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No. 366
June 14th, 2009

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Local Search Summit Announced

Exciting news was announced last Thursday but those of you who still haven’t joined the Twittersphere may not have heard:

Steve Espinosa & Local Search News have started a new Local Search conference–Local Search Summit. The first of what I hope will be many in a series will take place July 17th in San Francisco.

I’m so glad that Steve decided to put this together, given that there is no SMX Local happening this year.  Sad, because last year’s edition was one of the all-time great conferences in terms of actionable tips for SMB’s…

If you want to learn from the best, a number of top experts are going to be there–Steve, Will Scott, Andrew Shotland, and I’m sure many more just in the audience.  It should be fantastic from a networking standpoint.

Leading industry analysts & product types will be in attendance as well–Greg Sterling, Mike Boland, Gib Olander, Atif Rafiq from Yahoo, and even MapsGuideJen is rumored to be attending 🙂

It feels like we are finally starting to get over the hump in terms of awareness among traditional SEO types, even if Local still gets “no respect.”

A great example was Greg Boser’s question to the audience in the final session at SMX Advanced last week — “How many of you hate that Local 10-pack” — about 20-25% of the audience raised their hands.

I’ll admit that this reaction is probably partially due to the frequently spam-laden or poor-quality results; Greg pointed to the “10 Burger King” problem in terms of certain restaurant searches.

Greg wishes that Google would move more resources over to that team (as I’ve argued for many times as well)…but instead of hating and wishing the 10-pack would go away, a more productive outlook for the SEO community would be to embrace Local as a critical prong of a comprehensive search strategy. A great place to learn the ins-and-outs of Local, and get a leg up on the competition, will be in San Francisco next month.

Hope to see you there!