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Yelp Trends Tool Reveals Ten Years Of Local Reviews Data

Yelp Trends Yelp is ten years old this year. Since 2004 the company says that it has collected 57 million reviews from users in nearly 100 cities in more than 20 countries. Yelp is now making that data accessible through a new Yelp Trends tool. Similar to Google Trends but more narrowly focused, the Yelp tool allows users to compare the popularity of up to three keywords or phrases over time. These can also be brands or product names. For example, I've compared the relative mentions of three high-end San Francisco restaurants and further below three vodka brands. According to Yelp's blog post th [...]


Foursquare Sneak Previews New “Personalized Local Search” & Moves All Check-Ins To Swarm

Foursquare If you've been one of the few fearless folks holding out from updating their Foursquare app, your days are numbered. In a blog post and an email sent out to early adopters , Foursquare alerted its constituency that as of tomorrow all check-ins will be required to occur on Swarm, the new hub for check-ins. Furthermore, Foursquare has released a new logo and previewed a dramatic new look. With the delineation between check-ins and local search comes the new logo that's half pin/half F (or superhero emblem if you listen to Foursquare). Not the big news for Foursquare is that without check- [...]


Ads On Google Maps Now Show In New Scrolling List View, In-Map Ads Get A New Look

Ads On Google Maps Google has formally announced that it is surfacing and displaying ads on Google Maps and Google Maps for Mobile in the scrolling list view it debuted recently. The ads appear above the organic listings and can include location extensions and call extensions. Location extensions are what allow advertisers to include ratings, store hours and the Street View image of the business in their ads. Location extensions also enable businesses to be spotlighted with an in-map ad, or an ad marker. The in-map ad shows an offer or description and can be expanded to show more business information. [...]


Automated Tools To Help Local Businesses Tackle Online Marketing

SEL 1 When asked to rate their biggest challenges with managing digital media for their business, 47% of local business owners said they don't have enough knowledge or expertise; 43% said they don't have enough time; and 26% said they don't have enough resources, according to a Local Search Association/Thrive Analytics survey conducted earlier this year. Furthermore, 30% of local business owners said their advertising budget simply isn't large enough. These numbers show that local businesses are struggling to keep up with the fast-changing digital advertising and marketing landscape. In order [...]


How To Generate Customer Experience Reviews For SEO Profit – Part I

mobile-review-shutterstock Here's a question for all you search marketers out there: given the option, would you prefer to optimize a site that sells products, or services? Personally, I find product-based websites far easier to optimize than service-based sites due to their generally clearer site architecture, access to photos and videos, and the ability to incentivize content creation through influencer marketing and free samples. But service-based sites have one ace up their sleeve: experience reviews. Experience Reviews I recently bought my first house; thus, I had my first experience working with a real [...]


Google Maps For Android Enhances Explore Nearby Feature & Adds Elevation To Biking Directions

google-maps-1920 Google is pushing out an update for their Android Google Maps app and with that, Google announced three new changes: (1) View search results on the map or in a list and easily switch between them (2) Search for places you’ve reviewed or saved using the “Your places” filter (3) Bike directions now include elevation profiles to help avoid steep hills One they did not announce is the enhanced "explore nearby" functionality that they've added. Android Police picked up on that, showing they added a new icon to the bottom of the map to quickly access the feature and then when you [...]


A Review Handout Alternative: Try P&P To Get More Local Reviews

review handouts vs. review postcards Everyone knows how important reviews are -- they factor in to the local algorithm and they play a huge part in click-throughs and building trust. Good reviews can make you, and bad reviews can break you… so businesses do everything they can to get positive reviews. Since Google doesn't allow on-site reviews, we have to rely on customers to take the time and effort after leaving the location to sit down, log in, and write a review. Small business owners and SEOs the world over know how hard that is to actually do. As Local SEOs started to really specialize in reviews, the review han [...]


Google Maps Search Results Now With A Scroll Bar

google-maps-1920 Google has quietly changed the search results interface within Google Maps to show more listings via a scrollable search box. You can now scroll through the first ten or so local search results when you conduct a search in the Google Maps search box. Here is an example: This new feature launched sometime over the weekend and many local search marketers and businesses are happy about this. The old Google Maps interface showed many local search results in the search area but the new google Maps limited it to just a few. This opens up the opportunity of more business to other businesse [...]


Google Launches Free AdWords Express App For iOS And Android Devices In The US

Google Launches AdWords Express App Today, Google launched a free app for Android and iOS devices for AdWords Express, the simplified version of Google's search advertising platform designed for small business. The app has all the features of the web version, allowing advertisers to edit ads and set targeting parameters more easily from their mobile devices. Google is also making targeting more flexible. Advertisers can target ads by their own zip code, city, state as well as in other areas around the country, though the extended targeting is available only in English-speaking countries at this time. The app is now [...]


Now Link Google My Business And AdWords, Get Account-Level Location Extensions

Account level adwords local extensions Google is introducing the ability to set up location extensions at the account level by linking your Google My Business account to your AdWords account. No longer will location extensions need to be set up separately for each campaign. Formerly called Google Places for Business, Google My Business, is where businesses can manage location listings to display on Google Maps, Google Search and Google+. Once you've added all of your locations to Google My Business and link to AdWords, you choose "upgraded" (i.e. account-level) location extensions from the Extensions tab to have them show aut [...]


