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Local Search Ranking Factors, Vol. 4

No. 984 • May 31st, 2011 • 36 Comments

Well, it's hard to believe this is already the fourth time I've had the privilege to compile the opinions of the world's top experts in Local Search Marketing. My initial comments about the results of the 2011 Local Search Ranking Factors survey follow below.

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Google Wonders…

No. 964 • May 6th, 2011 • 4 Comments

...Is this place still here? Some thoughts on the triggers for Google's latest attempt to crowdsource underlying business data, and what the implications are for the local search industry.

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Quite a Month in Local Search

No. 945 • April 26th, 2011 • 3 Comments

As I found out from a Twitter conversation last week, I apparently neglected to share with people that I'm traveling in sunny England--it's rained exactly twice since April 1--through the beginning of June. As a result, it's been almost a full month since I last checked my feedreader and I was finally able to plow through it this morning. There have obviously been some pretty key developments to keep an eye on if you're in the Local Search space.

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The Return of Local Listing Ads (Kinda)

No. 926 • February 2nd, 2011 • 22 Comments

Remember Local Listing Ads? You know, the ones Google released way back in October 2009 when lots of you were at SMX East? Well, they're back. Only this time, they're available through the ADWORDS interface rather than the Places interface.

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Google Brings Portland Hotpot Campaign to a Rolling Boil

No. 912 • February 2nd, 2011 • 10 Comments

Last month I highlighted a few of the on-the-ground efforts Google’s been making here in Portland, and I thought it was about time that I do a follow-up, now that the campaign has been underway for a significant amount of time.

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Google HotPot Kiosks Spotted in the Wild at PDX

No. 895 • December 15th, 2010 • 11 Comments

I've just returned to the beautiful City of Roses after a fantastic packed-house AZIMA event in Scottsdale last night. Google is continuing its HotPot marketing blitz in our fair city via kiosks at PDX Airport, though judging by the lack of activity around this one in particular, Portlanders seem pretty non-plussed about it so far.

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Old News: For Rankings, Review Quantity Matters More than Quality

No. 749 • December 3rd, 2010 • 12 Comments

Seems like everyone is talking about the New York Times story over the weekend about Vitaly Borker and his shortsighted PR strategy to garner a bunch of bad publicity, partly in order to rank at Google. Everyone from Danny Sullivan to Jessica Lee to Greg Sterling to Google itself has weighed in on the controversy. Thing is, Local Search experts have long speculated that the valence of reviews has had an extremely low, if any, impact on rankings, whereas the volume of reviews has always been considered one of the strongest factors.

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GOOG-pon: A Facebook-, Foursquare-, Yelp-, CityGrid- and-Everything-Else-Killer

No. 727 • November 30th, 2010 • 10 Comments

OK, so clearly that's hyperbole that's associated with seemingly every technology merger and/or startup these days. But if the reported deal goes through, it would represent a colossal shake-up in our little world of Local Search...bigger even than Facebook Places (assuming Facebook eventually executes well on that potential). The only thing close to the magnitude of this deal would have been the proposed Google-Yelp deal that didn't go through about this time last year. And I'm not even sure that was this big, for reasons I try to spell out below.

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A New Kind of Local Search Result: The “O-Pack”?

No. 708 • October 28th, 2010 • 54 Comments

As you may have seen reported in *a few* outlets around the blogosphere over the last 36 hours, Google decided to roll out its new user interface (first reported by Mike Blumenthal on July 5th) for local search results yesterday. It is a tectonic shift, both algorithmically and visually, that has left a number of publishers, and certainly spammy lead generators, catatonic today.

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Google Places Embarks on TeleSales Campaign for Tags

No. 703 • October 18th, 2010 • 12 Comments

The following is a direct transcript of a call I received earlier this morning: Hi David, my name is Christopher Smith — I’m calling from Google and I’m calling regarding your existing business listings with us, and some important changes and features to the account that I need to speak to you about.  We just […]

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