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, specialties, etc.)

A role of a directory is to provide info like biz credentials that GOOG will not provide (but what about when GOOG scrapes it?)

It’s critical to be precise about the exact location of a business particularly for mobile.

Even our best sources of information are only 85% accurate

We all have a vested interest to get 10s of millions of businesses online and represented accurately

Doing our best to make self-service simple, but there’s definitely a class of user that wants to talk two-way (meaning SMBs who are having issues with their Place Page rankings)

3 Main dimensions to

Relevance – how does it relate to the query

Prominence – how important does the web think this business is

Distance – duh

New Place Search UI increased the # of click targets by 400% (so maybe his statement about traffic was incorrect)

Carter is basically saying GOOG wants to work with the industry and the Places update did not send more traffic to GOOG properties at the expense of third party sites.

Tracking numbers can cause confusion for GOOG.  It doesn’t necessarily affect rankings, but it might have a “secondary or tertiary” effect.

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3 Response Comments

  • Luca  December 9, 2010 at 3:54 am

    you say “The launch of Places search increased the clicks to third party sites by 400%”

    Who are third party sites?
    The IYP? the reviews sites?

  • Andrew Shotland  December 9, 2010 at 7:49 am

    I think I may have misunderstood him. As you can see later in the post he restates the # as “click-targets” have increased 400% – meaning links on the SERPs.

  • Flavia Intern with ReignNet  December 13, 2010 at 6:12 am

    We like to use Universal Business Listings to get our clients information accurate to as many directories as possible. But you make a good point about
    SMB’s needing some hand holding and some explanations…but that’s ok because that’s where you gain their trust and hopefully their business.