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Survey: 85% Of SEOs Shoot For 1-5 New Local Reviews Per Month

Managing reviews and reputation isn’t a new discipline for search consultants and agencies to focus on, but it is gaining prominence as reviews take on more significance in the world of local search. Consumers consult online reviews more regularly in their research process and put an increasing amount of trust in ratings and review sentiment

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Hotel Search Upgrade: Google Licenses Room 77 Platform

Despite its controversial $700 million acquisition of travel software company ITA several years ago and the launch of Google’s Hotel Finder site, Google has yet to emerge as a force in online travel. That may all be about to change. Bloomberg reported yesterday that Google “is licensing hotel-booking software from Room 77 Inc.” The news

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Google Places Adds New Features To Its Bulk Location Management Tool

Googler Jade Wang announced yesterday Google Places is rolling out new features to its bulk location management tool. According to the announcement, the new features will include a “Status” column that lets users know if a Map location is live, unverified, has errors, data conflicts, is a duplicate, or if it is pending review. The

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Study: 78 Percent Of Local-Mobile Searches Result In Offline Purchases

Today comScore, Neustar Localeze and agency 15 Miles released the findings from their latest Local Search Study. Now in its seventh year, the survey of nearly 5,000 US adults was conducted in December 2013. Respondents “were individuals who [had] conducted a local business search in the last twelve months.” There were also behavioral data captured

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MapQuest Aims For Reboot With New Content, Partners, UI

A few years ago, while others were investing in their mapping platforms, AOL was coasting with MapQuest. AOL’s sustained neglect of the online mapping pioneer cost the site its leadership in digital maps. Now, the company hopes to claw its way back with new content and functionality in what was described to me as phase

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WSJ: Local Businesses Losing Reviews After Yelp-Yahoo Deal

The recent Yelp/Yahoo partnership has angered some local business owners who say years of positive reviews are now gone from their Yahoo Local business listings. Some of their stories were told this week in the Wall Street Journal, including Colonial Hardwood Flooring of Lexington, Mass. The company says it had built up “six years of

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Survey: Older Generations Embrace Mobile As Local Shopping Companion

Conventional wisdom tells us that younger generations trump older generations in their use of mobile devices during the local purchasing process. While teenagers use their smartphones at every opportunity to find local businesses, read reviews and scan deals, their parents and grandparents rarely rely on their devices to take advantage of what is increasingly available

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420 Dilemma? Marijuana Emerges In Local Search

Today marks the first time that April 20th — known amongst pot smokers as “420” and frequently celebrated with smoking parties — is a legally observable event in the United States (in some places, at least, since the states of Washington and Colorado have legalized recreational use of the drug for adults). So, what does this

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Recce’s Cool Animated 3D Maps Now Available Via SDK

I’m a big fan of independent mapping platform Recce. The company has created a unique, animated UI that’s very different from those offered by Apple, Google, Bing, Nokia/Here and Mapquest. That UI and all the company’s data are available to third party developers through an SDK. The SDK is available for both iOS and Android

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

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

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

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.

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How To Build A Local Brand Through Online Marketing

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

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

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

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How To Get A Medical Marijuana Dispensary Into Google Places

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

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Google’s Knowledge Graph Expands Into Google Maps

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

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Google Places Bulk Management Tool Integrates New Google+ Feature

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,

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Top Five Local SEO Myths — And Truths

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

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

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

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