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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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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