Shortly after the major Google Places algorithm change on October 27th 2010, I reverse engineered the new blended (merged, 0-Pack) algo and figured it out. I have not shared the info with anyone yet, but am about to with your help. The blended algo is DRAMATICALLY different than most realize and no one has ever published this extensive info before.

In addition to showing you EXACTLY how the blended algo works, I will also show you 3 – 4 tools hardly anyone in the industry knows about, that I use to analyze organic vs Places SERPS and explain how I leverage this knowledge to help me in my business. (See more info below about how I use these tools to help boost client rankings and even to help me GET new clients.)

I will share the information once I get 50 “real” people to participate in the following related survey. To give more substance to what is going to be a monster post with tons of valuable data and tools, I want to get a wide variety of opinions from the readers of this blog, which range from industry pros to business owners. Then after the survey quota is met, I’ll share the REAL answer to the question – an answer that may surprise most of you!


PLEASE ALSO WEIGH IN WITH YOUR COMMENTS BELOW!
We really want to hear your insights!

(Note: The 50 survey requirement is not a way to collect emails or build a list – the survey does not even ask for email address. More info about this requirement at the bottom of this post)

As I said above, in addition to showing you EXACTLY how the blended algo works, I will also show you 3 – 4 tools I use to analyze pure organic vs Places rankings. I use these tools for a variety of reasons including but not limited to: 1) Determine which keywords a client can likely get ranked quickly for based on their pure organic ranking 2) Size up a market and the REAL competition prior to talking to a new prospect 3) Help figure out why a prospective new client is NOT ranking in the new blended results.

These tools also help me answer the question and show proof when someone says “The new blended algo is broken OR it does not make sense OR there is no rhyme or reason OR there is no way to optimize for it, it’s just luck of the draw. Look at the results for mykeyword + mycity. Many of the top listings in my market don’t have reviews and some aren’t even claimed. Most of the tools I’ll show you are free. I guarantee that hardly anyone even knows what I’m about to share. In fact I would be surprised if ANYONE knows about most of these.

WHY THIS SURVEY?
As many of you know David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors 2011 was recently released. If you are in the local search industry or have a business and are trying to rank higher in Google Local, you need to read every word.

However you can see by all the answers there are so many ranking factors and so many opinions about them that it’s still difficult to understand how it all works. While it’s REALLY complicated to figure it ALL out, there is ONE important piece of the puzzle most don’t understand and most don’t have a way to measure and analyze. And that’s the question the survey asks and all the information I will soon share addresses:

.:. How much of the new blended algo relies on organic SEO factors?

.:. How do I test and analyze the organic vs blended rankings to understand how to get higher rankings for my clients?

.:. How do I use this information to leverage my Google Places or local SEO business?

WHY THE 50 PARTICIPANT SURVEY REQUIREMENT?
I’m going out on a limb here and am going to be totally transparent!

The Organic SEO + Blended Local Algo post that holds everything I want to share is in development and it’s a monster! It’s important info that’s never been released and will share tools that hardly anyone else knows about. I’m working on screenshots to show and explain everything and am even MAYBE going to try to do my 1st screencast to explain it all. Not sure I can even fit it in one post. May turn into a series or something.

The truth is, I can’t afford to keep blogging these long posts and sharing my best secrets for the fun of it. I do it to HELP people! But because this blog is still fairly new and not that many people know about it, I don’t have many subscribers yet. However those that read this blog know I put in lots of effort into trying to deliver high value with each post. I simply can’t afford to take the time away from paying clients to document all this info and share it with other local marketing consultants, if only a handful of readers are going to see it. To be honest, I’m tired of blogging my heart out with great content that hardly anyone knows about!

So… I need your help spreading the word on this survey, in order to help me justify the time it will take to document everything I want to share in the follow-up post(s) about the algo. I just can’t afford to keep putting content like this out there for free if only a handful are going to see it.

I have a TON more valuable ADVANCED Google Places optimization tips and tools I want to share too. So basically, the more you guys share the content you find that’s helpful here at Catalyst, the more traffic this blog gets, the more of a priority I will put on SHARING what I know.

Make sense? Sound fair?

So please participate in the survey, leave your comments below and use the SHARE buttons at the bottom of this post to help spread the word. Or just share this short link: http://bit.ly/PlacesSurvey
. Then as soon as we get 50 participants to weigh in, I’ll work on the rest of the screenshots and documentation so I can share my resources with you about how the algo works and the tools I use.