Brand Authority Basics: 5 Reasons Why You Should Write Articles for Your Brand

Why Do I Have To Write Articles? I’m a Businessperson.

As the fierce arms race to control Brand Authority in the online marketplace continues to ramp up, it’s only becoming more and more important to find an angle that sets your brand and your offering apart from your competition. For some retail brands, this can be accomplished by establishing themselves as a price leader in their market segment, or by offering a unique product that their competitors simply can’t match. But when it comes to the internet, and a lot of the service-based brands and companies that now exist, some of these age-old differentiating tactics no longer apply.

Why Do I Care About Brand Authority?

In a new age where knowledge is king, a brand must set themselves apart by demonstrating that they are more authoritative and knowledgable in their field than anyone else. One great way to demonstrate this is by curating and creating written content, on topics that directly relate to your brand and business. You don’t need to be the next Hemingway to write short to medium-form articles that can actually help your existing customers, attract new customers, and build brand authority at the same time.

Here are just five simple reasons why you should be writing articles for your brand:

  1. Authority – By positioning yourself as a leader and a source of knowledge in your industry, people will naturally gravitate towards your brand. Additionally, depending on your industry, there may be little competition when it comes to written articles and knowledge online. If you’re a landscaper in Scottsdale, AZ, there is likely not a huge amount of online competition writing watering guides, landscape design advice, etc. Those are easy ‘ins’ you can take advantage of quickly!
  2. Credibility – Along with this authority naturally comes a trust and understanding that you know what you’re talking about! This is a very valuable tool, professionally, and gaining the trust of current or potential customers is a gift that should be valued and respected. Make your content and writing actionable; the more valid and useful solutions you present to your audience, the more you will be seen as a leader.
  3. Recognition – Building brand recognition that increases the association of your brand or name to quality work or service is the entire point of marketing! You want people to sell you, for you. If you can become a recognized name, the snowball effect of recognition leading to discovery will begin to take place, paradoxically exposing even more new potential customers to your brand, and the identity of that brand.
  4. Loyalty – The more you build rapport with your customer base, the more loyal they will likely be to your brand. A business that continues to provide value after the initial transaction is miles ahead of the competition, and no amount of shiny marketing materials or up-front value adds can beat a strong and ongoing relationship that is beneficial to the customer.
  5. Perceived Value – When you continue to provide value past the initial relationship, you are building the perceived value of the brand/product in the customer’s eyes. By going beyond the tangible benefits of whatever the customer has purchased, you can make them feel like they are getting more for their money.

This is obviously not an exhaustive list, and only covers a few basic reasons why blogging for a business is beneficial to your brand authority and identity, but it should give you more than enough good reasons to get out and start writing articles for your brand today!

Google 3-Pack Local Results to Become 2-Pack with Paid Listing

SMX Conferences in the past 2 years have often been the venue for surprising announcements from the Google team, and this year’s SMX Advanced conference in Seattle was no exception. Joy Hawkins of Imprezzio Marketing broke the news of the inclusion of paid results in Local Pack listings from Google’s presentation yesterday, June 22:

 

 

Continue reading Google 3-Pack Local Results to Become 2-Pack with Paid Listing

How-To: Perform a Kick-Ass Competitor Analysis in SEMRush

Why is Competitor Analysis Important for SEO?

While strategy and planning are both integral to an effective SEO strategy, understanding the competitive landscape is equally as important to make informed decisions. Using SEMRush’s analysis toolkit, it is possible to get a comprehensive view of where the competition stands and the tactics that contributed to their success, as well as the areas of missed opportunity that can be capitalized upon. The major areas of a quality competitor analysis are:

  • Keyword Portfolio
  • Content Strategy
  • Advertising
  • Backlinks

Assess Your Competitor’s Top Performing Keywords

One of the core offerings of the SEMRush platform is the ability to review the keyword portfolio for any given domain. To start, enter the competitor domain URL in the main search bar within SEMRush:

From the main site dashboard, find the ‘Organic keywords’ segment:

This will give you a quick view of the top performing organic keywords for a given domain. Clicking ‘Full Report’ in the bottom left-hand corner will take you to the full list of indexed keywords. This full report will give a histogram of keywords over time, along with trend, volume, and competition statistics.

By clicking the heading rows in the table, the keyword data can be sorted by any of the given dimensions. Using this keyword data in conjunction with manually reviewing the competitor site will give a better understanding of targeting goals, as well as content strategy and tactics.

