10 Tips to Help You Create a Smart Business

Smart companies are not just those that have intelligent leaders. They also have systems, tools and proper planning in place that allow every department or function to run together seamlessly. To become a smart company, you need to integrate smart ideas into every facet of your business. Here are some tips from members of the online small business community.

Manage Your Website Effectively
Your website is one of the most important tools your small business has. To manage it effectively, you need access to the right tools. In this WP Buffs post, Brenda Barron provides a full explanation and walk-through of GoDaddy Pro, so you can see if it may be helpful for your business.

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SBDC Centers offer free consulting and free or low-cost training. (Find yours here.) Their results speak for themselves: SBDC clients grow sales by an average 18.1%, which is 4.3 times the national average. March 20th is SBDC Day, and to celebrate, we assembled some tips from their experts.

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Small businesses can be more vulnerable to cyberattacks than larger companies because they often do not have sophisticated and comprehensive systems to protect themselves from hackers, viruses, malware and whats called ransomware. And owners who are focused on customers and employees may not ensure that their defenses are up to date.

But there are things small businesses can do to improve cybersecurity.

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Whether you are an entrepreneur plotting to launch a startup or a CEO strategizing where to put another office, knowing where the next hot city is would be a game changer. Should you expand to Raleigh? Would you attract better talent in Austin or Atlanta? With the new Surge Cities Index, Inc. and innovation policy company Startup Genome crunched the data to score and rank the top 50 metro areas in the U.S. on seven key indicators–from early-stage funding metrics to job creation. Finally, here’s the smartest way to answer the age-old question: Where should you go next?

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We are creatures of habit. Everything we think, say and do is a result of deep-seated habits etched into our minds through years and years of repitious behavior. Those very same habits either help to propel us forward or to hinder our progress in life. In fact, the state and quality of our lives right now is a direct reflection of our daily habits.

Habits are an undeniably powerful part of life.

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Big companies often have big perks. That is especially true in the technology Opens a New Window.  space, where free meals, gyms, and even day care are quite common. Even more traditional large companies that do not offer those kinds of benefits still have things that smaller businesses Opens a New Window. do not — there are more opportunities for advancement, more training opportunities, and maybe even the option of transferring to another location.

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The latest report from Clutch says 39% of small businesses will add sales and marketing employees.

This data point underscores the importance of sales and marketing in today’s digital commerce. You must optimize websites, social media channels and eCommerce sites to make it happen. And you need sales and marketing employees to do  the heavy lifting.

Some small businesses have already created a digital presence. And the job of sales and marketing generally goes to in-house staff. This job often goes to employees with the necessary skill sets or to someone learning on the job. But remember how important these positions figure in the company’s growth.

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Billing your customers is, of course, vital — but even more critical is getting paid for those bills. Thanks to the ongoing evolution in the payments industry, there are more payment tools and platforms to choose from to help find the perfect option for your business based on how many payments you receive, the type of business you have and your budget.

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Ever wonder how people get chosen to speak at TED? Well, it is curator Chris Andersons job to weed through the thousands upon thousands of possibilities and choose who will appear on the events prestigious main stage. Clearly, the guy is amazing at separating the wheat from the intellectual chaff.

Which is why TED fans (or anyone looking to make themselves smarter and more aware in easily digestible 20-minute chunks) should pay attention to Andersons picks for the 10 best TED talks of 2018. Touching on topics ranging from astronomy to social justice to artificial intelligence, they are guaranteed to change how you think about the world.  

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Switching careers can feel intimidating, but you have got to make some moves if you’re spinning your wheels at your current job. Tech industry jobs are hot right now, and you can make great money once you’ve got the know-how to compete with other tech candidates. Here’s a breakdown of the fields with the best opportunities.

