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No. 334
June 16th, 2009

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Links of Local Interest, Volume 8

Photo Credit: Kamoda on Flickr

Let’s just dive right in to this month’s edition of Links of Local Interest, shall we?

I recently recorded two Whiteboard Friday videos on Local Search with SEOmoz while I was in Seattle for SMX Advanced last week.  They’re probably both on the basic side for my normal readers, but just in case you don’t already subscribe to SEOmoz’s blog here they are:

Interestingly enough, Google Maps validated Rand’s and my diagram from the first video just a few days later.

Partially inspired by Will Scott’s excellent analysis and interview of Naked Pizza’s Twitter strategy, my most recent column for Search Engine Land focused on Twitter for SMB’s (my next SEL article about DIY SEO techniques comes out on Thursday).

In a rather weak attempt at a segue, one of the points I make in my SEL column is that Twitter can be great as a reputation management tool.  Several excellent pieces on reputation management also came out in the past month:

Mike Blumenthal continued his passionate advocacy for a more reliable Google Maps index, asking if Google’s corporate profit mentality might come into contact with a baseline level of quality expected by users and small business owners.

In a relatively unprecedented move, Google Maps actually responded to one of Mike’s recent poll questions about what constitutes an acceptable LBC title — bottom line: make sure you incorporate or register with a civic entity using the same name you want to use in Google Maps.

From MapsGuideJen:

You could, of course change the title of your business, as we’ve known a couple business owners to do. You could officially become “Jones Brothers – Dallas Plumbing and Heating.” If another user flags your listings for violating our guidelines however, we should be able to verify this name change.

And Mike also took a detailed look at the concept of Location Prominence from a seminal Google Local algorithmic patent.

Matt McGee and Don Campbell both gave some great advice for small business web presence and promotion.  Matt outlined a terrific strategy for Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends and Don shared a terrific case study of how WordPress and Local SEO have helped a health club in Columbia, Missouri increase their bottom line.

And finally, Gab Goldenberg recently gave me a heads-up on a new mobile service for truckers called 4RoadService.   CEO John Beales provided me some insight on the struggle to pull accurate listing information for service stations & the difficulty inherent in what I might call “hyper-categories”:

The trucking industry can be very specialized and has  some quirks.  For example, there are service brokers in the trucking  industry that market themselves as garages but are really resellers…You’ll find that if you search for Truck repair instead of Auto repair  near your zip code you’ll get more results.  Since we’re so truck-focused we should probably remove the auto repair category.

Well, that’s all for this month.  Feel free to share some of YOUR favorite articles and stories from the last month in the comments below.

  • I found this short power point presentation on local search very helpful, it may come in handy when trying to convince small business owners to get on board…

    This post on Yelp and Google organic rankings was interesting. Bottom line, even if a small business doesn’t have a webpage they could use Yelp to get to the top of rankings (I think this is possible with merchant circle too)

    And to toot my own horn a little. I posted case studies form the pro bono local search work I completed this winter. Clients included a local gym, nursery school, and restaurant aggregate site….

  • Dear Mr. Mihm,

    This is regard to my image on “Links of Local Interest, Volume 8′ which has been conveniently linked to your website without the courtesy of letting the photographer know. The link itself does not grant you the permission as it clearly says that it is copyright protected. I’d appreciate it if you do such thing in future and taking permission from the photographer.

  • Sarika, I have removed your photo. FWIW, I did not even know that Flickr images were allowed to be copyrighted; I had thought that all Flickr photographs were Creative Commons, in which case attribution is all that is required. I now see that there is part of the advanced search function that specifies CC.

    I’m sure this has happened elsewhere on my blog and I am currently going back through all images and replacing them with Creative Commons photos. Thanks for bringing it to my attention.

  • Thanks, Mr. Mihm. You seem to be a responsible person understanding the term ‘copyright’ and respecting it.