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 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…

Read More
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…

Read More
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…

Read More

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.…

Read More

Google My Business Adds Online Operating Hours Feature

By Joy Hawkins / August 6, 2020

A couple of weeks ago, Ben Fisher tweeted that Google My Business had added a new type of hours in the dashboard called “online operating hours”. Krystal Taing pointed out this week that these hours are finally showing up in the search results. Although this originally appears as a solution for businesses that answer phones…

Read More

Google My Business Products Change

By Joy Hawkins / August 3, 2020

There was a change recently to the way Google displayed the Products section in Google My Business. At first glance, this was just a change to the layout but it also changed how Products are populated in the Knowledge Panel.  Previously, you could control which products showed up in the Knowledge Panel (it only shows 3)…

Read More

Page Speed for SMB’s: Improving Page Speed

By Joy Hawkins / April 22, 2020

If you’ve been following along in this series, congratulations, you’ve made it to the end! If you’re just joining us, and want to get caught up, we’ve talked about why page speed matters and common page speed problems.  In the first post, I suggested that Time to First Byte (TTFB) and First Contentful Paint (FCP)…

Read More

Page Speed for SMB’s: Common Page Speed Issues

By Joy Hawkins / April 15, 2020

In the first post of this series, I talked about the page speed metrics that I think make the most sense to focus on, Time to First Byte (TTFB) and First Contentful Paint (FCP). There are a lot of different tools that can help us diagnose the issues that commonly cause problems with these metrics.…

Read More

Google My Business COVID 19 Post Type

By Joy Hawkins / April 7, 2020

Updated May 7, 2020 Google rolled out a new post type, COVID-19. The COVID-19 post does not allow a photo, likely because they will be featured higher up on the GMB listing. These posts will last up to 14 days as opposed to the normal 7 days posts. Google is trying to make it easier…

Read More

Google My Business Changes Due to COVID-19

By Joy Hawkins / March 23, 2020

Updated July 2, 2020 Things with Google My Business (GMB) are changing so quickly it is hard to keep up with what is going on so I wanted to create a list of things that are different than normal currently. There are reports of businesses being marked temporarily closed that did not request it.  The…

Read More