Join Mike, Mary, and Carrie as they discuss the last week in local news along with a deeper dive into the not-at-all-new-to-local discussion of Web Mentions.
Last Week in Local is a look back at the interesting and important articles from the previous week. It is 20-30 minutes long and covers critical industry trends, interesting local news, and tactical insights for anyone interested in Local Search.
- Walmart will test grocery deliveries to a smart cooler on customers’ doorsteps – CNBC
- Online speech and publishing — Benedict Evans
- Yelp Will Now Display User Feedback on Health and Safety Practices of Local Businesses
- What’s in a name? Boston lawyer says Google owes him $1,000 for including his name in its search results without his permission
- Case Study – A Small Business Beats Big Brands in SEO on Shopify
- Why Are They Bidding on My Name? – Gyi Tsakalakis – AttorneySync.com
- Dennis Yu’s 2021 Prediction: The Future of Facebook | DigitalMarketer
- Online Customer Service is the New Storefront
- Should a Small Business Have a Blog in 2021? Colan Nielsen at SterlingSky.ca –
- Will you keep remote after COVID?
- Pubcon Local Services conference is this week – the 20 & 21st.
- We’re on new podcast partner sites!
- Recording of Mike’s webinar – Webinar Replay: The State of Online Reviews in 2021: Gather, Manage, Market – updated from LocalU Advanced in November
- New Webinar Alert
- Google My Business as a Social Media Channel w/ Claire Carlile, Krystal Taing & Allie Margeson – Thursday 1/28 at 1:00 Eastern
- Darren Shaw & Josh Nelson – Unpacking the 2020 Local Search Ranking Factors with Darren Shaw 1/21 at 12:30 est –
- Save the Date. Wednesday April 7, 2021. LocalU Advanced Virtual
- Inferred Links Will Replace the Link Graph | SparkToro
- What does a link campaign look like for Local in 2007? – Blumenthals.com
Mike Blumenthal 0:02
Hi, welcome in the last week in local with myself, Mike Blumenthal Carrie Hill and Mary bowling. Want to welcome you to the last week in local for January 19. Yesterday was Martin Luther King Day and afternoon I went skiing. First time we’ve had decent snow in western New York all winter it’s been hovering around 30-35 all winter is first time it’s we’ve gotten decent lake effect like fluffy snow and good ski conditions. So anyways, nice
Mary Bowling 0:36
Glad to to hear it put a smile on your face.
Mike Blumenthal 0:39
I always have a smile on my face even when the world’s going to hell in a handbasket. Eternal half cup half full guy, even if I even people don’t think that. So just a note, we’re gonna do a deep dive at the end, Carrie and Mary and myself. So you might want to stick around we’re going to talk about Rand Fishkin article on infers links, what we refer to in local as mentions, and its relationship to local and what we think about the premise of the article. So let me just kick into the news. Some high level stuff, interesting delivery and technology stuff, Walmart is testing grocery deliveries, using a smart, cooler on customers, doorsteps or on their porches. It basically it has three components in it to room temperature, frigerator, temperature and freezer temperature, so that the delivered, groceries can be put in the cooler, the cooler has connection connectivity, so the user can see when it’s been stocked, etc.
Mary Bowling 1:46
So how did the users get these coolers? Do they have to buy them themselves? Or?
Mike Blumenthal 1:50
Well, this point is just a test. It’s just in Walmart, what’s in Bentonville? Or where they located? Yeah, it’s where their headquarters is only being tested there at this point. It’s a very small test. So I assume they’re giving those users it for free at the moment. I have no idea how it’s gonna work out. But it’s just interesting sort of refinement. I mean, I think Walmart has done a great job of leveraging order online, pick up offline, I think one of the, you know, they’ve really leveraged it’s a huge advantage they have over Amazon by having these many delivery points. And they’ve leveraged it for sort of good integration with online. And I think this is sort of, they’re looking to drive this to the next step. We’ll see how that goes. They’ve had several other failed delivery experiments. One using their employees. Bad idea was cancelled fairly quickly. So but we’ll see, I think, you know, Walmart’s done a good job of integrating online and offline and leveraging their particular advantages.