Comparing Keyword Portfolios

SEMRush also has the capability to compare multiple domains side-by-side. In the left navigation bar, look under Tools and find the Domain vs. domain tool. Multiple columns with individual search boxes will be displayed:

Input the domains to compare into the search columns and then hit GO. SEMRush will display a keyword list similar to the single domain keyword portfolio, though it will show rankings for each given domain side-by-side. SEMRush also provides a visual representation of keyword overlap in a Venn diagram by pressing the Chart button at the top of the comparison table:

Content Strategy

With a better understanding of a competitor’s keyword portfolio, it is easier to analyze site content and user experience within the context of a competitor’s goals. An easy and quick way to do this within SEMRush is to analyze the landing pages for a competitor’s top keywords to understand the on-page tactics that contributed to those top rankings.

The keyword portfolio overview provides a SERP Source for each ranked keyword, which shows the exact page linked in organic search, as well as the SERP results that come before and after your competition for added context. Clicking through to this SERP Source will display a cached version of the search results page as detected by SEMRush when the crawl was completed:

Take this opportunity to learn from the competition. Analyze how they implement heading and title tags, keyword variety and density within the content to maintain consistency and focus on the targeted phrase(s). This example shows results forhow to get likes on facebook – HubSpot currently holds the #1 spot for this phrase. A look at the landing page provides some useful insight into the strategy used:

  • The keyphrase is used in the heading (H1) tag, before any other content appears in the body.
  • The first subheading (H2) tag uses a slight rewording of the same keyphrase
  • Large internal link/call to action that cross-promotes content, while including the keyphrase in the anchor text
  • Content URL contains keyphrase (blog.hubspot.com/ marketing/ get- more-facebook-likes)

Estimating Ad Spend

Though it might not seem like it, understanding how your competition spends money on advertising is an important piece of the competitor analysis puzzle. SEMRush aggregates one of the most comprehensive live databases of organic and paid search data on the web, second only to Google themselves. Using the paid research toolkit within SEMRush will allow you to understand a competitor’s paid search campaign with regard to:

  • The number of keywords bringing visitors to their site through paid search.
  • The amount of traffic they generate through paid ads.
  • An estimate of how much your competitor is investing in paid search.
  • A comparative chart of their key competitors in paid ads.

Using this data affords insight into a number of factors: if your competitor has a dedicated landing page for their paid campaign, whether they are they using benefit-driven headlines with keywords, and how they are structuring ad copy such as keywords, benefits, incentives and CTAs. Trends over time allow for an at-a-glance view of how volume trends fluctuate throughout the year.

Using HubSpot as an example again, we can see that HubSpot’s strong organic performance has almost completely replaced their paid search traffic, from over 6,000 targeted paid keywords at the end of 2013 down to only 81 as of April 2015.

Understanding Competitor Link Portfolios (Backlinks)

SEMRush provides a fairly robust interface to understand and identify backlinks, as well as attributes such as anchor text, canonical linking, follow/nofollow, and TLD (top level domain) distribution. The backlinks overview display provides a macro view of a given domain’s backlink portfolio:

From the overview, the full backlinks report can be customized to show data from a domain level, down to a page-by-page index of links that displays the source and target (landing) URL in addition to the anchor text. The report also includes DFS (date first seen) and DLS (date last seen) to give an idea of the age and accuracy of a given link.

In Conclusion

Understanding your competition and learning from their triumphs (and failures!) is a great way to inform your strategy decisions for your own brand or business. By doing a little bit of legwork and looking at your competition through an analytical lens, you can quickly and easily identify opportunities for growth. Knowing is half the battle!

About Andrew

Andrew Peron, SEO Account Manager for UpCity, has serviced top-tier brands such as Henri Bendel, Limited Brands, and Havaianas. When he’s not doing SEO kung-fu for clients, he enjoys cycling through Chicago and writing content for his digital marketing and SEO blog, Indexed Marketing.

Bing Surpasses 20 Percent Market Share in U.S.

