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Google Adds Street View Tours Of World Cup Stadiums

street-view-world-cup With the World Cup just a week away, Google has expanded its Street View imagery to coincide with the biggest sporting event on earth. Available today is new imagery inside all 12 stadiums that will be used during the tournament. You can do a 360-degree spin from the center of the pitch, or move your view anywhere on the field and even into the lower level of the stands. Google has also added imagery of Brazil's painted streets and other sites across the country. There's also new Street View images in Peru, Chile, Colombia and Mexico. [...]

New: Connect Your Google+ Business Page To Your Google Maps Listing

google-local-places-featured Google has now enabled those with Google+ business pages to connect their page to their local business listing on Google Maps. On the help page Google gives detailed directions on how to connect your Google+ business page to your Google Maps verified listing. This process will connect your current page to Google Maps and apply the business information, including the business address, the Google Maps reviews, business hours and more from Google Maps to your page. The followers, posts, and managers of your page will be retained. Many businesses have a few Google+ pages listed in their [...]

Google Maps Now Has Driving Directions In North Korea

Google-Maps-icon North Korea Tech reports that Google Maps now has driving directions in North Korea. As the site reports, "North Korea has strict controls on internal movement, a scarcity of private car ownership and almost no internet users." Despite all of that, Google Maps can give those who do have a car and internet access the ability to see directions and traffic via the Google Maps apps or website. Back in January 2013, Google encouraged users to use Google Maps Maker to help them build the roads and mapping. It seems that request worked and now much of North Korea is mapped. Here are some scr [...]

The Google Local Carousel Is Still Spinning Out Of Control

google-local-carousel Almost a year ago, Google threw everyone for a loop with the rollout of the Google Local Carousel. The SEO community scrambled to try to figure out how it worked, and theories started flying about how it would change search behavior. It was immediately evident that a location's Carousel photo would be all-important... It didn't take long to realize the biggest problem with the Carousel: business owners had no control over the photo that gets displayed. There was a lot of buzz about not being able to choose thumbnail photos, but the buzz died down as nothing was updated. At the end of last y [...]

Bing Maps Makes It Easier To See Map Features & Distinguish Park Trails From Streets

bing-airport-maps-featured Last Friday, Bing Maps announced new stylistic updates, designed to make its maps easier to read. Among the new style features, Bing has added more color gradient, adjusting the brightness of a land area depending on the zoom level. From the announcement: The land color will now be lighter when zoomed out and get darker when zoomed in at higher levels of detail. Not only do these updates improve the overall aesthetic appeal of the maps, but they also help increase the contrast, making streets and other features more visible. Bing Maps Color Gradient for Land Areas - Before and After: [...]

10 Takeaways From #LSA14 On The Future Of Local Advertising

Last Mile Advertising Where is the local advertising space headed? How will local marketers succeed in an increasingly fast-changing and competitive marketplace? At the Local Search Association's 2014 annual conference (#LSA14) last month in Huntington Beach, California, hundreds of local advertising leaders gathered to explore what's next in local and the steps that both local providers and advertisers will need to take to succeed. Here are my top 10 takeaways from the conference on the core opportunities and challenges that local marketers and advertisers should be considering. 1. Leverage An Integrated Ap [...]

How SkyBox Satellite Imagery Might Aid Google’s Offline Conversion Tracking

Skybox imagery There's a report this morning that Google is close to buying satellite imaging company SkyBox. The purchase price is put at roughly $1 billion. The deal has yet to be confirmed. The article conjectures that Google wants the company for two potential reasons: More imagery for consumer maps Data for enterprise use cases I'm sure those are accurate assumptions. I'm sure there are additional use cases that Google has in mind as well -- perhaps more real-world data for its self-driving cars, drones and robots. One has to wonder what precisely Google gets by owning the company com [...]

Founder: OpenStreetMap Already As Good Or Better Than Google Maps

phone-map-featured Steve Coast founded OpenStreetMap (OSM) in the UK in 2004. It's 10 years old this year. He was inspired by the Wikipedia model and compelled by a lack of available map and location data in the UK at that time. Coast now works for GPS navigation company Telenav, which owns location-based mobile ad network Thinknear. Not long ago Telenav also acquired Europe-based skobbler, which built a popular consumer-navigation app on top of OSM data. Telenav offers an equivalent, free consumer navigation/local search in Scout. The two apps are being merged later this year. Earlier this week Tele [...]

Google Maps For iOS Brings “Smoother” & “Faster” Street View Controls

google-maps-app Google has released a small update to their Google Maps App. The specific update to version 3.1.0 of this app reads: Smoother, faster transitions when you move through Street View Street View imagery is a huge part of directions and navigation for Google Maps users both on mobile devices and desktop. Previously, the street view controls were a bit slow on some iOS devices, this update makes the app more fluid and seamless when using the street view images. [...]

Google “Mapping” Real World With Incredible Precision For Self-Driving Cars

google-self-driving-car-1323435948 A fascinating article in the Atlantic appeared this weekend. It's mostly about Google's self-driving cars and how they operate technically. But it's also about something much bigger: how Google is now effectively "crawling" the real world as it has crawled the web for years. The analogy or insight isn't mine it's the Atlantic's. But it's spot-on. With its multiple "real world" initiatives (Street View, Project Tango, Indoor Maps, Android location and others) Google is building a virtual representation of the real world that can be used for many and varied purposes, including offline ad t [...]

