Video: Last Week in Local 11/4/19
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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Google to acquire Fitbit, valuing the smartwatch maker at about $2.1 billion


Mike: Every bit that’s fit to track… Interesting that Fitbit felt compelled to include their privacy stance in the PR release.

Waterfront Toronto moving forward on Sidewalk Labs’s smart city, but with limits on scale, data collection – The Globe and Mail


Mike: Back and forth on privacy issues, this project is now moving forward with the government owning and controlling all of the data.

Raising the minimum wage in restaurants could be a win for everyone


Mike: The $15 minimum wage was supposed to hurt New York City restaurants — but both revenue and employment are up. This article explores why.

One Californian pie shop’s place in the global economy – Marketplace


Mike: Describes how they perceive themselves as a hospitality company and how giving up delivery to GrubHub severs their ability to control their customer experience. The customer becomes GrubHub’s customer and not theirs.

Auditing For Accessibility Problems With Firefox Developer Tools – Mozilla Hacks – the Web developer blog


Mike: A great place to start if you are looking for ADA compliance for your website.

Google launches Site Kit plugin for WordPress – Search Engine Land


Mike: Brings in data from Google Search Console, Google Analytics, PageSpeed Insights, AdSense all in one place in WordPress.

Have Your Agency’s Clients Considered a Local Product Kiosk? Google Has. – Moz


Mike: Inspired by Carrie’s report from several weeks ago of a butcher selling meat via a refrigerated vending machine when they are closed, Miriam takes a deep dive into others offering something similar and lists other retail areas when these sorts of “always open” options make sense.

Google My Business Adds Photos To Messaging


Mike: We are starting to see the beginnings of “Rich Messaging” in b2c communications from the GMB

Can I Turn Off Google My Business (GMB) Reviews?


Mary: For some businesses, online reviews make not make too much sense. Can you turn off reviews on a GMB listing? The short answer is “NO”.

Poll: 50% Of SEOs Have Bought Links In Past Five Years


Mary: @LilyRay’s survey shows over 1000  SEOs split right down the middle. A lot depends on what you might consider “buying a link” and what you simply see as effective local marketing.

FTC Rules that Selling Followers and Likes is Illegal, Along with Posting Fake Reviews


Mary: I’ts officially illegal, but a few quick searches on Google will show you that Google still enables it organically and makes money from it with advertising!

Rebranding: Google My Business Help


Mary: Google explains when you can “rebrand” a multi-location business in GMB and when it’s considered an entirely new business.

What does Google Maps ‘incognito mode’ mean for businesses? – Search Engine Land


Carrie:  It’s estimated that only 35 percent of internet users use incognito mode on various web browsers. I’d guess that only a small fraction of a percent of those are using them to shop for local goods and services. I’m not too worried about this causing data issues for smbs – are you?

The Featured Snippets Cheat Sheet and Interactive Q&A


Carrie: Brittney Mueller writes a fact sheet and some fun Q&A “choose your own adventure” with regards to featured snippets. Great information on getting some extended organic results. I’m seeing really nice real estate being taken up for solid queries by FAQ markup. Worth a look. Featured Snippets Cheat Sheet and Interactive Q&A.

Episode 3: Feedback – How Will You Know If You Don’t Ask? – The Community Karma Podcast


Carrie: A tiny bit of blatant self-promotion – I do another podcast about brand and community building with my good friend Erin Jones. Last week we talked about asking your customer for reviews with some solid tactics. Worth a listen if you’re setting up a program, looking to make your review mgt program better, or struggling with the hows & whens of setting up your review program. This Friday we’re talking about how to respond to your reviews.

Valentin Pletzer on Twitter: “and some more. Looks like it triggers everywhere where people might want to look at pictures…”


Carrie: Valentin Pletzer shared some screenshots of a new image carousel on local results and we’re seeing some new KP carousels (non-local) in the wild. I can’t recreate any of these yet but they look interesting – another format requiring a swipe instead of a scroll?

Dana DiTomaso on Twitter: “Just over a week ago, we moved a client from a very slow web host to a very zippy one. We only moved the site, didn’t touch the content or anything else. Their conversion rate went up 28%! Site speed matters, pass it on.”


Carrie: Just in case you needed more convincing – Dana DiTomaso shared a use case for speeding up a website. Only change made to site was moving to a faster host, conversion rate increased 28%. Speed up your websites, people!

New Google Search Console Speed Reports Rolling Out


Carrie: Google rolling out new page speed reports into search console is just another reason why we need to pay attention to site speed. Interesting that faster pages are becoming a focus, as are images – but images traditionally slow down pages. Pay special attention as you beef up your on-site image optimization/inclusion.

Whitespark’s Local Rank Tracker Just Got Even Better! – Whitespark


Carrie: Whitespark added some new features to their Rank Tracker program that now includes a more robust ranking look-in along with screenshots. This is great from an agency perspective because showing graphic proof of improvement is always so useful!

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