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Shanghai another agent’s website for search bliss

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The Friendly Takeover

With the decline in the real estate markets around the USA, there are many many agents who have made the decision to pursue other opportunities. Chances are, a lot of those folks had websites and maybe even blogs. Probably some of those websites are still active. Maybe you know some of those people, and maybe, you are on good terms with them?

Here are the opportunities:

By taking over their website (with their permission of course, please don’t really Shanghai them), you can redirect their website content to your own website and pass some of their pages’ authority on to your own.

Or, maybe it’s such a good website, you’d like to just leave it up and point some strategically placed links at your own site.

The 301 Redirect

In the event that the website you are taking over doesn’t have a ton of aged, high quality, indexed pages, you might choose to simply redirect the said websites’ links to your own pages. You’ll accomplish this with what we call a “301 redirect”.

A 301 redirect is tech speak for the response a webserver returns to a web browser or other inquirer as to the status of the requested web page. If the page exists and is in good order, the server normally returns a 200 response, however, if the page has been permanently moved, the server can return a 301 code to the browser with the new web address and the user is automatically forwarded to the new link.

The advantage to the 301 redirect is the search authority that the indexed page had can be transferred to your page (because the search engine is informed the next time it visits that the page has been permanently moved to your website) and the visitor to the other website is automatically forwarded to your site. Pretty cool right? Arguably, the authority that is transferred is not going to last forever, however, if there are other sites linking to the retired agents’ pages, then that link juice will continue to flow through the redirect to your site. Free links!

Creating a 301 redirect varies depending on the web server your website is hosted on.  If you want to get all technical, you can check out this 301 redirect tutorial for multiple platforms. If you’re using WordPress, you can use a plug-in like Redirection to easily create software driven 301 redirects.

Dropping Some Links

Suppose the site you’ve inherited is just too large to fail. 😉 Well it shouldn’t be hard for you to figure out which pages the search engine already has indexed for that site. Go drop yourself some good links into those pages that point at your site. For example, let’s say the page mentioned “…beautiful real estate along the James River…” and you have a page on your site that features river or water-front property for sale. That’d be a perfect place to drop the link (starting with the word “real” and ending with “River”). Make sense?

New links on old pages may not get as much authority passed through them but as they age that should also change.

Bonus Tip

Don’t know anyone with a spare website they will give you? You can actually buy old websites or new websites and use it for such a purpose. Check out Flippa. Before buying though, you should see if any of the site or domain’s content is currently indexed or has a backlink profile.

If not, skip it and move on to one that does.  Happy redirecting!

The article previously mentioned, and you will find related conversation in the comments on buying expired domain names. This practice is frowned on by some and regularly used by others. Proceed at your own risk after informing yourself.

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Marty Martin is an accomplished SEM/SEO anti-consultant with a broad range of experience working for a wide variety of clientele including colleges and universities, regional and state tourism, government and business. An advocate for business, Marty works hard to share accurate information in a world suddenly overrun with "social media consultants."

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21 Comments

21 Comments

  1. Trace

    April 29, 2010 at 4:49 pm

    Other sites to look out for are sites that are down, meaning the owner let them expire. If you come across one that is showing an error pages, go to domaintools.com and look the site up, it may not be registered any longer.

    If that’s the case, go to opensiteexplorer.org and research the site to see if it has any links that were previously built to it, if so, it may make sense to register it and then 404 redirect the site to your site and take advantage of the link juice flowing to it, it’s not a 1 for 1 pass through and some may argue that link juice isn’t passed through (I would argue that some is), but it can mean increased traffic ….we’ve had success with this.

    We even found a link on a competitor’s partner page where one of the “partners” had gone out of business and let their domain expire. Once we purchased the “partner’s” expired domain, we had a new link to our website coming directly from a competitor!