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What is the best retirement plan for a self-employed person? Which is the best retirement plan for a small business owner? More importantly, which is the right retirement plan for you – as a business owner and / or a self-employed individual? Choosing the best retirement plan for you and your personal financial goals will depend on a few factors. Those include how much you can save into a retirement plan, whether or not you have employees and when you are setting up the retirement plan. Is it during the tax year or when filing taxes? To name a few.

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Here are 15 examples of great integrated marketing campaigns that work by combining content, digital and website marketing, with traditional marketing methods like PR.

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Here are three popular things that are actually not mandatory for all small businesses:

1. Aggressive Marketing

It is easy to go overboard with marketing. With so many tools available, your gut instinct is to try anything with the slightest potential. Even if you stand to lose money, you want the assurance of knowing you are doing everything you can to gain the interest of your target audience. And it is difficult to ignore a marketing tool that has worked marvelously for other small businesses. If they had to do it all over again, these businesses would likely spend 10% of their time developing their products or services and 90% marketing them.

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So what sets those who actually take the plunge from those who only dream? What pushes a keen hobbyist or excellent amateur into actually becoming a business owner? A recent study of more than 400,000 people out of MIT came to decisive answer, and it is not the one you are probably expecting.

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Many successful entrepreneurs were inspired to start their businesses after noticing a hole in the marketplace that needed to be filled, whether it was Bill Gates creating an operating system for home computers, Pierre Omidyar starting an online auction site, or Elon Musk building a reliable electric car.

But what happens when you want to jump feet first into a marketplace thats already crowded? We spoke to the entrepreneurs behind a wide-ranging group of successful companies in some of the most competitive digital spaces — from butchers to home brands to eco-friendly cleaning products — to get their insights into what makes a business that lasts.

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Today, tens of thousands of people are considering starting their own business, and for good reasons. On average, people can expect to have two and three careers during their work life. Those leaving one career often think about their second or third career move being one they can run out of their own home. The good news: Starting a home-based business is within the reach of almost anyone who wants to take a risk and work hard, as are a plethora of other low-cost ideas.

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Now, I do not want to burst any happy bubbles for those of you who are already treading the traditional pathway, but that traditional narrative no longer makes much sense, because over the past two decades, big corporations, big academia, and big corporatist government have rigged the business world so that the longer you wait to start your own company, the less likely you are to be successful.

Because of this, young entrepreneurs (Mil

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The Tax Cuts and Jobs Act (TCJA) included a bevy of changes that will affect the 2018 federal income tax returns of many small and medium-sized businesses and their owners. As tax return time approaches, here are the 10 changes that are most likely to affect your business or you as an owner.

1. New flat 21% tax rate for corporations
Before the TCJA, C corporations paid graduated federal income tax rates of 15%, 25%, 34%, and 35%. Personal service corporations (PSCs) paid a flat 35% rate. For tax years beginning in 2018 and beyond, the TCJA establishes a flat 21% corporate rate, and that beneficial rate applies to PSCs too. So the tax cost of doing business as a profitable C corporation is greatly reduced, and this favorable development will show up on 2018 corporate returns. Enjoy.

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When done correctly, a tagline can become synonymous with a brand. A good tagline should communicate your companys message quickly and effectively, helping your target customers understand how you can help them in a way that’s easy to remember.

Since it is something that will likely appear in all of your companys marketing materials and may stick with you for years, your team should put a lot of care and consideration into crafting your tagline.

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A business plan is a written description of your business future, a document that tells what you plan to do and how you plan to do it. If you jot down a paragraph on the back of an envelope describing your business strategy, you have written a plan, or at least the germ of one.

Business plans are inherently strategic. You start here, today, with certain resources and abilities.

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Very few entrepreneurs have an accounting or finance background. Here are four tips to ensure your small business is achieving profitable growth.

Most small business owners start their own business because they have a passion for something, a new idea, want to be their own boss or are seeking more financial stability and/or earning potential. However, very few entrepreneurs have an accounting or finance background.

