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SMB’s, Local SEO’s Lose Their Best Friend at Google Maps

No. 489 • August 15th, 2009 • 5 Comments

One of the more important news items of the Local Search Summit in San Jose will actually happen Friday in Mountain View. It will be the last day at Google for Jen Chin, a.k.a. MapsGuideJen.  She’s leaving the smog and congestion of the South Bay for Graduate School in Environmental Management at a prestigious university on the […]

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Google Details LBC “Whitelist” Bulk Upload at LSS Q&A Session

No. 475 • August 13th, 2009 • 12 Comments

We’re going to go through the AMAZING day at Local Search Summit in reverse order; posts on other sessions will be forthcoming.  For those of you not in attendance, Steve Espinosa (moderating the session) just made fun of me for not liveblogging the session so here I am complying.  Because obviously fellow attendees haven’t made […]

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Google Making More Pronounced Effort to Reach SMBs

No. 368 • June 19th, 2009 • 7 Comments

The Local Search world was abuzz when Google announced its rollout of a basic analytics package within the Local Business Center a couple of weeks ago. Clearly, certain powers in Mountain View are starting to sense the underlying current of frustration in the typical SMB owner's world, highlighted by the recent Borrell study and Mike Blumenthal's weekly (self-described) "snipes." But are Google's efforts to increase SMB awareness of and engagement with Local Search enough?

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Requests for New & Improved Google Maps Features

No. 336 • June 1st, 2009 • 10 Comments

The analytics of the the Google LBC's Rich Dashboard are certainly nice, and I'm happy to see Google continue to pour resources into the Maps and Local Business Center teams. But I'm not sure Google's priorities are in order when it comes to where small businesses (and really, businesses of all sizes) are really feeling LBC pain. In this post, I lay out seven improvements I'd like to see the Maps team put some brainpower behind in the coming months.

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Local Search Ranking Factors, Vol. 2

No. 326 • May 26th, 2009 • 46 Comments

I invited 27 leaders in the Local Search Marketing community to participate in the 2009 Local Search Ranking Factors survey. Participants rated the importance of 49 criteria with respect to their influence on rankings in the Google and Yahoo Local “Universal” search algorithms (those that drive the 3-pack, 10-pack, and authoritative onebox search results and NOT the standard organic algorithms). Selected responses and some commentary from yours truly are contained in this post, as well as a link to the full survey results.

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Google LBC Changes Now Showing Up INSTANTLY In Universal Search

No. 311 • May 18th, 2009 • 4 Comments

***MIKE B. SAYS HE’S SEEN THAT FOR AWHILE*** I discovered this as I was making changes to my profile earlier today.  This is an amazing, amazing accomplishment by Google, and if it had to do with the downtime this weekend, it was well worth it. It looks like a bunch of improvements have been made as […]

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Google Asks for LBC Feedback!

No. 306 • May 18th, 2009 • 5 Comments

I’m sure one of my Local Searcharati friends has already seen this but I found it fascinating.  I logged into the LBC today to reflect that I was updating my business from primarily focusing on Web Design to Local SEO (some of you may have noticed a little redesign about 10 days ago).   Google asked […]

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Google Maps Now Lets Random Users Close Businesses

No. 233 • March 6th, 2009 • 7 Comments

Barry Schwartz reported Google Maps's Community Edit function now allows users to mark certain businesses as closed. Community Edits alone opened up a can of worms that I did not think Google wanted to get into. Community CLOSINGS are even more dangerous. When the business community doesn't even know something exists (the Google Local Business Center), how can they possibly be expected to understand why their business is closed, and how to fix it?

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Interesting New Interface on Google Maps

No. 211 • February 18th, 2009 • 4 Comments

Matt McGee first noticed the "K-Pack" announced on the official Google Maps Blog last night and the Local Searcharati have been buzzing about it ever since. All in all, this seems to be good for users, good for businesses, and good for Google. Nice going, Maps team.

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Reputation Management, Argentinian-Style

No. 146 • November 17th, 2008 • 3 Comments

I recently came across this amazing article on TIME.com. For those too lazy, or without the time, to click the link, here’s the opening paragraph (emphasis mine): Argentines clicking on the local version of Yahoo in search of information about their country’s most legendary soccer star (and current national team coach) are in for a […]

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