    • Marty Martin

      April 29, 2010 at 4:56 pm

      Slick move! Did your competitor ever figure it out? haha

  2. Mary McKnight

    April 30, 2010 at 1:54 pm

    Wow, thanks, Marty for giving out 3 year old advice. Are you freakin’ kidding me? Do you even keep current with SEO? Since real time search and Google’s last 2 updates, this won’t work. Google has been collecting historical data for a couple years now, meaning it knows not only when a domain changes hands but that the backlinks to the site (dude, in order for the site to have a decent PR – they’d have to be built throughout the site and not just to the homepage) no longer correlate to internal pages. Oh, and a 301 won’t work to preserve the backlinks overtime, ASK ANY SEO. Actually, just go over to SEOmoz, get yourself a subscription and read before passing out this idiotic advice to people who presume you know what you are talking about. And next time you cite a reference source- make sure it was written recently not in 2006!

    • Marty Martin

      April 30, 2010 at 2:33 pm

      Wow, that was quite the vicious diatribe. Are you feeling quite well?

      First let me say that many of the marketing tips that I give are not meant to be “breaking news” as is obviously the case here, but rather, to inform competent folks who are not otherwise search experts on some things they can reasonably do to improve their search ranking and website performance.

      As far as SEOmoz goes, I actually am a PRO subscriber (and have been for a number of years) and have contributed an article or two there as well. I see your user rank is 8598. Mine is 92. I guess I have contributed there a bit more than you…oh well, I digress. (Also, the URI you mention in your bio is spelled wrong.)

      If you have hung around SEOmoz or any of the other search marketing sites long enough, you should well know that most knowledgeable search marketers don’t agree on many things when it comes to methodologies and ranking factors, etc. For example, let me reference this survey at SEOmoz: Search engine ranking factors – 2009 biennial survey. I challenge you to find any question or topic that 100% of those surveyed agreed on.

      ALL of that aside though, I don’t blindly follow anyone’s recommendations when it comes to search marketing. I prefer to test and validate myself. This practice above still provides benefits for me and so I have no problem recommending it. If you don’t agree then fine, I respect that, however, it is a bit unprofessional to jump on here and leave such an inspired, vomitous comment.

      I’d be happy to courteously debate anyone but I’m not going to engage in childish bickering with you.

      All my best and Happy Friday!

  3. Janie Coffey

    April 30, 2010 at 3:08 pm

    wow, this is quite a conversation going on. I hope that no matter what, I do learn something between two big SEO brains, even for me, 3 year old info might be of some use…

    • Marty Martin

      April 30, 2010 at 3:11 pm

      Hi Janie,

      Thanks for your comments. I’m actively considering topics for the coming weeks, and if you have anything in particular you’d like to know more about, I’d be glad to try and craft a blog post around it. Feel free to email me or leave a reply here.

      Cheers!

  4. Kevin Tomlinson

    April 30, 2010 at 3:19 pm

    mini-diet and popcorn…..

  5. Mary McKnight

    April 30, 2010 at 5:10 pm

    This isn’t childish bickering this is fact – You are handing out really bad and old advice. You should expect to be called out on it. And while nothing is 100% agreed upon in SEO, I guarantee you this strategy won’t work in the long run. The reason I know is not only did I do it regularly when it did work, but I’ve both read and experienced it when it stopped working. This is an old old old gray hat technique. And to recommend it to Realtors now is foolish and wasteful of other people’s money. In fact if you specific examples of how this DOESN’T work anymore, email me – I can show you an actual real estate site (that all the Realtors here know well) that redirected an old domain of mine with a PR4 that briefly saw a boon then lost it (backlinks, PR and SERP) when Google figured it out. Like I said, historical data a lack of correlation to the backlinks to inner pages is not something Google can’t easily figure out. It’s a bad bad strategy and if you want to use, do it, if you want to recommend it – I will call you out on it and prove that it doesn’t work based on real estate cases that everyone here can relate to.

    Here’s a tip – Google doesn’t like gaming it’s system. Matt Cutts repeatedly says that activities like this that are not for the benefit or users or search and only for the benefit of a rank (an undeserved one at that) are efforts to game the algo and considered bad practice. You aren’t creating sustainable value for the site or for search users. You are walking a fine line here and not only doesn’t this work, but it’s really unprofessional to recommend it. This is a shady thing to do and you know it. You can do this for affiliate and time limited pages or things you want to temporarily boost in search but you never recommend this to an industry that has sites that need to stay indexed, not receive penalties and have lifetime longevity sites. These sites survive and thrive on reputation – so if I seem pissed – it’s because you are dolling out advice that could harm their businesses not just their SERP and PR.