According to comScore’s March search data, Bing has finally secured over 1/5th of the total organic search market in the United States, stealing partial percentages from both Google and Yahoo between February and March of 2015. Bing’s slow yet steady gains in market share have effectively unseated Search Alliance partner Yahoo from the number two spot, despite the fact that Bing is actually serving Yahoo’s organic results.

comScore Bing Desktop Search Data March 2015
comScore’s Core Search Report – March 2015

 

The last time Yahoo enjoyed a similar market percentage was in May 2009, two months before Bing’s launch in June 2009. Yahoo’s share of the pie is around 12.7 percent today, thanks in part to a performance boost as a result of a default search partnership with Mozilla’s Firefox browser.

When you factor in the Search Alliance partnership between Yahoo and Bing, the effective reach of Bing’s organic SERPs is nearly 33 percent, which is certainly not a figure to scoff at. Google should be feeling a bit of heat on the back of their neck as tertiary search providers like Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo slowly erode their market share by a few percentage points in aggregate as concerns about search history privacy and user data continue to grow.

Bing and Yahoo – A Shifting Partnership

This news also comes on the heels of a related Yahoo-Bing announcement which will allow Yahoo to begin serving up to 49% of ads on desktop from their own Gemini platform, as well as from other providers such as Google. Yahoo and Google have circled each other for an advertising partnership in the past, with Eric Schmidt himself floating the idea in late 2012 before the idea was crushed by the US Government for anti-trust concerns. In the short term this may seem like a loss for Yahoo, but as their own Gemini platform grows and they learn to better serve contextual ads, having this amount of control over their own campaigns should prove to be beneficial in the long run.

Mobile SEO Tips – Preparing Your Site for Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update

This post was written for UpCity’s SEO Blog. It has been syndicated here.

Some people are calling it ‘mobilegeddon’, others are calling it ‘mobile-pocalypse’, but no matter what you call it, Google’s Mobile Algorithm update, slated for April 21, is purported to be the biggest, most significant algorithm update to date. Industry experts predict that some 15-20% of mobile queries will be affected, and many speculate that even desktop rankings will suffer as a result.

By arming yourself with the information we’ve been able to obtain ahead of launch, you can position your web properties to be fully prepared for Google’s changes.

Mobile Friendliness is no Longer an Option

Google has been slowly moving towards this eventual reality for a long time, but most digital marketers did not expect them to draw such a clear and abrupt line in the sand. With this new update, sites that are not optimized for mobile will be actively penalized in mobile results, and webmasters can expect to see fringe falloff in desktop results as well.

However, it’s not as bad as some marketers have predicted. Last week, Google clarified the mechanics surrounding the new algorithm rollout in a Q&A session that centered around the new update and mobile-friendliness in general.

How To Prepare for Google’s Mobile Algorithm Update Now

As with most Google updates, we won’t be able to assess the full impact until the change has been made. However, there are a few key points that we are certain of now:

  • The algorithm rollout begins April 21st, though it will take 3-7 days to be reflected globally.
  • There is no longer a sliding scale ranking system for mobile-friendliness. Your site either is or isn’t, there is no longer a middle ground.
Google's Mobile-Friendliness Testing Tool in action.
Google’s Mobile-Friendliness Testing Tool in action.
  • You can check whether your site passes Google’s mobile-friendly requirements right now by checking for a ‘Mobile-Friendly‘ label next to your SERP entries. If you’d prefer to check on a page-by-page basis, check the mobile-friendly testing tool, which should match the live Google search results. We discourage the use of mobile usability reports in Google Webmaster Tools, as they can be delayed based on crawl time.

Mobile-Friendliness Will Update in Real Time

At SMX West, Google’s own Gary Illyes fleshed out some more details about the operational mechanics of the algorithm change, which gives some better insight on how webmasters will be able to rebound from ranking losses caused by the update.

You can check mobile-friendliness right in SERP results by looking for the 'Mobile-friendly' tag next to results descriptions.
You can check mobile-friendliness right in SERP results by looking for the ‘Mobile-friendly’ tag next to results descriptions.

Illyes explained that the algorithm runs and scrapes in real time, so that in theory, you will experience organic performance increases the minute your site becomes mobile-friendly and Google has a chance to crawl it. This should ease some concerns about the ability for sites that previously ranked extremely well to adapt to the new algorithm without seeing a permanent hit to SERP performance.

