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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Paid Local Pack?

Our friends over at Moz saw a new SERP feature pop up in their MozCast. Notice the lovely paid ads dressed up as a local pack result? While this is a test, and nothing but a test, is it also a continued acknowledgement from Google that their current methods of dealing with Local search results suck? […]

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Steve Shackford‘s tweet got me thinking: @localseoguide Expedia-like move from Google’s algo today on “Dallas Hotels”. http://t.co/EeM4m7Kl8s jumped to #1. pic.twitter.com/SkzigIRSuH — Steve Shackelford (@HydrophobicDuck) August 7, 2014   We are definitely seeing a lot more national-local directory type sites showing up at the top of local SERPs as a result of Google removing or […]

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Catch 22 cover

  The SEO Catch-22: You’ve done all of the typical technical and content SEO stuff but your organic traffic keeps trending downwards Your SEO guy suspects the culprits are the above-the-fold in-content Adsense units designed to look like content Problem is they are your top performing ad units by a factor of at least 10x […]

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My initial review of Google’s Pigeon results, Picking Through Google’s Pigeon Droppings…, was posted on SEL yesterday, but it was written last week and a lot has changed since I submitted it. I was going to write an update here but Linda Buquet’s massive review of pre and post Pigeon SERPs does the job well, […]

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Taco SERP

Woke up this morning to find what appears to be yet another shuffling of Google’s Pigeon update. In this case I am seeing some food query SERPs display local packs, directories and knowledge graph results – but no recipe results. Taco Click to Enlarge for Analysis Hamburger Granted I am only seeing this for queries […]

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Google Notification 2

Yesterday a client pushed out a new homepage without telling us. I found out because late last night I got this email in my inbox from an actual living, breathing member of Google’s Search Quality team:   Say what you will about Google (and clients who double-noindex their homepage), but this is pretty awesome.

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Mike Blumenthal just posed a question about this on G+ and I thought it was worthy of posting here.  The TL;DR answer is: 1. On G+, Yelp and most other review sites, the reviewer typically owns the content of the review (this is to shield the review sites from liability) while the review sites own […]

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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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yelp-SERP-clustering-600x652

This post was originally published on Search Engine Land, but I didn’t like how they rewrote the title so here’s the director’s cut: To:           Local Directories From:      Google Re:           Local Search Rankings Hey guys… You may have noticed that over the past year, a lot […]

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Pure SPAM

Google Webmaster Tools just launched the Manual SPAM Action Viewer which alerts webmasters to manual SPAM issues with their sites.  Like a good SEO consultant, I quickly ran through all of my clients and here are the various messages I encountered – ok, perhaps it’s not so “ultimate” – disavow me if you want: Pure […]

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East Bay Floor Covering

Based on the comments I am seeing on yesterday’s post, it appears that the new Google+ Local Reviews Pop-Up has gone global. Since it seems like this is a real thing and not a test, I started looking at it a bit more to figure out the implications. One question that popped up: @localseoguide What […]

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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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Logan

“Nostalgia means the pain from an old wound…” – Don Draper When Google’s new Local Carousel came to a town near you a couple of weeks ago, I immediately envisioned the Don Drapers of local search in conference rooms around the country dramatically presenting their initial impressions. Of course at the end, instead of Duck […]

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Aaron Bradley dropping some Local knowledge, along with a lot of other knowledge, in his fantastic post about the Semantic Web: “…search is no longer about words, but about the things to which the words on a web page describe and make reference…” “Why is this important?  It’s important because when Google receives a user […]

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Obama Not Provided

WASHINGTON – Following revelations that the U.S. government’s PRISM program has been secretly collecting information on foreigners overseas from the nation’s largest Internet companies like Google, Facebook and, most recently, Apple, in search of national security threats, President Obama admitted that Google’s policy of hiding keywords in Google Analytics was the deciding factor in moving […]

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Madeline Kahn Blazing Saddles

