• Trevor B Reed

    Wonderful article Andrew! The local scene is very important to small businesses and these proposed tools could be very helpful. We recently built a Google powered local search engine by sorting all local business websites and inputting them by hand. We are working on a way to automate this process while omitting spam, but it is still in the works. Do you think that it is possible to change people’s search habits when looking locally? Please take a look at ours and let me know what you think. http://www.searchingcharleston.com/

  • http://cartercole.com Carter Cole

    Centroid ranker tool is something I have considered writing after seeing it was big in “local search ranking factors” i have to finish next version of SEO Site Tools then you will have your centroid ranker :) (plan to use gmaps and places api to do some real cool stuff with detecting your listing)

    I havent tried it but after you broke CAPTCHA i think craigslist spammer would be easy
    the Fake address finder would also be pretty easy by calling the postal service address lookup service and verifying it exists

    talk to me on twitter im @cartercole

  • http://www.sefati.net asefati

    Interesting article. It’s looking into and article is worth linking to.

  • http://www.localsplash.com David Rodecker

    Great compilation of ideas Andrew; thanks for sharing. We’re in the midst of cracking the shell on one of these; its an exploratory trial, so it might end up a “miserable failure”…

    Love the commentary:
    “automatically create new place page to further screw up Google’s local database”… I think these tools already exist ;)

    “10% of profits will go to feed families of mediocre marketers”… You should run for government! Of course, you’d have to increase the percentage taxation a bit.

  • http://blog.mannixmarketing.com lisa

    Your fake address finder brings up a good point. How can a company that might have one central office location, but service several local cities have a shot at Google Local in more than one location. The short answer, they purchase a location but don’t actually occupy it. Is it possible that Google will expand it’s “local community” to encompass companies that legitimately service more than one city but don’t have offices there? That might completely defeat the current point of Google Places. But, it might be something for them to consider … like maybe increasing the 7 pack back to 10, having the first 7 be local and the last 3 be virtual?