Are you starting to see cool Google+ badges on other sites and blogs? Can’t figure out how to make a badge for yourself or clients? I just found out how and wanted to share with you.
Details here: How To Make A Google Plus Profile Badge For Your Blog
So I took Sonia’s advice and played around with it. You can adjust size, orientation, background and more. Below are some Google+ badges I created. Just took a couple minutes. COOL!
With cover photo if you have one. (Mine is not well suited to this)
With dark background
Again, you need to be logged into the Google account you want to create a badge for first. Then go to Google’s Developer Page.
Want 1+ buttons, or small follow buttons or interactive post widgets? They are right there too. Left column under ‘Websites’.
WOW, I honestly have not checked my followers and didn’t even notice the number til now. Over 4700 Followers? REALLY??? Had no idea. Guess with that in mind, I should try to post to G+ more often.
Hat tip to forum member, David Deering for sharing with me on G+.
Discussion & questions in this thread at the Local Search Forum.
Visit the Local Search Forum for the Latest News, Help and Support
FREE Webinar: “State of Local Search” Mike Blumenthal, Andrew Shotland, Phil Rozek, BrightLocal, Linda Buquet
InsideLocal: Expert Webinar Seriesis a new series of FREE educational events designed for the Local Search industry. Below is the kick-off webinar we have coming July 10th. Thereafter these free webinars will be held twice per month.
Local search is a complex and ever changing marketing channel. It’s essential for SMBs and consultants to stay on top of the latest changes & opportunities and learn how to use them to best serve their business and clients’ businesses.
In this 90 minute webinar we take an in-depth look at the latest, burning issues in local search. We ask our panel of local experts to give their invaluable insights, opinions and tips which will help you in your daily work. You can put your questions direct to the experts and benefit 1st hand from their unique experience & knowledge.
- New Google Places for Business Dashboard & updates
- New Google ‘Carousel’ & algorithm updates
- Google+ Business updates, tips and insights
- Apple Maps Update & optimization tips
Each topic will be covered with a short presentation, debate and open Q&A session for attendees to ask their burning questions.
- Mike Blumenthal (www.blumenthals.org/blog)
- Andrew Shotland (www.localseoguide.com)
- Phil Rozek (www.localvisibilitysystem.com)
- Myles Anderson (BrightLocal.com)
- Linda Buquet (Local Search Forum)
Date & Time: July 10th 2pm EST/11am PST (90 minutes)
About InsideLocal: Expert Webinar Series
BrightLocal & the Local Search Forum have teamed up to deliver an exciting series of local search focused webinars. The ‘InsideLocal’ webinar series explores the most important, most topical & most exciting areas of local search marketing.
Every 2 weeks we bring together some of the brightest minds in local search to share their insights, opinion and tips on a fresh topic. Over the course of the series we’ll cover latest changes in Google+ local, Google Places dashboard changes, changing search displays, shifting algorithms, maps, on-site optimization, citations tactics, review strategies & many more.
Comments Closed: Discussion at the Local Search Forum
So excited to finally be able to announce the launch of the new Google Places Dashboard. YAY! This new All-in-One Google Local Listing Management Dashboard offers SOOOOO many significant advantages and yes the old dashboard is really going away. Tons of new info and screenshots below.
FULL ANNOUNCEMENT, complete with all the screen shots, all new Google help docs FAQ and more at the Local Search Forum. Update rolling out now!
Sorry but blog comments are closed. All discussion takes place at the forum now.
Ask questions and read all the updates as they roll out, in this thread at the Local Search Forum.
Wowser, Google is just hitting it out of the park with improvements this week. Much of this has been in the works on the back end for many months and I’m so happy to now be able to share the news and have been getting the word out.
REMINDER: I post ALL News at Local Search forum AS SOON AS IT HITS!
I only post to the blog now as an afterthought, as I get time.
So be sure to grab the Local Search Community RSS Feed
Major Google Local Review Improvements! Better Algo = More Reviews
Google has been hard at work over the past few months trying to fix and improve the review piece of the local puzzle. See big post from Google about it + amazing clarity from them about exactly what NOT to do if you want your LEGIT reviews to show up live.