Yesterday I talked about my initial thoughts on Google’s new Local Business Data Highlighter.  Tyler Bell of Factual was quick to point out an important point: [View the story “Cheeky Google” on Storify]If you want to have the best chance of ranking for local queries in Google, you should definitely use the tools they give […]

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Google Local Business Data Highlighter

Google’s new Data Highlighter for Local Businesses is definitely worth checking out for anyone trying to goose their local rankings.  I have found it to be a bit buggy and it’s a new tool, so proceed with caution.  Here are some basics on how to use it along with some tricks I have figured out […]

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Google Alerts Tips

And in other breaking CitySearch news, Darren Waddell of RadiusIntel just sent me this awesome Google Alert he received this morning: It links to this article from 2007. For all of you marketers recommending that your clients use Google Alerts to monitor what people are saying, be sure to include that it works better if […]

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Train Wreck

Mike Blumenthal’s instant classic Google Local: Train Wreck at the Junction has spawned a lively Google Plus thread where various Localistas have been wringing their hands as to why oh why can’t Google stop screwing SMBs. While I am in agreement that Google Plus Place Local Multi Merge for Business Dashboardgate has been absolutely no […]

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Googlebot Crawl Rate

Been getting a bit of anxious email over the past 24 hours about Google crawl rates going way down. I am seeing this pattern on a lot of sites I follow so my best guess at the moment is this is either a Google Webmaster Tools reporting issue or a Googlebot issue more than a […]

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Google Unnatural Links Message

Just got this: I applaud Google for notifying site owners that they have some spammy-looking links. I don’t applaud them for not telling site owners which links in particular look spammy. If you have been link-building, then you probably know where to look, but if like me, you haven’t, then you have to spend time […]

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This past February, in  The Non-Place-Place Use Case I posted about how Google was delisting businesses that did not service customers at their locations but had not requested their addresses be hidden on Google Maps.  Mike, Miriam and others chimed in on how lame this was.   Today, I got this email about this “recent” update: Guess […]

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A client pointed out interesting behavior in their Google Analytics Real-Time report – when a user mouses over previews of your site’s URL in the SERP, it is reported in the Top Active Pages report. This may not be a fully-rolled out feature as I cannot replicate it on other accounts I have access to. […]

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Well at least a lot of the linkbuilding I see going on isn’t.  But it can be. Which is why I wrote 5 Local Linkbuilding Ideas for the Post-Penguin/Panda Era And I wanted an excuse to put up ridiculous dog pics on SearchEngineLand.

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Awesome discussion on Aaron Wall’s post, Yes, Negative SEO Techniques Do Work on Google, between Aaron, Danny Sullivan and a bunch of experienced SEOs who are not crazy about the collateral damage of the Penguin Update.  The parts about small businesses and SEO ring particularly true, from both sides of the debate: AndrewL: there’s never any mention […]

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So Google Webmaster Tools is telling me that my site has an average rank of 230 for “local seo” in Google Image Search and generated 70 impressions over the past month: So who are these people doing image searches for “local SEO”? And why is it that I rank only 230?! Let’s change that shall […]

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In January, I posted about the power of Startup SEO. What I neglected to follow-up on was the fact that after fixing this particular start-up’s optimization issues and seeing huge organic traffic growth, two weeks later Google decided to take their traffic down to almost zero. I came up with a number of potential fixes […]

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Google’s Penguin Update was supposed to help get rid of SPAM from the search results.  I think it may have had the opposite effect. This morning I posted Think a Bunch of SEO Spammers Just Got Destroyed but when I search for that phrase in Google check out the results on page one from a few […]

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Danny Sullivan just announced that Google has officially named its recent webspam update “The Penguin Update”.  Danny provides some background on how Google names updates like “Panda” and some of the commenters speculate on how Google came up with “Penguin”. My $0.02:  Googlers are geeks.  Geeks like comic books. From the Wikipedia entry for Penguin […]

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