    FYI – you are looking at my old SEOmoz account. But glad to know you spent the time to look me up. Nothing stalkerish about that. And I do this and serious online rep mgt for a living for very recognized companies like EMI Music, Capitol Records, Haute Living Magazine, Genetic Denim and artists like Lilly Allen, Black Eyed Peas, etc – I don’t take the reputation of a site lightly when it is important it keep it’s rank, position and authority. There are sites you can play Gray/Black Hat with (concert events, contests, promotions, landing pages, etc) and I’d be happy to entertain a conversation on where it’s appropriate, but in real estate it isn’t – so keep the shady stuff out of this market.

    You want a topic to talk about that works for real estate? Talk about the Bruce Clay data silo model for ecommerce sites as it could apply to IDX listing pages… <–now, that, would be useful to real estate. Trulia has used that very effectively – show Realtors how to use their IDX or RETS feeds to do the same thing and you would have something to talk about.

    • Marty Martin

      April 30, 2010 at 11:13 pm

      Well again I’m going to call a spade a spade. I respect that you disagree but really your opinion (nor my own) can dictate what should or shouldn’t be acceptable practices in any industry.

      There are many many things I plan to talk about in future posts. This post is just one small item in an arsenal of ideas.

      I’m really not sure why you’re taking this all so personally. Being inspired to leave constructive and helpful comments or engage in a lively debate is great; childish name calling and bickering is just petty.

      There are plenty of reasons, as Benn points out below, where this would be a great tactic for real estate agents. Taking over a retiring agent’s sites is a perfect example of what I’m talking about. And I think if you *really* took the time to read what I wrote, you’d notice I used words like “can” and “may not get as much authority passed”. Heck, one of the things you’ve harped on twice I addressed in my original post when I said “the authority that is transferred is not going to last forever”.

      And finally, if you need to have the last word, then go ahead. I invite it. I’m secure enough in my own position and experience to not feel the need for it. Spew some more hateful stuff, OR, maybe you would like to submit a guest post on something you would feel IS helpful to the industry instead of just sowing seeds of discontent.

      Cheers.

  6. Benn Rosales

    April 30, 2010 at 10:02 pm

    It’s funny to me that a post about buying soon to be abandoned websites/domains from agents leaving the biz has inspired such commentary (although I do understand Mary works at high level tactical- not all of our audience is at that pace).

    When an agent leaves the biz, or switches brokers, agents not only buy their domains, but their signs, lock boxes and any other collateral investments- their web traffic could actually be of value by virtue of just one buying consumer, that domain name is tied to virtually every piece of marketing collateral ever distributed by the agent, not to mention comment links and the like- all of which are alive and active that organically deliver fresh traffic.

    I won’t get into the science of real time search and pagerank because ultimately I’d be writing an article in a comment box, but I do think the point being made here is valid, especially if you have a brand new domain with zero traffic, and zero page rank, and have a blog worth reading and are looking for a head start, and if you’ve purchased a blog rich in content, that’s even better. For example, I have one article here on AG that garners at least 100 pieces of fresh traffic every day and because it’s short sale related, it would make it invaluable to a short sale agent.

  7. Bob Wilson

    May 1, 2010 at 3:51 pm

    @Trace – Dont expect credit for links from expired domains.

    @Mary – There is truth to what you are saying with regard to buying and 301ing domains, but it really depends on the circumstances and it has quite a bit to do with the overall link profile of the site receiving the 301.

    I didn’t interpret Marty to be saying go out and buy a bunch of domains and redirect them – that is an old tactic, but it can and does still work depending on the link profile. If a large number of links are coming from 301s from several redirected domains, you are playing a bet that is very much like speeding – it gets you there faster unless you get caught.

    There is nothing wrong with buying one domain within the same space and redirecting it. It can pass link juice – meaning anchor text and link authority, but PR (which you shouldn’t care that much about) will degrade over time.

    Marty’s advice taken at face value and with the the context of his example is sound advice. Mary’s point, if looked at within the context of going overboard, is also valid.

