Links of Local Interest (™) Inaugural Edition
Local Search aficionados will of course immediately recognize the eerie similarity between the title of this post and the title of a famous series by Local Search guru Mike Blumenthal. They say that imitation is the highest form of flattery so, Mike, I hope you approve 🙂 And of course I am not actually trying to trademark this title, just having a little fun!
At any rate, I’ve read a couple of exceptional posts in the last few weeks (in addition to my small business reputation management roundup) that I haven’t had a chance to highlight just yet. And I also wanted to make a few announcements of my own.
KML and Sitemaps
Martijn Beijk, one of the best Local SEOs in Europe, published The Definitive Guide on Using KML and Sitemaps for SEO just as the SMX Local / Mobile conference was kicking off. KML is one of the most important structured data signals you can send Google (and any Local search engine, for that matter) data about your business location(s).
Matt McGee was incredibly prescient in predicting HyperLocal blogging as the “next big thing” back in April. He’s now well on his way to dominating the SERPs for this phrase by starting a unique resource for all information on this topic: HyperLocal Blogger.
But Matt doesn’t have a monopoly on great HyperLocal content by any means. My friend Miriam Ellis just completed a great 5-part series on Copywriting and HyperLocal Blogging in Northern California.
Internet Yellow Pages Reach
The IYP’s are fighting an incredibly difficult battle, because they’re stuck in a Catch-22 of sorts. Google is the default Internet Yellow Pages for most people. In order to get increased visibility, they have to advertise on TV and other non-Internet media (which seems like a real LOSER of an idea, if you ask me), advertise on Google for an incredible number of Local Search phrases (never a good idea to be beholdin’ to your largest competitor for traffic). But Ahmed Farooq of TechSoapbox and iBegin has put together a great chart of IYP reach according to Google.
It is fascinating to me to see how well these dovetail with my BCS for Local SEO. Yellowpages.com is the outlier but then again they do have the best-known offline brand of any company on the list.
Up-and-Coming Citation Sources
Although it looked like Judy’s Book had been left for dead last year, I’m starting to see more and more Judy’s Book reviews and citations. Submit your business to Judy & pay attention to her in the next few months. I’d be interested to know if her citation gets counted on your Local Business Listing.
I saw my Technorati profile counting as a citation for my own LBL a couple months ago but it seems to have dropped off. Nevertheless, it remains a possibility for those with some extra time on their hands.
And of course, Best of the Web I already wrote about earlier this month.
Question for the Audience
Has anybody noticed that Google has stopped showing ratings/stars in 10-pack results? I only see the number of reviews listed now, for a wide variety of searches. Or am I just crazy and they actually never showed ratings in 10-packs, only in map view? At any rate, I find it curious why they don’t show ratings.
It’s been a busy month. On the heels of my presentation at SMX Local / Mobile at the end of July, three pretty exciting things have happened:
- I have been asked to write a monthly column for the “Small Is Beautiful” section on Search Engine Land. To be in the company of Matt McGee, Christine Churchill, and Bill Slawski is an incredible honor for me. My first post is scheduled to be published September 11th.
- I have been nominated to the SEMpdx Board (I guess it’s official now since my name is on the website!) to help with Operations and take notes at our monthly meetings. Really excited to be working with such great people like Todd Mintz, Scott Hendison, and Ben Lloyd!
- I will be speaking on Local Search at the upcoming SEMpdx Hot Seat, running through the Local Search Ranking Factors study and giving my own .02 on what works and what’s important for ranking in Local. Would love to see a lot of Portland SEO’s, and more importantly, a TON of Portland small business owners there!