For those of you who have been reading the news for the past several weeks, and we’re paying attention to the Facebook, apple, Amazon Google actions, regarding content driven by people involved in the riots and potential insurrection at the Capitol. This was a good article by Benedict Evans, that situation, one where information was being disseminated false information is being broadly disseminated for not good purposes, and to where the platform’s themselves have actually taken on the role of protecting, protecting society and becoming directors of free speech raises a number of philosophical and practical issues that affect local because Google Maps is an example of one of these work environments where fake information like locations and listings and reviews exist. And I think, certainly this country has gotten to the point where they’re discussing antitrust, but they’re also discussing potential regulation. These folks have largely functioned in a regulation free environment protected by section 230 of the communications decency act, bizarrely named but where they’re given carte blanche protection under federal law, from anything that happens on their platform. So it’s it. It’s an interesting discussion, and I think that it does a good job of positioning some of the higher level questions that we need to ask before we deal with antitrust into a regulation. So good read.
Yelp announced that they will now display user feedback on health and safety COVID practices of local businesses. It’s basically a new sort of attribute feature. that users can contribute to, there will be a point, if you’re logged, you have to be logged in, you can then add information. Google or Yelp isn’t going to publish sort of a single users viewpoint, they’re going to need to get enough information to have sort of an aggregate view of the COVID practices have a business so that no single user can impact it. But also the duration of these notices are is only 28 days. So they they will go away if they don’t have enough ongoing information. It’s not clear, we discussed this in the pre talk, as Carrie asked whether this is a publicity ploy by Yelp, which, obviously, one, you know, many of the types of announcements like this fall into that vein, I think, though, I would add that in just that, it’s likely a wait to give them a reason to moderate the influx of perhaps reviews around COVID. As well, while still providing information to the public in terms of safety, it’s not clear to me that they have enough volume of users to provide this kind of information on enough businesses to make it worthwhile. Google, on the other hand, allows will allow COVID related reviews to stand. So while there may not be current they may be, you know, it’s probably scales better as a solution, allowing consumers to comment on COVID safety protocols via reviews. I would caution that things change. So, you know, if it’s more older than 30 Day Review, you’d probably need to call and check. In an interesting sort of odd case.
There was an article published at Universalhub.com. “What’s In a Name”, Boston lawyer says Google owes him $1,000 for including his name in the search results. He contends that search results on individuals should be covered by the Federal Fair Credit Reporting Act sort of a unique legal theory here. The results, the Federal act includes some restrictions on the type of information that can be shared, much of which similar to what can be found in Google, including things like character, General reputation, personal characteristics, but it’s unlikely in my mind that this would Trump section 230 keep you posted. If the guy gets anywhere, it probably is your $2,000 under this case. But it’s always it’s just interesting that people would take the trouble to do this.
And then my last piece is an SEO case study at AdamRiemer.me. It’s a very, it’s an SEO case study around implementing Shopify. In a very small business. I think Shopify is the obvious choice for many businesses, wishing to bridge the local e commerce gap without being, you know, without attempting to compete in the snake, but that Amazon has become. But he noted all of the problems with Shopify, bloated templates lack a site structure, bad CMS for blogging, how he found solutions around those sorts of good sort of, as well as things like duplicate pages, with no sort of built in way to automatically deal with that. So he lays out all the problems and how he dealt with them. So it’s a good sort of overview of the kind of if you’re going to get into Shopify SEO for local businesses, just some obvious gotchas that you need to be aware of up front for your SEO practice. And just reminder, if you’ve lasted with us this far, we encourage you to stay we’re gonna have a deep dive at the end where we talk about Rand Fishkin ‘s articles, inferred links will replace the link graph. So overdue.
Mary Bowling 9:16
Thanks, Mike. So Gyi at attorneysync, did a blog post entitled Why are they bidding on my name? And Gyi strictly deals with lawyers? So I’m sure that he gets asked this question quite a bit. But his his premise is that much of the time they aren’t bidding on your name, but they show up for searches for your brand, because there are these keyword triggers in Google like broad match triggers. ones that go with close variants that are just money traps for people that don’t know how to set up PPC, properly.
Mike Blumenthal 10:00
For for lawyers that have spam their name the bejesus out of their name, and doesn’t fit the exact match. Right?
