowed myself the freedom to write about any topic, it did not have to be technical in any fashion. So you can imagine my blog topics have been all over the map.

My father liked to share stories about his life and I liked listening to him tell a good story. Today I am thinking back to couple of years ago when I shared with my two sons a letter that had been written by my father in 1950.

The day I shared this was Father’s Day 2008 and since my father had passed away in 1979 neither of my sons had the opportunity to know my dad. I decided that I would send a copy of this letter to Aaron and Daniel, so that they might have some insight into their maternal grandfather, Joseph Raymond Eagen. The letter was written to my mother on December 16, 1950, addressed from Hungnam, Korea. My father was aboard the USS Kaskaskia. According to Wikipedia “During December she arrived off Hungnam to service ships engaged in evacuation operations in that area. Throughout the harsh winter months, Kaskaskia continued vital fueling missions between Japan and Korea.” If you choose to read the letter it is here. Just click on each jpg and they will enlarge.

Page 1 Daddy's Letter December 16, 1950
Daddy’s letter, page 2

 

Page 2 Daddy's letter December 16, 1950
Daddy’s letter, page 1

Happily both Aaron and Daniel enjoyed reading my dad’s letter. Aaron referred to it as “fascinating” and Daniel called it “amazing, like nothing I ever read before.” A story well received, all brought about because my brother, Michael Eagen, found the letter, created jpgs, emailed me the letter and I was able to email it to my children. Fabulous.

I must tell you that if you read the letter you will know that my dad talks about buying and mailing some special jackets. Daniel wanted to know if I still had the jacket! Well, I don’t, but I do have a great photo of me with my sisters and Pat Kimball. Now you know the story behind the photo at the top of today’s post.We are all wearing our “jackets”. It is Winter 1951.

So this is today’s important story. Enjoy! And, by all means, let me know what you think of it.

Reading Time: 8 minutes

The last few weeks your Webconsuls’ team has been busy and our blog has been quiet. I don’t know about you, but it is amazing what you can learn in a month’s time. Here are this month’s five most interesting bits of information that I learned and I want to share with you:

1. Did you know that Gmail has a send limit? About a week ago we received a call from our client saying that she was sending out an email broadcast to her customers asking them to participate in a fundraiser for the victims of the earthquake/tsunami. All of a sudden she noticed that she could not send any email or receive any email. She called us and here is what I learned:

“In an effort to fight spam and prevent abuse, Google will temporarily disable your account if you send a message to more than 500 recipients or if you send a large number of undeliverable messages. If you use a POP or IMAP client (Microsoft Outlook or Apple Mail, e.g.), you may only send a message to 100 people at a time. Your account should be re-enabled within 24 hours.” (Go here to learn more and keep in mind that many email services have a send limit, this is why some clients like to stay in contact with their clients by a newsletter service like or similar to Constant Contact.)

2. Twitter 2.0 seems to be just around the corner. Rather than have me rehash what someone else has discussed so eloquently, I will point you to the article. “Are We Ready for Twitter 2.0?”

3. Blogger does provide great on-line support. The other day I was on their site and I saw a section called “Recommended Articles and Discussion.” One of the discussions was entitled “Too Many Good Bloggers are Giving Up” . Now, this caught my eye!!! So I clicked on it and enjoyed the conversation. If you have a blog and you have given up or you are thinking about giving up, I invite you to read the posts and join in the discussion. You might just refresh yourself enough to keep on BLOGGING!

4. During the past few weeks our team has been discussing the nature of our Webconsuls’ blog. The questions raised are these: Should it be more technical? Or, do our readers want to learn more about the team as people and read anecdotal stories, as well? I will tell you that the team was split on this, but today I read an interesting article on an SEO/SMO newsletter. The article had to do with Social Networking pitfalls the 4th pitfall to avoid was this: “It’s not about sell, sell, sell! If all you’re doing when you visit the various sites and post your updates is pitch your latest program, product or service then it’s no wonder you’re not seeing results. Share information with your network, whether that’s your own information or you’re passing along information from clients and colleagues. The more you share, the greater your results will be. Whichever social networking arena you’re active in (and it may be more than one) remember the “social” in social networking – it’s to build relationships, make new contacts, and socialize. Inform your network, not sell to them.” I think based on this guidance and our own practical experience from being part of Social Networking sites, new clients may come to you naturally.

