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Small Biz Considerations Archive

The Problem(s) with Paid Search for SMBs

No. 355 • June 8th, 2009 • 17 Comments

Borrell Associates just authored a report on SMB Search Ad Spend at the behest of Clickable highlighting the incredible churn rate among SMB's who are being sold search advertising. In this post, I outline a few of my own thoughts about why churn on Local SEM services is so high.

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Local Search Ranking Factors, Vol. 2

No. 326 • May 26th, 2009 • 46 Comments

I invited 27 leaders in the Local Search Marketing community to participate in the 2009 Local Search Ranking Factors survey. Participants rated the importance of 49 criteria with respect to their influence on rankings in the Google and Yahoo Local “Universal” search algorithms (those that drive the 3-pack, 10-pack, and authoritative onebox search results and NOT the standard organic algorithms). Selected responses and some commentary from yours truly are contained in this post, as well as a link to the full survey results.

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Google Maps Now Lets Random Users Close Businesses

No. 233 • March 6th, 2009 • 7 Comments

Barry Schwartz reported Google Maps's Community Edit function now allows users to mark certain businesses as closed. Community Edits alone opened up a can of worms that I did not think Google wanted to get into. Community CLOSINGS are even more dangerous. When the business community doesn't even know something exists (the Google Local Business Center), how can they possibly be expected to understand why their business is closed, and how to fix it?

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Why My Posting Has Been Light: Launches

No. 201 • January 21st, 2009 • 10 Comments

Many of you are likely aware already, thanks to Matt McGee's gracious article on Search Engine Land and Miriam Ellis' follow-up on Search Engine Guide...but for those who haven't heard yet... Yesterday I launched a new website with my friend & business partner, Patrick Sexton, called The site features a tool that helps small businesses see how the major Local search engines (Google Maps, Yahoo Local, Best of the Web Local, and Live Search Local) have them indexed, and notifies them if they've claimed their listings on those engines.

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iBegin Announces Open Business Submissions

No. 147 • November 20th, 2008 • 1 Comment

Just got an email in my inbox from iBegin, the baby of Ahmed Farooq. Like BOTW Local, iBegin is a very well-structured directory that is just a no-brainer for small businesses to get themselves a local citation. Hopefully Ahmed won't mind me copying-and-pasting from the release :) It's been a few months, but the time has finally arrived! You can submit your business here:

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Web Entrepreneurs: Looking for Funding?

No. 1625 • November 8th, 2008 • No Comments

No, I am not all of a sudden flush with gobs and gobs of cash. But a good friend of mine, Neil Patel, recently launched a community of early-stage entrepreneurs in Seattle, called Founder's Coop. Neil's post promoting the launch answers more questions than I ever could, but if you have a great business idea but don't know how to fund it in this economy, here is your chance!

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What I “Learned About Web” on Friday

No. 1624 • November 8th, 2008 • 6 Comments

I was among about 80 small business owners to attend the brilliant Learn About Web conference this Friday in Tri-Cities, Washington. Craig Sutton of Bright Web Marketing arranged an amazing lineup of speakers which included Matt McGee, Jennifer Laycock, and Stoney DeGeyter. It was incredibly refreshing to be among small business owners for whom this was the first time they were hearing this information. It was also eye-opening, and a great wake-up call, for where we are as an industry among this very important contingent of prospective customers.

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WordPress Spam Injection, Part Deux

No. 1622 • October 10th, 2008 • 9 Comments

I wrote awhile back about getting banned after a spammer injected a scummy footer into my WordPress blog.    Despite upgrading to the latest version of WordPress, it seems to have happened again.  I’ve filed all the necessary reinclusion requests with Google; I’m obviously hoping for the same outcome. The offending links aren’t showing up in […]

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SEO Grades for Business Week’s Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs

No. 128 • September 24th, 2008 • 8 Comments

Librarian Avenger by Librarian Avenger Last week, Business Week announced its Top 25 Young Entrepreneurs for 2008. The “youngsters” (they’re all younger than I by at least a year) featured by Business Week have started some pretty neat companies, from a Muslim fashion company to a flavored plastic manufacturer. Somewhat surprisingly, despite growing up in […]

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The Value of Internet Yellow Pages Websites: A Case Study

No. 124 • September 17th, 2008 • 7 Comments

This is a first here at Mihmorandum -- a guest post! It's written by Ed Reese, a budding Local marketer from Spokane, WA. Ed described his situation to me at the recent SEOmoz Seminar, and I thought his story held some important insights for the Local Search community. It's a two-part series--the first being the case as described by Ed, and the second being my reaction to his data (coming on Monday, September 22). So without further ado, here is Ed's story...

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