Justin Sanger, CEO of JoinHere, an interesting new SMB “Social Engagement Platform”,  puts it thus: “A G+ and G Places integration will create the most powerful discovery, publishing, and social suite the marketplace has seen to date. The G maps algo will undergo more change as content contribution, followers, and +1s begin to affect discovery – […]

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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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Had an interesting discussion last week with the CEO of a startup that was getting a lot of traffic from Google. His board had been encouraging him to invest in scaling up the business faster. His strategy had been to pursue slower growth so that he always had enough cash in the bank in case […]

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I popped my standard headshot in and here’s what I got: A couple of thoughts: 1. If you saw a pic of me when i was about 4 years old, you would see a lot of similarities between me and that kid second from the top right.  Something SixthSense-y going on.  Wonder if I will […]

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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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Google Offers has added a lot of detail about how the program works and tips for participating businesses. Mike B. has excerpted some of the more pertinent info so I thought I’d provide my spin on some of my favorites from the fact sheet: Publicity No photos, please! Er — actually, lots and lots of […]

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Anyone else seeing these?  Kind of useless but nice.

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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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Contrary to popular belief, Pandas don’t just eat bamboo, they also eat local search sites.  My post on Yellow Pages SEO in the Post-Panda World is now live on SEL.

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Just saw the news over at Greg’s blog and couldn’t resist…

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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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I logged into Gmail today and saw the following message: Ironically a second later I got the following email from a client: So you probably already know this, but thought I would share.  I am working on an email to past customers, and in the process of testing it, I send a copy to my […]

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Since my YP.com Post-Farmer Traffic post, site owners who lost traffic have started to send me similar charts for their sites. I think it would be kind of cool to post charts for sites that were affected so that SEOs can study the patterns and we can call some attention to those sites that need […]

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In response to my post on how some of top local sites did in the Farmer Update, Yellowpages.com’s John Cole forwarded me the following traffic charts showing how their traffic has grown since the update. Week Over Week Comparison 2/20-2/26 v. 2/13-2/19 Week Over Week Comparison 2/23 -3/1 v. 2/16-2/22 Thanks for sharing John.  If […]

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I thought it would be interesting to review the Quantcast data for the local-oriented sites in Quantcast’s Top 100 to see if anything has changed (of course take this data with a grain of salt) since the Google Farmer Update: Update: Some readers pointed out the non-Quantified sites I used were not showing the right […]

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For those of you trying to figure out what’s going on with the Farmer Update, I thought it might be useful to aggregate what various search brainiacs are saying in one place. Herenow, the list: Lessons Learned at SMX West: Google’s Farmer/Panda Update, White Hat Cloaking, And Link Building – Vanessa Fox My Theory On […]

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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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Pretty great article in the NYT today on how Google busted J.C. Penney for paid links and torched a lot of their natural search rankings. The Dirty Little Secret of Search is a must-read for any company that has someone doing linkbuilding on their behalf. My favorite line of the piece from a J.C. Penney […]

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I got a few emails about the Google Analytics part of this post on Mobile SEO that I thought it might be useful to break it out as a separate post.  So here you go: If you are a Google Analytics user I recommend setting up an Advanced Segment that filters reports by visitors who […]

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Groupon showing up in the clustered results in Place Search.

Glenn Gabe just pinged me that he is now seeing Groupon showing up in Google Place SERPs: According to Glen, this sucks for Groupon advertisers because: All of the Groupons I came across were expired. That’s right, when you click through the link in the clustered results, you end up at the Groupon page for […]

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Update: Matt Mcgee informs me that this is way old news.  Still interesting though. First CityGrid and now Yahoo!?  What’s Yelp up to? A reader from a daily deals site just asked me why Yelp was linking to Yahoo on the bottom right of this URL with the words “New York Burgers” in the anchor […]

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Inspired by John Battele’s scoring of his 2010 predictions I figured I’d see how I did with my 2010 Local SEO Predictions: The Open Source Yellow Pages Will Emerge Let’s see – Citysearch turned into CityGrid and is now supplying yellow pages data/ads to anyone who wants it.  YPG launched its Yellow API strategy.  A […]

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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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Was reading this piece over at Greg’s blog about how Google is going to spend $100MM to get SMBs to use Adwords and the wording on this image kind of made me think of Groupon: 50% off (spend $100 and get $200 of value) Limited time only First one million businesses only Ok, maybe it’s […]

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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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Well “choke” may be a mite too strong a word. After yesterday’s post on Google Instant Previews & SEO, Organic Optimizer & Veggie Farmer Everett Sizemore pointed out that if GOOG uses your meta description tag as a snippet in the SERPS, then the Instant Preview for your URL does not show the Call Out […]

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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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