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The standards for small business success have unquestionably gone up. Todays small businesses must do a lot more to stay competitive than their predecessors. Myriad businesses, however, take this notion a bit too far. Once they discover yet another resource or strategy with the potential to elevate their success, they jump all over it. This is partially due to the many online articles urging business leaders to devote more effort to virtually every element of their businesses.

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Many small businesses start out with a single location or product offering and grow over time. Expanding your business is a good way to increase your long-term profitability and reach a wider audience.

But while growing your venture might be something you’d like to do eventually, now might not be the ideal time to dive in. Here are four reasons you might choose not to grow your business, and instead stick with the status quo.

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Get out your pink paint. Or your coral, or yellow or teal. By the time you finish reading this column, you’re going to be painting one wall of your small business a color that will pop on Instagram.

Why? Because Instagram is today’s powerhouse social media site for consumer businesses. And if you give customers an inviting way to post to Instagram, they’ll advertise your business for free.

A few years ago, if you wanted to reach retail consumers, the social media site of choice was Facebook. While it may still work for reaching certain demographics, many consumers – especially female Millennials – love Instagram.

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A new report is saying that almost half of people recently hired (41%) used an online job board to find work and 61% flagged automatic job alerts as helpful. What is more, a full 14% found their present job using social media. The findings from How Do People Find Jobs? published by the B2B research firm, Clutch, highlights how today’s candidates are connecting with small businesses and vice versa.

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How did life lead you to entrepreneurship?

I have been in the technology industry for 25 years. I am a business-facing technologist, which basically means I have a background in finance and business. However, I stumbled into being a software engineer early on in my career. This resulted in a passion for data and solution creativity.After hitting the 20-year mark of working for enterprise-size organizations, I decided I needed a change. I experienced some life-threatening health challenges–all while taking care of my two sons with their own unique needs. A culmination of it all really made me stop and reflect on what I really wanted to do on a daily basis and the people I do it with.

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Step 1: Set meaningful goals.
People do nott achieve goals unless the goals are meaningful to them. Sure, every seller has a quota for this year, but so what? If you want to maximize your motivation to achieve the goals, you must know why achieving it is important to you. To do that, go beyond your one-year quota-focused goal.

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Are you making big changes to your small business?

Whether you’re entering a new market, eliminating services that your clients love but no longer work for you, or changing the structure of your business entirely, follow these three tips to shake up your small business without losing revenue or hurting your reputation.

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Most working class Americans are employed by companies that either require or offer retirement savings options in the form of a 401(k), 403b), or pension plan. Because these contributions are automatically deducted from the employee’s paycheck, saving for retirement tends to be a rather painless process. Over time, the cumulative effect of regular monthly contributions leads to a nice sized nest egg that can be used in the retirement years.

But for entrepreneurs, the story is a little different. With no steady paycheck or employer-sponsored plans, many of these hardworking individuals forgo retirement contributions.  And though it may not seem like a big deal in the early years, this misstep can prove to be dangerous and irresponsible as entrepreneurs age.

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Crowdfunding has become a viable form for funding a venture, project, cause, event and much more. For small businesses looking to bypass traditional sources of financing such as bank loans, angel investing or venture capital, it is now a great option.

If you have been thinking about starting a campaign, it is important to note there are different types of crowdfunding. And this does not mean the platform or portal such as Kickstarter, Indiegogo and others.

The confusion stems from clumping crowdfunding under one umbrella, when in reality there are different types or models. Depending on your project, choosing the right model for your small business is critically important to ensure the success of your campaign.

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Being a leader can be a difficult, and sometimes thankless, job. You work long hours, make tough decisions, and try your best to make your employees and your customers happy. But things don’t always work out the way you hope.

Every leader can use a bit of inspiration and humor every once in a while. Adding some fun to your day can make it all come together and, at the same time, perhaps even put a smile on your face.

The next time you feel down, here are 17 funny leadership quotes to perk you up.

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Procrastination is an odd compulsion. Everyone has experienced it, but the underlying reasons can be tough to pin down.

