Google Archive

New Place Page Reviews Format

No. 701 • October 14th, 2010 • 12 Comments

Google is now segmenting out its own reviews from those of its data sources.  They’ve also added a Favicon for the ones they’re pulling feeds from. I can see two reasons for doing this: #1) It’s the beginning of segmenting out hReview testimonials from businesses themselves. #2) Those favicons are a nice little incentive for […]

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Thoughts on Business Titles

No. 696 • October 14th, 2010 • 9 Comments

Google (actually Maps Guide Deanna) recently authored a post on its small business blog outlining best practices for business titles.  In the first paragraph they state that “We want to help you make the most of your business listing,” and they go on to state clear examples of spam for a business called “Fly Fishing […]

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“Putting” Google’s Citation Algo to the Test

No. 682 • September 27th, 2010 • 16 Comments

It's nearly unheard of that my two passions in life (golf and Local Search) intersect...but after Jim Furyk won $10 Million in the convoluted PGA Tour FedEx Cup yesterday (golf's version of the Superbowl), that's exactly what happened. Read on for the story of a local business who could be in for a major bump in Google Places rankings.

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Awesome New Feature from Google Places: Review Responses

No. 646 • August 4th, 2010 • 4 Comments

Mike Blumenthal once again breaks the news on a new initiative from Google Places: the ability for business owners to respond directly to reviews. Google is not the first local search portal to come out with this product enhancement, but as arguably the biggest and certainly the most visible, it puts incredible pressure on the remaining stragglers to do so. It's a great complement to the UI/link shift -- allowing business owners even more control over their Place Page--and is a clear indication to me that Google is headed more in the direction of Facebook Fan Pages every day.

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Google Places Now “Spot-Checking” Business Owner Information

No. 631 • August 3rd, 2010 • 9 Comments

As reported by Mike Blumenthal earlier this morning, Google Places is now making phone calls to selected (random...?) Local businesses to verify their contact information. Sort of a virtual reverse check-in, if you will. This initiative seems to be a genuine effort by Google to decrease the spam in their Places index--the engineers' hearts are absolutely in the right place here. I am all for as much human interaction with business owners as Google thinks is possible. But it's frustrating to see such a good idea executed in this manner.

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Google’s New Local UI Proving Conspiracy Theorists Right

No. 628 • July 21st, 2010 • 18 Comments

My thoughts on what the latest changes to Local results in Google Universal search mean for both SMB's and IYP's.

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Local Search Ranking Factors, Vol. 3

No. 614 • June 7th, 2010 • 50 Comments

Earlier this morning, I published the results of the 2010 Local Search Ranking Factors survey. I actually added 20 questions to this year's survey to try to assess some of the new considerations in Local Search--a daunting 30% increase in the workload for our panelists. We had 34 experts take part, including a handful of gurus from Canada and Europe and one from Australia. Their insights are truly remarkable, and although it's a lengthy piece, I'd recommend getting into the full depth of the responses as soon as you have time.

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Google Place Pages Show Prominent Snippets of Consumer Sentiment

No. 549 • October 19th, 2009 • 3 Comments

Google Maps appears to have introduced another innovation to their interface recently: Zagat-like review snippets on Place Pages for individual businesses.

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My Thoughts on Google Local Listing Ads

No. 543 • October 9th, 2009 • 18 Comments

As I mentioned in yesterday’s SMX East recap, Google announced a new ad format–Local Listing Ads–on Monday afternoon.  Both Greg Sterling and Mike Blumenthal have written fairly in-depth summaries of what the ads entail but I’ll try to lay out the highlights below: Only businesses with claimed LBC listings are eligible to participate. The landing […]

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SMX East Local Items of Interest

No. 541 • October 8th, 2009 • 5 Comments

What this post lacks in coherence it will make up for in speed 🙂  Below are some of the items I found most interesting during my three days in New York this week: Ranking Tactics for Local Search It was truly an honor to be on a panel with Mike Blumenthal, Mary Bowling, Will Scott, […]

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