Gmail’s New Meet Integration Offers 16-Person Chat, Streamlined Security & Personalized Options All from Your Inbox

Gmail’s New Meet Integration Offers 16-Person Chat, Streamlined Security & Personalized Options All from Your Inbox

Google’s recent assimilation of Meet with Gmail couldn’t have come at a better time – simplifying life for their users while giving popular competitors a run for their money 

With features like 16-person chat, tab/audio sharing, cutting-edge protection, and several other options, Google’s integration of Gmail with Meet is going off without a hitch.  

Growing out of Google Hangouts, Google Meet has several of the same elements as its predecessor but incorporates key characteristics from competitors.  Clearly borrowing Zoom’s aesthetic, Google takes things a few steps further, ironing out some of Zoom’s security flaws and offering a seamless user experience from the comfort of your Gmail Inbox.  As part of Google’s G-Suites personal cloud, Google is not charging customers for upgrades to Meet-related features like large video calls during a six-month period ending in September, allowing customers to familiarize themselves while providing communications services during the COVID-19 crisis.

“I’ve seen time and time again customers and prospects coming from other solutions that have not been able to keep up or had concerns in security and reliability,” says Google VP Javier Soltero, pointing to New York City public schools’ jump to Meet from Zoom after the latter’s susceptibility to hackers led to cyber-classroom interruptions.  Soltero goes on to say not developing safeguards for free tools is “inherently wrong.”

Concerns of this matter are critical in business, as any breach in communications and security could have deep impacts.  Considering international demands for social distancing to curtail the spread of the Coronavirus, Google’s new development comes at a pivotal time to assist corporations, institutions, and – most importantly – the everyday user.

Soltero believes this level of security is an evolution and will assist the global Google community “so the products they use at work, they can use at home.”

And critics seem to agree. 

Raul Castanon, senior analyst for workforce collaboration at 451 Research/S&P Global Market Intelligence pointed out, “The integration of chat and video communications into Gmail should provide a more streamlined experience in G Suite that better aligns with user workflows, reducing friction for the end-user.” 

“This should close a gap with key rival Microsoft, which has leveraged its dominance with its productivity suite to gain market traction for Teams,” Castanon elaborates.  “It should also strengthen its position against standalone ‘best of breed’ competitors Slack and Zoom, which have emerged as a competitive threat.”

John Kriney, OptFirst’s CEO, also heralded the introduction, calling it a “brilliant move.”  By “optimizing their opportunities” and simplifying the user experience, John sees the benefit to clients while capitalizing on ad revenue opportunities. 

Three Things about OptFirst Internet Marketing

These 3 differentiating factors makes working with OptFirst different than any other internet marketing company in the world!

John Kriney, President of OptFirst

Longevity of Performance

OptFirst was founded in 2001. Having almost twenty years under our belt gives us an edge in not only knowing what to do, but knowing what not to do. New companies entering the industry do not have the practical experience of growing and adapting with every new Google update. There are certain strategies being deployed by marketing wizards right out of college that we know were banned by Google in 2005. That kind of experience cannot be taught and does not readily exist in the online marketing space where new companies tend to have short life spans. That is why OptFirst has clients for 10+ years and running, which is over twice as long as the average marketing company has been in business. 

ROI Focused

OptFirst focuses on our client’s return on investment over everything else. John Kriney, founder and President of OptFirst, started in internet marketing after successfully ranking his own business, BodyKits.com, first on Google back in 2000. When he eventually sold BodyKits, he had a list of friends he was doing internet marketing for, copying the success he had with his own business. He then created OptFirst out of the enthusiasm of those first few clients. This background has taught him what business owners want from their marketing efforts. It’s not branding. It’s not traffic. It’s return on investment. That is why at OptFirst a positive client return is always our number one objective, because making money is the definition for every business and that is what we love to do for our clients!

