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.
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Inside Documents Show How Amazon Chose Speed Over Safety in Building Its Delivery Network — ProPublica
Mike: Amazon ignored or dismissed safety concerns about its delivery network to prioritize speed and explosive growth, according to new documents and interviews with insiders. It is amazing the lengths that Amazon goes to to minimize costs in the last mile!
'Do Not Sell My Info': U.S. retailers rush to comply with California privacy law Research: Stocks: News Story
Mary: Privacy is certain to be a bigger deal in 2020!
Mary: Podcasts exploded in 2019. Here Niki Mosier tells us the benefits of transcribing podcasts and the best way to go about getting them on your website.
Mary: An excellent article about Local Search's past as a prologue for what is to come. Here’s their recap of the stories that will shape search for years to come and Nearly all relate to Local Search.
Mary: Trends from last year that were of interest.
1- New Tools for Local:: I haven't seen an article specifically about it, so I refer to the Local Search Forum, but the world of Local SEO has changed quite a bit in in 2019. While we wondered what happened with Moz Local, we saw Bright Local and Whitespark continue to evolve their tools and services. LocalU was acquired by Sterling Sky and Gather Up became part of a marketing behemoth. SEMRush jumped into Local with both feet and Local Marketing Institute became a free platform. What else?
2- What is the value of citations and of Yext? We've debated the value of Yext for years and years. Yext still claims in ads: List Your Business Here | You. In Control. Everywhere | yext.com (italics is mine) What's the real deal on citations as we move into 2020?
Mike: Trends from last year that were of interest:
1- Will 2019 be Remembered as the Year of GMB Messaging? An emphatic NO. prediction for early last year that didn't take place. Google not only didn't make Business to Consumer messaging happen they set it back several times. This is why I don't like predictions. 🙂
2- The ongoing realignment of retail and retail logistics. There were plenty of interesting articles throughout the year about the many cross currents in local retail that show the massive changes that are taking place.... you can see this mostly readily in not just the many store closings and the aggressive moves by Amazon to vertically integrate logistics, but the types of storefronts that are opening AND closing in the US paints an even more dramatic picture. Lots of salons, pet care and restaurants and many fewer bookstores, hardware and show stores (amongst others).
In the world fo local search I see two very big trends at Google that both utilize various AI capabilities:
3- The new world of Image search: Google is slowly and steadily remaking local search into a world where the user is presented with visual options to make a choice. Whether it is by changing of the 3 pack with images that match the query, showing thumbnails in organic that are chosen based on relevance to the query or the new search by image feature, Google is understanding images better and delivering those with greater accuracy in the search results. Why is this important? Google understands what your business does by understanding the images you have posted.
4- Repurposing of Review Content: Google is finding all new ways to use reviews to provide increased understanding of a business and their offerings and to answer use questions that come up. Not only is Google taking a huge lead in review acquisition but using all of that data to provide better answers to searchers.
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