    File it under “Everything in Moderation”.

    FWIW, I dont give a hoot about any one’s rankings on SeoMoz. They are meaningless.

  8. Francces Flynn Thorsen

    May 2, 2010 at 9:39 am

    I think Mary makes some excellent points and I share her passion and fury about the advice proffered here. My perspective comes an ethical and risk management perspective. I’ll leave the technical arguments aside.

    REALTORS® have more than Google to think about. In my view the deceptive marketing advice here flies in the face of the REALTOR® Code of Ethics (COE). https://www.realtor.org/mempolweb.nsf/pages/code

    Real estate licensees engaging in technical treachery are likely to find themselves standing before a REALTOR® Professional Standards Committee, facing disciplinary action and large fines. Complaints and hearings are increasing. Blog posts offering this type of advice are ill advised and dangerous.

    Thinking one step ahead from a risk management standpoint, consider that state licensing regulations mirror the REALTOR® COE in many areas. Licensees may face disciplinary actions in the regulatory arena also.

    Consider the following (excerpted from the COE):

    Article 12
    REALTORS® shall be honest and truthful in their real estate communications and shall present a true picture in their advertising, marketing, and other representations. REALTORS® shall ensure that their status as real estate professionals is readily apparent in their advertising, marketing, and other representations, and that the recipients of all real estate communications are, or have been, notified that those communications are from a real estate professional. (Amended 1/08)

    Standard of Practice 12-8
    The obligation to present a true picture in representations to the public includes information presented, provided, or displayed on REALTORS®’ websites. REALTORS® shall use reasonable efforts to ensure that information on their websites is current. When it becomes apparent that information on a REALTOR®’s website is no longer current or accurate, REALTORS® shall promptly take corrective action. (Adopted 1/07)

    Standard of Practice 12-10
    REALTORS®’ obligation to present a true picture in their advertising and representations to the public includes the URLs and domain names they use, and prohibits REALTORS® from:

    engaging in deceptive or unauthorized framing of real estate brokerage websites;
    manipulating (e.g., presenting content developed by others) listing content in any way that produces a deceptive or misleading result; or

    deceptively using metatags, keywords or other devices/methods to direct, drive, or divert Internet traffic, or to otherwise mislead consumers. (Adopted 1/07)

    Standard of Practice 12-12
    REALTORS® shall not: use URLs or domain names that present less than a true picture, or register URLs or domain names which, if used, would present less than a true picture. (Adopted 1/08)

    • Benn Rosales

      May 2, 2010 at 11:33 am

      Francces,
      You make a valid point, the practice you site is not the practice being discussed here. Businesses, their trademarks including domain names and content are acquired daily which is what the author is describing.

      If you left the business tomorrow and an interested party wanted to buy your business, that is perfectly legal.

      Mary is correct in that abusing acquisition of potentially expiring domains with the intent of pagerank could be deadly, but again, that isn’t what the author is describing here.

  9. Mary McKnight

    May 2, 2010 at 11:26 am

    Bob,

    Thank you – I am completely on board with what you say here. My real issue is that I have used this tactic specifically in the context of event/concert and even rep management for Warner Bros and EMI campaigns and it does work but not overtime. You do get caught but for time sensitive offerings it works (not as well as it used to, but a little). For a site that needs to stay above board, ethical and maintain value and authority over time it is playing with fire. I would never recommend this for real estate sites.

    And your point on the expired domains is spot on- it won’t and will never work because of the historical data collected, the links having been broken and because the era of real-time search is here so Google is too smart for that trick to even produce an initial result.

    I find the advice here not necessarily bad, just bad for real estate. It is irresponsible to publish something this gray hat when there are real tools of the trade that could be taught that would have value. Like I mentioned the Bruce Clay model for siloing like content from IDX feeds or even the proper implementation of Open Graph or aggregation/distribution tools. I put the hijacking of other domains like this into my more colorful SEO toolkit, I’d use for crisis or time sensitive sites. And to be honest, this isn’t a strategy I’d choose first for any campaign. The results just aren’t worth the effort.

