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What Does Google Know About Me?

Have you ever thought about your digital footprint and the trail of information you leave behind? No? If not, let’s just say that you are leaving behind a slew of data.  

While some search engines have chosen to dump that data, Google is one of the few that save your every move. If you have ever signed up and used Google’s services, then just know that they know everything about you. Yes, everything! That might sound terrifying at first, but the purpose of this “invasion of privacy” makes total sense! Just how much they know about you, though, is determined by the services you use. 

According to recent 2021 statistics, Google is the number one most popular website in both the global market and the U.S. Considering the grasp they have on the average person’s life, it makes sense. With applications and services like Gmail, Google Ads, Google Analytics, Google Drive, Maps, Adsense, Translate, Calendar, etc.; It would be hard to deny the power behind this tech-giant. 

Why is Google collecting my data? 

You may be wondering, why is Google collecting my information? What do they need it for? Well, there is a simple explanation for that. In this great big technological world that we live in today, data is the driving force behind the information economy. While there are many different types of data flooding the Internet, the most profitable type of data is something called personal data. Much of today’s society doesn’t realize how important their data means to tech giants like Google. In order to monetize its services, Google must collect your information. They do all of this to track your interests and gain a better understanding of who you are. This is so that they can cater to you and make your experience better.  

Based on the services that you have used, Google knows you almost as well as your closest friend; Maybe even more. 

How is data gathered?

Understanding how the company gathers information is key to grasping exactly what Google knows about you. Don’t worry, there isn’t some stalker on the other side of your screen watching your every move. Google simply stores all of your data and keeps a historical record of it so that they can access it years down the road. That doesn’t sound much better, does it? (Ha!) 

That sounds conniving, doesn’t it? Actually, it’s not. When you sign up for Google services, you agree for them to view, track, and save your data. Basically, you are signing away your privacy.  But, let’s be honest, anyone who uses the Internet is signing away their privacy. Let’s face it, we live in a world without a lot of privacy. 

Because Google owns and operates so many services, they have numerous ways to track you and gather your data. With Google Search, the team keeps a history of every search you’ve ever made. Google Chrome provides the team with a complete history of every website you have ever visited. YouTube allows them to track every video you have ever watched. Google Maps has access to your location and history. Google actually owns another location app called WAZE that also tracks your location and history. If you own an Android phone, Google is storing your messages and app usage. Think about all the other Google apps that you use: Photos, Calendar, Docs, Drive, and so on. Each of those services and more are capturing data and storing it for their own personal use. It’s all to create a better service for you. They want to make sure they provide what you want before you even want it. That’s high-tech, am I right? 

How do I make Google stop collecting my data? 

Did I completely scare the living daylight out of you? If anything, I hope this information made you more aware of your actions online. If you want Google to stop collecting data on you, your solution is simply to stop using their products. If you want to take drastic measures to stop using Google services, you should switch from an Android to an Iphone, install a Firefox Browser and download DuckDuckGo, WolframAlpha, or any other search engine that doesn’t track. There are tons of them out there! All it takes is a quick search. 

The thought of being tracked by Google shouldn’t be that scary. Their main reason for doing it is to create a better experience for you. There are tons of different websites, search engines and apps that track your data. The Internet is a public place that you have willingly entered. You are being tracked some way or another, no matter what you do. At least you can control it a little more when using search engines like DuckDuckGo and WolframAlpha. Google is just more open about being less private. If you didn’t get anything else out of this article, I hope it stands as a simple reminder to be cautious of how you are using the Internet.

Despite the fact that they track you, many businesses utilize Google to improve their search engine ranking, draw visitors to their website, and grow their business.

How to Convert Web Visitors into Paying Customers

You all know the feeling. It arrives the moment that you focus on your website’s monthly traffic analytics. The number of web visitors each month lure you into a cold, long stare as you compare it to your number of sales that month. What seems like a slight breeze of confusion sweeps over you, making you wonder why those numbers do not match. Unfortunately, those numbers will not ever match until you make some changes to your website!