Wide Campaign Expertise

What started out by doing the right thing for our clients has become one of our core strategic advantages in our expertise. Many marketing companies will tout themselves as a certain industry’s best choice. “We are the best in real estate marketing!”. While this approach sounds appealing on the surface, since that company will speak the right jargon and hit all the hot buttons in that industry, it really should create a red flag for any business owner. If an online marketing company is working with 10 real estate agencies – how can they promise top results to each one? How varied will their strategies and campaigns be? OptFirst works with a single company per industry per location. We have one Miami real estate agency that we work with, to get those coveted top positions. We do this with no loyalties or ties to any competitor in their market. Our work across many verticals allows us to see what is working in other fields and employ performing campaigns in areas that otherwise will not be attempted, for months or even years, by ‘vertical’ marketing companies. Commitment to our clients and expertise across all internet marketing is what OptFirst delivers.

Car Dealerships AMP-up Used Car Sales

Accelerated Mobile Pages (AMP) is an Internet platform that creates fluid, smooth and blazing-fast websites. Google’s automated search “bots” like AMP pages, so they often come up first. Since 2017, AMP has been universally embraced by leading news agencies such as WordPress, and social media companies like Twitter, Pinterest, and Linkedin. It’s also being adopted by online retailers.  Why? Because AMP makes mobile pages load faster (Google reported an average loading time of around one second). It’s also great for search engine optimization (SEO), making sites show up higher on Google listings. This is a key feature to success because better search results and faster loading pages translate to more money for companies with consumer-facing websites. Most recently, new and used car dealerships have also been cashing in on this trend.

Car dealerships are becoming the latest industry to make money with AMP’s super-fast internet technology.  Research tells us that about 56% of internet users do their car shopping on a mobile device. Consumers on smartphones are particularly sensitive to loading times, often tapping one of the first websites that show up on their search page.  If a car listings website is built with AMP technology, it scores higher in Google’s search algorithm, leading to more visibility, visits, leads, and eventually sales.

Auto industry marketers: Is your web developer an expert in the space? It’s a good idea to check if they have designed their own selection of mobile-friendly AMP site templates for car dealerships.

There is another unique feature of AMP technology that makes it a great choice for used car dealerships. AMP is designed to refresh search engines every time there is “breaking news” on media websites.   Since pre-owned car listings happen frequently, and users are always looking for the latest deals, the used car category is a good fit for AMP technology. Users get to see the latest car listings show up almost the instant they are posted by a car dealership.

Some dealerships selling new luxury cars are prohibited from listing their off-brand trade-ins on their main website due to brand guidelines they get from the manufacturer.  When the number of trade-ins gets very high, they are increasingly turning to AMP sites to give them an edge over their online competitors who are vying for the same used car buyers. Smaller used car lots can benefit too: a blazing-fast AMP site gives them the chance to steal market share from larger car dealerships that still have slow-loading websites.

Auto industry marketers: Is your web developer an expert in the space? It’s a good idea to check if they have designed their own selection of mobile-friendly AMP site templates for car dealerships.

Implementing an AMP site is fast and easy – if it is done and tested by web developers experienced in adapting the technology to your industry. The benefits of an AMP site (faster loading time, better SEO, and faster search indexing of car listings) only come when a site is well-built and professionally maintained.

OptFirst is a leader in SEO and PPC on Clutch.co!

If a company is not appearing on the top of Google, it’s not getting seen. Getting our clients’ businesses maximum online visibility is our specialty at Optfirst. Specifically, we put companies in front of consumers by organic, paid, and local search through SEO, SEM, and other marketing tactics. We also tell our clients how important it is to control their online reputation. One survey found that 42% of businesses monitor their online reputation daily, and businesses also experience a growth in sales from doing so. Optfirst understands the importance of showcasing strong partnerships with our clients, and Clutch has been an invaluable partner in helping us with this mission.

Clutch, a B2B market research firm based in Washington, D.C., features companies across a variety of segments and identifies industry leaders through a proprietary research methodology. They conduct unbiased, verified client reviews on behalf of the companies featured. The voice of the clients is prioritized in the evaluation, and determine how a vendor is ranked, along with a few other quantitative and qualitative factors.