After all, procrastination delays the very activities that bring people closer to their goals — whether that is building a thriving business or stronger triceps. So why do not humans just sprint toward that brighter, fitter future?

The science.
Scientific studies of procrastination have spiked over the past 20 years. Researchers once considered the issue a basic time-management problem, but they now view it as a complex and highly individual phenomena.  

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Not every step you take to move your business forward will be a big one. But sometimes, even small steps can make a large impact on your future. Here are some recent tips and insights from members of the online small business community about big and small steps you can take to really make an impact on your business.

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Like departments and agencies throughout government, the Air Force is tuning its acquisition methods to get closer the speed of technology, and will be holding its first live pitch day in March, with an available funding pool of $40 million.

The Air Forces Small Business Innovation Research program has issued a call to start-ups and small businesses—those with fewer than 500 employees—to offer pitches on innovative technologies for secure communications, down-range battlefield operations and digital technologies.

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I am pleased to bring you my top five tricks for disconnecting – and at least temporarily escaping the job stress.

1. Make the business case.

Taking time to recharge is not just good for your mental and physical health — it is the smart thing to do for your business. Studies have shown that increased stress leads to reduced productivity, while decreased stress levels lead to increased productivity.

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5 reasons Microsoft Invoicing is a smart choice for your business

Keep the payments coming

Getting paid is naturally the lifeblood of your small business. Without reliable income from customers, the lights won’t stay on for long. This is why a dedicated invoicing solution — such as Microsoft Invoicing — can be incredibly useful.

Microsoft Invoicing is a natural extension to the rest of the powerful Office 365 suite.

In this post, we’ll look at Microsoft Invoicing and discuss five reasons it can be an invaluable tool. Let’s get started!

Related: Habits of business owners who get paid on time

Why you need a dedicated invoicing solution

There are a number of reasons why a dedicated invoicing solution makes sense.

Microsoft Invoicing With A TabletPhoto: Microsoft Office

Receiving prompt payment for the products and services you provide is crucial to maintaining your cashflow. At the same time, invoicing can become a significant hassle. While you can create invoices manually or use a standard Office app such as Excel, there are better ways to streamline the process and save yourself a lot of time.

Want to get paid fast by creating invoices and estimates in minutes? Check out Microsoft Invoicing in Office 365 from GoDaddy.

Microsoft Invoicing is one such tool, offering a single interface that handles a lot of the work for you. It’s a full-featured solution that ensures you can track, bill and receive payments seamlessly. As such, it’s worth a look for just about any small business.

5 reasons why Microsoft Invoicing is a smart choice for your business

So, what is it that makes this particular tool so useful? Let’s take a look at five of the top reasons to choose Microsoft Invoicing, starting with the developer itself.

  1. Invoicing can be done on-the-go.
  2. Your entire invoicing process can be centralized.
  3. Customers have an easy path to payment.
  4. You can create professional-looking invoices quickly.
  5. Stability is important in money matters.

As you can see, there are quite a few reasons why Microsoft Invoicing might be the right call for your business. Let’s dive a little deeper.

1. Invoicing can be done on-the-go

Microsoft Invoicing On The Go

Running a small business requires more flexibility than ever before, which is making cloud-based solutions a must. Thankfully, Microsoft has recognized this fact and come up with the Office 365 suite of tools.

This suite takes all the classic desktop apps and makes them cloud-based — including Microsoft Invoicing. As a result, you can create and send invoices and handle payments regardless of your current location or situation. This system also means that it’s easy to hand off invoicing to another team member quickly if needed.

2. Your entire invoicing process can be centralized

One drawback of the traditional spreadsheet approach is that Excel and Outlook contacts aren’t inherently linked. Of course, you can set that system up, but a fully integrated solution will save you a lot of time and trouble.

Microsoft Invoicing is a fully-featured management app, offering a wealth of functionality.

