Video: Last Week in Local 8/5/19
Mike Blumenthal

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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Important Links from Last Week in Local – Does a non-local business need GMB? And MUCH more!

Newsonomics: The GateHouse/Gannett newspaper megamerger could be announced as soon as Monday morning » Nieman Journalism Lab


Mike: “The likely merger produces a company that will own and operate 265 dailies and thousands of weeklies across the country. That’s more than one-sixth of all remaining daily newspapers”.

This is interesting. Gatehouse owns ThriveHive and Gannett owns LocaliQ which owns Reachlocal & SweetIQ

Why is this important? They will have a huge on the street presence and innovative tech stack from the ThriveHive side.

DoorDash signs definitive agreement to acquire Caviar, Square’s food-ordering platform


Mike: Well now we know what DoodDash with all those we reported them keeping last week.

Caviar was serving very high end and boutique restaurant.

In the US, at least, we are seeing the fairly rapid consolidation of food delivery

Which company is winning the food delivery war? – Second Measure


Mike: DoorDash earned 34 percent of U.S. consumers’ meal delivery sales last month, while Grubhub and its subsidiaries, which include Seamless and Eat24, took in 33 percent. DoorDash’s sales overtook Uber Eats’ in October 2018.

Amazon Restaurants, which had around half a percent of U.S. market share in May, announced in June that it was shutting its doors for good. Postmates is rumored to be seeking suitors.

It looks like 3 players will be left standing, DoorDash, GrubHub and Uber Eats

Amazon as experiment — Benedict Evans


Mike: “This has always been the gap in the Amazon model. It’s ever more efficient at finding what you already know you want and shipping it to you, but bad at suggesting things you don’t already know about, and terrible whenever a product needs something specific—just try finding children’s shoes by size”.

“This is probably inherent in the model. For Amazon to scale indefinitely to unlimited kinds of products, it needs to have more or less the same commodity logistics model for all of them. That’s the line it’s never been willing to cross. Amazon doesn’t do “unscalable.” And yet, while we now know there is nothing that people won’t happily buy online, not everything will fit that commodity model”.

Can Amazon work out how to let us shop, rather than just buy?

Apple Maps in iOS 13: Sights Set on Google – MacStories


Mike: Why is this important? By my calculations Apple Maps provides about 1/4 to 1/2 of driving directions to a location and with the volume you need to be both aware of it and make sure your data is ac curate there.

Official Google Webmaster Central Blog: What webmasters should know about Google’s “core updates”


Mike: “Does the content provide substantial value when compared to other pages in search results?”

Bottom line? Everything is relative to your query & SERP context vs. your competitors. And your needs to be better.

New research shows strong link between Google My Business photo quantity and search performance – Search Engine Land


Mike: “There is a consistent correlation between the number of images on a GMB profile and the numbers of website visits, phone calls and direction requests that came through Google My Business. The more photos you have on your Google My Business listing, the better your chances of leading customers from discovery to conversion.”

I would caution that conclusions are a dangerous thing when doing these sorts of correlation studies. The exact opposite could be true as well.

How Hotels, Restaurants and Bars Use Google My Business to Dominate Local Search – BrightLocal


Mike: Great research but…

“However, even factoring in the 33.3% increase in local pack results for hotels, they’re still beating out their closest competition, restaurants, by a margin of 52%. What can we attribute this to? Well, funnily enough, attributes!”

Value is in understanding average volumes in these verticals and comparing to your vertical specific location

150k Small Business Website Teardown Part Two: Website Builders, Speed and Google Rank • Fresh Chalk


Mike: Wix takes around 4.2s to become interactive, vs 1.4s for Google My Business. Big difference. And WP-Engine sites show in search results much, much more than Google websites.

His conclusion was the GMB sites sucked and “WP Engine is crushing it! “ on ranking.

I would suggest that the conclusion is not warranted based on the correlation and it could be caused by any number of other factors .

Quality Visit Scores to Businesses May Influence Rankings in Google Local Search – Go Fish Digital


Mike: Quality Visit Scores could be used to “rank a physical location higher in a list of search results.”

Do local citations matter anymore? Five local SEOs sound off – Search Engine Land


Mike: Yes, no, maybe so. As Joy said “We’ve found that time is better spent on other high-impact tactics.”

The Local SEO Data Jackpot You Missed: Google Analytics – Search Console Integration |


Mary: @PhilRosek shows us how to use Search Console data and Google Analytics data together to get helpful local insights.

What Happened When I Removed My Google My Business Listing – Bill Hartzer


Mary: Recently, Bill Hartzer, made the decision to completely remove his company’s Google My Business listing. He explains why and what happened.

Mozcon 2019 – Brand Is King – How to Rule in the New Age of Local Search – Ignitor Digital | Small Business Website Marketing Solutions


Mary: For those who’ve been asking, here’s my presentation from MozCon 2019.

Why Brands Should Be Worried About the Local Scroll Pack


Carrie: Mike wrote a series of articles about the new local scroll packs, ads in the scroll packs, and branded scroll packs. He also wrote a synopsis of why brands should really worry about it. Among other reasons it includes a possible competitor into the mix that wasn’t as prominent as it used to be. Also the “suggested searches” thing distracts the searcher and is one more way to lead them away from your listing.

My Google Listing Got Suspended… Now What? – Whitespark


Carrie: Allie Margeson at Whitespark wrote an article about how to get “unsuspended” in GMB – great piece to read through and book mark for future needs.

Do local citations matter anymore? Five local SEOs sound off – Search Engine Land


Carrie: Greg Sterling wrote a roundup of opinions over at SEL about the local citations debate, which some LocalU faculty Mike, Darren & Joy weighed in on. My $.02 is that as long as the BIG spots are right (website, GMB, Aggregators) I’m not sure spending tons of time and money on the little guys will improve much of anything.

The Google Featured Snippet Optimization Tool by Ninjas


Carrie: h/t to Darren Shaw who suggested the from Internet Marketing Ninjas (on slack I think.)

2 significant things about this 1) it culls and organizes the featured snippet data for your target keyword phrases to make it easier for you to optimize your site to grab your competitors’ snippets.; and 2) its only $5 a month.

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