Helpful Information for Small Business People about Search Engine Optimization and Online Marketing

Online Marketing can be a frustrating, confusing and complicated endeavor for any business owner. We believe it doesn't have to be. At GreatCircle, a Tampa website design and SEO company, we provide a number of services to help our clients improve their online marketing and the performance of their websites in the search engines. We created this SEO Blog to help you succeed in your SEO efforts.

Since we're very involved in this subject we stay on top of the ever-changing world of SEO. We decided to create this blog as a way to publish information on this subject as we come across it. We also offer a free white paper on SEO and online marketing, so check that out too. We hope you find the information we have assembled here useful. Feel free to share with us your SEO knowledge and experiences using the comments links below each article.

Why Google Search Results May Vary

One question asked time and time again about SEO and rankings is “Why are my results different than yours?”  There is an explanation for this, although it’s not an exact science.

Google Datacenters and Your Physical Location

Google has multiple datacenters around the world, each with tens of thousands of servers. Index changes do not happen across all datacenters simultaneously. Update schedules, crawling schedules, and algorithm change schedules happen at different times for each data center. Crawlers are more likely to index data found nearest to them first. Therefore, index changes are more likely to be seen sooner near the actual location. For example; a change initiated on the West Coast will take a little longer to reach the East Coast.  In the meantime, there are index changes happening on the East Coast which also influences search results.


Recent searches and web history also influence the results YOU see.  If you search for a keyword when you are logged in, the results may be different from what you would see when you are logged out.  A cookie saves your recent searches for 30 minutes in most cases.  The reason for that is they are trying to understand why you searched for a particular keyword, entered a URL, or clicked on a particular result in relation to your previous and future search activity.  Google tries to provide custom search results whenever possible, which explains why different users see different results.

This raises a few concerns for users and webmasters.  Privacy may be an issue to some, but you can decrease the information Google records on you by not being logged in and clearing cookies on a regular basis.  The concern for webmasters is that these factors make it more difficult to determine the rank of their website on Google.

(Source: Google)

Like-Gate: The End of Solicited Facebook Likes

A popular social media marketing tactic is about to become obsolete, as Facebook cracks down on solicited likes curated by brands to increase their follower base.


How to Avoid an Unnatural Links Penalty

Google is constantly updating their search engine algorithm in order to keep the most relevant sites at the top of search results.  One of the more recent updates, the Unnatural Link update, has people paying attention.


Measuring Your Social Media Presence

According to, social media marketing budgets are projected to double in the next five years. That means there is no doubt that social media is here to stay, yet many business owners are unsure how the to successful measure their presence on these platforms.


Is Google’s Algorithm Pigeon an Attack on Local Business?

Much like metropolitan pigeons, the latest Google algorithm has many business owners seething. In the last 2 weeks, the effects of the new algorithm have taken over the web.