You’re able to create invoices, add whatever information you like, and then customize their look completely. What’s more, you can send them from the same app, and handle payments as they come in (either via your desktop or the cloud).

3. Customers have an easy path to payment

Often, the biggest issue you’ll have when it comes to invoicing is actually getting customers to pay on time. A smooth and easy process is vital, since the simpler it is for a customer to pay, the quicker you’ll likely receive your money.

We already mentioned that Microsoft Invoicing can handle customer payments, but it’s worth reiterating what a useful feature this is. You can even include one-click payment options on the invoices themselves, via all manner of different gateways (such as PayPal).

For your customers, this means all they have to do is double-check the invoice and press a button. This is essential if your finances rely on fast payments.

4. You can create professional-looking invoices quickly

Even though it may seem unnecessary, design matters, even on invoices. If a client receives an invoice that looks unprofessional or confusing, they may be hesitant to pay, or unable to decipher what it contains.

The good news is that Microsoft Invoicing offers a number of templates and styles, so you can create documents that match your vision. You can also add your own personal branding, which helps your invoices stand out.

Microsoft Invoicing Professional Design

5. Stability is important in money matters

The technology landscape is littered with the remains of small companies that have closed their doors. Microsoft is a popular standby when it comes to software. As such, you can rest easy knowing Microsoft Invoicing is something that won’t fall by the wayside in a few months or years, but is likely to grow with you over your business’s lifetime.

Where you can find Microsoft Invoicing

If any of the benefits we’ve discussed sound appealing, you’re likely wondering where you can find the Microsoft Invoicing software. The good news is that you don’t have to look too far!

GoDaddy has partnered with Microsoft to offer Office 365 packages to suit the needs of entrepreneurs everywhere.

Upon subscribing to a Business Premium plan, you’ll get Microsoft Invoicing and a whole host of other benefits included. Of course, the Office classics are also represented, with online versions of Word, Excel, PowerPoint and more ready to roll.

You’ll also get up to 1TB of secure cloud storage. This means you can leverage the power of the cloud to your advantage, without worrying about running out of space.

Related: 13 hacks to get the most out of your Office 365 subscription

Closing thoughts on Microsoft Invoicing

Invoicing can be a stressful task, so having a powerful invoicing solution to help you out is vital. Microsoft Invoicing could be just what your business needs, especially given GoDaddy’s partnership that provides the most essential Office 365 apps at a cost-effective price.

In this post, we’ve looked at five reasons Microsoft Invoicing is a smart business move. Let’s recap them:

  1. You’ll have peace of mind, knowing you’re using a rock-solid tool from Microsoft.
  2. Invoicing can take place in the cloud, for maximum flexibility.
  3. The whole invoicing process is effectively centralized.
  4. Customers can pay directly from their invoices, meaning you’ll receive payments quicker.
  5. There are plenty of easy ways to make sure your invoices look stylish and professional.

Here’s to all your invoices getting paid right on time, and hearing that cash register ring.

Google’s Verily Smart Shoes Will Track Your Weight, Movement, And Falls

Alphabet’s life sciences division Verily is at the verge of developing shoes with built-in sensors that will monitor the wearer’s weight, movement, and fall, CNBC reports. To achieve this, however, Verily is currently on the search for companies to partner with.

In the past few months, Google’s sister company has held private meetings where it unveiled prototypes of the shoe. Three persons closely monitoring the project said the company intends to attract partners for a collaborative effort in developing and marking of the smart shoe. However, the project’s activeness is currently is unknown, according to CNBC.

It is clear that if the smart shoes will be included with several health functions if Verily succeeds with the project. For instance, it will reveal the amount of weight an individual adds over a particular period, how much fluid they are retaining and could also monitor movements and detect falls. The latter is particularly important as it could prove to be useful in tracking older parents.

Apple recently introduced fall detection into its new Apple Watch Series 4, which provides users means of contacting emergency services in the event of a major accident.