Google Making Maps App More Competitive With Yelp

google-maps-ios-iphone-featured Google Maps has updated its app for iPhone and iPad. The new version adds features and content and even makes the app more visually appealing. The new version includes the following improvements: Search results appear with descriptions on the map Easy switching between map and list view of results Reservations via Gmail indicated on map (and list view) Improved Explore browsing experience (based on nearby locations) This is not mentioned among the official upgrades (maybe I missed it previously) but I just noticed the capacity to filter search results in various categories su [...]


Google Giveth & Google Taketh Away Author Icons

Google Author Icons Gone Google recently announced they'd be removing a major element from their search engine results pages (SERPs) that they've been featuring for the past couple of years: author icons. Since this is something we Local Marketers have enthusiastically encouraged, what does this mean for businesses now? Should you still incorporate authorship markup? Here's the skinny from my POV. Reversals in Google development are nothing new, of course. Google seems to take one or two steps forward and then a step back multiple times in a period of only a few years. Remember Google Labs? Remember Google Hotp [...]


Apple Maps To Offer Choice Of Google, Others For Directions

Apple Maps with Third Party apps According to Cult of Mac, Apple is doing something very interesting with iOS 8 Maps. It's giving people a choice of apps to use for directions. A GIF in the article shows that once a destination is located users will be able to choose directions from, presumably, any mapping-related app installed on their iPhones: Starting in iOS 8, users will be able to run a search for locations in Apple Maps and use either Apple’s own driving and walking directions, or switch directly to another app already installed on your device via a simplified menu.  It also shows users other mapping apps ava [...]


YP’s “Mybook” Makes Local Search More Social

YP app demo Local search provider YP has been investing in its mobile app, doing brand advertising and generally seeking ways to better compete with rivals such as Google, Foursquare and Yelp. It doesn't have the reach of Google or the content of Yelp but with its mybook feature the company may have found a way. MyBook was soft-launched in 2013 and formally announced earlier this year. It's a cross-platform list-making and favorites tool. When signed in users can save business listings and make lists in different categories. That personalized content can be accessed from any device. Now it can [...]


Leaked Documents Show How Yelp Thinks It’s Not Getting Screwed By Google

yelp-logo-featured Yelp may once again feel Google is robbing it of its fair share of search traffic, with a study that's been leaked to TechCrunch to prove it. A close read of that study actually shows that it proves the opposite -- or at least, that it's certainly not as damning as it sounds. Leaked Documents Show How Yelp Thinks It’s Getting Screwed By Google is the story over at TechCrunch out today with the study. I've taken my own headline from that to do this contrarian view. Let me say from the start that Google does a lot of things that I think puts it in conflict with publishers. How Google We [...]


Survey Says Yelp The Most Influential Local Review Site

yelp-logo-featured Yelp says it's the most frequently used, most trusted and highest quality local reviews site, according to new Nielsen survey data. Some of those data were released on the company's official blog two days ago. Beyond Yelp, the universe of competitors included in the survey were the following: Angie's List Citysearch OpenTable TripAdvisor YP Zagat The survey was commissioned by Yelp and conducted by Nielsen using a sample of just over 1,000 US users of review sites. The survey featured 22 questions in all. Only a few of the results were released. The sample was weighted for [...]


Google Maps Adds Distance Measuring Feature

google-maps-600 Google has quietly announced on Google+ that they have added the distance-measuring feature to the new version of Google Maps. The feature allows you to draw points on Google Maps to see how far in distance (feet/miles/etc.) it is from one point to the next. This feature was available on the old version of Google Maps and is now available on the new version. How does it work? (1) Open the new Google Maps. (2) Right-click on your starting point. (3) Click Measure distance. (4) Click anywhere on the map to create a path you want to measure. Click to add additional measuring points. [...]


88% Of Consumers Trust Online Reviews As Much As Personal Recommendations

mobile-review-shutterstock We at BrightLocal have released the findings of our annual Local Consumer Review Survey, which reveals the growing importance of online reviews in the purchasing decision. About Local Consumer Review Survey 2014 This is the 4th year we have conducted this study into consumer usage and attitudes toward online reviews. In May-June, we sent a questionnaire to our local consumer panel and received 2,104 completed survey responses. All respondents are from the USA (90%) and Canada (10%). The purpose of the survey is to understand how online reviews influence the attitudes of consumers towar [...]


VIDEO + SLIDESHOW: The Future of Local Search – The Human Algorithm

the future of local search and human algorithm Say goodbye to local search as we know it. We have entered into a period of the human algorithm. The future of local search can be summed up in two words -- collaboration and trust. Are you prepared? Listen to Justin Sanger, a long--time innovator and leader in local search, share his insights into the new geography of local. Presented at the Search Engine Land Summit at SMX Advanced 2014. Local Search & The Place of Humans Speaker: Justin Sanger, Founder & CEO, SupportLocal Follow along with the presentation sides below: Related Resources Recent articles about Local [...]


What Local Business Leaders Must Know About Search Engines And SEO

What Business Leaders Must Know About Search Engines And SEO When I write about SEO and business success, I often realize that I've touched upon a point that merits a column of its own. This is one such column. It will focus on the fact that online and offline marketing have grown inextricably codependent -- especially for local businesses. How Businesses & Search Engines Have Evolved As a business leader, you must be aware that the style and method of selling has changed in recent times. Just as the fax machine, cold calling and advertising flyers revolutionized selling in an earlier era, there's a new kid on the block that has transformed the wa [...]


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