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Google Places Spam Filter: Still Not Perfect

No. 1026 • October 7th, 2011 • 21 Comments

Normally I don’t like to call out companies for spamming (I am happy to leave that to Professor Maps), but when it’s – this egregious – on this scale – hurting REAL Local SMB’s instead of one big corporation vs. another I feel compelled. It is about as blatant as business title spam gets.  See […]

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Yelp vs Google in Congress

No. 1017 • September 21st, 2011 • 7 Comments

Most of you have probably heard that Google will go before the Senate Antitrust Committee in a couple hours.  One of the star “prosecution” witnesses is Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman. Regular readers know that in general, I’d like to see more oversight of Google’s activities by somebody & I’m hoping that these proceedings lead to exactly […]

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Mike Blumenthal Featured in New York Times; Google Responds Immediately

No. 1014 • September 6th, 2011 • 10 Comments

I came across a very pleasant surprise on NYTimes.com last night: this article on the ease of crowdsourcing business closures within Google Places.   “The Oracle of Olean,” Mike Blumenthal, features prominently in the second half of the article, as the Times found his experiment on closing Google’s Mountain View location particularly illustrative and amusing. […]

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More Detailed Thoughts on Google’s Place Page Shift

No. 1009 • July 25th, 2011 • 27 Comments

I’m amazed at the number of mainstream publications, including TechCrunch, who have misinterpreted the latest interface change at Google. Google Places has not stopped “stealing reviews,” if that’s even what you could say they were doing in the first place. They’ve just stopped displaying them, and stopped displaying citations.

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Quick Thoughts on the Cataclysmic Place Page Shift

No. 1006 • July 22nd, 2011 • 4 Comments

Hey everyone, I’m currently presenting at Expon Brasil & haven’t had a great chance to keep up with all the coverage.  Wanted to include some quick thoughts while I have internet access.  I’ll follow-up with a full post later today or tomorrow. 1) If you didn’t see this coming, you haven’t been paying attention. 2) […]

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Problem of Google “Phone Spoofing” Increasing for SMB’s?

No. 1001 • June 23rd, 2011 • 19 Comments

Awhile back, I passed along the news that Google was spot-checking business owner information telephonically. As I said at the time, I love the fact that Google is trying to improve the quality of business data, but over the phone remains a bad mechanism for accomplishing this goal, in my opinion. Why?  It’s becoming impossible […]

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Google Launches Indexed Local Directory Portals

No. 991 • June 13th, 2011 • 21 Comments

Hat tip to Linda Buquet of Catalyst Local Marketing for being the first to spot the Austin and Portland versions below, and thus the first to publicize the overall concept. Google has just released city-specific business directories that are clearly going to compete with Yelp, Citysearch, and all the other IYPs in terms of highlighting […]

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Local Search Ranking Factors, Vol. 4

No. 984 • May 31st, 2011 • 36 Comments

Well, it's hard to believe this is already the fourth time I've had the privilege to compile the opinions of the world's top experts in Local Search Marketing. My initial comments about the results of the 2011 Local Search Ranking Factors survey follow below.

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How to Read Unlimited NYTimes.com Articles

No. 980 • May 12th, 2011 • 10 Comments

Obviously the New York Times' current pay wall is something I'm incredibly opposed to. Here's a fast solution for readers looking to get around it.

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Some Thoughts on Smartphones

No. 975 • May 8th, 2011 • 8 Comments

Pretty much the only thing that's gone less than perfectly on my two-month trip overseas is that my iPhone was stolen here in Birmingham on Friday evening. Obviously, after the initial shock and incredible disappointment, I've had some time to think about the situation & felt like writing my thoughts publicly.

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