new Google local search results

UPDATE: Some of my better-read compatriots have pointed me towards Greg Sterling’s article from April about how Google is using the layout below to appease anti-competition complaints in Europe.  So take my theories below as pure entertainment, as it should be. Nick Rink of Smart Local , a UK Local SEO firm, posted a screenshot […]

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Google Plus Local SERP

Not sure if I am seeing a test or if this is rolling out everywhere but now when I click on the “[#] Google reviews” link for a business from the SERPs, I am seeing a lightbox type of pop up display instead of being sent to the Google Plus Page for the business. Check […]

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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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I am guessing this is some sort of glitch, but just saw this double rating result in a search for “auto repair concord”. It appears that the data being displayed comes from AutoVitals.com.

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SearchEngineLand just published Google Plus Connections Are The New Link, some thoughts of mine on how local search co’s and SMBs may try to leverage Google Search Plus Your World to improve local SEO. After rereading it, it seems clear that as more and more organic results are deemed to have “local intent”, the only […]

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Since Google Places started adding more photos to Place Pages I have been noticing a fair amount of wackiness.  So the tip of the day is to check your Place Page and make sure the photos are to your liking.  As Mike Blumenthal found things can go from Rated G to Rated X in no […]

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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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From Mike’s post today entitled Some Days Are Shittier Than Others: Someone uploaded pictures of poo on my business listing and I can’t get them off!!! Fortunately Google took notice and brought out the pooper scooper. Of course this probably only happened because Mike’s post brought it to GOOG’s attention which will likely leave a […]

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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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Reviews of businesses on Groupon have been spotted on Google Place Pages since January: Last year I speculated that social local applications like Twitter & Foursquare could start to cause a lot of SEO problems for IYPs because they could easily replicate the IYP structure while providing a lot more unique content. Groupon reviews are […]

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From Danny Sullivan’s piece on Google’s latest “Farmer Update”: We’re evaluating multiple changes that should help drive spam levels even lower, including one change that primarily affects sites that copy others’ content and sites with low levels of original content. We’ll continue to explore ways to reduce spam, including new ways for users to give […]

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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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I thought it would be nice to end the year highlighting the blog’s top 10 most popular posts for the year. Thanks to all my readers, commenters, linkers, lurkers, clients and of course Google for making it a great year. Lifestyle Lift – Fake Reviews Will Cost You Real $ A 2009 post, but in […]

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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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No doubt you may have read about how some jerk used his bad reputation to rank better in Google and rip people off.  Today Google announced that they have tweaked their algorithm to demote businesses that have bad reputations.  And I quote: we developed an algorithmic solution which detects the merchant from the Times article […]

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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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