Local Search

The Expert’s Guide to Local SEO – September Updates are Live!

By October 6, 2017 April 7th, 2020 4 Comments
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This month’s updates to The Expert’s Guide to Local SEO have been published, and if you haven’t purchased your copy yet – now is a great time to make the investment in your Local SEO future!

Now up to 212 pages, Joy has added over 30 pages since she first published the guide in April.

Along with the brand-new updates this month – we’re rolling out a new deal on subscriptions to updates and the LocalU Forums.  If you buy your guide now, you have the opportunity to subscribe to monthly updates AND membership in the LocalU Forums for the low cost of $99 per month.  This is an amazing deal and saves you $60 a month over purchasing them separately.

Here are the updates published in September:

  • Added details about the Hawk algorithm update that happened August 22, 2017
  • Updated the section on the Local Filter since I now know way more about how it works and how it decides who gets filtered if it’s related to proximity (2 businesses near each other).
  • Did a competitor get you filtered?  Here is a trick to get unfiltered if the thing that’s causing it is a related business that’s in the same building or near you.
  • What you need to know about Google updates that show up in the Google My Business dashboard. Where do they come from and what do they mean when it doesn’t show you what updated?
  • Updated the list of Google My Business category changes in 2017.  Google added 20 new categories in the last 4 months.
  • Did you know that calls that come from 3-pack ads aren’t tracked as conversions in either AdWords or Analytics (if you’re using dynamic call insertion).  There is way to track these calls so you are getting the proper attribution and know how many of your Google My Business calls are actually coming from ads.
  • Added a trick to see Q&A on desktop.
  • What a home-based service-area business should do to avoid getting removed from the local results when Home Service Ads expand to their area.
  • Google is removing service area business listings from the local results even when home service ads aren’t present yet.  Here is an example.
  • How can you tell if Home Service Ads are to blame for your listing not ranking?  Here are 2 tricks/tips that will let you know.
  • Home Service Ads – Why are we still seeing listings in the local results that are service-area businesses without storefronts?  What should you do when you see one?
  • Google My Business’ response times on Twitter and Facebook are pretty slow lately.  I found another way to get a hold of Google faster that has worked well (and it’s definitely not phone support).
  • Added a direct link to a form to email Google directly about inappropriate reviews on a listing.

Carrie Hill
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  • simon says:

    I’m new to this site…. is it really $1500 for a 212 page book?! Or is there a typo and it’s supposed to be $14.99? And $130 for forum access?

    a little exorbitant (and extortionist), no?

    and half the people who have “reviewed” it are affiliated with Localu.org… wtf

    • Carrie Hill says:

      Hi Simon,

      Joy is speaking at a conference but asked me to post this reply for her……

      I’d also like to point out that the only person who reviewed the guide on that page that is affiliated with LocalU is Mike Blumenthal – the others are experts in local search but are not part of the LocalU Team/Ownership.

      Please find Joy’s reply below:


      I wanted to reach out to you to address your comment and let you know that I appreciate all feedback, positive or negative. I knew when I wrote the guide that it wasn’t for everyone. I knew that there were plenty of businesses that might not want to spend the kind of money on training (or need to). I wrote the manual because in my experience at agencies, having access to the most current, most informative information on a given topic was very hard to stay on top of. I spent countless hours every month updating our internal wiki so that our employees would have the correct info and it dawned on me that I might be able to do this for more agencies but at a fraction of the cost that my current employer was paying me for it.

      $1499 is not a small amount, I know that. I came up with the pricing based on the fact that it costs around $2500-$3000 for a marketing agency to send an employee to a conference, or that the average company spends about $1208 per employee (per year) on training. I was also thinking that the value was really in the updates that you get. I spend several hours updating the guide each month adding things to it and removing things that no longer work. Again, this is absolutely something that someone can do on their own, but if they want someone experienced in the industry who is already doing it, they can subscribe to the updates.

      So far the feedback we have received from all of the people that purchased the guide has been positive. I know some people perceive SEO to be overpriced and I know it’s an expensive industry, kind of like lawyers. At the end of the day, I really only care about making my customers money so I want to make sure people who buy the guide are people who are going to be making more money as a result, either by saving on training elsewhere or internally, or making their own clients more money by using the tips I included.

      If that’s not you, definitely don’t buy it. I would never suggest anyone buy it unless they see the value in it.

      Again, thanks for the comments and I hope I was able to address your concerns, but if not, I wanted you to at least know your feedback was received.

      Joy Hawkins

  • Mike Blumenthal says:

    While I am the only LocalU person that also left a testimonial, you are right that it is a conflict for me to have done so.

    We will remove my testimonial.

    The others though are from industry experts who have no financial interest in Local U.

  • Derek S says:

    Someone recommended me this book. They said it was worth it. I trust their knowledge so I am thinking about purchasing it. Thank you

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