Stars in Google Local Search - Bookmark a Business

Google announced this week that they are rolling out stars in local search.  You may already be familiar with the concept from normal Google search results, and today's popular browsers.  You can customize future searches by bookmarking, or starring, the exact result you are looking for.  If you are like me, you will find it very handy for repeat searches for the same business. As you can see, each business listing is armed with stars. Now if you frequent a restaurant that you visit often, and you want quick access to in the future, you can now star this feature. To make it even more handy, its accessible via Google Mobile, in fact its the first option you see under local: [Read Full Article]


How Small Businesses Can Show Their Charitable Side

Go to a large corporate website and click open their site map. You will be inundated with a multitude of boastful links and phrases, all in the same vein: “Community & Giving,” “Helping Society,” “Giving Back,” “Doing Our Part,” “Corporate Philanthropy,” “Social Responsibility,” “Charitable Giving,” etc. The effect is humanizing. Suddenly, the corporation seems a bit more friendly, a bit more caring. I certainly won’t begrudge a corporation for promoting their philanthropy, good deeds deserve good press. However, corporations don’t hold a monopoly on charitable work. America’s small businesses are certainly no stranger to helping others. Yet, many don’t capitalize on the opportunity to promote their involvement in charities. They should. Small businesses are usually local entities. They hire locally, market locally and give back locally. While a large corporation may be impres... [Read Full Article]


Local Business Search in 3D: How to Search with Zuluz

Last week EZlocal unveiled zuluz, 16 handy business attributes added to the point of search, which allow users to add extra specificity to their local queries. While local search used to only accommodate a "what" and a "where," EZlocal's zuluz now bring a third dimension to local business search, a "with." Let's take a look at how it works. It's late and you just got bit by the coffee bug. However, work has been pretty hectic and you still have some email to catch up on. To complicate matters further, you are completely out of cash; wherever you go had better accept credit cards. Using traditional local search to track down a coffee house that is open late, accepts credit cards and provides wifi isn't an easy task. A query for coffee houses in your local area may yield plenty of results, but how do you zero in on the coffee houses that have the features you desire? By doing an EZlocal zuluz sea... [Read Full Article]


Learning the Value of Local Search Marketing From Spammers

When you work for a local business search engine, you grow accustomed to a certain amount of spam. Offenders will choose a city and create 5 to 10 business profiles that center around a specific industry. The business names will all be different, but the profiles often have the same phone number, link the same website and display the same stock photo. Once in a while you will run across a craftier spammer who uses a different phone number for each profile, but if you take the time to call each number you will be greeted by the same person. I don't relish deleting these profiles. On the other side of those phone numbers there is a guy who runs a real business and performs a real service in that geographic area. He may even perform it very well. Does he deserve to be found in local searches? Yes. Does he deserve to be the only one found in local searches? Absolutely not, which is why his profiles are always 86ed. Far and away, the biggest offenders belong to the service industry. It is no... [Read Full Article]


Query Length is Increasing, is Your Business Listing Keeping Up?

The online metric provider, Comscore, put out an interesting blog last week, noting that the average length of internet search queries is getting longer: The average number of words per search in the United States in March was nearly 3.2 words and it has been growing for some time [up from just under 2.9 in July-08]. This is a far cry from our original limitations of "shoes" in order to now search for and find a pair of "nike air jordans." None of this should come as a shock.  Search engines are constantly tweaking their algorithms, striving to deliver the best and most relevant search results to their users.  According to Matt Cutts, the head of Google's Webspam team, Google tends to make a change to their core search algorithm at least once a day.  The co... [Read Full Article]