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No. 150
February 24th, 2009

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Links of Local Interest, Volume 4

Anachronisms Abound, by Josephhoetzl

Man, this is SO far out of date, but I felt compelled to get this out of ‘draft’ status and into published mode, so I could start fresh.

The world’s biggest Chicago White Sox fan, Steve Espinosa, launched a brand new Local Search site called Local Search News a couple of months ago. It’s a group blog with a ton of terrific names including Greg Sterling, Don Campbell, and Will Scott.

A couple of particularly notable stories so far:

Speaking of the Yellow Pages, they launched an official blog a couple months back. For SMB’s reading this post, it’s pretty much all about them, and very little about helping you. Search marketers might find it interesting, though, if only to keep up with their weekly corporate talking points.

Local SEO’s You May Not Have Known Were on Twitter:

Tim Coleman – @localhound
Chris Silver Smith – @si1very
Gib Olander – @golander59

Check out Chris’s comment on a Greg Sterling post about the troubles with the Google LBC. If that’s not reason enough to follow him, I don’t know what would be. Great insight from someone who actually knows what the inside of these major data partners is like!

Mike Blumenthal puts out so much fabulous Local content, it’s a shame he is not more recognized in the wider SEO community. All of us need to encourage him to come to more conferences for some face time! I’ll link to just one of his insightful commentaries where he holds Google’s feet to the fire over the lack of responsiveness to LBC concerns.

Read Matt McGee’s excellent post about trust in online marketing, if you haven’t already. (Just look at where the lack of it has gotten Yelp–more on that later this week).

Bill Slawski has a great post about social responsibility, and the advantage small businesses can have over large corporate entities just by their daily engagement in the community they serve.

I presented at SMX West a couple of weeks ago — my full slides from “Up Close with Google Maps” are here. What a terrific conference! For an *almost* full recap of the Local panels, see my upcoming SEL column this week.

Speaking of SEL, I exhorted the SEO community to do a better job of engaging their local business community about the importance of SEO. Well, two readers have already taken me up on it, or are going to in the near future. Aaron Weiche of Five Technology gave a presentation at the Buffalo, MN chamber of commerce last month, and Apogee Search is doing something similar in Austin next month!

Aaron & Five Technology did a terrific job of redesigning the Buffalo Chamber’s website — check out this search-engine-friendly member directory which is SURE to get picked up as a citation for every member business. If only every chamber across the country would hire Aaron for its information architecture, the web would be a better place!

And finally, Searchfest is coming up quickly (March 10th) here in Portland, and today is the last day to get your tickets at a discounted price, so head on over to! It’s only $200 for a full day of sessions, including the Local Search Marketing Strategies panel I’m moderating with Matt McGee, Mary Bowling, and Greg Hartnett. Suffice to say I think SMB’s attending will get their entire conference value just from our panel!

Thanks for reading, and let’s do this again real soon :D.

  • David

    Thanks for the nod and recognition.


  • David:

    Nice summary….if a little late….;).

    Just to let you know, tracking traffic into my small businesses suggests that the appearance of a Google map for generic industry phrases for the business….not a search for the business with an appropriate geo modifier is turning up traffic and results. That observation is the result of seeing growth in the traffic for those phrases that is not accountable by a local ppc campaign. In other words, people in Portland using organic google rather than google maps searching for restaurants in Portland and using a phrase such as restuarant….rather than Portland restaurant(s) (or a variation of that phrase) are seeing a map indicating an aspect of universal search…..and they are going to that map generated search.

    It was a great observation, David. I don’t recall if you posted it in this blog or just passed the information on. In any case I suspect it is showing up on more and more computers wherein Google has identified the home region of the computer.

    Last but not least….after stepping up to the plate while their backs were against the wall, I can’t help but think the Terps are tourney bound. 😀

  • Hi David!
    It was nice to see your blog bolded in my feedreader. It’s been awhile! Nice roundup of links here. Have a blast at SearchFest


  • SHobbs

    Hmm, we must be reading different YP blogs. The past few weeks we’ve covered hyperlocal, Forrester research, ROI, small business marketing studies, marketing in a recession and other topics. To be sure, we put a YP perspective on most topics, and we posted about our upcoming Conference in San Diego featuring Malcolm Gladwell, but then we are the YP Association. Thanks for the mention. Full disclosure, I work for the YPA and more information is available at

  • Stephanie, thanks for stopping by. My comment refers to “the YP perspective on most topics.” There currently isn’t a single post on your homepage that didn’t include the words “Yellow Pages” somewhere. Useful blogs in the Local Search space (Mike Blumenthal’s, Matt McGee’s, Steve Espinosa’s, Andrew Shotland’s, Miriam Ellis’, etc., etc.) aren’t self-referential.

    This is where I think the YP has struggled to engage business owners.

    Both Chris Silver Smith and I have said several times before that the YP’s should be less promotional and more genuinely interested in things that are going to help SMB’s succeed online. When you become a trusted partner for them rather than just selling your own products, that’s when your “feet on the street” that is always touted truly becomes an advantage for you.

  • Thanks for the mention David. Our SEO seminar was great and it has been fun to get follow-ups from people on their implementation on improving the “trust” of their website.

    You hit the nail on the head in your comment above too. YP’s just sling product all day long and do little or nothing to address their value and contribution as a tool to the SMB community.

  • Still good to see other people blog about local as I myself have little time at the moment to do so (soon that will be over and you can look forward to more articles from my part again 😉 ).
    These kind of recaps still keep me updated so keep em comin’.