HUGE NEWS! Phone Support for Google Local DATA Problems Just Launched Google just let us know they EXPANDED PHONE SUPPORT! Recently they tested phone support, that was only for Places verification problems. Now it’s available for data issues too. See screen shots and I’ll explain more below.
my intensive Advanced Google+ Local training program.
Doubled the time and added tons of content – without increasing the price.
There are so many important issues to explain now, like how to handle moves, do not support problems, etc. PLUS all the new G+ merge info that needs to be covered, there just was not time to address everything in 1 training session.
.:. Expanded from 2 to 4 hours
.:. Spit into 2 group training sessions over 2 days
.:. More content – Same price
GENERAL TRAINING INFO
ADVANCED Google+ Local TRAINING (For EXPERIENCED Local Search consultants only) This is not beginner Google+ Local training and we don’t have time to cover any 101 content in this course. This is advanced training. You need to have demonstrated hands-on experience to benefit from this knowledge.
The Advanced Google Places/Google+ Local training is delivered interactively via phone, personally by me. No canned content or videos.
SOME of the TOPICS COVERED and BONUSES INCLUDED…
Click link below for complete details, agenda, testimonials and more.
New Intensive ADVANCED Google+ Local TRAINING
Visit the Local Search Community for the Latest News, Help and Support
Over 1,150 SEOs took part in BrightLocal’s 2012 Local SEO Industry Survey.
Excited to announce the survey is back! Click here for the 2013 survey.
Understanding our Industry
The objective of the survey is to gain a clear understanding of the health & nature of the Local SEO industry. We will publicly share the results so everyone in our industry can benefit from the findings. The survey explores the following topics -
- Annual turnover
- Services & Prices
- Sales & new business
- Daily SEO tasks (‘likes’ & ‘hates’)
- Client performance
Below is roundup of recent Local Search news & tips posted at the Local Search Community forum. Subscribe to the Local Search Community RSS Feed so you don’t miss the latest Local Search news.
Hit “Recent Posts” at the top of the forum for the very latest…
Curated news from the Local Search Forum Community…
There are several new Google+ Local bugs ‘bugging’ folks and I have not done a very good job of reporting them individually over at the Local Search Forum as they come up. I’ll try to do a better job of sharing new issues as I become aware of them.
But here are a few recent bugs/problems/issues all in one post…
I thought this was a great post to kick off the New Year, since most local search pros I know are workaholics and this post gets into some great insight from leaders in the field about work/life balance, making time to stay healthy and taking time for family.
I was emailed recently by Adam Steele, a member of a Local Mastermind Group I’m involved in, and he asked me to participate in a group article/interview called “Do You Have Entrepreneur’s Guilt?” Well I was helping with my daughter’s surgery recovery AND have been sick AND the Holidays were hectic AND to be honest (sorry Adam) didn’t really get the relevance of the topic, so I passed.
Some top local search experts however did take the time to respond, including: Mike Blumenthal, Alex Fusman, Mary Bowling, Darren Shaw, Matthew Hunt and Mike Ramsey.
Adam asks the group questions about something he terms “entrepreneur’s guilt”, then asks questions like: Do you maintain a healthy lifestyle? Do you make time for yourself? How often? With your free time, what do you do? Do you have any work/life balance tips that you can provide? Or is balance a myth?
Why is no one talking about entrepreneur’s guilt? Is it possible people just don’t have a name for it? Perhaps they call it poor work/life balance or being a work-a-holic? For me, neither of those entirely fit the bill. In the aforementioned article, Mary Hirshberg says: “it’s never a solo venture, it always involves a family.” This resonated BIGTIME with me.
I decided to go beyond asking friends and family. I shot out some formal questions to a number of entrepreneurs with significant others, children, etc. that I know. Some of the responses blew me away. So much so I had to make an executive decision not to include some responses in this piece. I will say however, that many were filled with stories of marital dispute, divorce and worse.
Happy Holidays & Season’s Greetings
There have been so many important topics at the Local Search Forum, I don’t I have time to cover them all. It’s getting so busy over there with multiple hot topics and major Google local updates coming in every day.
You guys REALLY need to subscribe to the Local Search Community RSS Feed so you don’t miss the latest Local Search news. I’m not sure how much longer I can keep up with trying to copy important stuff here to the blog.