Mary Bowling 10:07
Mike Blumenthal 10:09
not that lawyers would ever do that,
Mary Bowling 10:11
right. So Carrie and I have been looking, looking into LSAs for lawyers. And we realize that they’re really not going to show up very much for a brand search. But I am a big proponent of bidding on your own brand name, even if that’s the only thing you’re bidding on in Google pay per click, because if somebody is looking for you, they should be able to find you very easily, they should be able to find you at the top of the page. So there’s nothing you can do to control whether someone else is bidding on your brand name or not, or showing up for your brand name. But you can control whether you show up for brand name searches.
Carrie Hill 10:55
Well, and I’ve seen like, a lot of people will do that. If they’re actually bidding on your name. If you also bid on your name, and it drives the cost per click up, sometimes they’ll just give up on it.
Mary Bowling 11:10
Yeah. When you bid on your own name you you have? Do you are the most relevant answer to any question about your brand. So you get a low, real high quality score, whereas your competitors are not they’re going to get terrible quality score. And if you bid on your
Carrie Hill 11:31
…unless they say your name all over their website, which you know, really
Mike Blumenthal 11:37
well, actually, they can’t, they can’t use your name in the ad, unless they do legitimately share your name on the website and offer true comparison. I’ve had number of ads taken down around gatherup where they would use their name in the ad and then take it as some sales pitchy page. Right. And they weren’t
Carrie Hill 11:58
Yeah, Even if they mentioned you on the on their website, if you go to Google and say, Hey, they’re using my name in the ad nine times out of 10, Google just disavow the ad, and make them rewrite it, they won’t even go that far. So if you do see your name and somebody else’s ad, you can do something about that, but you can’t do anything about them bidding on your name
Mary Bowling 12:21
Right. Then, at Digitalmarketer.com, Dennis, you who’s been involved with Facebook marketing, almost since the beginning, predicts that in 2021, Facebook is going to get busted up like Ma Bell, meaning Instagram and WhatsApp app are going to have to get spun off on their own. And the he says that this is going to result in a lot of unhappy advertisers, who are going to end up at tic Tock Snapchat, YouTube and with websites. So he says marketers need to start taking the content they’ve made for Facebook and repurposing it to other channels. And to test this, he had most of his Facebook posts, turned into blog posts, which he put on his website, and they generated 7000 new visits in the last three months. So that’s a pretty useful amount of traffic to get. And he encourages us to think about reposting our best Facebook content on our own websites, especially short videos with transcriptions, because that’s going to make them more apt to show up in search. Whereas, you know, you never see your Facebook posts in Google search results. So he suggests short videos with transcriptions on your website and cross posting to Twitter.
Mike Blumenthal 13:55
But, Mary, just question here. I mean, you’ve long been a proponent of content at first on your website, and then breaking out into pieces for Facebook for Google posts for Twitter, when appropriate, and then driving people back to that longer form. Right. I mean, that’s, it’s like it’s Back to the Future here. Once again.
Mary Bowling 14:15
Right, it is Back to the Future, I think an awful lot of small businesses. Because the Facebook algorithms were, you know, bringing prospective customers to their websites or to their pages on Facebook. They started devoting almost all of their time and effort to Facebook posts. And if you’re one of the people that has been doing that you need to start thinking about which ones of these were best got the most interaction, and how can you transform that into something that can live on your website, so that it can actually show up in search results,
Carrie Hill 14:57
And not even not only is repurposing content Great for efficiency, right? It’s sort of good for reinforcing your brand voice or what like, if somebody sees that you have content and voice that’s reflected on Facebook. And that same thing is reflected on your website and on Instagram and on Twitter. And it looks very consistent to them. You look like a marketing Rockstar, even though really all you did was take paragraph here and stick it there and a couple sentences from the same thing and stick it there. And, and, you know, I think there’s something to be said for the consistency you convey when you repurpose content. To look like you’re on it?
Mary Bowling 15:42
Well, but I think that if you read Dennis’s article, you’ll see that he’s really trying to prepare you for Facebook not being very useful at all, for small business marketing. And that’s
Carrie Hill 15:54
It’s already going there. The like well, unlike was always a likes were always a vanity metric. But those are pretty much they don’t report on them anymore. It’s not part of their, their analytics, I don’t believe anymore. And I get why they’ve stopped doing that. Because it’s complete vanity. It doesn’t mean anything. But it’s got a lot of people who were heavy into the Facebook, like, how come I can’t see how many likes I got anymore? Well, because it never mattered.
