Pet Store Local Pack

The 2017 Local Search Ranking Factors, a survey of Local SEO professionals on what they think it takes to rank in local search, was just released at MozCon Local/Local U. Andrew and I both love participating in the survey, as it’s a chance to see what the Local SEO hive mind is thinking. I highly […]

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why-did-my-biz

Today at State of Search Yext’s Christian Ward mentioned this result from “the world’s largest correlation engine”. Kind of says it all: BTW super-impressed with this year’s State of Search. It always was a great conference but it has grown up big time. Kudos to DFWSEM.

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Google Local India

We have been seeing a lot of mismatched locations in the local packs lately but this one takes the cake, er curry…: (Click to enlarge)   You know you can’t beat Nayana Eye Care in Pradesh. They’re “recognized by the Food Corporation of India” and have “world-class sterility.”

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Google MapMaker One Result

An auto dealer client’s GMB page was showing up in Google with a different domain (the car maker’s – Ford.com) attached to it only for certain queries. I started looking through all of the usual data suspects to see if the errant domain was connected to any of the dealer’s business listings and came up […]

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Google Local Icons

As Google morphs SERP design from desktop to mobile, it appears that it has decided that reading words is perhaps too much to ask of our educationally-challenged fellow users. And so it is now testing icons in the mobile results as shown below: I guess it’s easier to click on a cute picture than try […]

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Fantastic interview by Nyagaslov Zhekov with Dan Austin on Google’s ineffectual response to map SPAM, including Bryan Seely’s spoofing of Secret Service listings earlier this year. Money quote: “The “newest” ploy, which has been in development for several years now, is to use real estate listings on sites like Trulia, and have the PIN card […]

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Google Maps Phone Number

Just found a classic thread on one of those “did you get a call from this phone number” sites. Some samples for your local SEO reading pleasure: Calls our business several times per day (not interested in their services). If you hang up, they call right back. They repeat this throughout the day and when […]

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No big surprise that The Atlantic’s piece on Google Maps – an “exclusive look inside Ground Truth, the secretive program to build the world’s best accurate maps” is coming out the week before the new iOS 6 with Apple Maps are introduced.  It has been great theater watching all of the ways Google has been pushing the […]

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[View the story “Lobster Searches Google For Pizza. Gets Confused.” on Storify] Lobster Searches Google For Pizza. Gets Confused. Storified by Andrew Shotland · Tue, Aug 28 2012 13:19:38 Google’s monopolistic behavior in Web search seems to have no bounds. Check out hover experience for local. http://pic.twitter.com/r0K2OMvIRakesh Agrawal The preceding was not meant to be […]

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Nitin Mangtani is the Product Chief of Google Offers and I am liveblogging his talk at StreetFight Summt West 2012. He tells a story about his kid pretending to open a restaurant and makes a sign with lots of stars reading “best restaurant of all” to try to get customers. Note to Nitin, your kid […]

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My post on Bizible’s new local search ranking factors study is now up at SearchEngineLand. You can also get more detail on the study and the results on Bizible’s blog. As mentioned in my SEL post, Bizible claims the study is scientifically valid and while in general I liked their approach, I can think of […]

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 On Monday, my SearchEngineLand column will preview the results of a new Google Places Ranking Factors study conducted by Bizible.  Aaron Bird, CEO & Night Janitor of Bizible, approached me a month or two ago about the study and I was intrigued by his approach. The study is a scientific complement to David Mihm’s well-known […]

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Linda Buquet has an interesting read on the recent Google Venice Update, which among other things appears to have boosted local businesses’ ability to rank in the organic, non-Places results: “If my research is right and 75% of searches are for “cityless keywords” then this is a huge opportunity that didn’t exist before – to […]

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The caller-ID said “Google, Inc.” I was intrigued. The voice on the other line asked if I “serviced clients at this address”. I was busy servicing a client with the other hand (on the phone – get your mind out of the gutter) so I said that my clients were all over the world, which […]

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A frustrated practitioner of bail bonds SEO laments about Google Places, Where Crooked Businesses Take Over: “Here’s another great example of the wonder of Google Places and Google’s dealings with Local Search. Type in Google, “Santa Clarita Bail Bonds.” (this example could be done for many other keywords if you care to try) You will see […]

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The NY Times reports on the epidemic of open businesses that are reported as “closed” in Google Places and name checks Linda Buquet and Mike Blumenthal, who successfully changed the Googleplex’s Place Page status to “closed” a few weeks ago (SEO Badass award goes to you Mike). Howard Lerman, CEO of Yext, sees an opportunity […]

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I haven’t pontificated on last week’s changes that removed most of the third party data from displaying on Google Place Pages – I basically agree with David Mihm’s assessment of the situation – this is an interface update, not an algorithm update. This article by FT.com implies that Google removed 3rd party reviews from Place […]

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Phil Rozek has a great post on The 1st Annual Google Places Freakshow: “Whatever your ranking, I suggest you pay attention to how your Google listing comes across at a gut level.  Ask friends, family, or customers who haven’t seen it to take a look and give you their first impressions.  You’ll ensure that YOUR […]

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Nyagoslav Zhekov has been adding some thoughtful comments to the blog as of late and I thought this post on his take on the Local Search Ranking Factors was worth a read.

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I just wanted to use “radii” in a headline… Mike Blumenthal tweeted yesterdat that he thought the radii of the Google map for various local queries had gotten smaller. To me it seemed like the radii hadn’t changed much but the map pins had gotten bigger so I decided to compare the map that displayed […]

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Mike Blumenthal has some concerns re Google Places’ new user review feeds: When was the last time you heard a reviewer ask for an RSS feed of their reviews? Well maybe some reviewer some place did… but then I suggest you follow Google’s instructions and go find it. Instead of attaching it to the obvious place in […]

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From a patent application Google filed in September 2010 entitled SCORING LOCAL SEARCH RESULTS BASED ON LOCATION PROMINENCE [0047] When the document falls within the broad area (block 460–YES), then a location prominence score associated with the document may be determined (block 470). The location prominence score may be based on a set of factors […]

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Greg Linden uncovers a potential new Google Maps ranking signal: direction requests: …certain very large search engines have massive logs of people asking for directions from A to B, hundreds of millions of people and billions of A to B queries. And, it appears this data may be as or more useful than user reviews […]

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Lior Ron announced today that Google is dumping the HotPot brand for its local reviews system and rolling it into Google Places. It’s a good move and I am guessing an indicator of more product coherence from GOOG as a result of Larry Page becoming CEO. I was always confused by the HotPot brand. Most, […]

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We’ve got rats. There I said it. I opened up the door to my furnace and found a scattering of crusty little rat droppings. And to make matters worse I think the rats have mites as I woke up this morning with a big bite taken out of my posterior (TMI?). So who you gonna […]

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Just checked out the new Google Places Iphone App – “now with Hotpot!”.  It’s a nice enough local reviews service The UI is simple and looks good. Besides being able to review a business, which is nothing new these days, perhaps the biggest thing the app has going for it is the aggregation of all […]

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