Before 2015, Verily was known as Google Life Sciences which became a separate company in 2015, though it is still under Google’s parent company, Alphabet. It is financially tracked within Alphabet’s “Other Bets” segment. Verily CEO Andy Conrad said that in January, $1 billion was raised by the company from Silver Lake and other sources to “increase flexibility and optionality”. This move could likely be interpreted as a potential spin-out from Alphabet by Verily.

The company recruited lots of engineers, scientists, as well as health experts as part of its workforce and research, shows that many of its technical leads have once worked with the sister company, Google.

Since its inception, Verily has been very successful with partnerships. It has always teamed up with larger companies in co-developing and potentially commercializing any project idea it births.

Whether the shoe becomes a reality or not, it’s obvious that there are several other hardware projects that Verily is working on. On the list is a stabilizing spoon which will aid people with movement disorders in eating. For wearables, Verily is working on a smartwatch that will help in its clinical research efforts. Verily is also working on a smart contact lens for age-related farsightedness, and also serve to improve sight for patients that went through cataract surgery.

Google News Digest: New Publishing Platform, Smart Campaigns, New G Suite Pricing and More

With the new year now well underway, Google is rolling out a fresh stream of updates for search users, advertisers, and website owners. Its more notable updates include a new publishing platform for local news (“Newspack”), a new pricing strategy for G-Suite Basic and Business Editions, and the integration of AdWords Express campaigns into the Google Ads platform.

Of course, there are several other Google updates to note, and all are discussed in our Marketing Scoop podcast. We invited Nils Rooijmans, a search marketing consultant, and Michael Fenlon, the paid media manager at Seven Star Digital, to share their thoughts and discuss these developments in greater detail.


A New Mobile SERP Full of Ads?

Google’s SERP is almost never the same, with its endless tests and experiments. But a test, spotted by Fibre Marketing, has provoked quite a discussion among the SEO and PPC community. Fibre Marketing shared on Twitter a screen recording, where they caught a new mobile SERP that contained 14 ads on a single results page. In the image below, you can see that the page starts with 4 ads, followed by two organic listings. After these, we can see 7 more ads before getting 6 more organic results, and all of that is wrapped up by 3 more ads.

Of course, this is only a test, and Google will be looking at user behavior when subjected to this kind of mobile SERP experience to validate the “right” amount of ads that can be placed on a search results page. 

Source: Twitter: Fiber MarketingGoogle is Testing Mobile SERPs With Up to 14 Ads

Newspack: a New Platform for Local News

Jim Albrecht, Product Management Director at Google Search, recently announced that Google, in partnership with Automattic and WordPress.com, has invested $1.2 million in a new project called Newspack. Newspack will be included in Google’s portfolio of business services as a fast, secure, and low-cost publishing platform that will address the unique needs of small, local newsrooms. With the help of this platform, journalists and reporters struggling with the technical and business problems of new digital publications will be able to write stories and cover their communities without having to worry about designing websites, building commerce systems, and configuring CMSs.

It should be noted that the core objective of Newspack is not to be a one-size-fits-all platform for all publishers. Rather, its focus is on helping small publishers succeed. Google likes to call the upcoming Newspack “an opinionated CMS,” because, in Google’s view, it would know the right thing to do, even if publishers do not. As per the search engine giant, the development process for this project begins in the coming weeks, and the platform will be made available to publishers globally later in the year.

Source: Stop the presses: How a new publishing platform can help local news

Speed Camera Warning on Google Maps

Google is rolling out speed limit and speed trap warning features on its mobile Maps navigation app that will help drivers see speed limits and spot hidden speed trap cameras. As first reported by Android Police, the speed limits on Google Maps will be displayed on the lower left side of the screen, and the speed traps with a small camera icon on the visible area of the map.