Mary Bowling 16:21
They were just taking your money.
And then on street fighting mags. Magazine, Stephanie miles, did an article on online customer service is the new storefront. And she starts with the premise that ecommerce now represents a third of all retail sales. But this shift this transition, it wasn’t caused by the pandemic, the pandemic just speeded it up for us that it was already coming. And she says about 60% of retail square footage, temporarily closed in 2020. And that retailer saw a 70% decrease in consumer spend on non essential items compared to 2019. So she believes that those that who successfully combined online customer service with a powerful website are the ones who are really prospering. Because they’re blurring the line between sales and service. They’re consulting with their prospective buyers at every stage of this buying journey. And they’re taking the time to get to know people to recommend products and services. And this all really drives sales. She uses that as an example Crate and Barrel, they’ve set up a store in their call center. So if you’re a customer, and you call and you say I’m looking for something that’s a really dark blue plates that are really dark blue, the representatives can go over and look at their plates and and actually use zoom to show people different products and say, Well, if I was looking for a dark blue, this is probably the one I’d pick. But here are a couple of other blues that you might want to consider. And that this is really driving their sales. And it’s something that I think in one way or another, most businesses can take this idea of interacting with people online so that they don’t have to interact with them offline. And I can think of a lot of really good examples where a business can can get better by doing more online customer service, and not having people coming into the stores where it’s causing a COVID problem.
Carrie Hill 18:51
Yeah, I read an article this morning actually about masks and their effectiveness and how people are not changing their masks or washing their masks and how that can cause a problem. And in the safest way, the best way to stay safe is of course to wear your mask, but to limit your exposure. So going the store for five minutes is better than going to the store for 30 minutes, right? So if you can do all of the customer service and the preliminary sales piece online, that limits how much time that customer has to be in your store, which saves them exposure, it saves your staff exposure like like it trickles. So I think that there’s a lot that can be done online. I think Darren Shaw was talking about a boutique that he knows of where they they’ll like try things on over zoom for customers, or walk around and show up, show them things in the store, which I just think is so clever and so accommodating and that’s how you build those lifelong brand fans right? When you’re willing to bend over backwards and go the extra mile to help them make a decision. Whilst staying safe.
Mary Bowling 20:01
Right, right. And, you know, I know one of my favorite stores is Summit Canyon mountaineering here in Glenwood Springs. And you could call them up and say, Oh, I saw such and such Patagonia jacket, online, what colors? Do you have that in my size, and they can go over to the rack with their resume and show you. You know, they’re, they’re really making it more personal, they’re interacting with you more. And, you know, kind of establishing a relationship if they don’t already have one with you.
Carrie Hill 20:35
Mary Bowling 20:37
And that’s what I’ve got for today.
Carrie Hill 20:40
Awesome. Um, so speaking of blogging, which was a couple of Mary’s articles will go, Colan Nielsen, published an article at the sterling sky blog called should a small business have a blog in 2021. And the impetus for this post was a Twitter survey I did about November, about, you know, should small businesses be blogging, because I think that somebody told someone a long time ago that you should be publishing X number of blog posts a month to rank number one or some other kind of bullshit. So now, all of these small businesses think they need to just blog blog blog, and and i think that they’ve gone overboard. And I think that it’s not as valuable to them as they think it is. And one thing that I really like to look at blog posts, as I think of a blog post as timely, and a page on your website is timeless. So if that content talks about what you do, and where you do it, more than likely, that’s a page. But if it talks about a news story that you’re mentioned in or some philanthropy that you’re doing in your community, or something that’s timely, that’s news, that should go in your blog. And if you have something that kind of crosses the line, like maybe it’s a how to replace this gasket in your washing machine, it’s probably a blog post, but it’s something that you should really consider revisiting frequently to make sure it’s updated, make sure it’s correct and timely. Don’t just publish and forget it. I think that that’s one of the mistakes that small businesses make with their blog posts. And so they have things that are 6, 7, 8 years old, that are out of date and worthless, keep updating that stuff.