5. Finally, as this Columbus Day Weekend gets underway, I know that our New England innkeeper, hotelier, restaurateur, livery, and entertainment clients will be busy beyond belief as the autumn brides and mountains blush and foliage season peaks; but won’t they be surprised to learn that Tucson, AZ has its own foliage season! And yes, Mt Lemmon is 2869 ft taller than Mt. Washington!

 

 

This week’s photos are from my days in New Hampshire. The one of the children is of Aaron and Dan enjoying a “Tom Sawyer” moment with children who were guests at the inn. Aaron and Dan were “teaching” them how to rake the autumn leaves and make Leaf People!

“Teach Us to Delight in the Simple Things”…Rudyard Kipling

Let me know what you think of Judy’s “bytes”…see you next week.

Reading Time: 10 minutes

Today is the 65th Anniversary of D-Day and this past Monday Americans waited to hear the news of General Motors’ bankruptcy. Yes, the same GM whose industrial power helped our country be on the winning side in WWII. The news of this bankruptcy was startling, even though we have had so many shocking economical events in the past nine months, I feel this news hits a part of us that is not just about the economy, but our life’s memories.

If you read my Saturday post regularly, you know I am not an economist, and I do not have an MBA. I have, although, worked for major US corporations, mainly banks, and in my day was quite proficient in the automobile financing world. But today’s post is not about economics, albeit I am heartsick for all those workers impacted by this latest chapter in the American automobile industry. No, today’s blog is about my memories of GM. And so I say: Good Night GM…Que sera, sera.

For the record, my life’s memories as they relate to automobiles are not just about General Motors’ products. For example, I do remember fondly my mother learning to drive in late 1953. We had what I believe was a very used Plymouth. Then one evening in 1954 I remember my father coming home from work. When he came through the door I ran to him and grilled him, as little ones do, what had he brought us? I expected ice cream, but to my surprise, he smiled and said: “I brought you a new car!” Outside sat a brand new 1954 Plymouth sedan. It was two toned, dark brown and beige. And it was in that car in 1956 that we (our the family of six) traveled from San Diego to Great Falls, Montana, to show off our new baby brother. It was during this trip(I was 6.5 years old) that the magical car radio repeatedly played “Que Sera, Sera,” (the 1957 Academy Award winning song from the Alfred Hitchcock thriller, The Man Who Knew Too Much.)

By the time we reached Montana I had memorized this wonderful song and my father happily had me sing it for his brothers and sisters! Memories.

My days and nights with General Motors began in 1959. My father traded in the 1954 Plymouth and purchased a 1959 Chevrolet Impala. It was two toned (green and white), no accounting for taste. I never cared for the color, but it seemed so fancy. In 1964 my father traded up for the latest Chevrolet Impala, four door, a really big engine, and a pale blue(Purchase price about $3800). He was beside himself. Following the General Motors’ Mantra…my father loved to see the USA in his Chevrolet. In the summer of 1964 our family made another jaunt to Montana and the song of the summer was the “The Girl from Ipanema,” which won the Grammy for Record of the Year in 1965. I believe everyone had a love affair with this car…even Hertz featured this model in their Rent a Car ads in 1964. (I am sure the only reason I saved this ad, which you will see in my Picasa Web Slide show, from my 1965 Hilton Hotel room was because of the Impala.)

The summer of 1967 my parents drove me to college in this ’64 Impala. I wore some flowers in my hair and they dutifully dropped me at the University of San Fransisco and tried to avoid getting lost in Haight/Ashbury on their way out of town!

