Mike Blumenthal’s When Will Google Places Fix Reviews? hit a nerve, as I imagine it would for any business that relies on Google Places as an important part of its presence on the Web.  I spend a lot of time sending emails to Mike and other Local SEO’s that go something like this “Have you noticed […]

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Liveblogging Carter Maslan’s talk at BIA Kelsey’s ILM 2010: The long tail of local is extremely long The launch of Places search increased the clicks to third party sites by 400% Places is trying to increase the “surface area” of local information There is a local dimension to almost everything (critics, tribes, events, news, credentials, […]

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Google Places has updated its Quality (read “Anti MapSPAM”) Guidelines – see below. It’s unclear whether these updates reflect additions to the AntiSPAM algorithm or if they are just suggestions, but GOOG does seem to be clearly addressing some of the most obvious MapSPAM strategies – particularly around business names, locations and categorization. To me […]

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Even though it appears that GOOG has a database of Jamaican and other nearby island businesses, you can’t add new ones.

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I noticed “Hotpot” was trending on Twitter and discovered that tonight Google launched it’s response to Yelp and all of the other local social recommendation thingies.  Don’t have time for a pseudo-thoughtful post on the subject so I thought a few screenshots would do.  More later:

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Ionadas Local and Sentient Services just published the results of an eye-tracking study on the (old as of 10/27/10) Google Local SERPs that is certainly worth a look. Here’s a summary of the results and some screenshots: 1. People seem to be ignoring the maps 2. This is probably one of the reasons why GOOG […]

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While putting together the Top 10 Reviews Sites In Google Place Search report, we noticed what we thought were testimonials from a business’ website showing up in the reviews section of the result. See the below screenshot from a SERP for “Los Angeles Car Dealers“: In its FAQ on Rich Snippets, Google states that testimonials […]

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Given the increased prominence of reviews sites in new Google Place Search SERPs, I thought it might be interesting to see which ones were showing up most often. The following is sort of 2010 version of my 2009 IYP SEO Rankings Report. This data is hardly thorough – I only looked at the top 10 […]

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One component of the new Google Place Search is the merging of local and organic results in a more blended layout. While local marketers around the world are scrambling to figure out any new algorithm changes that have resulted from this release, a battle royale has broken out amongst otherwise civil-toned SEO bloggers to lay […]

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It’s still too early to tell, but I track the traffic on a number of local directory sites around the world and thus far I have not seen a significant change in Google referrals. Could it be that rumors of the Yellow Pages death have been greatly exaggerated by bloggers seeking page views? Tweet

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Tweet At first glance, the new Google Local SERPs appear to be a potentially big problem for local directories that rely on SEO for traffic. But with change always comes opportunity. As you can see in the screenshot above, when a city does not have many businesses in a service category, there is still an […]

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Tweet Thought it might be of interest to catalogue the different types of Google Local SERPs I am seeing: 7 Pack Lite Standard 7 Pack listings with map in right column above ads.  10 Web results below. UPDATE: 3 Pack Lite Standard 3 Pack listings with map in right column above ads.  7 Web results […]

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Tweet So it appears that the new Google Local SERPs are imminent.  As you may recall, my initial take on this pending event was that it spelled doom for the Yellow Pages and local directories biz.  So I thought I’d take you for a spin through these new SERPs and see what we can see: […]

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Tweet Fire up an Incognito browser, do some local searches and you might see some new Google local SERPs. It looks like Google may have unleashed the new All-Google-Places local layout they had been testing in more cities (Update: I have reports that this is being seen in Burbank & Australia and others that it […]

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Sometimes we SEO types forget to take our own advice. Several months ago, after not having touched my Google Places Page for years, I updated the photo. Immediately my edit was rejected and my listing was removed from Google Maps. I misinterpreted this as a problem with the new image and resubmitted the old one, […]

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Faithful readers of this collection of pixels and code may recall last week’s post La Jolla Takes a Hit From Google Maps where we called attention to the plight of La Jolla, CA, the tony upscale oceanside resort town, which had been replaced in Google Maps with La Jolla Placentia, CA, the non-tony, non-upscale, non-oceanside […]

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Jonah Stein forwarded me this missive from Josh Vickers, founder of TaskSquid, who seems to be in cahoots with Adam Harris of Calacles.com. Apparently Google has misplaced La Jolla: It is Official. The Jewel of San Diego, La Jolla, once nestled on a prime stretch of Pacific, has taken root in a new exciting? location. […]

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Executive Summary: Who knows? But here’s a data point of one: The Main Street Meat N Fish Market recently opened in Pleasanton.  My wife asked me to find their hours so I went to Google and queried “pleasanton meat n fish market“.  At the top of the SERP was this result from Patch.com (congrats to […]

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With all of the brouhaha going on about Google’s test of a new local SERP for category searches that will make it much harder for local directories to get traffic, I became almost willfully blind to the more subtle change that had occurred to the SERP for business name queries.  Thanks to Patrick Altoft for […]

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Chris Silver Smith brings up a great point in today’s Local’s Only column about Google’s new local SERP design they are testing: …you might think that the newer, larger listing treatment might be beneficial for the visibility of these businesses. But, think again—for any of them which have been doing significant search marketing activities, this […]

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David Mihm has done it once again and published another edition of Local Search Ranking Factors.  This year David surveyed 32 local search geeks to get their takes on the top factors for ranking high in Google Maps.  The entire set of results is well worth the time for any business that wants to do […]

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Sometimes I am embarrassed to be in the local search biz… via BIrthday Ideas

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and other great local seo tips from Dev Basu. See Page 16 for the GOOG Maps thing. via @davidmihm

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Last week saw the launch of Google Place Pages which Google described as “a webpage for every place in the world, organizing all the relevant information about it.” Nothing like a modest goal to scare the crap out of everybody else in local search. According to Greg Sterling Google was not going to be indexing […]

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Update: MyMapInfo, the SEO who was working on Artie’s site, commented on Will’s post that I had mistaken him for a spammer when he has been trying to get his client to rank well after the client was the victim of map spammers.  I’ll take him at his word and apologize for impugning his reputation […]

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In the previous post, where I stumbled on to ads on a Google Map on Merchant Circle, “Mappin’” Mike Blumenthal took me to the local search woodshed with the following comment: In mid March, Google announced that they have changed the API to allow the hosting site show ads along with searches for local businesses […]

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I was just looking at this page on Merchant Circle and noticed ads showing up on their Google Map! I am sensing a trend.

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Well not quite every search, but as Mike Blumenthal just told me, the 10 Pack is now appearing in a number of broad, non-geo phrase searches. Some observations of the 10 pack’s behavior in Web results (the “Web Pack” anyone?): In every query I have tried the 10 pack appears in position #4.  It still […]

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