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No. 489
August 15th, 2009

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

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 East coast.

Through her appearances on Local Search panels at search conferences, in discussions in the Help Forums, and selected emails with those of us in the Local blogosphere, she’s been the most active (and I would say the most empathetic) Google employee with respect to the difficulties SMB’s and Local SEO’s face in the Local Business Center.

Quite frankly, a number of LBC frustrations could probably have been alleviated with more Jen Chins.  Many of the positive steps Google has taken in the last six months towards Local Business Center support and outreach were no doubt the result of her advocacy at Mountain View.

LBC Product Manager Ari Bezman seems to have been anointed Jen’s public-facing replacement as the point of contact between Maps Execs and the Local SEO community.  Although he has big shoes to fill, he got off to a great start at the LSS.

We’re sad to see you go, Jen, but best of luck with your new career!

  • Say it ain’t so!

    I will be terribly sad to no longer have Jen to joke with at conferences and to give good guidance to LBC users.

    Much as Ari’s got big shoes to fill he certainly started well. Ari has already demonstrated to me his ability to take a tough situation and turn it around.

    I look forward to helping Ari in this role and hope he can begin to fill Jen’s shoes.


  • I agree with Will – Ari definitely proved to have a tough spine, and take some punches – even while eating a nice butternut squash stuffed ravioli dinner….

  • That was really sweet of Jen to send us an email and introduce us to Ari. I appreciated that. I hope Jen has a really fulfilling experience pursing her Masters’ and Environmental Management seems like a very timely subject to study.

    It was nice of you to write this up, David. Good luck, Jen!

  • Wow! We’ll certainly miss Jen, but I wish her success at her new degree and projects!

  • Best wishes to you Jen!