Visit the Local Search Community for the Latest News, Help and Support

Just Launched – Business-Building Forum for Local SEO Consultants

Thursday, November 8th, 2012 at 9:34am by Linda Buquet

We just added a new section to the Local Search Forum forum.

Announcing the Consultant’s Corner!

This new forum is dedicated to providing resources to help manage the “Business Side” of local search consulting. It’s also a place for the community to share business-building and organizational ideas OR ask questions about business-related issues.

Great topics for this forum would include anything related to: prospecting, pricing, packaging, billing, time management, productivity tools or anything about managing and GROWING a more successful business!

I have some helpful resources/posts in the works, but here are the 1st 3.
Just Say No to Bad Local SEO Clients – Let them Walk!
How to Write Universe-conquering Marketing Proposals
Biz-Building Tips for Local SEOs

STAY TUNED FOR AN EPIC LEAD GEN & PROSPECTING POST
WITH TIPS I CAN’T BELIEVE I’M GOING TO SHARE PUBLICLY ABOUT
WAYS TO GET NEW CLIENTS, I BET MOST OF YOU DON’T KNOW ABOUT

FEEL FREE TO START A NEW THREAD ABOUT: New business-building articles you read, productivity tools you like or to ask questions about business issues you may be struggling with.

Visit the Consultant’s Corner here.

Local Search and Google+ Local News Highlights – Oct 31 2012

Wednesday, October 31st, 2012 at 8:15am by Linda Buquet

Latest local SEO and Google+ Local news from the Local Search Community.

Biz-Building Tips for Local SEOs + How to Find a GOOD Local SEO for SMBs

Hardcore Local SEO Competitive Analysis with Places Scout

The Zen Of Local SEO by Miriam Ellis

Tips from David Mihm’s Presentation at SearchLove 2012

Google+ Marketing Tips, Tricks and Treats

Breaking: Will Google Kill Search Location Setting? Bad News for Local SEO

Google Business Forum VIDEO Wrapup – October 19 2012

5 Tips for Optimizing Your LinkedIn Company Page

What Impact Will Google Now Have For Small Businesses?

Your Local SEO Strategy is One Millimeter Off! Video

Google Places for Business Help – Will Not Update Clients URL

Adding Schema Location Markup to Your Site: Structured Data First Steps

There are too many new posts to list so, head over to read the rest.

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NOTE: Most NEW content gets posted at the forum now and I seldom post on the blog these days. So be sure to subscribe to the forum RSS feeds for all the latest Google Local news and insights from all the Local Search Pros.

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Don’t miss the latest Local Search news and community tips!

Just Launched – New Local Search Community Member Perks

Wednesday, October 24th, 2012 at 10:38am by Linda Buquet

Today is our 3 month anniversary at the Local Search Forum. Can you believe this thriving community is only 3 months old? Wow! It’s been a crazy whirlwind of activity that has resulted in over 4,000 posts and almost 400 members. (And most of the world does not even know about us yet – so please help spread the word!)

David and I have each helped build a lot of forum communities over the past 10 years and we’ve NEVER seen one take off this fast and build this strong.

There are 2 primary reasons for our growth. 1) I think the Local Search community was just REALLY hungry for a positive and productive place to learn, discuss local search and support each other. 2) The quality of our members and the knowledge they bring!

This is YOUR community! And it’s all of you that make it special!

To celebrate our 3 month milestone we wanted to add 3 new member perks!

New Top Contributor Program – Announcing Our 1st TC (Who is it?)

Local LEADERBOARD – Recognizing Our Top Members (Are you on the list?)

Member Reputation Bump (Give KUDOS to fellow members)

Thanks to all who support the Local Search Community!
We work for you!

Sincerely,

The Local Search Community Team – Miriam, David & Linda

Local Search and Google+ Local News Highlights

Friday, October 19th, 2012 at 10:15am by Linda Buquet

Busy week? Today might be a good day for you to take a break and catch up on the latest local SEO and Google+ Local news from the Local Search Community Forum you may have missed. Following are just a few October posts I hand picked and think are some of the most important to read.

