Google Adds Webmaster Tools Verification For Google My Business

google-maps-1920 Mike Blumenthal reports that you can now instantly verify your Google Local listings, formerly known as Google Place Listing and now known as Google My Business, through Google Webmaster Tools. Google's Jade Wang announced this in the Google forums saying, "starting today, if you’re verifying a page for your business, you may be instantly verified on Google My Business if you’ve already verified your business’s website with Google Webmaster Tools." You need to make sure you’re signed in to Google My Business with the same account you used to verify your site with Webmaster Tool [...]


Expedia Becomes A New York City Hotel After Google’s Pigeon Local Update

google-pigeon-expedia-hotel On July 24, 2014, Google released a major local search algorithm update, we named Pigeon. Google told us the new algorithm will lead to a more useful and relevant experience for searchers seeking local results. But like with any new algorithm launch, there are always bugs, unexpected outcomes and less relevant results. A search for [New York Hotels] in Google brings up the local carousel, with hotel options you'd expect, and some you wouldn't expect. We have the Sheraton, Hilton, Marriott and others. But we also have Expedia, the travel search engine, coming up as a hotel you can pu [...]


Google’s Pigeon Update Solves Yelp Problem, Boosts Local Directories

google-yelp-maps-600 As the analysis continues on yesterday's Google local search algorithm changes -- that we're calling the Pigeon update -- one thing appears to be clear: Local directory sites are getting better visibility in Google's search results. More specifically, it looks like Google has fixed its "Yelp problem" and is now showing Yelp pages at the top of search results when queries specifically include the word "Yelp." You might recall Yelp's recent accusations that Google was manipulating its search results to show Google's own local listings and content ahead of Yelp pages even when users spe [...]


Pigeon: Search Engine Land’s Name For The New Google Local Search Update

maps-pigeon-600 Last night, Google released a pretty significant local search algorithm update. Google told us there was no internal name for the update, but now that we see that it was fairly significant, we decided to give it a name: Pigeon. Pigeon is the name we decided on because this is a local search update and pigeons tend to fly back home. When the Google Panda update launched, there was no official name from Google, so we named it the "Farmer" update. A few days later, Google told us they internally named it the Panda update. So we switched names from Farmer to Panda to avoid that confusi [...]


Google “Pigeon” Updates Local Search Algorithm With Stronger Ties To Web Search Signal

maps-pigeon-600 Google has released a new algorithm to provide a more useful, relevant and accurate local search results that are tied more closely to traditional web search ranking signals. The changes will be visible within the Google Maps search results and Google Web search results. Note: We've named this update the Pigeon update. The core changes are behind the scenes, but it does impact local search results rankings and some local businesses may notice an increase or decrease in web site referrals, leads and business from the change. Google told us that the new local search algorithm ties d [...]


Google Maps “Explore” Feature Shows What’s Nearby Along With Reviews & Travel Times

Google Maps3 Google Maps announced a new "Explore"  feature yesterday for its Android and iOS app. The new feature offers a "local guide" that adapts to wherever the user may be. According to the release: Now, whenever you want to discover places in your area, simply tap the new Explore button at the bottom right corner of your map to get a quick look at what’s nearby (where available). With Explore as your guide, you’ll see different places and activities that adapt to each area and moment throughout your day. The new feature lists local information, showing nearby locations along [...]


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. [...]


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 [...]


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 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 [...]


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 [...]


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. [...]


Supreme Court Rules Street View “Wiretapping” Class Action Can Proceed Against Google

google-street-view-fleet-1343994208 According to the Wall Street Journal, the U.S. Supreme Court will not review a U.S. Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals decision allowing a class-action lawsuit that argues Google violated the federal “Wiretap Act” when it intercepted private email and other personal data. The appellate court decision thus stands and Google must confront the lawsuit. The case followed 2010 revelations that Street View cars had captured private “payload data." The plaintiff class argues that Google violated federal wiretapping laws when it intercepted their email and other communications during Street Vie [...]


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 [...]


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 [...]


Amazon Fire Phone: Bing For Search, Nokia For Maps

Amazon Maps logo The emerging consensus from the early "hands on" or "first look" reviews is that the Amazon Fire Phone has some novel and interesting features but that it doesn't measure up, overall, to the iPhone or "true Android" devices. I've argued that Amazon missed the boat with its high-end pricing. Interestingly, there has been almost no talk about search on the Fire. Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search and other Google apps are not present in the Amazon Store. Users can still get to Google services on a browser of course. But Amazon has erected barriers to using Google on its devices. Among them [...]


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 [...]


Google Introduces Richer Flight Search Experience

google-flight-travel-featured Google is introducing a revamped flight and hotel travel search experience. To date both products have been mostly underwhelming. The big promises of Google's ITA acquisition have yet to bear fruit but that may change with the new Google Flight and travel search experience. Previously the best feature of Google Travel was Flight Explorer (immediately above), which allowed users to see pricing trends over time for desired destinations. It still exists but its features have been partly integrated into the new/main Flight Search site. The new more integrated travel experience, which off [...]


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 [...]


Another New Easter Egg In Google Maps: Travel By Royal Carriage

BpbbS4TIYAAD7b7 Google announced a new easter egg in Google Maps today via Google+ where if you do driving directions from Buckingham Palace and Windsor Castle, Google Maps will offer driving directions via Royal Carriage. This comes about a week after Google disclosed another easter egg in Google Maps to travel by Loch Ness Monster. You can try the new Royal Carriage driving directions by clicking here and here is a picture: As you can see, the time of travel is an hour and 16 minutes. Car would take you about 40 minutes without traffic. So why not enjoy the commute in style and royalty? [...]


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