    • Janie Coffey

      May 2, 2010 at 12:18 pm

      Mary, I’d love to hear more on using Open Graph and how we can implement that early on…

  10. Benn Rosales

    May 2, 2010 at 12:00 pm

    Mary, “I find the advice here not necessarily bad, just bad for real estate”

    It’s funny you say that, because I can always tell when a bunch of agents have been to a bad SEO class because suddenly we’re inundated with links in comments, keyword packed comments, or 50 comments on 5 year old articles, and it’s not just one person, it’s 20 in the same week- this industry has a habit of taking it to the extreme, so I totally get where you’re coming from.

  11. Mary McKnight

    May 2, 2010 at 3:01 pm

    Benn,

    Ain’t that the truth… moderation is key and this industry isn’t that good at that. I think err on the side of caution if you have a longevity site that needs to avoid penalties and rank over time not just immediately. It would make more sense in this case to invest the dollars in PPC initially on a new site while it ranks instead of wasting the money on this tactic.

  12. Bob

    May 3, 2010 at 5:28 pm

    Sorry Francis, but the NAR COE doesnt apply to this situation at all because there is nothing deceptive with redirecting one domain to another. I would suggest your fury is mis-directed and your characterization of the advice incorrect.

    Mary, there is nothing wrong with what Marty advised, regardless of the space. Picking up one domain and redirecting it isnt going to trigger any penalty.

  13. Mary McKnight

    June 12, 2010 at 1:00 pm

    I’m revisiting this post because I just found an article by SEO expert and author, Stephan Spencer on SEL that references a part of this practice as one of the WORST SEO practices out there. It also shows you that Google’s algo was updated some time back to combat this kind of scheme with expired domains. So, no, buying an expired domain WILL NOT HELP YOU IN RANKINGS and it CANNOT sustain Pagerank once expired.

    searchengineland.com/seo-checklist-of-best-and-worst-practices-part1-43752

    “Are you buying expired domains with high PageRank scores to use as link targets? Google underwent a major algorithm change a while back to thwart this tactic. Now, when domains expire, their PageRank scores are reset to 0, regardless of how many links point to the site.”

    REALTORS, beware of advice like this – if it sounds too good to be true – it is.

    • Marty Martin

      June 14, 2010 at 4:57 pm

      Thanks Mary for pointing out a good article.

      To quell the controversy and hopefully put this to bed, I have edited the original article to reflect buying expired domains can be a questionable practice for some folks.

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Business Marketing

What skills do marketers need to survive the AI takeover?

(MARKETING) Quality marketers are constantly evolving, but getting your head around artificial intelligence can be a challenge – let’s boil it down to the most relevant skills you’ll need.

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When Facebook and Twitter were born, a new era of social media was ushered in, opening the gates for new areas of expertise that hadn’t existed before. At first, we all grappled to establish the culture together, but fast forward a decade and it is literally a science with thousands of supporting technology companies.

So as Artificial Intelligence (AI) takes over marketing, doesn’t that mean it will replace marketers? If you can ask your smart speaker in your office what your engagement growth increase was for your Facebook Page, and ask for recommendations of growth, how do marketing professionals survive?

Marketers will survive the same way they did as social media was introduced – the practice will evolve and new niches will be born.

There are 7 skills marketers will need to adapt in order to evolve. None of these are done overnight, but quality professionals are constantly grooming their skills, so this won’t be stressful to the successful among us. And the truth is that it won’t be in our lifetime that AI can quite process the exact same way a human brain does, even with the advent of quantum computing, so let’s focus on AI’s weaknesses and where marketers can perform where artificial intelligence cannot.

1. Use the data your new AI buddies generate.

In the 70s, the infamous Ted Bundy murders yielded the first case that utilized computing. The lead investigator had heard about computers and asked a specialist to dig through all of their data points to find similarities – a task that was taking months for the investigative team. After inputting the data, within minutes, they had narrowed their list of suspects from several hundred to only 10.

We’re not dealing with murderers here in the marketing world (…right, guys?), but the theory that algorithms can speed up our existing jobs is a golden lesson. As more AI tools are added to the marketplace to enhance your job, experiment with them! Get to know them! And continue to seek them out to empower you.

