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 Knowledge Panel Issue Impacting Department Listings

By Joy Hawkins / May 29, 2020

A few months ago, several users started reporting tons of issues with Google returning the wrong listings for branded searches.  Businesses that had departments were finding that branded searches were returning their department listings instead. For example, on this thread, Ellen Works gave the following example.  Although a user searched for “Greiner Ford of Casper”,…

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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…

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New Review Highlights on Google Maps

By Joy Hawkins / March 19, 2020

Andy Simpson noticed last night that there is a new review summary format on Google My Business listings.  So far, I’m only able to see this on the Google Maps app.Below is an example of what it looks like.  The 3 reviews that are highlighted are reviews that contain common words that show up in…

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Events Are Removed from Google Maps

By Joy Hawkins / March 10, 2020

I just noticed today that the events section on Google Maps business listings appears to have been removed.  Events still show up in the search results on the Knowledge Panel: However, when you click to go to Google Maps, the events no longer display there.  For reference, this is what they used to look like:

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Optimizing Images for Local Search

By Joy Hawkins / October 22, 2019

There has a been a lot of talk lately about the importance of images for SEO value.  Andy Simpson shared an extremely insightful video that shows a tool that I have not heard discussed much previously. How to Use the Tool: Go to https://cloud.google.com/vision/ and scroll down the page to where it says “try the…

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