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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 [...]


Report: Apple Accelerating Crowdsourced Maps Improvements

apple-maps-featured According to a couple of reports (Reddit and MacRumors), Apple has stepped up the pace of map-data corrections and improvements. The MacRumors report, from a couple of weeks ago, says that changes are being implemented weekly. The Reddit thread says they're happening nightly -- at 3 a.m. Eastern: Over the past month, Maps were being updated once a week (every Friday) for me, but now, that has improved further. Over the past few days, I've noticed an update occur every single day at 3 a.m. Eastern. At exactly 3am, Apple pushes out new data and corrects many of the problems that users had p [...]


VIDEO + SLIDESHOW: Local Search at 60+ MPH

tesla in-car local search Every business needs to know what's coming next, whether it's shifting demographics, supply and demand changes or product pricing predictions. What are some of the near--future changes coming, and what are the systems, brands, and technologies that that will impact businesses on a local level? You'll see how changes across other industries will drive change for online marketing. New, cheaper technologies are making it easier than ever before for businesses to reach customers. In this presentation, Duane Forrester examines how this adoption is going to impact your future and why you need to [...]


Foursquare To Charge For Local Database — Will Partners Balk?

foursquare-featured According to a report in the Wall Street Journal (WSJ) Foursquare will soon be charging a small number of partners to use its Venue Database. Recently Microsoft and Foursquare agreed to a $15 million investment/licensing deal that brings Foursquare content to Bing search results and Windows Mobile. According to the WSJ article: The New York startup is negotiating with the heaviest users of its data to pay fees or offer services in return, Chief Operating Officer Jeffrey Glueck said. Deals will be reached on an ad-hoc basis with each developer and will affect under 1% of the 63,000 compan [...]


YP Joins Google’s Premier SMB Partner Program

google-adwords-600 YP is the largest of the major U.S. yellow pages publishers (and local search providers), with roughly 4,000 sales and support reps and 575,000 (mostly small business) advertisers. The company has now joined the ranks of the Google AdWords Premier SMB Partner Program. Also on the list are fellow publishers Dex Media, Hearst and hibu, as well as pure play digital agencies such as Yodle and ReachLocal. Google's criteria for joining this program include the following: Large existing customer base of small/medium sized businesses Tele field sales force with the ability to sell Google [...]


New: Google My Business iOS & Android Apps

google-my-business-600 Google announced they have released a mobile app for the new Google My Business. In summary, Google My Business is the new unified interface designed to make life easier for local businesses as well as brands to be better found within Google. The apps were released for iOS and Android and enable business owners with Google Maps listings to manage their businesses. The app features include: Edit the business listing by changing hours, description and so on View managers of the page but not manage them Post to Google+ Add photos and update cover and profile photos View local in [...]


Top 10 Tips For Local Search Success

shutterstock_183277097-options-choices Many local businesses today are overwhelmed by the variety of local marketing choices available. Unlike the old days when a small handful of advertising outlets would cover the majority of your audience, the sheer volume of marketing options has seemingly flattened the reach of each advertising channel. Business owners see all the different ways that consumers are seeking out, discovering and considering local businesses, and they don't know where to start. The key to getting started is building a strong foundation for local search success by checking off the basics. From there, you can [...]


Get Your Business To 100% In Google My Business

One does not simple edit business info in Google Places Last week, Google started rolling out the new Google My Business platform to much applause from the industry. Several experts have provided excellent coverage already (thanks, Danny Sullivan and Mike Blumenthal)… but that’s not what I'm here for today. Quick Aside: I originally planned on sharing the fact that businesses could FINALLY change their Local Carousel photo, but the new GMB dashboard broke that functionality. Before the rollout, if you chose a user image that wasn’t a logo, it would become your Carousel photo. SO – let’s all keep an eye out and see if this starts working [...]


Is Your Local Business Ready For Google’s Neighborhood Algorithm?

East-Side-Costa-Mesa-with-marker While doing some research in Costa Mesa, CA last week, I hit a Google test bucket that specified the East Side Costa Mesa neighborhood as my location in Search Tools: Google has long understood super well-known dense neighborhoods like SoHo, NY. But there's a good reason why neighborhoods, particularly smaller city neighborhoods, have not been used as default locations in Google: it's pretty tricky to define a neighborhood's boundaries. In the local search-data world, neighborhoods are known as "informal space," meaning there are no standard boundaries. So the definition of where a n [...]