Mary Bowling 22:32
I think another problem that, that a lot of small businesses have with their blogs is they’re not doing proper internal linking to make sure that the these are seen by the search engines as very relevant. And they should be surfaced for answers to, to search questions.
Mike Blumenthal 22:55
I would actually even position this one level up and suggest that much like with reviews, many small businesses need to start thinking about content, blog posts or other content. From a strategic point of view. If the blog content helps build your brand and your reputation in your market or in a tangential market that can impact your market, then it makes sense to do it and do it in a way that’s respectful of the people reading it, as opposed to a tactic strictly around trying to answer some question, you think you might be able to rank for Google? Right, it sort of puts the cart before the horse and misaligned, both incentives and work to value. So I mean, I just think that businesses need to step back and say, Can I enhance my reputation? by community, creating content on the internet that’s meaningful to people. And what’s the best way to do it and a blog may be the best way to do it, if it is great, then produce high integrity content that, you know, resonates, like I said, either with your audience are with an audience that might be able to send you business, for example, in lawyers, maybe a lawyer can’t use a defense criminal defense lawyer. And he can’t really add strategic value to his clients, but he may be able to add it for other lawyers who might then send him referrals. That’s great. But that is takes out a strategic position in the marketing hierarchy, then you build out from there.
Carrie Hill 24:40
But I would argue that should be pages, because, well, some
Mike Blumenthal 24:43
some some results are missing, right? I mean, that’s part of the plan. From my point of view.
Carrie Hill 24:49
One of the problems we see with blog content and small businesses is that they a don’t turn a link B don’t update and C it’s buried. five pages deep in your blog archive, within, you know, however long it takes for you to blog that much, and then it’s just wasted content, it’s gone. And…
Mike Blumenthal 25:11
Right, but if it’s all those things is because they did not have a good strategic plan for their content in the first place. Right? So it’s, you know, I mean, content can offer benefits if done, right. It can produce brand benefits, it can produce, you know, visibility in the marketplace, it can attract links,
Mary Bowling 25:29
Mike Blumenthal 25:30
increase trust, all that can happen, but it has to be thought out. And like you said, there has to be a criteria for whether it’s fixed page or whether it goes into a help file or whether it goes on to a blog, whether it’s transit news, or permanent, all those things. But again, it all too frequently, blogs end up being a tactical, is like getting one more reviews, putting up one more blog post.
Mary Bowling 25:59
Right. Yeah. And, and also, it’s something that bad SEOs are more than willing to hire somebody on Fiverr to write blog posts that are meaningless to the business and to the people reading them.
Mike Blumenthal 26:16
isn’t just bad SEO.
Mary Bowling 26:18
Good SEOs is to
Mike Blumenthal 26:20
No, I’m saying that many companies fall into the same trap. They see content tactically, instead of strategically, and
Carrie Hill 26:29
They volume not quality, they just want more, they don’t they
Mike Blumenthal 26:32
want to be show up on a keyword search, as opposed to having educating people or building a brand or establishing themselves as knowledgeable in their field. They want to show up in a keyword search. I mean, can the objectives twists the outcome? Sure.
Carrie Hill 26:51
Absolutely. I read another really interesting article by Aleyda Solis, at re motors dotnet. And she was talking the whole article is the present and future of remote work after COVID. But one point she makes some, you know, way down the page is how does this affect brick and mortar, like brick and mortar offices, brick and mortar stores, our service area businesses that have people in the office like their bookkeeping receptionist, customer service, likely to down so downsize like a warehouse only location, because they’ve realized that all those people can work from home now, they don’t have to have as big a place for everyone to work in at once, you know, save that overhead kind of thing. Should Google act sooner rather than later to accommodate service area business in the SERPs more fairly? I think they should I think they should have three years ago, five years ago, I think that service area businesses that can’t show their address, can’t or shouldn’t show their address, are treated very unfairly, they’re just as legitimate as a business that has a building. In most cases.
Mike Blumenthal 28:05
13 years ago, when local came out.
Mary Bowling 28:07
I mean, SABs have always gotten the short end of the stick. And, you know, Google never really invited them into the playground. They and instead, essay B’s had to spam their way into local by by doing things that Google didn’t really have in mind when they first came up with this platform.