HEAD’S UP! DON’T MISS OUR 3 MONTH ANNIVERSARY
AT THE LOCAL SEARCH FORUM NEXT WEDNESDAY

Exciting forum upgrades, member perks, new Top Contributor Program & MORE!

You Thought Google MapMaker BOTs Were Bad? See Image, New Patent!
LOL! (Hot off the press, new this AM.)

Yelp Fake Review Sting OUTS SMBs, Warns Consumers

Local SEO Warning: City in Title Tag – Former Google Spam Team Member Speaks Out

LOCAL Keyword Research Tools and Tricks

Local SEO Ranking Expert Survey – How Long Does It Take to Rank?

New Google LOCAL Algo Changes – Here’s the Scoop

Yay! PERMANENTLY CLOSED – Moved Business – Google Update

Local Exact Match Domains Still Rank – Google Algo Update

Google Business Forum VIDEO Wrapup – October 5, 2012

New Google Local Site Preview Highlights Competition

Google+ Local Ranking Factors – Competing for Visibility

There are too many new posts to list so, head over to read the rest.

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NOTE: Most NEW content gets posted at the forum now and I seldom post on the blog these days. So be sure to subscribe to the forum RSS feeds for all the latest Google Local news and insights from all the Local Search Pros.

local search news feedLocal Search Community RSS Feed SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL
Don’t miss the latest Local Search news and community tips!

New Local SEO Tools – Local Search Software Forum Just Launched

Monday, October 15th, 2012 at 10:33am by Linda Buquet

The Local Search Forum is just over 2 months old, but we’ve been experiencing rapid growth due to the overwhelming support of the Local Search community. The forum has expanded to the point already where it’s getting hard for folks to find the info they need. So we need to start to splitting off some more forums to help keep everything organized and easy to find.

So I just launched the new Local SEO Tools – Local Search Software Forum

This section is for news, updates and helpful information about tools and software related to Local Search. Examples of posts that could go in this section are: What is the best local search tracking software? What is the best citation solution? Is there a tool to do XYZ? What’s a good WordPress theme for SMBs?

Solution providers can also post updates in certain situations, but we don’t allow blatant self promotion. So if you offer a Local SEO product and want to post Please read the rules for that forum..

We also soon will have featured advertising spots in this section of the forum. PM me if interested.

STAY TUNED for our Forum 3 Month Anniversary Announcements on 10/24. We have some other forum additions and features that will make your time here more beneficial and rewarding.  And we’ll be announcing who our “Top Contributors” are. ;-)

Warning: New Google Guidelines Local SEOs Must Know – Could Cause Penalties

Thursday, October 11th, 2012 at 11:14am by Linda Buquet

Google just updated many of the Google Webmaster Guidelines.

The Google Webmaster Guidelines are the BIBLE for organic SEO. Now, since the blended algo is primarily about organic ranking factors, Local search consultants need to keep up with the changes and comply, just as you do with the Google Places Guidelines.

There are a couple changes to the guidelines that directly affect local business web sites. See RED highlights for IMPORTANT Guideline changes for LOCAL I want to alert you to and discuss.

Curated post. See full details: Local Search Forum – New Google Guidelines.

Minnesota Lynx Google+ Page Deleted – A Cautionary Tale

Wednesday, October 10th, 2012 at 10:46am by Linda Buquet

Back in September the Minnesota Lynx basketball team proudly announced on Twitter that their Google+ page was the 1st WNBA team page to be verified!
 

They had over 30,000 followers and tons of content.

Then on Sunday the Lynx verified Google+ page was DELETED.
All their content and 30,000 fans in their circles – GONE!

Google told them they would have to start over.

