July Google Places Optimization Blog Archives

Vote for Your Leading Local Search Influencer Today

I went through and found all the Local Search Pros that have been nominated – the ones I know anyway. (So sorry if I missed anyone.) These are all great guys that all do lots of good things for our industry. But my vote goes to Mike Blumenthal, because I don’t think anyone does more to help SMBs and the industry with Google+ Local problems than Mike does. He doesn’t have many votes so far, so go give him YOUR vote of confidence and appreciation for all he does!

New Google+ Local Photo Guidelines – No Logos and No Ugly Mugs

Yesterday, helping someone on the Google forum I stumbled across new Photo guidelines for Google Local+. Most made sense but a couple made me scratch my head and think “this is going to be a problem”. Then my friend Miriam Ellis blogged it this AM and it turns out she has some of the same concerns/questions I did. See the new guidelines, my thoughts, Miriam’s post and comments over at the new Local Search Forum.

NEW Local Search Forum Launches – Tons of Resources for Local SEO Consultants

The Local Search Forum was developed due to popular demand by Catalyst blog readers and all of my Advanced Google Places Training and LOCAL SEO Training clients. The public forum includes several sections and tons of great content already. There is a forum for all the most important Google Places updates/bugs/alerts and a Google Places help/troubleshooting forum for business owners as well as consultants to post questions and problems in. There is also a Private Local Search PROs Forum that’s only available to Advanced Places Training clients. Check us out! Join the community!

Discover How to Track Some of the Most Important Google Places Forum Posts – New Resources for You

TOP 7 PEOPLE TO FOLLOW ON THE GOOGLE & YOUR BUSINESS FORUM. Discover a great way to get the best and latest news and tips from the Google Places Forum. Also see special VIP bonus tip below that section and a special pre-launch announcement for my new Local Search Forum.

Invisible Businesses with Hidden Map Markers Due to Google Places Hide Your Address Rule

A new Google Places rule is causing lots of small business listings to be deleted. I call it the hide your ass (address) or lose your Place page rule. Aside from the obvious issues around the hide your address guideline, there is another problem you should be aware of that I have not seen anyone mention – Hidden map markers due to what I call a Google Maps StackUp. See screenshot and explanation below.

Google Places Forum Roundup – Hottest Recent Threads you May have Missed

Here is Jade’s latest forum wrapup video. Also below is Linda’s roundup of important threadslike updates on the Small Business Take Down AKA Do Not Support Location problem and LOTS more. Plus giving you a head’s up that my new “Local Search Forum” is finally almost ready to launch.

Google Places and Local SEO Podcasts and Videos – Listen While you Work (Or Workout)

Just listened to a good interview with David Mihm and thought I’d share. While I’m at it I’ll share a few other good podcasts and videos from other local pros. So listen while you work OR workout this weekend – to a recent selection of Google Places, Google+ Local and Local SEO Podcasts, interviews and videos.

Missing Google+ Local AKA Google Places Images? Check for Dual Ownership or Hidden Merged Suspended Listing

Important new troubleshooting step pros need to know about. See screen shots so you understand what the problem is. Important new troubleshooting step pros need to know about. See screen shots so you understand what the problem is. BUT THEN THE BIGGEST ISSUE OF ALL IS – if by chance there ARE multiple owned listings, or what I call a hidden merged dupe, then as Jade suggests above, that other invisible listing in another account you didn’t even know existed COULD be suspended and that could be causing a variety of problems on the listing you are trying to optimize.

Google Halts Google Places Troubleshooter Temporarily to Catch up on Backlog of Support Requests

This will be inconvenient to users that need help with new issues, but will help all the folks that have been stuck in the support Q for too long. My personal opinion is the backlog was created due to the horrendous way they handled the massive deletion of what I believe to be thousands of service area businesses due to the new hide your address rule. But on top of that there are of course several other tech issues that are creating support requests right now. Below is a list of current Google Places – Google+ Local bugs and problems to be aware of.

UBL Advises How to Circumvent the Google Places No PO Box Rule – Bad Move

UBL is a primary data provider and as such I don’t believe they should be giving “tips” about how to circumvent Google Places guidelines. They recently sent what I consider to be very questionable advice to agencies, resellers and partners and the link also went out via Twitter and the doc is public, so some business owners and spammers likely saw it as well. I would suggest to UBL that usually when industry leaders provide best practice advice it involves following Google’s quality guidelines, not sharing alternative ways to break the rules.