Mike Blumenthal 28:36
Part of the issue is that the philosophy in the wind was that something needed to exist in the real world to be relevant to a map. And an essay B doesn’t physically exist in that sense, right? So essay B’s, you exist in Google because of GMB nap because Google Maps and GM B’s charge was to get every business listing while the two goals are different. And they have yet to agree with you yet to reconcile those in a productive way that allows the consumer to get the right answer when they’re looking.
Carrie Hill 29:14
Well, and then does the growth of these hybrid models, right some at home some in the warehouse or, you know, working a service area, I believe that that’s going to grow or it’s going to say like COVID level or very close to it, because I think a lot of these business owners have realized I have to pay all this money for all these people to be in the same building. So how does that affect them and their existence? On the map or in GMB?
Mike Blumenthal 29:41
It’s right up there with appointment scheduling on Google in the context of appointment only businesses as a requested feature that we know they could get to it if they wanted to. They’ve chosen not to.
Mary Bowling 29:56
Yeah. And it’s interesting now that businesses that You never would have thought of before are now pretty much appointment only like scared is you’ve got to make a reservation if you want to go ski theaters,
Carrie Hill 30:11
movie theaters, I mean, if you don’t buy your tickets and pick your seats ahead of time, you know, I think they’re gonna stay that way for a while.
Mike Blumenthal 30:22
I might go on for a while, so I’m not gonna find out. I’m thinking movie theater. Last place. I want to be at the moment two hours with unknown people. Call me chicken.
Mary Bowling 30:38
When you can have like an 80 inch TV in your living room.
Carrie Hill 30:43
I went and saw News of the World down at our little local movie theater and it was us and two other people and they sat them at that corner and us down at this side. And we were safer than at the grocery store.
Mary Bowling 30:57
Oh, you know, I don’t consider my grocery store that safe anymore. Well, when this stuff first hit, they had somebody at the door making sure you didn’t go in without a mask. They had one way aisles. They had hand sanitizer all over the place. Yeah, we have none of those things anymore.
Carrie Hill 31:14
I noticed that yesterday when I was in Glenwood.
Mike Blumenthal 31:16
Meanwhile, the COVID variant is more contagious than ever is that is more contagious ever is spreading fairly quickly.
Carrie Hill 31:24
Yeah, and they tried to shut things back down in our county and the the restaurants Wow, the county commissioners was except for you guys. And so now all the restaurants are back open again.
Mary Bowling 31:38
Not only that, we have little plastic igloos all over downtown.
Carrie Hill 31:43
Which I actually think is a cute idea to get your takeout and go hang out in the igloo and it’s fairly warm in there. I thought that was kind of a cute idea. But who’s cleaning the igloos?
Mary Bowling 31:52
Yeah, is that safe? I don’t know.
Carrie Hill 31:57
Um, let’s see just a few more things for me. And then we can talk about our deep dive topic. pubcon local services conferences this week. joins keynoting first thing on the 20th Erin Jones my co worker Sterling Sky and I are speak both speaking on the 20th there’s also a bunch of faculty speaking LocalU faculty Darren Shaw, Jason Brown, Blake, Denman, Krystal Taing and a bunch more. If you have time to tune into that I recommend it.
We did get LocalU listed on a bunch of new podcast partner sites. So if you’re looking for a place to listen, you can listen to us on Pandora, tune in podcast addict pod chaser Deezer. Listen notes, player, FM and podcast index. And we are waiting for the Publish notice from Amazon podcasts. So all those places were available. I’ll have the links on the blog post. So if you want to find this there.
Couple webinar notes. Mike did a webinar last week on the state of online reviews in 2021, which was an update of his local you advance presentation from November that’s available via video now so you can get the link to that. And then I have two new webinar alerts. traject What’s the name of the social platform? I can’t I didn’t write it down fam booster. Fan booster by traject is doing a Google
Mike Blumenthal 33:20
…you’re trying to get me fired if I’d forgotten that I’d be out of a job.