Here are some car facts about me:
1. Since 1968 through today I have owned 13 vehicles. 41 years…13 vehicles. Two(2) were General Motors products, three (3) were Chrysler products and eight(8) were foreign models.
2. What I love best about my General Motors vehicles is this: In 1980 we brought our new born Aaron home from the hospital in the 1979 Buick Regal and in 1984 we brought Daniel home from the hospital in our 1984 Chevrolet S10 Blazer.
3. In 1997, Dennis and I drove across country with Aaron and Daniel in our 1994 Dodge Caravan…more memories.

My friends know this about me. I am not a car person. I do not care about cars, I hate worrying about vehicle upkeep, I would love to have all of the money I have spent over the past 41 years buying, renting, leasing, insuring, and repairing vehicles. I would happily live in Manhattan, Chicago, or San Francisco and take mass transit. But I will never trade the memories of being brave enough to ride with my mother when she was learning to drive and I was only four, or my father settling in the driver’s seat for a Sunday drive in the country, or road trips to Montana, Las Vegas, Denali, Howe’s Cavern, the Bronx, Washington, D. C…and let’s not forget front bench seats, no seat belts, no A/C, crossing the desert with a canvas radiator bag.

So today, que sera, sera, whatever will be, will be. But for some reason I cannot bear to say good-bye to GM. I will remember the great ads, Dinah Shore, and my favorite from 2002.

If you are having trouble viewing the video, you can see it here.

I will say good-night to GM, savor my memories and wait and hope the reinvention is successful.

P.S. Let me hear about your GM memories and enjoy my YouTube video selections and Picasa Web Album.
P. P. S. A good friend just read this blog and he reminded me that in 1960 my father purchased a used 1940 Cadillac mourning car. It had jump seats and held about 10-12 people. It was the real fore-runner in our family for a mini-van. Go to this blog post to read about my dad and see a photo of this crazy car.

Reading Time: 5 minutes

One of the joys of having a child in the house is how they can be so easily impressed by simple adult skills and knowledge. I know this phase will pass, in our house this period of time is passing very quickly. The other day I realized that I had an analogy for why blogs are so helpful when placing in the search engine results as I was asked to locate a small misplaced toy. 

When I returned with the small bobble I was met with wide admiring eyes and a WOW, how do you always know where EVERYTHING is? (Trust me when I tell you that I am being sure to enjoy these moments of alleged omniscience as it will surely pass.)

Knowing my time is limited and that I had her undivided attention I decided to explain to the little one just why I usually have the answer to where everything is.

 

“I scan.”

“Huh?”

“I am always scanning the house.”

“What do you mean?”

“Well, as I walk through the house I am always scanning. I just automatically make sure things are in their place and I take note of what I see.”

 

Replace scanning with spidering and house with World Wide Web and I am just like a search engine spidering links, exploring and noting where everything is so as to find it later!

Well, imagine you have just arrived home and the grocery shopping had just been done, or someone came home from a trip, or for some reason new items have been added to your home. What will you most likely need to do?

You will need to put your stuff away and you will want to know where it is so you can find it when you need it. Search engine spiders will not put your digital files or your groceries away. Deciding where items go and putting them there is still your job.

 

So why will the search engine be draw to your blog? How does a blog help me?

Blogs feed the purpose of search engines.

That search engine is going to investigate to see just what you added and where. It is the search engines’ job to know what material is available on the World Wide Web. Whether it be Google, MSN, Yahoo, Dogpile, you name it,  the search engines must familiarize themselves with fresh timely material in order to return the most relevant search. Search engines must keep up on new additions in order to perform the job they were designed to do.

Using a blog to consistently add useful relevant content is a powerful method to draw the search engines to spider (or scan) your site and index the timely information you post.

For help on how to add a blog to your web site or blog training to make the most of your blog please contact us at Webconsuls, LLC.