The camera icon will be accompanied by an audio notification when drivers are approaching a speed trap, according to AndroidPolice’s source. However, as reported by Mashable, these new Waze-like features are only available for users in a limited number of countries. The speed limit feature will work in the U.S., U.K., and Denmark, while the speed cameras will be rolled out for users in the U.K., U.S., Australia, Brazil, India, Russia, Indonesia, Mexico, and Canada. We are not sure if and when Google is going to make them available for all users globally.

A screenshot showing the speed limits feature within Google Maps

Sources: Google Maps wants to help you avoid that speeding ticket; Google Maps speed limit feature goes live for some across the United States

New Featured Snippet Based on PDF Content

Google is now showing PDF content as featured snippets in its search results. Previously, featured snippets were pulled solely from website HTML content. As reported by Search Engine Journal’s Matt Southern, this is the first time we have seen this happen. From an SEO perspective, this means a slight reshuffle in strategy as PDFs are going to carry more value now than they used to, and SEO efforts that went into optimizing HTML content for featured snippets may now apply to PDFs. Kevin Indig appears to the first to notice this update on Google; he shared a screenshot via Twitter.

Source: Google is Creating Featured Snippets from PDF Content

Registering Companies Without a Physical Presence in Google My Business

Google recently announced the introduction of new features for service area businesses on its Google My Business (GMB) platform. Smaller business owners without a physical street address can now share their local service areas and other business information on Google Maps and search results pages. Existing GMB users can edit their business information directly from their GMB dashboard where they can find separate options for editing “service area” and “storefront address”.

For businesses registering with GMB for the first time, Google will guide them through the setup process which starts with the question: “Do you want to add a location customers can visit, like a store or office?”. Business owners proceeding with the answer “No” are routed down a path where they can add specific service areas their businesses profile. With this update, Google says it hopes businesses will better connect with their potential customers in different geo-target locations.

google my business

Source: New features for service area businesses on Google My Business


Expanded Access to Non-Skippable Video Ads

Up until now, video advertisers had access to a limited range of creative options on Google platforms for video ads. Starting from Jan 22, Google has expanded the access to advertisers to allow them to take benefit from the full range of creative options regardless of how they buy – whether in advance, through Google Ads auction, or via reservation. Google is also bringing non-skippable 15-second ads, which was previously available to advertisers via YouTube reservation only, to Google Ads and Display & Video 360 across Google video partners and YouTube. However, to ensure that user experience is not in any way affected by the presence of ads, Google is going to cap the number of ads a user sees on YouTube. Overall, this will result in a more flexible and intuitive buying experience where all advertisers will have access to all formats and creative options regardless of how they buy.

Source: Expanding advertiser access to 15-second non-skippable video ads

AdWords Express is Now a Part of Google Ads

Google has announced integrating AdWords Express into Google Ads platform. As a result, advertisers will now be able to access AdWords Express campaigns in Google Ads as ‘Smart Campaigns’. By joining Google Ads, AdWords Express, however, is not going to drop any of its existing benefits and Smart Campaigns in AdWords will still have all the same benefits (along with some more improved features). As highlighted by Google, these benefits would include the following:

  • Create an online ad quickly and easily.

  • Pay only when people click your ad.

  • Attract more customers to your website or Google Maps listing.

  • Minimal ongoing management necessary; Google Ads runs your ads for you.

  • Reach customers on desktop computers and mobile devices (such as mobile phones and tablets).

  • Review the effectiveness of your ads in your dashboard.

Besides, AdWords Express campaigns (now labeled as Smart Campaigns) will provide advertisers with important features like campaigns overview, critical account alerts, verified calls, map actions, Google Analytics, ad scheduling, and more.

Sources: About Smart campaignsGoogle AdWords Express is Now Part of Google Ads

Incentivising Google Partners to Use Automation in Google Ads

Kirk Williams, the owner of ZATO and BHive, reported on Twitter that he received an email from Google about the new incentives in Google Partners experience. The search engine is offering rewards and incentives to Google Partners for using more of Google’s automation features in their accounts. The system assigns users reward points (when they turn on things like GDN or Search automation) that can be used to win physical stuff like sweatshirts and mini-fridges.