As the number of people visiting your website increases, you want to convert those visitors into loyal clients. Listed below are five tried and true methods of converting those visitors into customers

1. Demonstrate how your product is ideal

The idea is to convince your visitor that they do not need to continue looking at other sites; your site has it all and your product is exactly what they need. Remember: The goal is to show your visitors that they need you. Make your visitors feel like you are addressing them and not just bragging about yourself. For example, instead of listing testimonials, try describing various situations and how you helped the client. You want the client to recognize him or herself in the scenarios. 

2. Utilize home page sign ups 

The more convenient your contact information, the more likely your visitors are to actually use it. Many people only view a site once, so grab their attention early on and start the relationship right away. Remember: Many people are wary of new relationships, even if it is a simple web presence. By circulating a weekly or monthly newsletter or magazine, you can maintain contact without seeming overly pushy. 

3. Immediate gratification goes a long way

Give your visitors something they can use immediately. Whether this is a free gift incentive, a fantastic Top 10 List, or downloadable forms, provide every visitor with a takeaway resource. Remember: Don’t forget to put your name on these documents! Publicizing yourself, your site, and your product is vital. Every pdf or downloadable document your visitors print is one more piece of advertising.

4. Create a sense of personal commitment

If you portray yourself as invested, your visitors are more likely to think you are invested in them. Be direct. Make it personal. Above all, make it crystal clear that you can help solve their problems. Make it very clear that they are able to trust you! Remember: Position yourself as an invaluable resource and make your contact information accessible and easy to locate. This brings you one step closer to gaining a new client.  

5. Quality is obvious

When it comes to your actual website, you get what you pay for. While it may seem expensive in the beginning, think about how much money will be generated from a professional website. Remember: Website maintenance is extremely involved. Not only does the content have to be exact, the design, development and usability must be exceptional. It is usually beneficial to contract with a designer who can transform your product ideas into a credible and professional website. 

15 SEO Tips to Improve your Passive Income Website

two men looking at statistics

Search Engine Optimization (SEO) for your website can be complicated, but can also be very effective in ranking businesses highly in search engines. As long as you stick to the basics and use what you know, you will see your business ranked on the front page of search results in no time. If you are looking for a way to earn money with minimal effort, use your time effectively, and grow your business, then you are in the right place! Listed below are 15 SEO tips to help improve your passive income website.

1. Avoid Optimizing Only Your Website 

It is important to optimize your off-site SEO. Do your best to ensure that your articles, blog posts, ads and everything else you do to drive traffic to your website are optimized, too. 

2. SEO Results Take Time 

Results can take weeks or months. Stay busy, work hard, and be patient. 

3. Google Will Help You

If you are in need of some help or advice, turn to Google! 

4. Avoid Copying Content From Other Websites 

Duplicate content might make your visitors happy, but search engines won’t be impressed. When creating content, read some blogs or articles to draw inspiration, but don’t copy them! 

5. Add Some Videos 

This can be as simple as embedding a YouTube video into your website. It doesn’t even need to be your video. Google owns YouTube so they like to see videos on your website. This will help your boost your SEO more than you think it will!

6. Update Your Website From Time To Time 

Keep your website current. Websites that are dormant tend to be downgraded over time. Google will also notice your lack of updates and rank your website lower on search results. You don’t need to spend a ton of time on your website everyday. Spending even 10 minutes a week on your website would be sufficient!  

7. Research your Keywords 

What are people actually searching for? How much competition exists for these words? Use keywords that potential customers would use in searching for products like yours. There are tons of different websites that exist that show the most expensive keywords. Check those out!

8. Use Photos 

Search engines like to see that you have visually appealing pictures on your site. Make sure to “dress up” your website and make it appealing for your visitors!

9. Vary Anchor Text

Avoid using the same keywords all the time. 

10. Avoid Keyword Stuffing 

Keep the keyword density down to 2%. Search engines count!

While quantity is important, the quality of your backlinks is even more important. Seek out some backlinks from popular and authoritative sites in your industry. 

Consider linking other blogs, articles, and videos to your content! Even if it is not content that you created, it will help your website rank better on search results and boost your SEO.