Major Expansion – Tons of New Forums Added – Here we GROW again! New forums just added include Google+ Local specific problem areas like Google bugs, updates, reviews, citations, dupes, moves, service area business issues. Plus we added new forums for ON-SITE Local SEO, mobile, social and much more. Check forum home page to see all the new forums.
HOT NEW ISSUES and GOOGLE UPDATES
IMPORTANT GOOGLE UPDATE – Must DELETE your G+ Business Page if you are Service Area Business w/ Hidden Address!
New “Business Moved” Feature for Google+ Local Listings – Joel and Jade from Google both weigh in due to confusion and conflicting MapMaker issues.
Google FINALLY Releases How to Move Local Listing Help Doc – IMPORTANT info about this and conflicting guidelines and advice from Google Maps.
If You Aren’t Making Money as a Local SEO Consultant You Aren’t Alone – Must read if your business is not currently thriving.
If You HAD to Start Over – What would you do Differently??? – If your local search consulting business is struggling (as above) read this!!!
Insiders Guide To Selecting The Right Local SEO Tools – Great feature and price comparison chart
Black Hat Google Reviews – Competitor Sabotage
Seeing Double? 2 G+ Local Links in SERPs? Here’s Why? – Some thought bug. I discovered it’s a SERPs display update.
NEW PHOTO BUG JUST HIT? This just came into forum, we are investigating.
Hit “Recent Posts” at the top of the forum for the very latest…
What were the biggest changes to Local SEO in 2012? What do experts predict is coming for Google+ Local in 2013? What’s the best advice for the coming year? And let’s throw in some crackpot predictions too!
I was recently interviewed by Myles from BrightLocal, along with thought leaders Mike Blumenthal, Mike Ramsey and Laura Betterly. Read the link below to discover our answers to the questions below.
Looking back… what has been the biggest change in local search in 2012?
What do you predict to be the biggest change for ‘local’ in 2013?
What is your biggest concern for how ‘local’ will develop in 2013?
What will be the biggest change(s) to local SEO ranking factors in 2013?
What changes do you predict for Google+ Local in 2013?
What are the 3 pieces of advice you would give to local SMBs for 2013?
What’s your most ‘crackpot’ prediction for ‘local’ in 2013?
Head over to read my CrackPot Prediction for 2013
Let the “Best Of” and “Year in Review” posts begin!
There were several defining moments in local search in the year 2012; The update to Google+ Local, the ability to merge your Place page with your Google+ Business page (still not ready for prime time), the Google Local review problems and the thousands of small businesses deleted by Google due to the service area/hide your address fiasco.
Following are my picks for the best local search blogs posts of 2012. Categorized by topic, but in no particular order:
Google Local: Train Wreck at the Junction
Mike Blumenthal – GOOGLE+ LOCAL PROBLEMS
Google Places Is Over, Company Makes Google+ The Center Of Gravity For Local Search Greg Sterling – GOOGLE+ LOCAL UPDATE
Google Places Pages Are No More – But What has Changed?
Mike Blumenthal – GOOGLE+ LOCAL UPDATE
Google+ Business Pages: To Merge Or Not to Merge, That is the Question
Mike Blumenthal – GOOGLE+ MERGE
BREAKING! Google+ Business Merge with Google Place Pages Starts Now!
Local Search Forum – GOOGLE+ MERGE
Local Search Ranking Factors
David Mihm – LOCAL SEO
The Zen Of Local SEO
Miriam Solas – LOCAL SEO
Local Search Ecosystem: Fall 2012 Update
David Mihm – LOCAL SEO
How Long Does Local-Search Visibility Take?
Phil Rozek – LOCAL SEO
Asking for Reviews (Post Google Apocalypse)
Mike Blumenthal – REVIEWS
The Local Business Reviews Ecosystem
Phil Rozek – REVIEWS
New Guideline – Hide your Address or Risk Losing your Place Page
Linda Buquet – SERVICE AREA – DELETED LISTINGS – DO NOT SUPPORT
There are so many great bloggers and 2012 was filled with great insights and many other great posts. Please feel to post any others you feel deserve an honorable mention in the companion post over at the Local Search Community.
