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Google Places Adds “Needs Action” Alerts

A few minutes ago one of our senior account managers, Jordan, noticed a new feature in Google Places. A new alerts bar at the top of the page shows which profiles need action. Also, the profiles that need action (such as a PIN verification) are pushed to the top.     Further down the page he also noticed a new link that goes to a profile's analytics directly from the Google Places dashboard.  Mighty convenient Google, thanks!   [Read Full Article]

Optimizing Your Local Listing for Search Supremacy

My full article is posted on SearchEngineGuide. Here are the cliff notes: Google's local search algorithm, in Layman's terms, looks something like this: Ranking = Location + Information + Corroboration + Input + X Understanding the variables in this equation are a critical part of getting found online. Businesses have just two meaningful representations in the local search space: a website and a business listing. The latter of the two is worth discussing in detail. Let's take a look at the anatomy of a local search results page and see where local business listings fit in. For this example I did a Google search for "cleaners boston ma"... [Read Full Article]

Areas Served, Service Areas, Location Settings, Radius -- Now in Google Maps and LBC

A few minutes ago our SEO Program Director stumbled upon a neat, new feature in Google’s Local Business Center: Service Areas and Location Settings. Complementing this new feature is a map that displays your modifications and updates as you make them on the left: At EZlocal, we are extremely excited about this new change, as it solves one of the tragic flaws of local business search: What if your business is not located in the areas you serve? For example, what if you own a woodworking business located in Cicero, IL that does very high-end work. You wouldn’t want to be found in Cicer... [Read Full Article]

Yelp Reviews No Longer Appear in Google Maps

Last week we discussed which websites feed the most restaurant reviews into Google’s Local Business Center (LBC). While Citysearch impressively captured nearly 47% of the restaurant reviews appearing on Google Maps, it was Yelp’s complete lack of reviews that inspired the most curiosity here at EZlocal. Our crack SEO team has been helping small businesses get found on Google for a few years now, during which time we grew accustomed to seeing Yelp reviews in Google’s LBC. Now, finding a Yelp review in Google Maps is almost unheard of. Why? As near as we can tell, the reviews disappeared from the LBC after acquisition talks between the two companies disintegrated back in December 2009. It is reported that Google offered [Read Full Article]

Getting Your Restaurant Review on Google: Top 5 Sites Picked Up by Google’s Local Business Center

  As we discussed last week, encouraging customer reviews is a key component in getting your small business found on Google and other search engines.  So if reviews affect your small business’ search placement so much, what are the very best sites to encourage reviews from?  What sites are picked up by Google’s Local Business Center most frequently?    We found the answer differed from industry to industry.  The top review sites for restaurants or hotels were not the same for plumbers and doctors, etc.  [Read Full Article]

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