Read the cautionary tale & find out what happened at the Local Search Forum.
Lynx WNBA Team Google+ Page Deleted – A Cautionary Tale

Google Missing Listings – Do Not Support Location Update

Tuesday, October 9th, 2012 at 11:47am by Linda Buquet

A huge number of SMB listings have been deleted by Google for violating the “Hide your Address Rule.” This rule pertains to outbound service area businesses, like plumbers, primarily those with home offices.

Months later Google has been unable to bring many of the listings back
EVEN ONES THAT WERE MISTAKENLY DELETED AND WERE IN COMPLIANCE.

I pushed Google again last week for an update due to a new situation that came to light. I also informed Google I was working on a big story and requested an official statement. (SEE UPDATE – LAST QUOTE)

But 1st I wanted to share the story of ONE of the many small business listings Google removed in error.

This is just a curated snippet from the HUGE long article posted over at the
Local Search Forum. Please see update from Google and full post there.

Business Listings Deleted by Google – Do Not Support Location Update

Local Keyword Tools PLUS New Google Algo Updates Affecting LOCAL Results

Thursday, October 4th, 2012 at 12:57pm by Linda Buquet

Just did 2 big posts over at the Local Search Forum that I wanted to be sure my blog readers don’t miss.

LOCAL Keyword Research Tricks, Treats & Tools – Monster post for you guys! In my Local SEO training course I teach how it’s imperative to optimize the home page (or the specific location landing page) for the the very best… See all the screenshots and discover some LOCAL keyword research techniques you may have missed.

New Google Updates and LOCAL Algo Changes – Here’s the Scoop! – Google does an average of 2 algo updates a day. Did you know that? Many new Google algos go un-named. If they are named, they are worth noting! A few new algo updates recently rolled out and some ARE affecting local. (Including NEW PANDA update.) Discover some fairly major Google updates that just came out that are affecting local.

Join the discussion happening now – at the Local Search Forum.
(Comments closed here.)

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Local Exact Match Domains Still Rank – Google Algo Update

Monday, October 1st, 2012 at 9:51am by Linda Buquet

Curated content from the Local Search Forum for my blog subscribers.

Friday Matt Cutts tweeted: “Minor weather report: small upcoming Google algo change will reduce low-quality “exact-match” domains in search results.”

All weekend the forums and blogs were atwitter with the news and lots of webmasters have reported getting hit by the algo change. Here are posts at Search Engine Land, SEOmoz and over at WebmasterWorld the discussion is up to 15 pages so far.

I was involved in a few of those conversations, plus others, trying to determine the impact on local and have not seen evidence of it. I did quite a bit of research over the weekend and here are just a few of the local EMDs I found still sitting in top spots…

Read the rest, see the examples and discuss at the Local Search Forum:
Local Exact Match Domains Still Rank – Google Algo Update

Local Search News – hReview Stars and Snippet Spam, Shrinking Local SERPs, Hide Address QA, New Citation Lists and More

Tuesday, September 25th, 2012 at 11:28am by Linda Buquet

Life is crazy and work is busy. I get it! But since some of you subscribe to the blog, and don’t have the forum RSS feed yet, I’m thinking some of you may have missed important posts from the Local Search Community Forum.

Grab the Local Search Community RSS Feed here OR click the link to RECENT POSTS for the latest up-do-date news and tips in the Local Search space.

I’ve been curating all the latest Local Search news and adding all my new Google+ Local content at the new Local Search Community Forum because it’s so much easier to have discussions, organize content and build community on a forum platform instead of a blog. BUT I apologize to my blog readers for not doing a better job of communicating things here as well.

So following, in no particular order, are a few recent Google+ and Local SEO news stories and tips you may have missed.

Dominate Google Local Serps or Rich Snippet & Author Spam? – Controversial post with awesome screenshot of Google search where one local Dr dominates top 4 spots all with hReview stars and Author markup image in SERPs.

G+ Local Edits Showing Quickly – Many don’t realize, one of the benefits to merging your G+ Local and G+ business page is SOMETIMES faster edit times. Click to read the deets.

