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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I was checking out Google Instant Previews – Google is now testing displaying images of web pages listed in SERPs to give users a preview so they don’t have to waste a click “pogosticking”, as Danny Sullivan calls it in his overview of the service. Of course, my first reaction was “what are the SEO […]

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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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I was reading this piece on how Google is going after YouTube Social for Trademark Infringement and my brain immediately fell down the legalities of certain SEO practices rabbit hole. So Google is demanding that YouTube Social change its name to something else. But my guess is that there are a ton of sites that […]

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SEM savant Marty Weintraub has an excellent post on the dumbing down of the Google Adwords Keyword Tool. Google owns the largest first-hand sampling of query data in many parts of the world. Now, breaking rank with 15+ years of holistic search engine open-source tradition, Google has decided marketers should no longer have easy access […]

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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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According to Google’s launch team, Google Instant is supposed to provide more qualified visitors to publishers’ sites. I had set up Google Analytics to track Google Instant referrals – if you want to try this see this great post on WebDistortion.com about How To Track Google Instant In Google Analytics – so I thought it […]

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After three years of hard work I am now #1 on the planet for “andrew”! Feel free to throw a few more links this way with “andrew” in the anchor text to reinforce my position of global andrew domination. 🙂  That dude at #2 has owned the #1 spot for years. I love the smell […]

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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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In case you were in doubt about this spammy technique for getting rankings check out the “News” results in this Google SERP for this highly competitive query:

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To: Local Directory Sites From: Google Subject: A Little Head’s Up As you may have heard, we’ve been testing a new design for the SERPs we display when we detect a query with local intent.  In the past these results have typically been a mix of local businesses, local directories and other random sites that […]

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I am in the initial roll-out group for being able to upload a background image to Google’s home page. I love it. I love Bing’s amazing photos on its homepage, but I love seeing my daughter cruising down a slide even more:

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