Kirk argues that Google should consider making these incentives tied to his clients’ goals instead of using them as a tool to persuade him (and other advertisers) to use more of their system. He posted his detailed opinion on Marketing Land where he questions, “Rather than give agencies arbitrary incentive points based on the percentage of automation used, why not realign Google’s rewards program to include client goals?


Sources: Twitter: Kirk WilliamsGoogle Incentivizing Ad Partners To Use Automation


Revamped URL Inspection in Google Search Console

Google Webmaster’s page on Twitter announced the availability of a new feature in Search Console. The upgraded URL inspection tool in Search Console will now allow users to see things like page resources, HTTP response, JS logs and a rendered screenshot for a crawled page. Here is the GIF Google has shared showing us how to access and see the new features with the URL inspection tool:

url inspection tool

Source: Twitter: Google Webmasters

Updated Policy on Dangerous YouTube Content

In a recent update on the YouTube community help center page, Google notified their users of new changes in their policies on harmful and dangerous content. Accordingly, any activity carried out to create YouTube content that presents an apparent risk of death, injury, or bodily harm (such as a child participating in dangerous challenges) will not be allowed on YouTube anymore. Dangerous or abusive pranks causing emotional distress to children and pranks that lead victims to believe they are in physical danger are likewise not allowed.

Also added to the list of banned content are videos intending to sell regulated or illegal goods and services through direct sales or links to sites that sell these items. As per Google, “these items include, but may not be limited to, drugs, pharmaceuticals that require a prescription, alcohol, nicotine products, online gambling casinos, counterfeit documents, or stolen credit card information.”

Videos that consist of dangerous acts (with their primary purpose being something other than educational, documentary, scientific, or artistic) or illegal activities will also not be allowed to post on YouTube. Google indicates the following to be some of the examples:

  • Instructional bomb-making.

  • Challenges that encourage acts that have an inherent risk of severe physical harm.

  • Pranks that make victims believe they’re in physical danger.

  • Pranks that cause emotional distress to children.

  • Hard drug use.

  • Other acts that may result in serious injury.

Source: Policies on harmful or dangerous Content

Advice for Publishers to Succeed in Google News

Google has rolled out a success guide for news publishers within Google News, hoping to help them succeed in 2019. As a general piece of advice, Google suggests news publishers consider the content and technical guidelines available within the Google News Publisher Help Center. Google highlights a few best practices pertaining to headlines and dates, duplicate content, and transparency along with more tips on structured data, user data protection, link scheme temptation, etc.

For headlines and dates, Google advises presenting clear headlines and accurate times and dates as they are the signals Google News looks at.  Duplicate content indicates scraped, rewritten, or republished materials which are not appreciated and allowed by Google News. Therefore, publishers are advised to block scraped and rewritten content, completely avoid duplicate content, and block or consider canonical for republished content. Google News content guidelines also require publishers to maintain transparency as it is what drives visitors’ trust in the search engine’s view. Visitors want to know who is behind a post on a news site, and so the content should include clear bylines, information about authors, and contact information for the publication.

Source: Ways to succeed in Google News

New Pricing for G Suite

Google announced a new pricing strategy for G Suite in the form of two incremental list prices. As per the new plan, G Suite Basic Edition will increase by $1 (from $5 to $6 per user/month), and G Suite Business Edition will increase by $2 (from $10 to $12 per user/month). These increases will apply globally and will go into effect on April 2, 2019. For existing G Suite Basic or Business edition customers on the Annual Plan, “the new prices will go into effect the first time their plan renews on or after April 2, 2019.” Google mentioned that current contracts or any renewal events prior to April 2, 2019, will not be impacted by these changes per se.

g suite pricing changes

Source: New pricing for G Suite Basic and Business Editions