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.