Every week we bring you a brief 15 minute video and the links of the best articles in Local Search. OK. It's not always 15 minutes but we are never off by more than 10 minutes or so.
Last Week in Local is now available as a podcast. Sign up here for your regular Local Fix. What better way to spend your drive time? Interested in sponsoring Last Week in Local? Get in touch with us!
Mike: Expedia and TripAdvisor both saw significant stock declines as they dealt with “incremental weakness in SEO volumes and a related shift to high-cost marketing channels.” and “some incremental SEO headwinds” in the latest quarter.
Obviously Google is in a full-on press in the travel world and that puts real-world pressure on the stock value of companies in the travel space as Google moves more and more into providing users with everything they need to know to make a travel decision.
Mike: The odd, odd world of “preppers” in Roundup, Mt repackaging arbitraged goods for Amazon.
And we all thought that Amazon’s logistics network was efficient. Not!
Operator of defunct Orange County chain of drug rehab centers indicted for fraud – Orange County Register
Mike: Last year, Jeffrey White and Nicholas White pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit health care fraud and admitted that their scheme resulted in more than $27 million in losses.
The new indictment charges Yates, their partner, with thirteen counts of health care fraud and conspiracy. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years on each conspiracy count.
The real world impact of Maps spam is very significant both financially and in terms of its impact on people’s lives.
Mike: Google will now be showing “branded” pins along navigation routes and making this feature available to smaller chains.
Mike: Google is working towards making Maps much more of a discovery environment t. In that view people in Bangkok, Delhi, London, Mexico City, New York, Osaka, San Francisco, São Paulo and Tokyo will soon see top Local Guides featured in the For You tab of the Google Maps app.
Interesting that Google in noting that they now have 120 million local guides.
Mike: Google’s chaotic style of innovative product development collides with the real world and it is no place more obvious than local.
Mike Blumenthal on Twitter: "Google Q&A Update: in meetings with Google today and they have confirmed that there are technical issues at play in the erratic showing and not of Q&A"
Mike: Google Q&A Update: in meetings with Google today and they have confirmed that there are technical issues at play in the erratic showing and not of Q&A
As a local bricks and mortar business, your brand SERP is your new Homepage
Mike: Claire Carlile is participating in a Webinar focusing on how local relies on brand SERPs as your new homepage.
Mike: Interesting case study engaging servers intimately with customer experience and quality control.
Mooyah’s internal research showed that for every half-star rating increase, restaurant revenue upped 5-9 percent.
Mary: Moz has published a good marketing guide for franchises because: "It’s much more of a relay race than a marathon: franchisors and franchisees work collaboratively to build a brand, but no one person has 100% control over the whole picture."
Local SEOs still seeing volatility in ranking with Google's latest algorithm update - Search Engine Land
Mary: @JoyanneHawkins says that on the Google Maps pack side of things, the latest "Bedlam" update was about Google rewarding relevance more.
Mary: @CaseyMeraz finds that fake law firms are (still? again?) ranking great in Google My Business . Here's his advice of finding and fighting them.
Mary: Google's reverting to call backs for customer support. Are we getting too much support from Google?
Mary: Congratulations to everyone @gatherup ! They are now part of Mar-Tech.
Carrie: Eric Enge does a breakdown of blogs and when they should be used to convey content - their temporal nature lends well to "news" sites. If you've got evergreen content that is not on a timeline, a content hub of pages might be more appropriate. Some good numbers here. They looked at 100 randomly selected blogs and found that 70% of the pages in the blog weren't actually blog posts. 2/3 of blog posts had a link depth of 5+ - meaning how many clicks to get to the content form the homepage.
Carrie: Users can now report spammy users on Google Maps. Down with the craptastic local guide spammers!
Carrie: Mike can follow those local guide experts while he's in Bangkok!
Carrie: Holidays are coming - here's a great post on how to get your GMB holiday ready from Allie over at Whitespark. #1 - update your hours/add special hours. If you're open more than usual- put it in there, if you're closed for 2 days after Xmas, put it in there!
Carrie: Krystal Taing of RioSEO posted a really helpful fix in the Local Search Forum for people with unrelated or inappropriate events listed on their GMB. There IS a way to remove them and she goes through the steps. Most notably Tim Capper was showing events at 10 downing street that were 100% unrelated to 10 downing street.
Carrie: My new favorite tool added a CSV export option - wooohooo! I should note that this tool gathers from UK results only - but I still find it highly useful for US-based content creation/optimization.
Want to subscribe to our podcast? Now you can:Subscribe here.