Top Five Local SEO Myths — And Truths

myth_reality There seems to be no end to the range of declared "SEO truths" for local mom and pop shops. Search Engine Optimization strategies that work for the big brands differ from those that work for small, local players, so it's no wonder that so many local marketers end up confused about how to really use SEO to build their businesses. Following is a list of five frequently heard claims about local SEO that I've heard recently, followed by their corresponding truths. Myth #1—Claiming Your Google Listing Is The Way To Boost SEO First of all, there is no “one” way to boost SEO. True [...]

Google Places Bulk Management Tool Integrates New Google+ Feature

google-local-places-featured Google announced new updates to its Google Places bulk location management tool this week, including a new Google+ social feature. From Googler Jade Wang's announcement in a Google Product Forum: Each location in upgraded and verified accounts will have social features automatically enabled. To use social features on a particular location, like making a post, please hover over Live in the status column and click on the Google+ icon. Also, Wang says each Google Places page will now have only one verified owner: "This ensures that multiple verified users for the same location are not automa [...]

Google Maps Adds Public Transit Directions For Great Britain, Vancouver, Chicago & More

Google-Maps-icon Google announced they have expanded their transit directions to include coverage throughout Great Britain and also add bus lines to the Google Maps transit coverage in Vancouver and Chicago. Google Maps in the UK now supports over 17,000 routes with 2 million departure locations. This is also available on iOS and Android devices as well as your desktop web browser. Here is a picture of the transit directions in Google Maps UK: Google also added a "schedule explorer" that lets you find the exact train, tram or bus that works for you by clicking “List all times and options” when [...]

Google’s Knowledge Graph Expands Into Google Maps

google-maps-knowledge-smart-600 Google is expanding its Knowledge Graph into Google Maps. The company has confirmed to Search Engine Land that some locations in Google Maps will now get a new "Quick Facts" info card, and that the data are from Google's Knowledge Graph. This new feature began appearing on Monday (May 12). The info card appears in the left content space and -- like the other cards -- can be expanded or minimized accordion-style. This new "Quick Facts" card might appear for places ranging from lakes and mountains to cities and countries, as well as important points of interest (like the Space Needle, [...]

How To Get A Medical Marijuana Dispensary Into Google Places

The Clinic Colorado Home Page I was stoked when Chris Silver Smith turned us all on to the potential issues with marijuana and local search last month. As an early dabbler in helping marijuana dispensaries figure out local SEO, I, too, think it's high time to help marketers recognize the challenges and opportunities in this fast-growing industry. One of the biggest issues I see dispensary marketers confronting is how to get these businesses listed on Google Places. As Chris mentioned, cannabis-related businesses appear to be against Google Places' guidelines, and there is no category for Medical Marijuana in Google Pl [...]

Research: 56 Pct. Of “On The Go” Searches Have Local Intent

local-search-map-600 ComScore recently found that 78 percent of local-mobile searches resulted in an offline purchase (usually in a few hours). New consumer data from research firm Ipsos MediaCT (sponsored by Google) echo most of the comScore study data, underscoring the critical nature of local information to mobile users. Ipsos conducted the online survey of 4,500 consumers across nine vertical segments: Auto, CPG, Finance, Local Services, Media & Entertainment, Restaurant, Retail, Tech and Travel. The firm also reviewed and incorporated data from a smartphone shopper diary study involving 653 resp [...]

Google Maps App Now Showing Uber Ride Options, Lane Navigation, Offline Maps

google-maps-ipad-featured Google Maps is rolling out a number of new features for its iPhone and Android app today, including an integration with Uber, the transportation company that connects people in need of a ride with available drivers. According to the announcement, people who already have the Uber app downloaded will be able to compare Uber ride times versus walking directions within Google Maps. If a user wants to use Uber, they can access the Uber app by clicking on the Google Maps' Uber option: Another new feature includes lane navigation directions, making it possible to determine if you should [...]

How To Build A Local Brand Through Online Marketing

brand-branding-shutterstock The terms Brand and Brand Marketing are usually associated with large businesses. Having a brand is seen as something significant -- something that only businesses with big ideas and even bigger wallets can afford to invest in and create. But that's not true. Businesses of all sizes can be Brands. A brand can't be built in a day, but over time, any business can achieve brand status in their own niche and/or location. Local marketing is typically focused on lead generation with performance measured by website traffic, inbound calls, appointments and customers walk-ins. But in the ques [...]

Yelp Reports Q1 2014 Net Revenue At $76.4 Million, A 66% Growth Over Last Year’s Q1 Earnings

yelp-logo-featured According to Yelp's Q1 2014 earnings report, the company's net revenue for the quarter totaled $76.4 million, representing a 66 percent growth over first quarter of last year. Yelp claims average monthly unique visitors climbed to 132 million, representing 30 percent year-over-year growth, and local business accounts reached 74,000, a 65 percent year-over-year growth rate. Monthly mobile unique visitors was up even more with 52 percent year-over-year growth reaching 61 million. Yelp claims 35 percent of its new reviews for the quarter were submitted via a mobile device. "In the first [...]

Content Free: 25 Percent Of Google+ Reviews Are “Empty”

online-reviews-featured Investment firm Piper Jaffray has started tracking and comparing Google+ and Yelp reviews. For its inaugural report, the firm looked at a "snapshot of 950 places in 20 major cities" and compared review counts and depth across categories. The firm says it will continue to do so on a weekly basis going forward. Yelp holds a significant lead in coverage and review counts according to the report (embedded below). The main findings reveal some interesting things: Yelp has an average of 142 reviews per location; Google+ averages 69 reviews Out of 950 places examined in the report, Google [...]

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