13. Do Something Every Day 

It would look suspicious if you created 100 backlinks in a day. Google is looking for natural growth. A way to show natural growth is by creating things over time instead of creating a bunch of things in one day. For example, create backlinks slowly over time. A few backlinks per day will help your site much more. 

14. Look At The Competition 

Look at websites that are outranking you in keywords. Compare your site to theirs and develop a strategy to improve. There are tons of different tools available that will analyze the SEO components of a website. Use your resources to create a plan!

15. Realize the Truth 

Search engines are simply ranking websites that would be most valuable to those seeking information. Think about what makes a website great and do it. 

Facebook Recommendations Vs. Google Reviews?

Scrabble letters that spell review

Facebook has made many changes over the years. One of the biggest changes was the transition from Facebook Reviews to Facebook Recommendations. This change happened a few years ago, but it has had a major impact on the way that people engage on social media and leave feedback for businesses on the platform. 

Before I dig too deep, Facebook Recommendations is Facebook’s version of reviews for businesses. Users are able to express whether or not they recommend a business. From there, they can write a review, add photos and tag. Facebook recently changed their process for leaving recommendations. Up until a few years ago, Facebook gave users the option to rate businesses on a scale from 1 to 5. The change now presents users with the question, “Do you recommend (business name)? Yes or no?”, along with the option to share their experience.

This change allows users to leave feedback in a much more detailed way than they had before. In fact, it is very similar to the way that users leave a review on Google. You may be wondering, “What is the difference between Facebook Recommendations and Google Reviews?” Well, there are a few differences. Google Reviews and Facebook Recommendations are arguably two of the most important places to earn reviews. While the differences between the two are the really just the platform used, both types of reviews can improve a business in different ways. 

What are the benefits of both platforms?

Google Reviews are a way for users to review businesses using their Google account. They are so important because they can improve local search ranking, increase trust and credibility with customers, influence customers on future purchases, help businesses gain helpful feedback, improve click-through rates, create brand awareness, and so much more. Google Reviews give businesses the boost of credibility they need without spending a dime. 

Facebook Recommendations is more interactive. Instead of users ranking a business on a 5-star scale, users can now add photos along with text. They are also much more informative and help with organic reach. Facebook Recommendations is now based on how many people recommend or do not recommend a page, past reviews, and previous ratings. Facebook changed their process because they saw a lot of problems with their previous style. Facebook’s new process was created so that businesses with a Facebook page would be more visible to Facebook users. Facebook Recommendations can increase reach, allow users to share photos, and tag so that others are more likely to see your page. With Facebook, the better the recommendation score, the higher the chance that a business has of engaging new customers. 

Which platform is more important?

So, if both platforms show benefits, which one is more important? To be honest with you, they are both crucially important for your business. Neither one or the other is more important. It’s like comparing apples and oranges. Both platforms benefit businesses in their own way.

Facebook is the most popular social media platform of all time. With nearly 2.7 billion active users, Facebook’s popularity isn’t even in question. Because so many people are using the platform, it is essential that your business has a page and reviews for other people to see. Although you need Facebook Recommendations, they should not replace your Google Reviews. Your business will benefit from having a good balance of both. 

Why should businesses use both?

Google is the most popular online review platform. Nearly 57% of consumers use Google to read reviews. Nearly 9 out of 10 consumers read online reviews before making a purchase. Reviews are so important, especially those on Google. Google is the most visited website on the Internet. No wonder their reviews are so valuable. 

Facebook Recommendations is great for many reasons. It will not help your business dominate the search ratings, but it will make users feel more comfortable. More people have a Facebook account and are more comfortable expressing their feedback on Facebook rather than Google. Facebook is also a platform that was created for engagement and conversation. Therefore, users are able to have a conversation with someone who leaves a review. A Facebook Recommendation may show up in a Google results page when someone searches for your business, but they have no impact on whether your business ranks for relevant search terms. 

While there are many differences and benefits of each review platform, you do not need to choose between one or the other. Your business will benefit significantly by using both. You can start this journey by creating a Facebook page for your business (if you don’t already have one) and starting a Google My Business Account. The rest is up to your audience. Don’t forget to ask for those reviews!