It’s the most sought-after real estate in the world: the first page of Google search results. If you market or sell online and your name doesn’t appear there, you may as well not exist. Sound discouraging? It gets worse. A study by Cornell University found that the vast majority of consumers don’t even look past the top few links on that first page of Google results. So what can you do to raise your profile? For starters, you can keep up with developments in search engine optimization. Here’s a good place to start: a blog by SEO expert Matt McGee. His trends for 2009 include: growing emphasis on video, increasing Google dominance and more search presonalization.
Intuit is thinking of you. Intuit, the maker of QuickBooks, Quicken and TurboTax, has begun a new program called Small Business United. It offers reduced rates or extended trial periods for a range of different online services for small business. It’s also running a Share Your Story contest. Just write up a short story about a small-business experience you’ve had and finish with a quick tip that other businesses could use. All stories and tips are available at the Share Your Story site. Come up with the best story and win $25,000.
If you’re not furious, you’re not paying attention. The American Small Business League has a cool site with a ticker that counts the number of dollars large corporations are poaching from small business. The amount is nearing $8 billion in 2009 alone. The ASBL describes itself as “the only national organization fighting for the removal of Fortune 500 firms, their subsidiaries and other large corporations from federal small business-contracting programs.” It reports that federal investigations have found fraudulent diversion of small-business contracts to large coporations in virtually every federal small-business contracting program. It further reports that President Obama has yet to deliver on his campaign promise to “end the diversion of federal small-business contracts to corporate giants.” In related news: the Small Business Administration is ramping up its small-business counseling program. Maybe they’ll offer a course in anger management.
Brother can you spare a drink? Stats from around the nation are proving the truth of that old adage: when the economy slows down, drinking speeds up. From Massachusetts to Texas, alcohol sales are on the rise. In Washington, even the governor is hitting the bottle. Ted Kulongoski wants to open more state-owned liquor outlets to raise tax revenue. Of course, this does not sit well with owners of local liquor stores.