Reading Time: 7 minutes
Australia

Over the Thanksgiving weekend Dennis and I went to see the new Baz Luhrmann film Australia, starring Nicole Kidman and Hugh Jackman. Having read many reviews of this film, some great and some mixed, I figured we might as well venture out on Black Friday and see this epic film. What better way to spend two and three-quarter hours when a movie includes wonderful scenery of Australia, World War II history, an expose of the “stolen generation”, not to mention I could enjoy watching Hugh Jackman (People Magazine’s Sexiest Man Alive 2008) and Dennis could similarly enjoy watching the beautiful and talented Nicole Kidman. As we purchased our tickets, I noticed the theatre was giving away free Australia movie posters. What a treat! Not exactly like receiving a movie “program book” that I frequently received back in the 60’s and 70’s. Yes, I said “program book.”
These were souvenir books, some over 30 pages in length, that were part of your ticket price, typically produced for those major films like Dr. Zhivago (1965) and Hawaii (1966). And, yes, I still have some of these treasures, and remember that these movies often included an “intermission!” But, back to Australia…it is 1939.
doctor zhivago
There is much to say about this movie and I really hope you will see it for yourself. What struck me the most is how Luhrmann managed to weave the 1939 movie, The Wizard of Oz, into his storytelling. And of course, there is the beautiful Oz song, “Over the Rainbow”. As I watched Australia I thought to myself, what is it about “Over the Rainbow” that somehow reaches your inner soul and magically soothes you. We all know that Australia is not the first movie that has incorporated “Over the Rainbow”, as I can name at least six other films, and it undoubtedly won’t be the last…so still the question remains. Why do people love the song “Over the Rainbow”?

Consider the following: “Over the Rainbow” was written in 1939; lyrics by Edgar Yipsel(Yip)Harburg; music by Harold Arlen; original performing artist was Judy Garland; won the Academy Award for Best Original Song (1939) and was voted by the American Film Institute as the Best Movie Song of all time. According to SongFacts.com, Yip Harburg’s “lyrics have a political significance. Harburg was expressing hope for America under President Franklin Roosevelt’s “New Deal” program, which was designed to get America out of the Great Depression in the early ’30s.” Hmmmm…

I suppose you are wondering what my blog post about Over the Rainbow, Australia and the magic of music has to do with Webconsuls’ primary services, SEO and SMO. Well, here is the connection. A few months ago, one of our clients, Whiteside Manor, Riverside, CA, asked us to create a video for their website. We had wonderful photos, but we needed just the right music. Dan contacted his friend, Paul Meredith, and asked Paul to record a version of “Over the Rainbow.” You can view the finished product here:

So today:
1. Let me know your thoughts about “Over the Rainbow” and Australia.
2. See if you can name one or more of the other movie soundtracks which include “Over the Rainbow”.
3. Let me know if you need Webconsuls to produce a video for your website

….’Somewhere over the rainbow… skies are blue
And the dreams that you dare to dream
Really do come true.’

Dare to dream…

Reading Time: 3 minutes

Yesterday was the day of remembering November 22, 1963, as it is a scar in peoples’ memories for multiple reasons. Today is the day for Remembering November 22, 1963 and remembering the Long Tail with your blog posts! The Long Tail has become ever so crucial as far as placement with the Search Engines. The goal, when writing a blog, is to have as many people as possible be able to find and read your post. Content and keywords (labels) are very important when writing a post, but, a title with a Long Tail that can be found a couple times in your post is necessary.

Judith Helfand’s post titled “Remembering November 22, 1963 and President John F Kennedy’s Assassination” is a perfect example of the Long Tail put into practice. When you search Google with the words “Remembering November 22, 1963” Judy’s post shows up 4th out of 473,000 hits. The date Nov 22, 1963 is a very historical and for that reason there are many people with websites on or relating to that date. The fact that Judy’s blog post shows up before all but three of those sites is amazing, and it all can be owed to remembering the long tail.

Use a Long Tail to get more traffic to your blog post and in turn bring more traffic to your website. The key to being found online is to make yourself more search-able. Five words or more is a sufficient Long Tail for your blog post. When you increase the length of your title while incorporating it into your post, you will increase the amount of people who are able to find your post and your website.

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