The Mobile Algorithm is Page-by-Page, not Sitewide

Illyes also clarified how the algorithm will treat sites that may be mostly mobile-optimized, yet still have a handful of assets that are not. Because the algorithm assigns value at the page-level, you will only see a performance hit on those pages that aren’t optimized. If you have a site with 20 pages, 5 of which are not mobile-friendly, you’ll still be able to rank and benefit from the update for the 15 pages that are ready to go. For webmasters that maintain e-commerce sites, or other properties with high page count and specialized content, they can breathe easy knowing that being less than 100% mobile-friendly won’t be an organic search death sentence.

The Short List: What Should You Be Doing To Prepare?

If you’re just looking for the CliffNotes version, here’s what you absolutely need to know:

  1. Your first priority should be to make your website mobile-friendly as soon as possible. A responsive design is best, both from a usability standpoint, and from Google’s point of view.
  2. Run an audit in Google Webmaster Tools to address any mobile usability issues.
  3. Use Google’s Mobile-Friendliness Test Tool to identify any problem areas with your site or content.
  4. Begin monitoring your site analytics with a fine-toothed comb starting now. By giving yourself a deep understanding of how your site performs and behaves in organic search now, you will be able to better mitigate any negative performance changes after the flip is switched on April 21st.

The Real Deal: How to Verify Your Website on Pinterest

Social (Media) Security

Global Price tag of consumer cybercrime (Norton Report)
Global Price tag of consumer cybercrime (Norton Report)

As business owners and social media users alike can attest to, cybercrime is one of the largest inherent problems that has come along with the wide prevalence of the Internet. Cybercrime has moved from an annoyance employed mostly by hobbyists, to an immeasurably large business that spans the globe, affecting economies from Russia, to South Africa, to the United States.

Cost of Cybercrime (con't.) - (Symantec)
Cost of Cybercrime (con’t.) – (Symantec)

The greatest cost of consumer cyber crime are reported in the USA ($38 billion), Europe ($13 billion) and China ($37 billion.)

-InfoSEC Institute

As a result, cyber security has gone from a recommended option to an absolutely necessary aspect of any online presence. And with more and more consumer commerce taking place online, end-users are as susceptible to cybercrime as businesses, if not moreso.

Verifying your Website on Pinterest

In an effort to combat spam, Pinterest allows you to verify your ownership of the website listed in your Pinterest Profile. Similar to Twitter’s Verified Accounts feature, Pinterest includes a visual marker on your profile to signify that you are the site owner, in this case a red checkmark. It’s a rather easy process, provided you have a few pieces of information and 10-15 minutes of time. You’ll need:

  • Pinterest login credentials for you or your brand
  • FTP login credentials for your website (more on this in a moment)
  • Basic knowledge of HTML files

Let’s get started!

pinterest-verification1

Login to the Pinterest profile we’ll be working with, and once logged in click your name across the top navigation bar. This should take you to your settings. Scroll down until you find the entry for Website, double and triple-check to make sure the URL in the box is your website’s URL. You need to include the http:// header, but not the www. prefix.

YOUR URL SHOULD LOOK LIKE THIS: http://mywebsite.com

You should see a button next to your Website field that says ‘Verify Website’, click on that bad boy.

Download your HTML Verification File

pinterest-verification2

You should be presented with this HTML verification screen. Click next to step 1 where it says Download the HTML verification file (pinterest-xxxxx.html), your HTML file should begin downloading automatically. Ensure that you do not rename the file.

Upload the HTML Verification File to Your Site

Now that we’ve downloaded the HTML verification file, we need to get it onto our site so Pinterest can see it to complete the verification. In order for Pinterest to do that, the HTML verification file needs to be located at http://yourwebsite.com/pinterest-xxxxx.html, and in order to accomplish that, we need to upload the HTML file we downloaded to the root folder of your website.

Uploading a File to Your Site’s Root Folder

Most modern web hosts have a web management interface like cPanel, allowing you to upload/download files, make configuration changes, and more. I’ll be showing you an example using cPanel, as this is the most commonly used management UI. However, the steps are largely the same for any web host, as long as you can find a File Manager/Browser within your web management interface.

This is the File Manager included with cPanel. The folder 'public_html' is your Root Folder.
This is the File Manager included with cPanel. The folder ‘public_html’ is your Root Folder.

Navigate to your ‘public_html‘ folder, and upload your verification HTML file. After you’ve completed this, return to Pinterest and click on step 3 to check the verification file and complete the process. If everything is correct, your profile should now show a red checkmark next to your site URL!

 

HTTPS and You: Does HTTPS Really Affect SERP Rankings?

