The Impact of Google’s Local Update Is Still a Developing Story


Google seems to be experimenting with driving more traffic to its local competition, meaning that it’s more important than ever for a business to secure its presence across a broad base of directories. The value proposition of local SEO does not change in a fundamental way, given that Google has long used citation consistency as a prominent local ranking signal…

Unmanaged Local Listings Hurt Consumers and Businesses Alike

Local Search Listings

Google Maps and its competitors have become the most important pathways to brick and mortar businesses outside foot traffic and word of mouth. As one recent case indicates, an accurate Google Maps listing can be a matter of life or death for a local business. The company needs a stronger and more concerted effort to enlist the help of business owners to address this problem…

Why ‘Google My Business’ Helps, But Doesn’t Fix, Local for SMBs

Google My Business

The company’s redesign of its SMB portal replaces both the old Google Places for Business interface and the equivalent within Google+, and consolidates several features into a friendlier interface. The features for the most part are not new, but the update does a good job of tying together the claiming and profile management process with Google+ sharing…

New Listing Services Will Help Local Data Go Digital

Data digital flow

Somewhat unexpectedly, 2014 has seen a profusion of companies entering the listing management arena, many of them veterans of related disciplines. Those of us with long experience in the space are not surprised that others would see the value in helping businesses get found on local search sites and apps. But why the sudden surge of activity?

What’s in a Swarm? Making Sense of Foursquare’s Split


It’s hard to envision now, but it could be that a decoupled discovery and recommendation service will be just what Foursquare needs to scale its dataset beyond entertainment and to encourage users to improve the quality and accuracy of venue information. These developments would turn Foursquare into a viable competitor to data aggregators like Infogroup and possibly to Google Maps itself…

Recent Studies Show Mobile’s Broadening Reach


The reports underline what we might call the inherently local nature of mobile search. Whether you are in a store contemplating a high-ticket purchase or downtown hoping to discover a new restaurant, the phone in your hand is your portal to timely and actionable information as well as marketing incentives that are increasingly likely to gain your attention…

The Shifting Line Between Free and Paid Local Marketing Services

Local Search Listings

The manipulation of organic reach on Facebook is one of many examples of the shifting boundary between free and paid local marketing services. In “pure” local search, that boundary has tended to be relatively clear: look for a local business in your typical IYP and you’ll see sponsored listings at the top of the results page, followed by organic results. But that boundary is likely more clear to those of us who know what to look for than it is to the general user…

New Location-Based Services Are Poised to Enter the Mainstream

minority report

To a surprising degree, the panels and presenters at Street Fight’s Local Data Summit last week in Denver emphasized a similar theme: we’re about to see a plethora of new technology-enhanced real-life experiences centering on ingenious uses of data. The signal feature this time around is an orientation toward experiences situated in a physical context. The question the new technologies will answer is this: “What do I need my technology to do for me now, in this place, at this time, under these circumstances?”

As Google Updates Places, Could Some Merchants Find Their Listings Deleted?


Local SEO consultants and service providers offer businesses the peace of mind that comes with knowing someone is watching the forums and industry news in order to act on policy changes and new developments quickly. Given the complexity of local SEO and the fast pace of change, it’s unreasonable to place the onus for listing management solely on the small business owner…