2012 Google Places Optimization Blog Archives

Happy Holidays from Catalyst and the Local Search Team

Happy Holidays & Season’s Greetings

Google+ and Local Search Buzz – Major Google Local Updates December 2012

There have been so many important topics at the Local Search Commmunity Forum, I don’t I have time to cover them all. Some MAJOR Google updates for local, big issues you need to read. Plus lots of insightful advice if your local search consulting business is struggling. Plus some bugs and display changes for local.

Top Advice and Predictions for Local SEO in 2013

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 Google+ Local 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.

12 Most Important Local Search Blog Posts of 2012

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.

Google Now Features Frommers Content on 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. When Google acquired Frommers, the travel guide, back in August there was speculation about how Google would use/integrate all their rich travel content. It looks like they recently started adding Frommers content to Google+ Local pages.

Google+ and Local Search Buzz – November 2012

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!

The Crazy Mixed up Confusing World of Google+ Local

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. Article below, but 1st – a Google Places CARTOON that says it all! SEE INSIDE.

List of Official Google+ Local City Pages

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.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. 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!

Just Launched – Business-Building Forum for Local SEO Consultants

This new forum is dedicated to providing resources to help manage the “Business Side” of local search consulting. 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! Already have some great posts started. Jump in and check it out.

Local Search and Google+ Local News Highlights – Oct 31 2012

Happy Halloween! Today might be a good day for you to take a break and get caught up on the latest local SEO and Google+ Local news. Following are just a few October posts I hand picked and think are some of the most important to read.

Just Launched – New Local Search Community Member Perks

Today is our 3 month anniversary at the Local Search Forum. Can you believe this thriving community is only 3 months old? Wow! It’s been a crazy whirlwind of activity that has resulted in over 4,000 posts and almost 400 members. To celebrate our 3 month milestone we wanted to add 3 new member perks!

Local Search and Google+ Local News Highlights

Busy week? Today might be a good day for you to take a break and get caught up on the latest local SEO and Google+ Local news from the Local Search Community Forum you may have missed. Following are just a few October posts I hand picked and think are some of the most important to read. Also see BIG HEADs UP.

New Local SEO Tools – Local Search Software Forum Just Launched

The Local Search Forum is just over 2 months old, but we’ve been experiencing rapid growth due to the overwhelming support of the local search community. The forum has expanded to the point already where it’s getting hard for folks to find the info they need. So we need to start to splitting off some more forums to help keep everything organized and easy to find. So I just launched the new Local SEO Tools – Local Search Software Forum…

Warning: New Google Guidelines Local SEOs Must Know – Could Cause Penalties

Google just updated many of the Google Guidelines. Since the blended algo is primarily about organic, Local search consultants need to keep up with the changes and comply, just as you do with the Google Places Guidelines. See RED highlights for IMPORTANT Guideline changes for LOCAL I want to alert you to and discuss. If your site dropped, this likely why.

Minnesota Lynx Google+ Page Deleted – A Cautionary Tale

The Minnesota Lynx basketball team proudly announced their Google+ page was the 1st WNBA team page to be verified! They had over 30,000 followers and tons of content. Then on Sunday the Lynx verified Google+ page was DELETED. All their content and 30,000 fans in their circles – GONE. Google told them they would have to start over. Read the cautionary tale & find out what happened

Google Missing Listings – Do Not Support Location Update

A huge number of small business listings have been deleted by Google for violating the Hide your Address Rule. Months later Google has been unable to bring many of the listings back EVEN ONES THAT WERE MISTAKENLY DELETED AND WERE IN COMPLIANCE. I pushed Google for an update and requested an official statement. SEE UPDATE – LAST QUOTE

Local Keyword Tools PLUS New Google Algo Updates Affecting LOCAL Results

See all the screenshots and discover some LOCAL keyword research techniques you may have missed. PLUS a few new algo updates recently rolled out and some ARE affecting local. (Including NEW PANDA update.)

Local Exact Match Domains Still Rank – Google Algo Update

All weekend the forums and blogs were atwitter with the news and lots of webmasters have reported getting hit by the algo change. Here are posts at Search Engine Land, SEOmoz and over at WebmasterWorld the discussion is up to 15 pages so far. I was involved in a few of those conversations, plus others, trying to determine the impact on local and have not seen evidence of it. I did quite a bit of research over the weekend and here are just a few of the local EMDs I found still sitting in top spots…

Local Search News – hReview Stars and Snippet Spam, Shrinking Local SERPs, Hide Address QA, New Citation Lists and More

Life is crazy and work is busy. I get it! But since some of you subscribe to the blog BUT don’t have the Local Search Community Forum RSS feed yet, I’m thinking some of you may have missed important posts from the Local Forum. I’ve been curating all the latest Local Search news and adding all my new Google+ Local content at the new Local Search Forum instead of this blog. So following, in no particular order, are just a few recent Google+ Local and Local SEO news posts and tips you may have missed.

Proud to Announce – Miriam Ellis Joins the Local Search Forum Team

I’m thrilled to announce that the Local Search Community is expanding and we just added my friend Miriam Ellis to the team. Most of you that have worked in Local for awhile know who Miriam is. She’s a fellow contributor with me over at David Mihms “Local Search Ranking Factors” and is the Local SEO Associate over at the SEOmoz Forum, plus you’ve likely read her blog…