Meet the Local University Faculty

Mike Blumenthal (aka Professor Maps)

Mike has been involved with offering web services since 1995. Prior to specializing in web design and search consulting in 2001, Mike      was a principal in a family owned & operated retail business for over 30 years.

Like all small business owners attempting to market to a fragmented clientele, he was continually frustrated by the barriers & costs  imposed by the advertising options available. Shortly after Google Maps was released in 2004 he threw out his 9 Yellow Page books and started focusing on Local Search.
Mike presents nationally at search conferences & contributes columns to Search Engine Land. During the week, you can find him at his blog, Understanding Google Maps and Local Search, where he writes about local search and its impact on the business community


Mary Bowling

Mary BowlingMary has been involved in all aspects of SEO since 2003 and has always been intrigued by Local Search. With a background as a serial entrepreneur, she always tries to approach Local Search and Internet Marketing in a practical way and from a small business owner's perspective. Mary is an SEO practitioner and consultant and speaks frequently on Local Search at industry conferences –SMX, Pubcon, Searchfest, OMS and SES. She's conducted intensive trainings on Local Search for Search Engine Strategies, Planet Ocean, Search Engine Workshops, the Denver Chamber of Commerce, and for her clients and the clients of other agencies. She blogs at Search Engine News , Optimized!  and IgnitorDigital, an agency devoted to helping clients with small budgets.

Dana DiTomaso

dana-ditomaso-250x250Dana entered the digital marketing field 10 years ago, which makes her older than Facebook, but younger than Google. She’s passionate about helping businesses – especially small, local businesses – understand the digital world. She’s spoken to groups ranging from 5 to 500 on topics such as local search engine optimization (SEOmoz webinar:, social media, web development.In her spare time, she’s the co-organizer of the Edmonton Girl Geek Dinners, and Communications Chair of the Advertising Club of Edmonton. She was also named to Alberta Venture’s Next 10 and Avenue Magazine’s Top 40 Under 40 in 2012.

Joel Headley

Joel has worked with Google's Local & Geo products since 2005 where he started as a community manager for Google Maps and the Google Maps API. Since then, he's managed teams in Consumer Operations at Google for SketchUp, Maps, Local and Places for business, which are instrumental in maintaining help and educational content, developing user communities, and providing support while gathering user feedback to improve and refine products.


Matt McGee

mattmcgeeMatt is the Editor-In-Chief for and, two popular and authoritative websites that publish daily online marketing news and how-to articles. He began offering SEO and marketing services in the late 1990s and has consulted for companies as big as Today, Matt continues to consult for a limited number of small business clients primarily on social media and content development/blogging. He's been speaking at national and regional marketing conferences since 2006, and has been surrounded by small business owners his whole life: Matt's dad, sister and wife are all real estate agents.


David Mihm

David Mihm is the Director of Local Search Strategy at SEOmoz.  As a co-founder of the Local University conference series, he is first and foremost an advocate for sustainable digital marketing techniques for small businesses. David writes frequently about Local Search on the SEOmoz Blog. His Local Search Ranking Factors survey is among the most important studies of Local Search Engine Optimization. David also speaks regularly about Local Search Marketing at the Search Marketing Expo and Search Engine Strategies conference series, and he is a former contributor to Search Engine Land.


Mike Ramsey

Mike is the founder of Nifty Marketing, a local search marketing company in Burley, Idaho and is also a mobile & local columnist. He also moonlights as the owner/publisher of The Voice , which is a weekly newspaper in Southern Idaho that is delivered to 18,000 households.


Ed Reese

Ed is a Spokane-based Internet marketing consultant specializing in organic SEO, local search, and analytics. He's consulted for high-tech firms, universities, and national non-profits, but has worked primarily with local businesses since his move to Spokane in mid-2008. Ed is a frequent speaker at marketing events in Spokane and recently presented for the Spokane Club and the Spokane Regional Convention and Visitors Bureau. He is a Search Engine Journal contributor and blogs at Sixth Man Marketing.


Will Scott

Will has been helping small businesses get online since 1994 - that's right, 1994 - before most people even knew there was an Internet. At YPsolutions, now Local Matters Inc., Will was responsible for creating systems which enabled the production of thousands of online phone directories. Now at Search Influence, Will leads a team of nearly 50 dedicated professionals who believe that the Internet, Search Engine Marketing, Search Engine Optimization and Social Media need to become accessible to small business for their success.


Darren Shaw

darren-shawDarren founded Whitespark in 2005. The company specialized in web design and development, however, Darren’s passion and curiosity for all things local search led Whitespark to focus primarily on local SEO in 2010 with the launch of the Local Citation Finder, followed by the Local Rank Tracker.Darren is widely regarded in the local SEO community as an innovator, one whose years of experience working with massive local data sets have given him uncommon insights into the inner workings of the world of citation-building and local search marketing. Darren has been working on the web for over 17 years and loves everything about local SEO.


Aaron Weiche

Aaron is Vice President of Spyder Trap, a digital agency of 40 experts in Minneapolis, MN. An industry veteran of 14 years, Aaron has worked with hundreds of organizations small and large on their online and mobile marketing. Aaron often presents on web design, search marketing, mobile and email at conferences and various events. He is Google Analytics Certified and a founding board member of the Minnesota Search Engine Marketing Association. Aaron blogs on all things digital marketing related on his own blog as well as Spyder Trap’s blog.


Jade Wang


Jade has been helping business owners get their information on Google since joining the team in 2012. She can be found in the Google and Your Business forum and related social media channels as well as making the occasional video appearance. Before Google, Jade was a community manager for a small startup. Jade has a bachelor’s degree and a master’s degree in Earth Systems from Stanford University.