Atomic Reach studies your content and finds ways to enhance what you’re delivering. CaliberMind augments B2B sales, Stackla hunts down user-generated content that matches your brand efforts, Nudge analyzes deal risk and measures user account health, and Market Brew digs up tons of data for your SEO strategy.

See? Independently, these all sound like amazing tools, but call them “AI tools” and people lose their minds. Please.

Your job as a marketer is to do what AI cannot. Together, you can automate, do segmentation and automation, beef up your analytics, but no machine can replicate your innate interest in your customers, your compassion, and your ability to understand human emotions and predict outcomes effectively (because you have a lot more practice at being a human than the lil’ robots do).

2. Take advantage of AI’s primary weakness.

As noted, you have emotions and processes that are extremely complex and cannot be understood by artificial intelligence yet. Use those.

How? Compile all of the data that AI offers and then strategize. Duh. AI can offer recommendations, but it cannot (yet) suggest an entire brand strategy. That’s where you come in.

And more importantly, it cannot explain or defend any such strategy. One of the core problems with AI is that if you ask Alexa a question, you cannot ask how it came up with that information or why. This trust problem is the primary reason marketers are in no danger of being replaced by technology.

3. Obsess over data.

AI tools are young and evolving, so right now is the time to start obsessing over data. What I mean by that is not to use every single AI tool to compile mountains of useless data, but to start studying the data you already have.

The problem with new tools is that marketers are naturally inquisitive, so we try them out and then forget they exist if they didn’t immediately prove to be a golden egg.

Knowing your current marketing data inside and out will help you to learn alongside AI. If you aren’t intimately familiar, you won’t know if the recommendations made through AI are useful, and you could end up going down the wrong path because something shiny told you to.

Obsess over data not by knowing every single customers’ names, but be ready to identify which data sets are relevant for the results you’re seeking. A data scientist friend of mine recently pointed out that if you flip a coin five times and it happens to land on tails every time, AI would analyze that data and predict with 100% certainty that the sixth flip will be tails, but you and I have life experience and know better.

Staying on top of your data, even when you’re utilizing artificial intelligence tools will keep you the most valuable asset, not the robots. #winning

4. Don’t run away from math (no wait, come back!)

One of the appeals of marketing is that math is hard and you don’t need it in a creative field. But if you want to stay ahead of the robots, you’ll have to focus on your math skills.

You don’t have to go back to school for data science, but if you can’t read the basic reports that these endless AI tools can create, you’re already behind. At least spend a few hours this month on some “Intro to Data Science” courses on Udemy or Coursera.

5. Content is God.

We’ve all said for years that content is king and that feeding the search engines was a top way to reach consumers. You’ve already refined your skills in creating appealing content, and you already know that it costs less than many traditional lead generating efforts and spending on content is way up.

Content can be blogging, video, audio, or social media posts. Artificial intelligence will step in to skyrocket those efforts, if only you accept that content was once king, but is now God. What is changing is how customized content can be. For example, some companies are using AI tools to create dozens of different Facebook ads for different demographics, which would have taken weeks of human effort to do in the past.

Because content is what feeds all of these new smart devices, feeding your brand content effectively and utilizing AI tools to augment your efforts will keep you more relevant than ever.

6. Get ahead of privacy problems

Consumers now understand what website cookies are, and know when they’ve opted in (or opted out) of an email newsletter, but to this point, humans have made the decisions of how these data choices are made. Our teams have continually edited Terms of Service (ToS), all done not just with liability in mind, but to offer consumers the protections that they want and have come to expect.

But AI today doesn’t have morals, and consumer comfort is not a factor unless humans program that into said AI devices. But it still isn’t a creature of ethics like humans are. Ethical challenges going forward will be something to stay ahead of as you tap into the AI world. Making sure that you know the ToS of any tool you’re using to mine data is critical so that you don’t put the company in a bad position by violating basic human trust.

The takeaway

You’re smart, so you already knew that the robots aren’t taking your job, rather augmenting it, but adding AI into your marketing mix to stay ahead comes with risk and a learning curve. But seeing artificial intelligence for what it really is – a tool – will keep your focus on the big picture and save your job.

This story was first published in October 2018.