Introducing HTTPS – Whether You Like it or Not

http vs https

As all SEOs should know, Google announced in August 2014 that they would be adding a ranking factor to their SERP algorithm based on whether or not a site was serving a secure or insecure page. As is typical with Google, they didn’t add anything more, leaving many of us wondering: Just how much does HTTPS really matter?

Well, now that the dust has settled a bit, one month later many SEO experts are ready to look back at August’s data and draw some initial conclusions.

So, Does HTTPS Affect SEO Performance?

Well, that totally depends on what context you’re asking that question in. Do you run a banking or finance website? Do you deal with users’ sensitive information? Then yes, you should definitely be using HTTPS, amongst other safeguards. But what about if you run a personal fitness blog, or a fashion website? Does HTTPS affect SEO performance? According to Marcus Tober of SearchMetrics, not enough for anyone to notice:

In a nutshell: No relationships have been discernible to date from the data analyzed by us between HTTPS and rankings nor are there any differences between HTTP and HTTPS. In my opinion therefore, Google has not yet rolled out this ranking factor – and/or this factor only affects such a small section of the index to date that it was not possible to identify it with our data.

The short version: There was barely enough of a difference for the change to be statistically significant in reporting, leading SEOs to believe this is nothing more than an additional, minute ranking factor, used primarily to tip the scales one way or another in the case of a very tight ranking battle between two sites. But don’t expect HTTPS to be winning you any top spots on its own.

So friends, don’t go running out to upgrade to a secure server and dish out for a certificate unless you have a legitimate security need for HTTPS/SSL. One thing is for sure: HTTPS is not going to push you to the top of page 1. Sorry, pipe dreamers!

 

Google Confirms Rollout of Image Search Filters & Tags

As early as the beginning of Summer 2015, some users began to notice a new set of Google Image Search filters and options when performing an image search from mobile. Of course, it’s not uncommon for Google to test new features on unsuspecting users, but in a somewhat uncommon turn of events, Google has confirmed that these new image search filters/tags are here to stay for good. See these new search filters in action below:

Using Google Image Search Filters

It appears that these tags are only showing for a small subset of search terms thus far (I promise I don’t spend a lot of time Googling home siding on a regular basis), but if you manage to stumble upon an image search that does have these new filters enabled, it works a little bit like this:

  • Perform a search
  • Choose a filter (or three)

You’ve done it! Now you’re an image tag filter searching pro. It is interesting (and useful!) to note that these filters can be compounded, meaning I can view results for home sidinghome siding with a concrete filter applied, and even home siding with a concrete filter applied, in addition to a red filter. Gone are the days of sifting through hundreds of image results to find that perfect red concrete home siding example you’ve been dreaming of.

On a more serious note, these filters, and more importantly their method of implementation, is a logical and intelligent move for Google. Google has long provided suggested modifications to image search results, but being able to filter and pare down results on the fly with little to no loading time is just another way the Google Image Search experience has gotten that much easier. I’m surely not complaining.

7 Tangible Skillsets That Make You a Rockstar Job Candidate

7. Proven Technical Writing Ability

No, I’m not referring to the science fiction short stories that you put together when you went through a phase after reading “Ender’s Game” for the first time.

While no doubt exhibiting a level of creativity, that type of writing isn’t exactly marketable for the broad host of companies that are actively seeking to hire in this saturated market.

Rather, I’m referring to analytical, fact-based writing, devoid of flowery details, which highlights specific results while fostering a discussion without bias.

Writing in the vein of experimental research reports and having those reports published demonstrates that you have a sufficient grasp of the English language and the aptitude to provide a professional-level report.


6. Statistics

Everyone entering the job market should have a sufficient, elementary understanding of statistics. Things like averages and statistical significance can prove to be vitally important for decision-making, both professionally and personally.

Cost-to-benefit analysis on your purchase decisions can shift your personal finances to healthier levels and can give structure and reasoning to whatever judgments you make.

The scope of statistics in the workplace is so broad that there is really no way to explain its value beyond saying every single market in every single industry uses it with intense regularity.


5. In-Depth Software Familiarity

Writing “Microsoft Word” or “PowerPoint” on a résumé as one of your skills is redundant. Nascent sea otters understand how to use these modules.

On the other hand, a solid grasp of Microsoft Excel, Access, Publisher and other less widely known programs is valuable and somewhat unique.

