What’s New in Google + Vote for VIA

Vote VIA the Best of NWI Business

Once again, we are shamelessly asking for your vote. Northwest Indiana Business Magazine recognizes the Best of Business every year and we’d like to be included. Look for our categories on page 3: “Best ad agency/marketing firm,” “Best graphic/web design firm,” and on a few pages further, feel free to add us to the “Best woman-owned business” as well! Do it now as voting ends by Friday, January 18, 2019.

This year’s results will be published in the April-May 2019 issue of Northwest Indiana Business Magazine and online at NWIndianaBusiness.com on April 1, 2019.

Google reCAPTCHA Error

Have you seen some reCAPTCHA widgets displaying “ERROR: Invalid site key.” Why? Because on March 31, 2018, Google shut down reCAPTCHA v1 API. This broke reCAPTCHA on all websites globally.

Google Recaptcha Error

These reCAPTCHA widgets need to be updated to either version 2 or 3:

  1. reCAPTCHA v2 will be familiar to most and will require users to check a box or click on one or more of a selection of images to prove they aren’t bots. reCAPTCHA v2 also has an ‘invisible’ mode that will only require someone to perform this task if Google finds their behavior suspicious.
  2. The latest and greatest reCAPTCHA v3 is completely invisible and unobtrusive. However, Google does require a disclaimer stating that reCAPTCHA is at work on the site and a link to its privacy policy and terms of service.

Google Speed Update

Web page loading speeds not only greatly affect how long users remain engaged with your site but also have a direct impact on your Google search rankings. Recently Google updated their search algorithm to add mobile page speed as an important search ranking factor as well.

Google Maps Update Coming in 2019

Maps is one of the most popular and important services Google offers. It is also a crucial local SEO tool through Google My Business. Following is a short list of a few promised updates that will help improve user-friendliness and introduce new features that make it more intuitive and user-focused.

Google Assistant. This has already happened! Siri and Alexa have been enabled within Google Maps on both Android and iOS. You can ask it for directions home, or to nearby restaurants, or saved locations. You can also ask it to search for places along your route (like gas stations) or add a stop — all things that used to require some button pushing.

New “Explore” Tab. Newly redesigned, Explore will allow users to browse new and nearby locations. The update will help streamline and present more top options with reviews being taken into account more.

New “For You” Tab. This new section will act like a newsfeed, similar to a social media site, and present the user with recommended places to go and the ability to “follow” certain locations. Google Maps will also look into various local news articles about places you might want to go, which helps give results tailored for your preferences.

Google Lens Integration and Street View. With Google Lens, users will receive directions and shown various street views with signs and landmarks, which are linked to Maps and Street View. The AI technology is used to interact and guide the user to their destination and provide the best routes.

If you have questions about mobile optimization or SEO in general, let’s talk.

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