Clutch releases an annual report highlighting agencies that have exhibited outstanding performance across their directory. We’ve recently been included in Clutch’s most recent press release as an industry leader in two segments. Specifically, of the 70 PPC firms in Miami featured on Clutch, Optfirst is proud to have been named #1!

Likewise, in the SEO segment, we were named # 3 on Clutch.co and even made the list of top 20 SEO companies on their sister website, The Manifest. This achievement wouldn’t have been possible without the time and diligence of our clients to provide positive feedback. We’re truly grateful to work with such great partners. Below are just a few highlights from their reviews:

“I wish I felt this good about every business I deal with.”
 
“Their work has exceeded expectations and provided successful, measurable results.”
 
“The most impressive thing about OptFirst has been the personalized customer service and their results.”
           
“OptFirst’s turnaround time has blown me away, and it’s one of the main reasons I’ve consistently gone back to them.”
 
“I’m very pleased with their performance and with what OptFirst does as an organization.”

We couldn’t be more excited to have validation from our clients that the quality of the Opfirst team has met their expectations. Search is constantly evolving, and we’re looking forward to taking on new challenges with new businesses. If you’d like to reach more in depth client feedback to feel confident that Optfirst can take your business to the next level, please visit our profile.

AMP impacts organic and paid campaigns

AMP looks to have a larger impact than originally thought. Here is how it looks to impact organic and paid campaigns:

SEO

– Early 2016 Google announced that mobile pages that featured certain technologies, like AMP, would get preferential organic search positions in their mobile index results. – article here: Wired – Fast Loading Tech
– Google announced later in 2016 that the mobile-first update would roll out in the first quarter of 2017. The short version is that Google is deleting their original, ‘desktop’ index and only using their newer, mobile index. The mobile index is the only index that will be used to index BOTH mobile and desktop results. What you site warrants to rank on mobile it will rank for both.
– The target was Q1 of 2017 but announced a delay and that it will be rolled out throughout 2017 – article here: mobile first delay article.

AdWords

On May 23rd Google announced that they will AMP their results and charge 50-60% of the CPC for Advertisers using AMP landing pages in their AdWords campaign.

·        Google Ads, Analytics and DoubleClick Announcements Keynote

·        Bringing the Speed of AMP to Search & Display Ads

In order to accommodate the mass need for business owners and advertisers to build AMP websites and landing pages we recently launched the beta version of our AMP page builder.

What Happened To My Google Rankings? The Answer is AMP Mobile Sites PLUS Google Rolled Out the Mobile Index Update

Did you just Google your core business keyphrases this morning and are thinking, “What Happened To My Google Rankings?” The Answer is a combination of the creation of AMP Mobile Sites PLUS Google’s Mobile Search Index just rolled out.

As I write this blog post I’m thinking of the millions of business owners whose rankings will drop as a results of this update. The very same business owners who were told, at one time or another over the past 7 years, they should re-create their business website on WordPress. All of the data they were presented with made sense; the updating technology, ease of use, compatibility with other platforms, mobile responsiveness, that it was build using open source (as they thought to themselves…Whatever that Means!@#\!) and so on.

The challenge is now WordPress does not have a plugin or core update to easily create an AMP site from an existing WordPress site. This difficulty to convert “pages and archives” to the new AMP criteria (cited on WordPress here). This leaves millions of businesses on the WordPress platform at risk of loosing their hard earned Google rankings.

If you are reading this blog then Google just fully released AMP preferential treatment and has switched over to their mobile first index. Here is a background on all the facts:

1. The story starts to make sense when Google first stated that AMP results will go ahead of non-AMP pages on mobile (cited in Wired here).
2. It was first thought that Google would run two separate indexes, desktop and mobile (cited in Search Engine Land here).
3. On September 27th AMP results started showing on desktop. The news about their being 2 separate indexes didn’t seem to make sense since Google was showing AMP results on desktop. It made sense that this was a test for the big update to come, one index with mobile first results (cited in Search Engine Land here).
4. Just this past Friday, November 4th,  it was confirmed when Google announced there will be one index, with mobile criteria leading the ranking criteria (cited in Mashable here).

