GooglePlacesNewsWelcome to Google Places & Local Search Buzz #2 A new weekly roundup of the most important tips and news in the world of Google Places and Local SEO. Important updates, bugs and tips in this issue.

BUG UPDATE 5/4 4:30 PST – Vanessa just posted: “Here’s the latest: We’re processing a fix but it’s going to take a few days before you see your listings live. Check back Sunday/Monday to see where your listing’s at. I’ll check back in Monday about this.” See next link down for future updates.

Place page gone? Seeing “We do not support this location”? Technical issues right now, sit tight. – I started having all kinds of OTHER problems with listings yesterday. WEIRD stuff, not the “do not support” error. I could tell something was really off and alerted Vanessa. She posted the update above and has engineers on it. Hope they get it fixed soon.

Google Places Account Suspended- All is Not Lost – Linda Buquet notes that in some situations (where you have not received the start over email) Google is still apparently resuscitating some suspended accounts.

Listen to Mike Blumenthal Talk Local Marketing Monday May 7 – If you are involved with local at all, you should listen to the show. There are a lot of very useful tips scattered throughout the episode.  The show will air on Monday, May 7th at 12 EST / 9am PST on Webmaster Radio.

Google Places for Law Firms: Why does a Law Firm Rank High?
Competitive Analysis Ranking Study – Ever wondered why a law firm ranks high on a Google Places map? We did too. PaperStreet’s study of Google places for law firms is now complete. We selected five cities and reviewed what law firms rank high for a specific phrase in the first seven slots (A-G).

12-Week Action Plan for Google Places Visibility | LocalVisibilitySystem.com – Unless you’re Arnold, furious bursts of action alone probably won’t get you very far. You need a planfor the action.This is especially important if you’re trying to get your business visible in local search – and particularly important if you want to boost your visibility in the ever-finicky Google Places results.

Google Places Reviews Missing? Join the Club… – You don’t say? This has actually been an ongoing issue with Google Places since… well, basically the beginning. The issues persisted through 2011 and here we are well in to 2012 with the same problems and Google is now saying that lately there have been questions in the forums about missing reviews. Nice.

6 Tools SMBs Can Use to Update Digital Directory Listings – Almost half of all business listings on hyperlocal services and online directories include information that is outdated, incorrect, or incomplete — a major problem given that 92% of people use online directories to research products or services…

In Case You Missed It: Your Rank Tracking Reports Are Now Useless – Here’s the thing, though. Because most rank trackers work with the depersonalized results where the location is set to USA, you’d never be able to make and report this discovery unless you had performed the ranking checks manually. In other words, if you’re currently relying on ranking packages like those of SEOmoz and Link-Assistant.com, your reports are largely incomplete! These tools simply don’t have the option of emulating local search behavior, at least not yet.

Major brands are not utilising Google Places – There have been some interesting developments in Google search results and SEO… Bruce Clay has also seen Google experimenting with Google Product feeds or listing in retailer’s Google Places listings. He thinks this clean up and promotion of Google Places has to do with Google trying to get into the ‘daily deals’ market.

Rave Reviews: Why Do They Matter Most To Local Businesses [Infographic] – According to the Small Business Search Marketing Survey by American Express OPEN, U.S. small businesses can still count on word-of-mouth as a top way for shoppers to find them. Close behind, however, is the Internet.