Having a breadth of experience working with commonly employed software (other than the obvious ones, like the aforementioned MS Word) will show you that you can work your way around computers sufficiently, which is a standard ability in today’s workforce.


4. People Skills

This may seem qualitative, which as I mentioned, I’m trying to avoid, but having the ability to interact in a professional environment with minimal awkwardness is what separates you from a paycheck or the front door.

For in-demand fields, where the majority of applicants come from technical backgrounds, this is paramount.

I’m not suggesting that you change your identity if you are an introvert by nature, but be well versed enough to understand that the extreme version of that personality type isn’t exactly lauded in many professional environments. Learn to interact with people.

This should go without saying, but social ability is a huge trait that is rarely paid the attention it deserves.


3. Specific Industry Familiarity

I know this looks nebulous, but let me explain: You should be familiar with the industry into which you are seeking entry. If you are going to work in a publishing house, you should know the top players in the overall market.

If you are going into finance, you better believe they will expect you to know their top competitors. I classify this as a tangible skillset because you must actively learn and integrate it into your life if you are set on entering one specific industry.

Not only does it show qualitatively that you are aware of the competitive landscape, but it also lets the employer know that you are enthusiastic without explicitly mentioning it.


2. Reading Comprehension

Why is this so high on the list? You would think it is obvious enough, but spend five minutes on the comments section of a popular article and you will find that most people have trouble interpreting what they actually read and then hate-write from a position of ignorance.

This is extremely important if you’re dealing with reports that aren’t explicit with their results.

Things like yearly revenue details, research publications and even sarcastic columns all require a fundamental level of reading comprehension that has somehow escaped so many people who are trying to find work.


1. Programming Ability

Increasingly, companies across the entire job market are integrating, or have already meshed, their business with an online presence that the staff maintains.

You will become instantly important if you can understand the back and front ends of the language used to program the sites, databases and whatever else is relevant to the company.

Ability to code in C++, JAVA, Drupal, MATLAB and a host of other languages demonstrates that not only can you add value to the online presence for a company, but also that you are sufficiently intelligent enough to grasp the logic behind the coding languages.

Additionally, if you plan to work in an analytical field, you can design experiments and basic software that will allow you to complete your tasks with much greater ease than powering through everything manually.

If you weren’t exposed to this in college, consider learning for free through the vast offerings of online-only classes that teach you the basics of coding with step-by-step modules.

High school students are enrolling in computer science classes, which means that when they enter the job market, many will likely bring a standard level of programming ability that is otherwise still missing from the overwhelming majority of Generation-Y job applicants.

Protect your future self by becoming versed in a code language or two.

Google Compare Adds Auto Insurance Quotes in United States

As previously speculated by many SEO insiders including Search Engine Land, Google today announced the launch of Google Compare for Auto Insurance in the United States.

Google Compare will show up to 14 sponsored results from insurance providers, including rate quotes. It is expected that this number will increase as Google adds more providers to the service. A snippet describing usage benefits for providers explains the advantages of the service:

You can highlight what makes your business unique, whether that’s an “A” rating in customer service or better discounts for safe drivers. And when users adjust their deductible or add additional cars to their quote, you can show updated pricing that matches their needs.

From those sponsored listings, users can then proceed to purchase coverage online, or via phone. The program will initially cover drivers in California, and will roll out to more states including more features including user reviews, ratings, and local representative information in the coming months.

Auto Insurance results will display above organic results in SERP on Desktop and Mobile.
Auto Insurance results will display above organic results in SERP on Desktop and Mobile.

Google: Lead Generator?

Eschewing the normal PPC ad facilitation revenue model, Google is acting as a qualified lead generator, with pricing based on a CPA (cost-per-acquisition) model instead of a traditional clickthrough model.

Despite these changes, Google has clarified that traditional organic rankings will not be affected by the inclusion of sponsored elements in SERPs.

Auto Insurance, at Long Last

Google has operated a similar Auto Insurance quote acquisition program in the UK since 2012 (As shown in the featured photo for this article.) There is analyst speculation that Google may even move to provide and sell their own insurance products through this new vertical.

Auto insurance is only the latest of many retail verticals Google has seen fit to conquer in recent years, joining shopping, hotel accommodations, and flights in an ever-growing list. Google Compare Auto Insurance Services, Inc. has been approved to do business in over 25 states, with more surely to come.