Video: Last Week in Local May 13, 2019
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.;

Uber, Google I/O, Technical SEO, Voice, Structured Data, FTC, Spam; MUCH MORE!

Last Week in Local is now available as a podcast. Sign up here for your regular Local Fix. What better way to spend your drive time?

‘They treat us like crap’: Uber drivers feel poor and powerless on eve of IPO | Technology | The Guardian


Mike: The Uber IPO should put to rest FOREVER the idea of the “gig economy” as anything other than a monopolized marketplace

If I were to phrase it in TechSpeak: The “unit economics” can only be achieved by implanting new classical economic ideas of supply and demand but while we can can achieve a network effect with consumers this tends to lead to increased churn of drivers”

In other words we can offer low prices to drive traditional companies out of business by screwing drivers. Only Problem is we have to spend a ton on marketing to replace those drivers… thus we are losing money. so we thought we would let some consumers into the game.

“I want people to know how powerless you feel when your income comes from a faceless app and when you open it up one morning, things are just different and you’re earning less money and there’s no boss you can talk to, you weren’t told about it, you just see your income is lower today and you just have to deal with it,” said Peter.

I Want To Rank Beyond My Location: A Guide to How This Works – Moz


Mary: Another in-depth article from Mariam Ellis We’ll break rankings down into five easy-to-grasp groups, and make sense out of how Google appears to bucket rankings for different types of users and queries.

Brand Building Beyond Reviews: Is the Local Marketing Ecosystem Ready? | Street Fight


Mary: “I think it makes more sense for a small business to buy ‘brand building’ that includes some community events and link building than for that same business to buy SEO,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. Find out what tech tools can build a local brand and why David disagrees partly with Mike’s suggestion.

Should we be paying for Google My Business features? – Search Engine Land


Mary: Jaime Pittman of @Brightlocal says”Just imagine a Local Pack in which businesses taking the top three results have all paid through the nose for priority placement, featured reviews, promoted map pins and Google guarantee badges. Not one of the listings would stand out, and we’d pretty much be back to where we are now, where proximity, relevance and prominence rule the roost. The only difference? We’ve just given Google a lot of money just to avoid tanking our listings. If that’s not a protection racket, I don’t know what is.”

3 Areas to Audit on Local Sites to Create a Stronger SEO Foundation


Mary: Check technical SEO, Validated markup, Search Console and Internal Linking. I agree these need to be included in any Local Audit

Study: Voice Assistants Far From Hot Marketplace For Buying 05/07/2019


Mike: The study finds 17% buy regularly from voice assistants, which is up from 11% a year ago. But 83% don’t — and Episerver says 43% of those it polled cite a lack of security features as the main reason they’re staying away.

Those statistics actually might look good, compared to another widely repeated story. The Information reported last August that sources who saw Amazon data said only 2% of the 50 million Alexa owners used it to make a purchase, and 90% of them decided they wouldn’t do it again.

Now you can book appointments directly through Instagram and Facebook


Mike: An interesting use of Messenger for a business to automate some of their bookings

You May Have Forgotten Foursquare, but It Didn’t Forget You


Mike: As most list companies go by the wayside and Google and InfoUSA seem to be the last players standing, a reminder that 4Square has become a key reference point for many location based apps like Uber & Apple Maps and should be on your “citation” to do list.

Google Fights Back – Stratechery by Ben Thompson


Mike: I think it important that users understand that Google is shifting their mission. From their CEO: The way we approach it is constantly evolving. We are moving from a company that helps you find answers to a company that helps you get things done…

Structured Data: A Dirty Little Secret | Dixon Jones


Mike: While schema does increase traffic for some pages, it simultaneously gives Google enough information that they can create an answer box and thus reduce traffic for other pages of your site.

An SEO’s Guide to Writing Structured Data (JSON-LD) – Moz


Mike: A very good review of the syntax of Schema

Integrating Schema App and GatherUp Reviews – Schema App Tools


Mike: At GatherUp we see a lot of sites that do not nest their Schema correctly. This article dives into the nitty gritty of using Node ID to properly nest schema within a bigger hierarchy.

FTC Acts to Enforce Non-Disparagement Provision Ban – Lexology


Mike: Business need to stop thinking that they can hold a contract hammer over customers heads to avoid getting bad reviews.

Revenue SPAM Created by Google Maps for Google Ads – Online Ownership


Mike: Google is monetizing now, not at some point in the future. This article shows the sometimes messy consequences of that.

Yelp Review Filter Just Got Stricter? – Local Search Forum


Carrie: Looks like Yelp is filtering out even MORE reviews – pretty soon the only way to see reviews is going to be to look at the ones Yelp DOESN’T want you to look at.

Local SEO Tools, Citation Building & Reputation Management – BrightLocal


Carrie: Bright local released a tool that helps you pull your Place ID, Reviews Link, Link to give to customers so they can leave YOU a review, and some more helpful data all in one spot. Not for SABs, so if you want the same info for SABs – go to GatherUp’s tool, which actually does both 🙂

3 Key Strategies to Deliver Google Ads Success for Local Businesses – BrightLocal


Carrie: Great article from Brandon Coward of Powered by Search that gives tips to increase success for local PPC ads. From increasing local search volume to Google Ads local campaigns, to promoting your local store inventory – these are great tips if you’re looking to succeed with local ads.

Facebook Launches New Tools for Small Businesses – Search Engine Journal


Carrie: Facebook launched a few new tools designed to make their ad platform a bit easier for SMBs/non-marketers to run successful campaigns. Now SMBs can run automated ad campaigns, book appointments, and edit videos. I haven’t tried it out yet, but “automated ad campaigns” is sometimes a terrifying prospect.

Google Search: State of the Union (Google I/O’19)


Carrie: Google I/O was last week and this video of “Google Search: State of the Union” with Martin Splitt and John Muller is a pretty good watch – esp for new employees or beginner SEOs. Instead of just being all future stuff, they talk about where they are and the basics of how a page of search results is created.

They did say that MFI is now 50% implemented. Talked about optimizing images and the best way to do this to help GoogleBot figure out what your images are about and the context around when to show them.

Also some great Structured Data info.

Google Search and JavaScript Sites (Google I/O’19)


Carrie: There’s also another video from Google I/O on Javascript that I’m trying to translate into something I understand better, so if you’re into, technical SEO, do technical audits, or just need to understand Javascript and SEO – definitely check that one out.

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