LQQK – Incredible Shrinking Local SERPS & Traffic Drops – Google results have morphed and changed over the years. The blended local results are now so stripped down and barren of details, it’s no wonder click-through and call rates are declining. The following screen shots and stats below tell the story. I’d almost rather have an organic listing now. (OR better yet how about best of both worlds – a DOUBLE page one ranking with both organic AND a blended listings – ya that’s the ticket!)

50 Local SEO Lessons Phil Learned from 50 Local SEO Clients – HOT HOT tips from Phil Rosek!

Hide Your Address on Google Places Q & A – Folks are still confused about this. I answer some of the questions in an easy to digest Q & A format.

55 Largest Local Business Directories + the Top Citation Sources in US

Wow – Google Maps has Team of Over 7000 – Apple is Hiring Up

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NOTE: Most NEW content gets posted at the forum now and I seldom post on the blog these days. So be sure to subscribe to the forum RSS feeds for all the latest Google Local news and insights from all the Local Search Pros.

local search news feedLocal Search Community RSS Feed SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL
Don’t miss the latest Local Search news and community tips!

Proud to Announce – Miriam Ellis Joins the Local Search Forum Team

Tuesday, September 18th, 2012 at 10:39am by Linda Buquet

I’m thrilled to announce that the Local Search Community is expanding and we just added my friend Miriam Ellis to the team.

Most of you that have worked in Local for awhile know who Miriam is. She’s a fellow contributor with me over at David Mihms “Local Search Ranking Factors” and is the Local SEO Associate over at the SEOmoz Forum, plus you’ve likely read her blog filled with Local Search topics at Solas Web Design.

When I decided it was time to expand and add to the team, Miriam was the 1st person I thought of. Why?

PLEASE READ THE FULL ANNOUNCEMENT AT THE LOCAL SEARCH FORUM

Please come over and join me in giving a warm welcome to Miriam, our new super mod! (Since some of my blog readers don’t have the forum RSS feed, yet, I wanted to post a little info here.)

PS I have more local community news coming. Stay tuned for our new “Top Contributor” program. Details to be announced soon.

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NOTE: Most NEW content gets posted at the forum now and I seldom post on the blog these days. So be sure to subscribe to the forum RSS feeds for all the latest Google Local news and insights from all the Local Search Pros.

local search news feedLocal Search Community RSS Feed SUBSCRIBE via RSS or EMAIL
Don’t miss the latest news and community tips!

Why Did my Google Local Ranking Drop? The Answer

Thursday, September 13th, 2012 at 11:23am by Linda Buquet

When a client wants to know why their ranking dropped, it can be a very tough question to answer.

The Google Local algo is infinitely complicated. Now that organic is such a big part of the algo I think there are likely over 300 factors that go into it – when you combine the all the organic factors with all the local factors.

So if you are trying to figure out or have to explain why rankings dropped it can be difficult to say. OR on the other hand if you are trying to figure out WHICH of the many factors that you worked on contributed to the ranking increase it can be uber tricky as well.

Lots more Inside - Click to Read

Mindblowing Google Maps Data – Inside Look at Ground Truth

Friday, September 7th, 2012 at 11:04am by Linda Buquet

I read a mind expanding article last night that made me think about the extreme tunnel vision I have when I look at Google maps. I am so focused on Google+ Local that I don’t even think about the underlying map data or how it was created. I’m always just researching business listing problems, trying to solve data cluster puzzles, searching for violations or other reasons for ranking drops.

I only see NAP, map markers and business data. Maybe you are that way too. After all, this is where we focus our attention all day long.

Lots more Inside - Click to Read

Dynamite Google Review Funnel Strategy – Video

Friday, September 7th, 2012 at 10:54am by Linda Buquet

Google reviews I’ve known about a REALLY smart strategy my friend Matthew Hunt uses for awhile and wanted to share, but wasn’t sure it was public knowledge. He just blogged it and did a video so wanted to be sure you all see this.

