No. 334
June 16th, 2009

Links of Local Interest, Volume 8

Photo Credit: Kamoda on Flickr

Let’s just dive right in to this month’s edition of Links of Local Interest, shall we?

I recently recorded two Whiteboard Friday videos on Local Search with SEOmoz while I was in Seattle for SMX Advanced last week.  They’re probably both on the basic side for my normal readers, but just in case you don’t already subscribe to SEOmoz’s blog here they are:

Interestingly enough, Google Maps validated Rand’s and my diagram from the first video just a few days later.

Partially inspired by Will Scott’s excellent analysis and interview of Naked Pizza’s Twitter strategy, my most recent column for Search Engine Land focused on Twitter for SMB’s (my next SEL article about DIY SEO techniques comes out on Thursday).

In a rather weak attempt at a segue, one of the points I make in my SEL column is that Twitter can be great as a reputation management tool.  Several excellent pieces on reputation management also came out in the past month:

Mike Blumenthal continued his passionate advocacy for a more reliable Google Maps index, asking if Google’s corporate profit mentality might come into contact with a baseline level of quality expected by users and small business owners.

In a relatively unprecedented move, Google Maps actually responded to one of Mike’s recent poll questions about what constitutes an acceptable LBC title — bottom line: make sure you incorporate or register with a civic entity using the same name you want to use in Google Maps.

From MapsGuideJen:

You could, of course change the title of your business, as we’ve known a couple business owners to do. You could officially become “Jones Brothers – Dallas Plumbing and Heating.” If another user flags your listings for violating our guidelines however, we should be able to verify this name change.

And Mike also took a detailed look at the concept of Location Prominence from a seminal Google Local algorithmic patent.

Matt McGee and Don Campbell both gave some great advice for small business web presence and promotion.  Matt outlined a terrific strategy for Anita Campbell’s Small Business Trends and Don shared a terrific case study of how WordPress and Local SEO have helped a health club in Columbia, Missouri increase their bottom line.

And finally, Gab Goldenberg recently gave me a heads-up on a new mobile service for truckers called 4RoadService.   CEO John Beales provided me some insight on the struggle to pull accurate listing information for service stations & the difficulty inherent in what I might call “hyper-categories”:

The trucking industry can be very specialized and has  some quirks.  For example, there are service brokers in the trucking  industry that market themselves as garages but are really resellers…You’ll find that if you search for Truck repair instead of Auto repair  near your zip code you’ll get more results.  Since we’re so truck-focused we should probably remove the auto repair category.

Well, that’s all for this month.  Feel free to share some of YOUR favorite articles and stories from the last month in the comments below.