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Business Entrepreneur

Google makes it easier to identify veteran-owned businesses

(BUSINESS) Finding veteran-owned businesses just got easier thanks to a new feature from Google (one that veteran business owners can easily take advantage of).

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Google My Business (GMB) is the main database for search engines. It’s a powerful tool used by consumers and businesses. To help customers and business-owners, GMB added a very important category last fall. Businesses can now be identified as veteran owned.

The U.S. Small Business Administration estimates that there are 2.5 million businesses majority-owned by veterans in the United States. In one report, these veteran-owned businesses employ over 5 million people and have an annual payroll of $195 billion. Texas ranks #2 in having the most veteran-owned businesses, following California.

The support that Americans give vets is inspiring. The cool thing about this feature from GMB is that it helps consumers find businesses to support. The men and women who gave service to our country deserve support once they’re civilians. Look for veteran-led businesses when you use Google.

Customers aren’t the only ones who will take advantage of knowing whether a business is owned by a former service member not. Fellow vets often go out of their way to support each other. Who better to provide information about resources and opportunities than someone whose been there?

If you’re a business using GMB, it’s easy to add this attribute to your listing. It’s under the About category. The instructions for mobile and desktop can be found here. The only other attributes currently available are family-led and woman-owned.

It’s unknown how many people actually seek this information out or will actually use it. It’s estimated that about 10 percent of small businesses in the U.S. are veteran-led. These businesses aren’t just providing an economic impact on communities. Veteran-owned businesses hire fellow vets in higher volume than non-veteran-owned companies. USA Today reported that vets thrive in the small business world, attributing success to their core values, such as discipline and organization that make vets able to commit to a business and serve customers.

We applaud Google for adding this attribute to their database of information.

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Opinion Editorials

If you’re not constantly hustling, are you even living?

(EDITORIAL) If you aren’t hustling on the side, at night, while you eat, and in your sleep, are you really even a person in 2018?

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hustling

Back in the day, the idea of “hustling” was something of a negative concept (think Jon Voight and Dustin Hoffman in Midnight Cowboy). Now, if you’re not constantly hustling, and living that hustle life are you even living? If you don’t Rise and Grind, are you even a real person?

In this fast-paced, “I want it now” society, the assumption is that because we have 24 hours in a day, we must use every second of that time on one side hustle or another to make a few extra bucks, otherwise we’re not being productive. As Guru JP explains below, “being busy means you’re being productive. You do your best work when you’re always working. More quantity equals better quality.”

This has become one of the beliefs of entrepreneurialism: if you’re not working on your startup while Uber-ing at night and walking dogs via Wag on your lunchbreak, you’re not hustling and you’ll never be successful.

One important key of the hustle is to document how busy you are on social media, or else it’s not actually happening. Sharing a daily “rise and grind” pic on Instagram is the only way to appropriately start a manic day of hustle.

Despite what research would say, face-to-face communication is ineffective and computer mediated communication, or communication through text with no context or nonverbal cues, is the best way to relay messages. Also, if you’re hustling 24/7, there’s no way you have time for an in-person meeting when you’re on a FaceTime meeting while hosting a G-Chat team meeting simultaneously. I mean, come on.

The way that you know this is legit is that the hustle is referred to as a “game” which is how you should always describe your career path. Pople like volunteers in impoverished countries, single parents working ONLY two jobs, and people who built a business from the ground up and decided to only stay with that business, have no idea what hustling truly is (especially since none of it was documented on Snapchat).

And, the benefits of constant hustling are immense! You have unlimited time off and can take an unpaid vacation to anywhere in the world – just as long as there’s WiFi.

With hustling, you have so many options on how to make some extra scratch and start six different podcasts that all have a listener of one. Why wouldn’t you want to join this amazing idealism of entrepreneurship? Also, if you’re still reading, you’ve lost the game. Shouldn’t you be on to something else by now?!

Author’s note: In case you couldn’t tell, this entire article is incredibly facetious. Our COO wrote a popular editorial, rejecting the idea of hustling, and I completely agree with her on that. Constantly working to the point of exhaustion is, well, inefficient. Work on one thing, succeed, and then go from there. Ugh.

This story was first published in October 2018.

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