LocalU Author Page

Joy is the owner of the Local Search Forum, LocalU, and Sterling Sky, a Local SEO agency in Canada & the USA. She has been working in the industry since 2006, writes for publications such as Search Engine Land, and enjoys speaking regularly at marketing conferences such as MozCon, LocalU, Pubcon, SearchLove, and State of Search. You can find her on Twitter or volunteering as a Product Expert on the Google My Business Forum.

Google My Business Launches Tool to Manage Review Removal Requests

By Joy Hawkins / March 16, 2021

Google has just launched a new handy tool to help people keep track of reviews they have reported to Google for removal.  If you visit this link it will bring you to a page where you can select your business and see a list of the reviews that you currently have reported and a list…

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Google Adding Stars to Review Snippets

By Joy Hawkins / February 3, 2021

Tom Waddington recently tweeted that Google is showing star ratings now in the review snippets section of the Knowledge Panel. First time I’ve seen the star rating appear with the review snippet here pic.twitter.com/gXoP0mG7hn — Tom Waddington (@tomwaddington8) February 3, 2021 Here is a before and after screenshot that shows how this compares with what…

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Google Updates The Options to Flag a Review

By Joy Hawkins / January 22, 2021

My colleague Zach Mallett just noticed that Google updated their options for flagging a review inside the Google My Business dashboard.  This is what it looks like: What’s Changed? The descriptions below each option weren’t there before.  This is new and extremely helpful as it makes it much easier for a business owner to see…

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Google Now Shows Older Posts in the Knowledge Panel

Google Now Shows Older Posts in the Knowledge Panel

By Joy Hawkins / January 20, 2021

Brodie Clark pointed out yesterday that Google is now displaying Google Posts in the Knowledge panel even if they were posted over 7 days ago. Nice one for Local SEOs to be aware of. Now seeing standard Posts appears from months back by default. Would show for 7 days previously, then “expire” and become hidden…

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Google Adds Google Guaranteed Badges to Google Maps

By Joy Hawkins / November 18, 2020

Tom Waddington just alerted me that Google is now showing Google Guaranteed badges on Google Maps.  You can see an example here for Simpson Air: We’ve only been able to spot this label on businesses that are a part of the Google Guaranteed program with Local Services Ads.  Google Screened listings do not have it…

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Google Review Replies Disappearing

By Joy Hawkins / November 18, 2020

Nov 23, 2020 Update: The missing responses appear to all be back now. It’s another week and another round of Google review issues. On Wednesday, November 11th, there was a technical issue that prevented new Google from being published. This technical issue lasted two days. The team was able to identify the problem, and the…

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Hijacked GMB Listing

Hijacked Google My Business Listings On The Rise

By Joy Hawkins / November 6, 2020

In the last couple of months, we’re seeing a large increase in the number of Google My Business listings that are getting hijacked.  A hijack is when a malevolent user gets a hold of a listing that they don’t own and changes the core information on it to something that they can benefit from. For…

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San Diego Personal Injury autocomplete

Google adds local listings to autocomplete

By Joy Hawkins / August 25, 2020

Google has rolled out an autocomplete feature to include local listings. Users can trigger autocomplete while performing a search directly on Google. Jason Brown tested this by typing San Diego Personal Injury lawyer and was presented with an option of a local listing. Google showed the full business name and address for the business in…

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How to Identify Local SEO Keywords in Bulk

By Joy Hawkins / August 12, 2020

If you do local SEO you’ll need to decide what keywords to target. Not every keyword triggers the ‘localization’ of SERPs. You’ll need to figure out which keywords do, so you can target them, and track their performance. If you’re doing local SEO for a big company with lots of locations or types of businesses,…

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Google Adding Call Buttons in Local Knowledge Panels

By Joy Hawkins / August 6, 2020

A week ago, Tom Waddington spotted a call button in the local knowledge panel.  I wasn’t able to replicate it, and neither could most of the people we asked.  However, as of this morning, I’m able to see it, along with all my colleagues which makes me think Google is rolling it out more widely.…

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