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The Return of Local Listing Ads (Kinda)

No. 926 • February 2nd, 2011 • 22 Comments

Remember Local Listing Ads? You know, the ones Google released way back in October 2009 when lots of you were at SMX East? Well, they're back. Only this time, they're available through the ADWORDS interface rather than the Places interface.

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Google Brings Portland Hotpot Campaign to a Rolling Boil

No. 912 • February 2nd, 2011 • 10 Comments

Last month I highlighted a few of the on-the-ground efforts Google’s been making here in Portland, and I thought it was about time that I do a follow-up, now that the campaign has been underway for a significant amount of time.

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Mikko Ollila Moves on from Bing Local

No. 901 • January 16th, 2011 • 2 Comments

SMB's and SEO's alike lost a great advocate at Bing Local Friday -- Product Manager Mikko Ollila has left Bing to take on a product marketing position at Atlas Accelerator. I feel much the same as I did when I found out that MapsGuideJen was leaving Google a couple of years ago.

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Google HotPot Kiosks Spotted in the Wild at PDX

No. 895 • December 15th, 2010 • 11 Comments

I've just returned to the beautiful City of Roses after a fantastic packed-house AZIMA event in Scottsdale last night. Google is continuing its HotPot marketing blitz in our fair city via kiosks at PDX Airport, though judging by the lack of activity around this one in particular, Portlanders seem pretty non-plussed about it so far.

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Hotpot vs Yelp vs Facebook

No. 751 • December 15th, 2010 • 6 Comments

Obviously, it’s been a whirlwind last couple of months in Local Search…it may take all of next week to write the 2010 version of the Year in Review.  But I’ve had a few ideas bouncing around in my brain about Hotpot recently–why Google released it, and why they’re promoting it so hard, to the point […]

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Recap of BIA / Kelsey Group’s ILM 2010 Conference

No. 879 • December 14th, 2010 • 8 Comments

It has been a struggle to get back into the groove over the weekend and the early part of the week. In case it wasn't obvious from my liveblog, last week's BIA / Kelsey Group ILM show in Santa Clara left me feeling nothing short of overwhelmed by the pace at which our industry is evolving.

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Live Blog from Kelsey Interactive Local Media (ILM) 2010

No. 758 • December 7th, 2010 • 1 Comment

I'm blogging live from the Kelsey Group's Interactive Local Media Conference in Santa Clara for the next couple of days. Truly looking forward to hearing what the rockstar panelists have to say today, tomorrow, and Thursday...last year's show was one of my favorite conferences ever. I'll be in-and-out of meetings for the whole conference but will do my best to keep up with as many panels as I can and will follow-up with a full recap this weekend.

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Old News: For Rankings, Review Quantity Matters More than Quality

No. 749 • December 3rd, 2010 • 12 Comments

Seems like everyone is talking about the New York Times story over the weekend about Vitaly Borker and his shortsighted PR strategy to garner a bunch of bad publicity, partly in order to rank at Google. Everyone from Danny Sullivan to Jessica Lee to Greg Sterling to Google itself has weighed in on the controversy. Thing is, Local Search experts have long speculated that the valence of reviews has had an extremely low, if any, impact on rankings, whereas the volume of reviews has always been considered one of the strongest factors.

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GOOG-pon: A Facebook-, Foursquare-, Yelp-, CityGrid- and-Everything-Else-Killer

No. 727 • November 30th, 2010 • 10 Comments

OK, so clearly that's hyperbole that's associated with seemingly every technology merger and/or startup these days. But if the reported deal goes through, it would represent a colossal shake-up in our little world of Local Search...bigger even than Facebook Places (assuming Facebook eventually executes well on that potential). The only thing close to the magnitude of this deal would have been the proposed Google-Yelp deal that didn't go through about this time last year. And I'm not even sure that was this big, for reasons I try to spell out below.

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A New Kind of Local Search Result: The “O-Pack”?

No. 708 • October 28th, 2010 • 54 Comments

As you may have seen reported in *a few* outlets around the blogosphere over the last 36 hours, Google decided to roll out its new user interface (first reported by Mike Blumenthal on July 5th) for local search results yesterday. It is a tectonic shift, both algorithmically and visually, that has left a number of publishers, and certainly spammy lead generators, catatonic today.

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