Serious Humor: Marketing Cheat Sheet ~ September, 2015

Welcome to Serious Humor ~ September, 2015!

Serious Humor is our monthly round-up of the most important “serious” trends and articles in SEO, Social Media Marketing, and AdWords as well as “humor” that will make you laugh at the next office meeting. Got a suggestion? Send us an email (

Contents: Google becomes Alphabet | Google Local Goes from 7 to 3 | SEO Your Tweets | New Books on Social Media & SEO

Available at

Google Becomes Alphabet. No Really.

Every April Fools day, Google plays several big pranks on unsuspecting users. For example on April 1, 2011, Google introduced Gmail motion – a new way to control Gmail just using motion like waiving your hands or feet at your computer ( Well, this year Google moved April Fools up to August 10, when they announced Google Alphabet ( and, as in the ‘Alphabet’ from A to Z. Google knows what you’re thinking: “Now anytime I use a letter, I’ll have to pay a royalty to Google!” Don’t worry – with Gmail, Google Docs, YouTube, Google Analytics, Google search and other products – Google owns your privacy, and with Google wallet they’ll make it easy for you to use micropayments to continue to be able to use your favorite alphabetical characters just as before, after paying a tiny fee to Google. But please don’t dare use the letter ‘N‘ without a reference to Nest thermostat, C for Calico on aging, and F, for Photos or for Fleeing Google+ or for Fix Google Local now.

Google, of course, remains Google at the letter G, with a new CEO (Sundar Pichai) and some hope that he’ll actually focus on Google and not on flying dronesweird glasses, and European anti-trust litigation. News #1 for August: Google Alphabet has arrived! News #2: Google has a new CEO. And – wait for it – News #3: Mr. Pichai did not wait long before taking dramatic action: Google has a new logo! Yes, a new logo ( and There’s nothing that spells a tech company that’s truly innovative like a new logo, is there? Well a tech company with self-driving cars would be neato, except if Google’s self-driving cars kept being crashed into by irrational humans. True story at When will the technological singularity finally arrive?

Local SEO Matters: The SnACk PaCK goes from 7 to 3

No matter, for there is dramatic news (of true import to online marketers) regarding Google local. If your business is local, pay attention. The ‘Snack Pack’ is the affectionate term for the Google+ Local results that you see on local searches like ‘Best Sushi San Francisco,’ or ‘Dallas Plastic Surgeons,’ or just ‘Food near me’ on your phone or on the desktop. (I’m not kidding about ‘Food near me’ – try it at The ‘snack pack’ was seven listings, and now it’s just three. Moz’s Jennifer Slegg has a nice, practical write up on the MAJOR changes to Google local at, and Gregg Stewart of Search Engine Watch goes to the dark side, explaining this is all about the ads ( Namely, giving even more prominence to ads on mobile, and making it ever-harder for you to show ‘organically’ on local.

Even more hilarious: do a search for ‘Dallas Hair Dressers’ (, and I dare you – I double dare you – to figure out how to get from the new Google local snack pack to the Google+ page of Groove Hair Salon, Matthew Tully Hairdressing, or Dear Clark Hair Studio. They have big hair in Dallas, and they’re having a heckofa time finding their Google+ local pages after this upgrade. (God help a business that has no Google+ page already. They’re really in for it – it’s nearly impossible to find, create, or get customers to review it if it has zero reviews these days). Clearly no one at Google user tested the roll out – the link between the ‘snack pack’ and company Google+ pages is broken, not to mention on local results on the phone you can only “call” the companies, not click over to their websites.

Local Review Matter, However: A Lot

As for the snack pack and Google Local, you gotta get on it (first three results, please), and you gotta get reviews. According to Search Engine Land, 87% of potential customers won’t consider businesses with low ratings ( 22% don’t know that they can no longer use the alphabet without paying royalties to Google, 12% think that Google is being brought to us by the letter ‘G,’ and 4% use Bing. And only 72% know that Sesame Street has sold its soul to HBO ( So go local, go quickly, go into the top three, and start snacking. Local had big, big changes this last month. For your local SEO efficiency, here are my ‘Top Ten Free Tools for Local SEO’ at

Oh, and that crashing sound? That’s the sound of Yelp‘s stock falling almost as fast as the Shanghai stock exchange. But Yelp released a ‘small business advisory board’ of pro-Yelp small businesses who will ‘represent your interests’ at Yelp ( The Chinese Communist Party then called Yelp to congratulate them on the advisory board, and get some advice on how to control a democracy before it gets too out of hand; Yelp asked for help on how to manipulate stock prices.

So that’s your August news on Local. News #4: Google local goes to 3 listings, down from 7. You gotta get reviews. And God help you if you haven’t already found, claimed and got one review on your Google+ local page.

Tweets are Now Indexed on Google

Twitter and Google have been snuggling up lately, and finally Tweets have begun to appear on Google searches.  For example, if you Google ‘Miley Ray Cyrus,’ Google now show recent tweets on the fantastic singer and truly awesome twerker ( You can even compare Tweets about Miley with Tweets about Billy Ray Cyrus ( News #5: Google is really indexing Tweets, and it’s time to optimize your Tweets for SEO. Fortunately, Social Media Examiner published a nifty guide on how to optimize your Tweets for search (  Don’t forget hashtags, and you can use to find interesting hashtags by subject.  #Deadpetz, anyone (

New Books: Social Media Marketing, and the Art of SEO

I’ve been hard at work at my forthcoming, Social Media Workbook, and now have free review copies of the LinkedIn Marketing Workbook, the Facebook Marketing Workbook, the Twitter Marketing Workbook, the YouTube Marketing Workbook, and the Pinterest Marketing Workbook. You can get yours at just click on the links in the middle of the home page. Why Pinterest? ValueWalk announced that Pinterest and Instagram are “crushing it” while Facebook is becoming the stodgy Microsoft Windows of social media, and Twitter, the death-spiraling MySpace-threatened juvenile (  Pinterest also announced a ‘Buy Now Pin’ at For those into SEO, we’re finally privy to the new 2015 edition of The Art of SEO, one of the Bibles of search engine optimization available now on Amazon at

Happy September!


~ Jason McDonald, Director – JM Internet Group



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About Jason McDonald

Jason McDonald is a top-rated San Francisco SEO Consultant. His consulting services include search engine optimization consulting, social media marketing consulting, and Google AdWords consulting. Jason's motto as a consultant is that he doesn't do SEO 'for you' but rather he does SEO 'with you.' That goes as well for his social media marketing consultant activities and Google AdWords consultant services. Besides serving clients in the San Francisco Bay Area, Jason consults with clients in Silicon Valley (San Jose), Oakland and other cities throughout the Bay Area. Beyond the Bay Area, Jason is available as an SEO consultant, Social Media Consultant, and as an expert witness in litigation involving social media marketing, search engine optimization and pay-per-click advertising.