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Small Biz Considerations Archive

Problem of Google “Phone Spoofing” Increasing for SMB’s?

No. 1001 • June 23rd, 2011 • 20 Comments

Awhile back, I passed along the news that Google was spot-checking business owner information telephonically. As I said at the time, I love the fact that Google is trying to improve the quality of business data, but over the phone remains a bad mechanism for accomplishing this goal, in my opinion. Why?  It’s becoming impossible […]

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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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Recently Published: Local Search Glossary

No. 621 • June 25th, 2010 • 2 Comments

In an effort to kill two birds with one stone, I recently (last weekend) published a collection of about 100 terms used frequently in Local Search -- the Local Search Glossary. My definitions may not be technically 100% accurate but they're rather intended to give business owners a decent sense of what each word or acronym means.

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Announcing Local University: First Stop–Spokane!

No. 593 • January 8th, 2010 • 13 Comments

Back in 2008, when Pat Sexton and I were brainstorming the ideas that would eventually turn into, one of our very first long-term goals was to put together a low-cost seminar series that would introduce business owners to the world of online marketing. It pleases us greatly to announce a major step towards that goal: the very first Local University event in Spokane, WA on February 4th.

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More on the Possible Effects of Call-Tracking in Local Search

No. 563 • October 30th, 2009 • 4 Comments

As many readers probably know, Telmetrics president Bill Dinan responded to my original Search Engine Land column about call-tracking last week. Greg Sterling was kind enough to let me post a response to Bill's response on his blog this week. Please check it out & let me know your thoughts either in the comments area on Greg's blog, or on this post.

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Ramble: PR in the Internet Era

No. 453 • July 20th, 2009 • 4 Comments

Marketers and advertisers have insisted for years (with good reason) that your brand isn’t how you want your customers to feel about you, it’s how your customers feel about you. Well, in the internet era, the rise of social media has blurred the lines between brand and public relations. And another one of the age-old adages in […]

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