Google Now Cards Invade The New Google Maps

Google sure does love its new card-based information display. They're the primary display for Google Now information. They're part of Google's new unified design on mobile devices. They're how all information is displayed on Google Glass. They've been spotted in the wild displaying Google News results, too. And now they're part of the new (still in beta) Google Maps experience -- one of several updates announced today. Google says it's in the process of adding cards for personal travel -- flight, hotel and restaurant reservations -- right inside Google Maps. The cards will show up if [...]

Maps Roundup: Google Avoids Waze Antitrust Fight, Scout Social Mapping, deCarta Route Patent

google-maps-iphone-icon Google spent just over $1 billion to take Waze away from Facebook, Apple or Nokia and Microsoft. It equally sought the real-time driver feedback that Waze crowd-sourcing provides. Given the size of the transaction the US FTC got immediately involved to bring antitrust scrutiny to the acquisition. Now Bloomberg reports that the FTC is unlikely to block the deal: The Federal Trade Commission hasn’t raised concerns that the transaction might hurt competition, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Google said June 21 [...]

Japan Tells Webmasters Not To Use Google Maps Over Disputed Territory

google-japan-featured Fox News reports Japan has instructed their government authorities and state-run universities to not use Google Maps on their websites because of a conflict over disputed territories. The territory is Takeshima in Japan and Dokdo in South Korea. Apple Maps had a similar issue back in November of last year. The territory is based in South Korean-controlled islets in the Sea of Japan (East Sea). The government is asking webmasters to use mapping services by Geospatial Information Authority of Japan as opposed to Google Maps. Related Entries Google's Schmidt: "What Apple Has Learn [...]

Study: Google Reviews Determine Local Carousel Rankings

Google Webmaster SEO Report Since the launch of the Google "Local Carousel" in June, SEOs and marketers have been trying to reverse engineer the ranking variables that elevate listings into that hallowed ground. Mike Blumenthal offered a good early roundup of stories and analysis. Now Digital Marketing Works (DMW) has conducted an extensive study of what might be called "Carousel results" and come to the conclusion that the quality and quantity of Google reviews are the single most important variable determining inclusion and ranking. The agency examined more than 4,500 search results in the hotels category, [...]

Google Maps Launches Ground Truth Initiative In Russia & Hong Kong

google-maps-featured Google Maps announced new updates to their Russia and Hong Kong maps today, launching a "Ground Truth" initiative to build more thorough maps for Hong Kong and a number of Russian cities, including Moscow, St. Petersburg, Novosibirsk and Yekaterinburg. According to Google's announcement: Ground Truth enables us to update a country's map at a faster pace to provide you with an up-to-date map that mirrors the real world as closely as possible. Ground Truth also makes it possible for you to contribute your local knowledge to the map and report any issues you find through the Report a Problem [...]

Majority Of Mobile Ad Spend To Go To Search — Forecast

Google Enhanced Campaigns In an updated digital and mobile advertising forecast, eMarketer has projected that mobile search will be worth more than $15 billion in the US by 2017. Accordingly, it will lead all other types of mobile advertising, similar to its current position online. Display advertising will follow with $14.5 billion by the end of the forecast period. Here's the full breakdown by ad format: Mobile ad spending in the US was reported by the IAB to be $3.4 billion in 2012. It's possible that the number will reach $8.5 billion this year, as the eMarketer forecast indicates; however, that figure ma [...]

Google Adds Waze Traffic To Maps App, Search To Waze

Google Waze Traffic The first "synergies" from Google's Waze acquisition are being rolled out to both Google Maps and Waze users. Google announced this morning in a blog post that real-time Waze traffic updates will appear in the Google Maps app (for iOS, Android): Users of Google Maps for Mobile will now benefit from real time incident reports from Waze users. This means when Wazers report accidents, construction, road closures and more on Waze, the updates will also appear on the Google Maps app for Android and iOS in Argentina, Brazil, Chile, Colombia, Ecuador, France, Germany, Mexico, Panama, Peru, Switzerla [...]

New Local Ad View (And AdWords Click Type) Comes To Google Maps App

Google is following up on the recent roll-out of its updated Google Maps app for Android and iOS devices with a new local ad view and click type. The ads appear at the bottom of the screen.  In addition to the standard title and ad text, the ads include the car icon link to get directions. The ad copy is preceded by a small "Ad" slug. Users can tap or swipe upward on the ad to get more information, just like an unpaid local listing. When a users taps for more information on an ad, however, this results in the new click type Google is calling "Get location details". Standard CPC rates ap [...]

Local Search Marketers Guesstimate 2013 Google Ranking Factors

local-search-chart Despite the annual changes in the local search ecosystem, the ranking factors that Google uses to determine its local search results haven't changed much over the past year. So say the 35 local search marketers that contributed to the 2013 Local Search Ranking Factors -- organized again this year by David Mihm, and published this year on (his employer's website). The survey looks at general local ranking factors first, then dives into a long list of specifics (more than 100 in all) and negative ranking factors -- local search no-nos, you could call them. The most influential g [...]

7 Things I’ve Figured Out About The New Google Maps

PLeasanton Pizza Google Maps 2 Google has been busy changing a lot of the user interfaces for its local search services. Between the new Google Maps, the Google Local Carousel and the new Reviews Pop-Ups, they have certainly thrown the local search world into a tizzy. I have been playing around with the new Google Maps, and I thought I'd share some random observations about how to work inside the Matrix: 1. Want Traffic From Google Maps? Buy An Ad Below is a set of map results for "pizza" in Pleasanton, CA. As you can see, the purple & white ads stand out. In the queries I have tried, there are rarely more t [...]