When Google acquired Frommers, the travel guide, back in August there was speculation about how Google would use/integrate all their rich travel content. I think I discovered one of the ways last week. It looks like they recently started adding Frommers content to Google+ Local pages.
Has anyone else seen these big rich descriptions above the “At A Glance” section of Google+ Local pages before? I think this is new. Have not seen anyone blog it yet. Here’s how I discovered it.
I helped the Children’s Discovery Museum of San Jose at the Google Forum. You can see the description added to the Museum’s Google+ Local page right above the reviews. The description was incorrect and out of date, so he wanted to know how to change it.
When I searched for the content I found it on the NYtimes travel domain, some Google books, Frommers and several other sites. So initially I just thought Google was scraping it, like they do the review sentiments in the “At a Glance Section”. Then I remembered Google purchased Frommers back in August, so it makes sense they would integrate the content.
Here are a couple articles about Google’s Frommers acquisition.
Zagat Take Two: Google To Acquire Frommer’s Travel Guides – SearchEngineLand
See any other good examples? I have not had time to do a deep dive on this.
Join the discussion at the Local Search Forum.
Latest local SEO and Google+ Local news from the Local Search Community.
These are just a few of the many great threads that started in November.
There are lots of other great discussions too, so head over and join in!
Does Google Hate Small Businesses? (Hot off the press, a few minutes ago.
A lively discussion is sure to follow.)
There are too many new posts to list so, head over to read the rest.
NOTE: Most NEW content gets posted at the forum now and I seldom post on the blog these days. So be sure to subscribe to the forum RSS feeds for all the latest Google Local news and insights from all the Local Search Pros.
Local Search Community RSS Feed SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL
Don’t miss the latest Local Search news and community tips!
WOW! Did someone at StreetFight just reach inside my brain and pen all my Google Local frustrations? He summed up SO many of the complicated Google+ Local issues, that plague consultants and business owners alike.
See full article below, but 1st – a Google Places CARTOON that says it all!
I am consulting for a company that has a hornet’s nest of complicated G+ L problems. Have never seen one company with so many Google local problems. Every problem in the book! Yesterday after I explained how to fix just a small portion of the problems, my client sent me the following cartoon.
That about sums it up, right???
Head over to the Local Search Forum for the link to the VERY comprehensive article about all the Google+ Local complications and confusion and please weigh in with your thoughts. Extensively Convoluted Google+ Local Offerings
Back in June 2011 I broke a story about Google’s new “City Pages” which I discovered a couple days before Google officially announced them. It looked like they were going to be very cool city directories – and for awhile they were.
Now it looks like they are all gone and the ones I have checked go to 404 error pages. It looks like Google is now going for Official Google+ City Pages instead. (Which makes sense but does not offer a big fancy city directory like before.)
I’ve been collecting Official Google+ City Pages as I find them and am listing the ones I’ve found so far. If you live/work in a particular city you may want to circle the page, comment on posts and get to know the local Community Manager. Having friends in high Google Local places never hurts!
Google Local Chicago
During the time that I’ve been gradually tracking down City pages to create this list, Matt McGee posted about the changes over at Search Engine Land Google Starts Shutting Down Its City Pages, Shifts To Google+ Local and noted 2 of the new pages. So head over and see what he had to say.
If you discover any other Google Local City Pages please share in comments. There is also an open discussion over at the Local Search Community.
We just added a new section to the Local Search Forum forum.
This new forum is dedicated to providing resources to help manage the “Business Side” of local search consulting. It’s also a place for the community to share business-building and organizational ideas OR ask questions about business-related issues.
Great topics for this forum would include anything related to: prospecting, pricing, packaging, billing, time management, productivity tools or anything about managing and GROWING a more successful business!
I have some helpful resources/posts in the works, but here are the 1st 3.
Just Say No to Bad Local SEO Clients – Let them Walk!
How to Write Universe-conquering Marketing Proposals
Biz-Building Tips for Local SEOs
WITH TIPS I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING TO SHARE PUBLICLY ABOUT
WAYS TO GET NEW CLIENTS, I BET MOST OF YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT
FEEL FREE TO START A NEW THREAD ABOUT: New business-building articles you read, productivity tools you like or to ask questions about business issues you may be struggling with.
Visit the Consultant’s Corner here.