Learning and watching large players in an industry is important to learn how trends will move. When Ebay announced it was AMPing their entire mobile site anyone not paying attention was doomed to be left behind. Ebay first figured out the importance of AMP and then announced their intention to AMP their m. site on July 4th of 2016 (cited in Search Engine Land  here). AMP was first announced for news outlets and posts on WordPress but the initiative by Ebay made it clear that this was going to be a technology suitable and preferred across all types of businesses and industries. The first reported AMP use on Ebay was mid October and still being tweaked at the date of this article showing the challenges of even the best development teams with the faster but newer AMP code.

On the WordPress platform it is also challenging and we ran into many obstacles using recommended plugins. The way we AMPed our own site is we created a separate AMP website and forwarded amp.optfirst.com and then configured the required forwarding, viewing and tagging. Creating a separate site that is AMP validated is an intense but worthwhile process. It can lead to 4X faster mobile version of any mobile or responsive website.

To check if a website is AMP’ed or has an AMP version you can install the verified AMP Validator available here.

To learn about all the benefits of Accelerated Mobile Page, code elem

Did you just Google your core business keyphrases this morning and are thinking, “What happened to my Google rankings?” The Answer is a combination of the creation of AMP Mobile Sites PLUS Google’s Mobile Search Index just rolled out.

As I write this blog post I’m thinking of the millions of business owners whose rankings will drop as a result of this update. The very same business owners who were told, at one time or another over the past 7 years, they should re-create their business website on WordPress. All of the data they were presented with made sense; the updating technology, ease of use, compatibility with other platforms, mobile responsiveness, that it was build using open source (as they thought to themselves…Whatever that means!@#\!) and so on.

The challenge is now WordPress does not have a plugin or core update to easily create an AMP site from an existing WordPress site. This difficulty to convert “pages and archives” to the new AMP criteria (cited on WordPress here). This leaves millions of businesses on the WordPress platform at risk of loosing their hard earned Google rankings.

If you are reading this blog then Google just fully released AMP preferential treatment and has switched over to their mobile first index. Here is a background on all the facts:

  1. The story starts to make sense when Google first stated that AMP results will go ahead of non-AMP pages on mobile (cited in Wired here).
  2. It was first thought that Google would run two separate indexes, desktop, and mobile (cited in Search Engine Land here).
  3. On September 27th AMP results started showing on desktop. The news about their being 2 separate indexes didn’t seem to make sense since Google was showing AMP results on desktop. It made sense that this was a test for the big update to come, one index with mobile first results (cited in Search Engine Land here).
  4. Just this past Friday, November 4th,  it was confirmed when Google announced there will be one index, with mobile criteria leading the ranking criteria (cited in Mashable here).

Learning and watching large players in an industry is important to learn how trends will move. When eBay announced it was AMPing their entire mobile site anyone not paying attention was doomed to be left behind. eBay first figured out the importance of AMP and then announced their intention to AMP their site on July 4th of 2016 (cited in Search Engine Land here). AMP was first announced for news outlets and posts on WordPress but the initiative by eBay made it clear that this was going to be a technology suitable and preferred across all types of businesses and industries. The first reported AMP use on eBay was mid October and still being tweaked at the date of this article showing the challenges of even the best development teams with the faster but newer AMP code.

On the WordPress platform it is also challenging and we ran into many obstacles using recommended plugins. The way we AMPed our own site is we created a separate AMP website and forwarded amp.optfirst.com and then configured the required forwarding, viewing and tagging. Creating a separate site that is AMP validated is an intense but worthwhile process. It can lead to a mobile version 4X faster for any mobile or responsive website.

To check if a website is AMP’ed or has an AMP version, you can install the verified AMP Validator available here.

To learn about all the benefits of Accelerated Mobile Page, code elements and requirements you can view the Official AMP project site here.

ents and requirements you can view the Official AMP project site here.