Google+ Local Reviews Now Pop Up As Overlay, Rather Than In New Page, In Google Search

google-maps-reviews-pop If you search for a keyword phrase that triggers local listings in Google's Web search results, such as searching for [barber], Google will show you Google Business listings. If you click on the reviews on one of those listings, instead of taking you to the Google Business Local page, Google will pop open a dynamic overlay window on top of the web search results and show you those reviews for those listings. Here is a screen shot I took on my Macbook using Chrome while signed in: Then click on the reviews link and the overlay shows up, rather than a new page being loaded: Cli [...]

Google Relaunches Zagat App With Yelp In Mind

google-zagat-featured Last week, Google killed the Google+ Local mobile app for iOS, saying that all the same content was available in Google Maps for iOS. Today, the company announced the relaunch of the Zagat site and mobile app for Android and iPhone. All the Zagat content is now free and there's no registration required. And even though much of the Zagat content is available through Google Maps, the Zagat app and Google Maps are still distinct animals. The newly redesigned app is being launched in nine cities, with a promise that it will come to 50 cities in the near future: The new Zagat covers restaura [...]

Google To Shutter Its Google+ Local iOS App Next Month

google-plus-local With the newly updated Google Maps app for iOS out, Google has announced its plans to shut down the Google+ Local app for iOS on August 7th. There's been no official announcement that I'm aware of yet, but both 9to5 Mac and Mark Traphagen posted a Google email detailing the shut down plan and the reasons for it. Here's the full text of that email: Hello, We're emailing to announce that the Google+ Local app for iOS will be retired on August 7th, 2013. The good news is that all features in the Google+ Local app are now available in Google Maps for Mobile on iOS devices: Search [...]

Did Google Maps Lose England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland?

Google Maps & the UK The United Kingdom (to use its short name) is a complicated country, actually made up of four countries across two islands. If you were looking to understand it better, forget Google Maps. That's because the service has lost the constituent countries of England, Scotland, Wales & Northern Ireland -- as well as the island of Great Britain. OK, the countries -- and the island -- are still there. They're just not defined. Look here: Quick, can you spot Wales? England? Where's Scotland? How about Northern Ireland? Which is the island of Great Britain? Zoom in-and-out all you want, yo [...]

The Key To Success In Local Lies In A Vertical Approach

YP Vertical offerings are playing an increasingly critical role, not only in attracting consumers and directing them to relevant local business listings, but also in providing consumers with the necessary tools to evaluate and directly make purchases. As verticals better enable consumers to simplify, speed up, and complete their path to purchase, local businesses need to ensure they have the framework in place to capture these new lead opportunities. Categories Have Always Been Important Over the years, local players have emphasized the importance of category search as a way to improve and q [...]

New Google Maps App For iOS Includes Dedicated iPad Experience

google-maps-ipad-featured Just a few hours after opening up the new Google Maps desktop version to anyone interested, Google has followed up by announcing new Google Maps apps for iOS. The big news is that, for the first time, there's a dedicated iPad experience of Google Maps. Sure, you could use the previous Google Maps app on your iPad (or iPad Mini), but you were just getting an enlarged version of the iPhone app that launched last December. The new iOS app offers separate designs for the two devices. Here are a couple screenshots from the iPad app. The new iOS Google Maps app also includes a new " [...]

New Google Maps Now Open To All, No Invite Needed

Google Maps icon Google has opened up the new version of Google Maps to anyone who wants to give it a try -- no invite is needed. The company shared the news via Twitter this afternoon. First announced at the Google I/O conference in May, the new Google Maps was initially available only to a select group of users that Google chose via an invite process. Invites aren't needed anymore, but you still need to opt-in by visiting If you start using it, you'll find a more immersive experience. The map fills your browser screen and business listings -- formerly separated in a [...]

New Google Maps App Gives Users More Search Functionality & Navigation Features

Google Maps icon Google announced today the release of a new Google Maps app for Android devices, with iPhone and iPad versions soon to follow. According to the announcement, the new Google Maps app will include more search functionality and updated navigation features, as well as Zagat reviews and discount offers for specific destinations. Google has also created a tablet-specific design of the app for Android tablets and iPads. With the new app, users can find locations without typing by tapping the search box to see cards showing eat, drink and shopping options. Google claims this new search functionalit [...]

Are Google’s Results Getting Too Ad-Heavy & Self-Promotional?

google-serps-broken-featured Are Google's search results getting too ad-heavy and leading back to Google's own content too much? A new blog post suggesting that Google's non-paid listings make up only a tiny fraction of the entire search results page has sparked some discussion, though the exact percentage actually varies on how you count what's on the page and from query-to-query. According to the blog post by Aaron Harris, co-founder and CEO of Tutorspree, organic search results -- listings that are not paid ads but ranked highly because Google thinks they are the best answer to a query -- made up from 0-to-13% of a [...]

Study: Google Local Carousel Results Win 48% Of Clicks, While Only 14.5% Of Clicks Were On The Map

google-carousel-featured When using heatmaps to gauge interest levels for Google Local Carousel results, search marketer Matthew Hunt discovered that 48 percent of searchers surveyed clicked the Carousel results, while only 14.5 percent clicked on the map. Using the search term 'Chicago Restaurants,' Hunt asked 83 searchers to click on the area of the Google search results page that was of most interest to them. According to Hunt's study, 40 searchers clicked on Carousel results, while 12 of the 83 searchers clicked on the map. As you can see from the heatmap of the results page, as well as the image highlightin [...]

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