Google Knowledge Graph Adds Phone Numbers With Hangout Integration

google-click-phone-knowledge Now, if you search for your favorite local restaurant, bar, business and the like on Google; Google may show you a phone number in the knowledge graph top box that is clickable. When you click the phone number, it will dynamically open up Google Hangouts and let you dial them via your computer to make a reservation, appointment or a complaint. Here is an example of a popular kosher steakhouse in New York City. I searched for the name of the restaurant and added phone to the query. Google gave me this large box with their number: Clicking on it launches Hangouts: Then it will a [...]


Yandex Introduces Cityguide Apps For Russian Market

Yandex City for iOS Combining maps, business listings, reviews and other content aggregated from 70 partners, Yandex has introduced a cityguide app for iOS and Android. There's also a PC site as well. Called Yandex City, it's a straight-up map-centric local search site. It's only available for Russia currently but will likely expand to other geographies that Yandex serves: Ukraine, Kazakhstan, Belarus and Turkey. Yandex stock has suffered since the Putin crackdown and the crisis in Ukraine. But there are signs that things may be easing as the Ukraine crisis potentially heads for a peaceful resolution. [...]


9 Tricks For Local Businesses To Increase Their SERP Click-Through Rate

Click Through Rate Sometimes you can move the needle -- and dramatically -- outside of obsessing and laboring over obtaining improving rankings in search engines. Simply increasing your click-through rates on the organic rankings you've already achieved can increase sales and revenue, even without having to do some of the difficult things that could be necessary to inch up the ladder to the next position. Here are 9 tricks to help you do it! [caption id="attachment_193692" align="aligncenter" width="427"] (Ripple photo by Roger McLassus. CC BY-SA 3.0)[/caption] 1. Adjust Your Homepage Title To Be More Mag [...]


Up Close @ SMX Advanced: Local Super Therapy Session

Local SEO is a tough beast to tame, so it wasn't surprising that the room was packed for the Let’s Talk Local Search: Super Therapy Session For Advanced Local Marketers session that kicked off SMX Advanced 2014. Moderator Matt McGee, editor in chief of Search Engine Land, decided to make the session a slide-free discussion panel, since the basics of local search are well documented. Instead of making the panel prepare the same old slides, we were treated to an hour and twenty minute in-depth Q&A session. Google My Business With the announcement of the new Google My Business platfor [...]


Google My Business: A Visual Tour Of Google’s New Tool For Local Businesses & Brands

Google My Business is Google's new unified interface designed to make life easier for local businesses as well as brands to be better found within Google. It's a big, huge change. Our visual tour below is designed to give you an overview. Getting Started Google My Business was announced today. You'll find our overview story here about it. Google's main entry point for those wanting to use Google My Business is here, where you're greeted by this page: New, Existing Or Non-Local Business? The "Get on Google" buttons are most prominent, and you can use those rather than "Sign in" even if [...]


New “Google My Business” Simplifies Local Marketing For SMBs

Google My Business For quite some time since the introduction of Google+ Local, managing local listings and content across Google properties has confused many local SEOs and local business owners alike. Now Google has launched a new, integrated approach called Google My Business. The core idea is to make it “easier than ever to update business information across Google Search, Maps and Google+.” Think of it as a kind of rudimentary CRM platform for small businesses (SMBs). I haven't spoken yet to Google about it but Mike Blumenthal, who got advanced exposure to the product and is a Top Contributor in [...]


Survey Finds Organic Search Delivers The Best ROI For Local Businesses

local-search-map-featured We at BrightLocal recently conducted a survey that examines the sources of traffic and leads to local businesses. We had 288 SEOs and SMBs complete the survey. Combined, this group claimed to have optimized over 7,000 locations in the last 12 months. (That's a whopping 24 locations per head -- good effort!) We asked this group five questions about the effort and ROI they have witnessed from the online/digital marketing channels they use. With imperfect tracking data available for both lead tracking and phone tracking, we know that we're dealing with anecdotal evidence here; but, the r [...]


After 5 Years In Dispute, Greece Approves Google Maps Street View Images

Google-Maps-icon ABC.com reported yesterday that Google Maps has launched street view images in Greece. According to the story, Greece authorities blocked Google Maps Street Views five years ago because of privacy issues. According to ABC.com: Company officials said the service went live after extensive and detailed negotiations with the country's Data Protection Authority, which last year lifted objections made to the project in 2009. The ABC.com report claims Google gathered Street View photos of Greece while it was awaiting approval from the country, and currently has images for approximately two-th [...]


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