Carrie Hill 33:26
I kind of doubt it. They’re doing a webinar Google My Business as a social media channel with Claire Carlisle, Krystal Taing, and Allie Margeson. That’s happening on Thursday the 28th at one Eastern and then Darren Shaw and Josh Nelson are doing unpacking the 2020 local search ranking factors on the 21st. That’s this Thursday at 1230. Eastern time, and I have the link for that as well.
And then the last little piece of news I have is to save the day, the next local university will be virtual April 7. So hopefully I have a sales page up this week might be next week. But within the next two weeks, I’ll have a sales page if you guys can start grabbing your tickets for that. We’re going to also have scholarships available. I will have all that information together and available you guys hopefully by next Monday when we when we meet up again. So that’s what I have.
Mike Blumenthal 34:29
Thanks. So for our deep dive I wanted to talk a little bit about rands article from last week that got widely disseminated on Twitter, at least amongst our circle, right. It was titled inferred links where we placed the link graph and ran notes in the introduction, that for 25 years links have been the core of how Google ranks pages. He’s estimating that as of today, most marketers overestimate their importance. They In the long run links won’t be all that crucial to Google’s rankings. They’ll be replaced by ref references that connect topics and keywords to a brand, website or page, what he calls inferred links. He also worries that businesses are and agencies are too focused on prioritizing earning links at the expense of digital PR that might get mentioned as an alternative. And then goes on to note that, you know, that the there’s other benefits of brand mentions in publications, they drive branded traffic, they improve brand awareness, and will always increase conversion rate among the audience they attract. And ironically enough, they indirectly lead to more link building. So interesting article, it’s interesting that this is a topic that I when I read the article, I alternatively posted an article from my blog. What does a link campaign look like for local, where I noted that there were four types of
Carrie Hill 36:12
What’s the date on your article, Mike?
Mike Blumenthal 36:14
Well, that’s the punchline. Let me tell you the four tags. But you know, what types of sites so first one is your own website? Right. And links on that. The second was review websites, the third was directories. And the fourth was media media mentioned. Dan, this was 2007. So we’re dealing with a concept that is not new to those of us that local search that mentioned always, always been in the critical element of the Google algorithm. And the really, the question becomes, and, you know, I think it’s becoming even more important since the move, or Google has rather gotten better at it. Since the move to the Knowledge Graph, they’ve already was pretty good at it. Like, like I said, 2007. I was finding examples mentioned by Google in these are Google calls at the time web references. So the question, you know, one is, I just want to, you know, point out that what Randy is writing about isn’t new, in fact, been around for a very long time. On Twitter, somebody asked me if my date was correct, if my head screwed up, and the answer is,
Mary Bowling 37:24
yeah, and probably for the last, I mean, we we saw evidence that these unlinked mentions were helping ranking. And and we also saw evidence that nofollow links were helping ranking in local search. And this is something that we’ve been talking about for at least 10 years that you shouldn’t be worried about. links from irrelevant sources, you should be only thinking about getting links from relevant sources. And some of those relevant sources are your local media, your industry media, local links, right?
Carrie Hill 38:07
Yeah, it doesn’t even have to have a link, a mention of my brand in the local newspaper, if I’m a local business, that’s powerful. Even without a link, right.
Mike Blumenthal 38:18
I’ve seen anecdotal situations in large cities where I mentioned of a business in around related it was a in San Francisco on a one of these set suits against sofa around sexual harassment. And he got mentioned Erica, we saw sustained improvement in visibility rank and conversions from that.
Mary Bowling 38:48
I believe it encouraged other links as well. It’s very like other other media’s right.
Mike Blumenthal 38:54
It could be
Carrie Hill 38:56
the moral of the story is don’t discount something because you didn’t get a link. Don’t say, I didn’t get a link or or you’re not gonna give me a link. I don’t care. You know, that’s not well. That’s not what you should be measuring the value by, in my opinion, is rightfully in locals.
Mary Bowling 39:15
And better 1007 or 2008. Carrie and I were the CEOs for an agency and we started not even talking about link building anymore. We said a brand building programs that you know, you’re the goal is not to get a link, the goal is to get Brandt your brand in front of people who actually have the potential to become your customers. And it’s hard for me to believe that how many years later 1013 years later that people are still talking about link building because it’s always been something that was more about PR than it was about actually building a Link,
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