It’s a really slick way of funneling or trying to screen out negative reviews so they aren’t as likely to hit Google. AND this system gets that negative feedback directly to you, tied to the customers name & email, so you can fix your customer service problem AND make it right with the customer.

Lots more Inside - Click to Read

Local Search Roundup – FTC Complaints re Google Reviews, Places Category Bug, Local SEO Game, Lots More

Tuesday, September 4th, 2012 at 9:52am by Linda Buquet

Between end of summer vacations and back to school craziness, I’m thinking some of you, may have missed important posts from the Local Search Forum. So here is a roundup of some of the latest hot topics and helpful updates.

So following, in no particular order, are some important recent Google+ Local and Local SEO links you may have missed.

Lots more Inside - Click to Read

New Reputation Management Software includes Google Review Backups, Alerts – See Sceenshots and Video

Monday, August 20th, 2012 at 10:10am by Linda Buquet

Reputation Management SoftwarePlaces Scout just launched their incredibly full featured Reputation Management module, which is now included in the Places Scout bundled solution. I think this is likely the most powerful reputation management solution out there. Even though I don’t personally do rep management, I’m super excited about this new solution as I know lots of my readers DO but even if you don’t yet, this software could add a whole new profit center to your business.

For those that don’t know about Places Scout yet, it’s a complete solution for Local SEO and includes: Local Rank Tracker, In-depth Local SEO Competitive Analysis, Client Finder, and Citation Finder.

Today I’m only highlighting the new Reputation Management Module.

1st some screen shots, then a video that shows Reputation Management reporting functionality, then below that are just a few of the main features.

Lots more Inside - Click to Read

Can You Risk NOT Hiding your Address on Google? For Service Area and Home Based Businesses

Wednesday, August 15th, 2012 at 11:34am by Linda Buquet

If you have a service area business and your office is in your home and/or you only go out to customers, YES it is absolutely mandatory that you hide your address! THOUSANDS (and I personally believe hundreds of thousands) of small business listings have been removed for violating this fairly recent guideline and some have been down for a couple months without being able to revive their listing or even successfully getting a new listing to show.

But this post is targeted at a slightly different scenario. We get SMBs on the forum that say, “Yes my office is in my home BUT customers SOMETIMES come here. So I don’t want to hide my address and don’t feel I’m in violation.” Some of you may have clients in the same boat. What do I advise?

Lots more Inside - Click to Read

Video – How to Merge your Google+ Business and G+ Local Pages – Detailed Instructions

Wednesday, August 8th, 2012 at 10:37am by Linda Buquet

Matthew Hunt from Small Business Online Coach created a GREAT step-by-step video detailing how to set up and merge your Google+ Business page with your Google Places AKA G+ Local page. Since many of us are visual learners, I think it’s really helpful to watch the process instead of just reading how to do it. So great job Matthew and thank you for sharing!

Lots more Inside - Click to Read

Valiant Effort to Help Solve Google+ Local Review Problems

Tuesday, August 7th, 2012 at 9:28am by Linda Buquet

Most of you are aware of a myriad of problems surrounding Google Places AKA Google+ Local reviews. The Google and your Business forum ALWAYS has multiple posts from frustrated business owners with complaints. But lately the forum has been literally flooded with SMBs who are either missing reviews or can’t get reviews to show up at all.

Sunday Mike Blumenthal decided to crank up the heat to try to get Google to take action and find a solution or fix the problem. A lot of folks have been “talking” about the problem. Mike took matters into his own hands and decided to do something about it! (Ya I know I sound like a big Mike fan girl lately – cuz I am! ;-)) He alerted Google via email what he was doing, then put out a call to action to other Google Top Contributors and asked us to help him try to consolidate all the review problems into one thread to try to get Google’s attention focused on the problem.

I’ve been helping Mike as time permits by going back through recent review problem posts and asking SMBs to post in the main thread below. As of right now there have been 53 replies so far.

See Google’s reply, read the rest of the story and weigh in over at the new Local Search Community Forum.

Comments are closed. Join the discussion at the Local Search Community Forum.