GooglePlacesNews Introducing the Google Places & Local Search Buzz
A new weekly roundup of the most important tips and news in the world of Google Places and Local SEO.

Milestones in a Google Places Campaign That’s Working | – Your business is unlikely to inch up or down in the local rankings. The problem is that can make it very tough to tell if you’re doing things effectively or back-asswards. You need some indicators that you’re at least headed in the right (or wrong) direction.

The Google Places Purgatory and How to Get Out of It – In the last month there were many cases of disappearance of Google Places analytics data and complete listings from the organic search results while the listings’ statuses were still showing “Active”.  It appears that it is some kind of peculiar punishment implemented by Google manually on accounts that have not confined to the Google Places Quality Guidelines

Contractor Files Suit Against Google To Unmask Google Places Reviewer – MediaPost Publications 04/26/2012 – Contractor Seeks To Unmask Commenter Who Questioned Reviews. Austin Gutter King, which says the comments are false and damaging, filed suit against both the anonymous commenter and also Google.

Google Places Forum Help, Hot Tips, Warnings, Bugs, Blunders – Issue #2 – In case you missed it – Post #2 in an ongoing series where I attempt to surface the very most important threads from the Google Places forum to ensure you don’t miss any important updates, issues, bugs or fixes.

MarketingSherpa: Local SEO: How geotargeting keywords brought 333% more revenue – This case study shows how a regional medical office launched a local SEO program in a competitive market and increased revenue by more than 300%. You’ll see how the team researched keywords, local-optimized its website, and increased procedures by 33.5%

Flunking the local search market – Google seemed to have the biggest advantage as the integration of local search and user reviews seemed to be a no-brainer for the search engine giant. A combination of poor implementation and anally retentive policies left Google Places stranded.

How to Google-Proof Your Small Business SEM Strategy  – For small businesses, recent developments in the search engine marketing (SEM) industry have been quite terrifying. Small business owners already live on the edge… For small business owners, a spate of changes from Google has brought anything but stability.

7 Google Places Tips & Tools – Response Patrol – Learn more about getting your business listed properly on Google Places. We have some tips and tools that could help your business rise above the competition on Google Places.

At Search Starts Here: Google Continues to Go Strong on Mobile and Local – At the Local Search Association’s Search Starts Here conference in Boca Raton, today’s sessions kicked off with Google’s view of opportunities in local. As usual lately, this tied in closely with lots of trends and themes in mobile and social.

Intuit Buys Demandforce for $424 Million – Intuit has acquired Demandforce for $424 million. Demandforce is a software company that started out working with a couple of verticals in the SMB space (dentists in particular) and has expanded to at least seven market segments.  Linda says: WOW, didn’t see that coming. Congrats DF!

Google’s Latest on Mobile and More  – Google released its “The Mobile Playbook: The Busy Executive’s Guide to Winning With Mobile“. You may think that all Google does well is search (and even that is hotly debated in many camps) but they are getting better at the content marketing game. This offering is pretty cool. Here is the table of contents to give you an idea if you want to look a little deeper

TechCrunch | Google Releases A Playbook For “Winning With Mobile” – As Google continues to push businesses to embrace mobile advertising, it’s trying to make that process a little less intimidating with a new publication titled “The Mobile Playbook: The Busy Executive’s Guide to Winning with

AT&T Releases Its Local Insights Report – Most Popular Categories Include Restaurants and Automotive  – AT&T recently released it’s Local Insights Report. Review the findings here.

If I missed any hot news or important tips that would be helpful to CatalystLocal readers, please share in the comments.