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20% Local Intent Number Is 50% Too Low

No. 1520 • June 4th, 2012 • 2 Comments

Mike Blumenthal pointed me to a Wall Street Journal article this morning which mentions the oft-cited stat that 20% of all PC searches have Local Intent. I just have a quick comment that I've made to several people in meetings recently but don't think I've blogged about.

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Google +Local NAP Info Pulling From Mapmaker (not Places?)

No. 1515 • May 30th, 2012 • 14 Comments

It appears to me that Plus and Places are going to live on the same layer of Google's business data index--one layer ABOVE Mapmaker--further evidence to support the theory that today was an interface update only and does not affect anything back-end is below.

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The Coolest +Local Feature No One’s Noticed?

No. 1511 • May 30th, 2012 • 23 Comments

Has anyone noticed this yet? You can now review other businesses as a business on +Local. This is going to make it much, much easier for small business owners to get off the block and get just a handful of reviews of their own business pages.  They’re just going to need a point in the right […]

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Rankings on Google+ Local: Some Observations

No. 1498 • May 30th, 2012 • 16 Comments

Naturally, after a big interface update like the Places-Plus “merge” that just happened, the first question on everyone’s minds–from business owners to marketers–is “OK, so how do I rank in this thing?”  While my advice has always been to focus only on rankings in the general sense rather than obsessing over a certain position for […]

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It’s Finally Here: Chronicling the Plus-Places Merge

No. 1491 • May 30th, 2012 • 14 Comments

Not that it is any surprise to anyone, but Google just announced the end of Place Pages. I'll be posting my thoughts as I poke around on the new interfaces throughout the day. "Check back frequently," as they say.

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My Thoughts on Where Yext Fits Into a Local Search Marketing Plan

No. 1476 • May 23rd, 2012 • 21 Comments

Disclosure:, a company where I serve as president, currently receives a small referral fee from both Yext and Localeze for business owners we send their way & sign up for a paid account.  Reader Kat Taylor recently commented on my Local Search Ecosystem post, as well as Kelly Marsh (comment), and a dozen or […]

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The Local Search Ecosystem in Canada

No. 1468 • May 21st, 2012 • 13 Comments

We (the faculty) recently completed our first Local University north of the border, May 1st in Edmonton, thanks to the awesome efforts of Darren Shaw to get a room full of 150 business owners to the event.  As part of the preparation for that event, it was necessary to create a Canadian version of […]

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The Worst Kept “Secret” in Local Search: My Thoughts on the Impending Plus-Places Merge

No. 1393 • May 14th, 2012 • 23 Comments

The inevitable integration of Google’s Plus and Places products, obvious since Day One of Plus, finally seems like it might be imminent. We’ve seen several signals from Google in the last couple of months that this integration may be coming sooner rather than later: 1) Google completed a major backend infrastructure update this Spring, presumably in preparation for […]

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An Inside Look at Google’s Get Oregon Business Online

No. 1404 • April 3rd, 2012 • 9 Comments

I had the pleasure of attending Google's Get Oregon Business Online event last week here in Portland, part of their nationwide Get Your Business Online series. I hadn't seen much coverage of any of these events in our little Local Search community -- even from Mike Blumenthal (!) -- so I thought I'd share some thoughts, as well as a small photo gallery.

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Google’s 8-Bit Maps for NES

No. 1398 • March 31st, 2012 • 4 Comments

Has Google's Traditional April Fool's Joke Come a Day Early? While messing around with Google Maps I happened to come across a pop-up linking to a little video explaining 8-bit Google Maps. I applaud Google for its creativity and light-hearted nature. But I can't help but think of the (wo)man hours it must have taken to pull this off, and how those surely would have been better spent in the Places Help Forums, or on refinements to the clustering algorithm, where they would have a real-world, and not a fantasy-world, impact?

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