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Everything you Need to Know about Local Search and Google Places by Michael Blumenthal
 

Everything you Need to Know about Local Search and Google Places by Michael Blumenthal

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People in your area are searching for your services - is your business being found? They are also telling others about their experiences - do you know what they are saying? Hear from Michael ...

People in your area are searching for your services - is your business being found? They are also telling others about their experiences - do you know what they are saying? Hear from Michael Blumenthal, an online search consultant, share the latest trends and best practices in local search and Google Places, and how that to make it an integral part of your firm's marketing strategy. He will also cover the topic of online reviews - how lawyers can maximize positive feedback and determine the best response to negative or lackluster reviews that demonstrates professionalism and willingness to solve problems.

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  • I want to do an experiment. Pick a number any number that relates to your business. As big or as appropriate as you can imagine. Let your wildest dream be your guide
  • Story of foundingLarry Page and several other engineers in 1998 were creating the company and loved the idea of the Googol as a metaphor for the grand big data ideas… but in typical engineer fashion they mispelled itThis how they view themselves.The number 10 raised to the power 100 (10100), written out as the numeral 1 followed by 100 zeros.
  • Inversion 2000- local searchers looking for world wide thingsNow world wide searchers are looking for local things(18.4 billion on all major search engines)Google noted in December/2009 that 20% of searches are local in nature. Yahoo noted 30% It is estimated to be higher nowThus there are over 4 billion local searches per month in the US alone50% of all mobile searches have local intentIf you add a billion local searches on mobile phones + the other search engines and directories = ~5 billion
  • Google accounted for a vast majority of those searchesIf you add a billion local searches on mobile phones + the other search engines and directories = ~5 billion
  • When a local search ( geo + service) is made, Google usually shows displays a 7 PackThis data comes from a completely different data siloh than the “organic” web page results
  • When a local search ( geo + service) is made, Google usually shows displays a 7 PackThis data comes from a completely different data siloh than the “organic” web page results
  • When a local search ( geo + service) is made, Google usually shows displays a 7 PackThis data comes from a completely different data siloh than the “organic” web page results
  • With the new local results, more dependent now on web signals, Google MIGHT put organic listings that don’t rank well in Maps at the top of the page with NO pin- shows the first 61 characters of your title tag
  • In the local results on the first several higher ranking listings Google might take your website title tag – NOTE it only shows 38 Characters of your website title tag- PICK THEM CAREFULLY
  • Whereas lower results they will take the name from the Places page.
  • As the search phrase becomes longer (referred to as a long tail search), and the local competition becomes less, Google might still show the old style 3 pack above or BELOW a strong organic result
  • As the search phrase becomes longer (referred to as a long tail search), and the local competition becomes less, Google might still show the old style 3 pack above or BELOW a strong organic result
  • As the search phrase becomes longer (referred to as a long tail search), and the local competition becomes less, Google might still show the old style 3 pack above or BELOW a strong organic result
  • Branded Search = Yellow Page ad BUT NOT COSTGoogle will often give your business the whole area above the fold If you don’t add YOUR photos, Google will add them for you from acorss the web… If for no other reason that this you should claim and enhance your listingsNote: This is all subject to change
  • It is presented in a way that users can’t resist… BOLD red pins, high on the page… lots of user engagement
  • Google Maps is the Yellow Pages for the new milleniumThere is one other big difference -SALES
  • NO PEOPLE INVOVLEDThe desktop is not longer the only place where these listings are seen
  • Google acts like a huge vacuum cleaner
  • Traditionally Listings were assembled by human or human and computer DuplicatesWrong Information
  • You think of this as your listing. Google thinks of it as a search result. If they have data that they think is more current or more accurate than what you have given them, they will change. If a user reports you as closed they might close you…Vanessa said: "Google Places for business isn't technically an editing interface for the Place page, instead you're editing the data you are sending to the Place page. So the categories you plugged in were additive, not changing the existing categories."
  • Ranking well with Maps data means ranking well with the Universal Results Local OneBox but it also means ranking well in all of the data that Google is pushing outDemo the iPhoneVoice is one of the many ways that users will interact with Local going forward…Google has noted that 1 in 4 searches on Android are voice based, 1 in 7 on iPhone
  • Ranking well with Maps data means ranking well with the Universal Results Local OneBox but it also means ranking well in all of the data that Google is pushing outDemo the iPhoneVoice is one of the many ways that users will interact with Local going forward…Google has noted that 1 in 4 searches on Android are voice based, 1 in 7 on iPhone
  • Let me get into the meat of things… here is what I hoped to cover.Take a moment… any body have specific things that they would like to hear?Your goal in all of this is to give the machine consistent and enough data so that Google’s algo1)Get’s it right2)Views you as the most ProminentLocal search is all about Place and its prominence. Google is looking on line for proxies of offline measure of your visibilty
  • Not just a vacuum cleaner but an amplifier as well
  • Google offers several great big data toolsThe keyword Tool in Adwords – how many of you use adwords now? ---Take out an ad for a month or two and learn what people are really searching onBut Google, the big data company leaves you keyword clues all over the place…Some of which are not obvious
  • One of those the Related searches at the bottom of the main results page
  • - And the one I really like Google insightLong term trendsYour can drill down to a region like a state
  • Google offers several great big data toolsThe keyword Tool in Adwords – how many of you use adwords now? ---Take out an ad for a month or two and learn what people are really searching on---Look at the Search suggestions---Related Searches- And the one I really like Google insightSome of which are not obvious
  • Google is like a Kirby vacuum… it picks up everything.And it is an amplifierIt used to be said that 1 unhappy customer would tell 10Now that unhappy customer can tell thousands
  • Its all about PlaceLocal Business Center use Email at your domain & a trusted landline number if possible.Google Guidelines
  • Its all about PlaceLocal Business Center use Email at your domain & a trusted landline number if possible.Google Guidelines
  • Goal: Create a consistent view of your business so that there no Y’s in the matriixThis is particularly difficult if you have moved in the recent pastIn all of the online directories
  • Obviously everyone’s goal is to be #1
  • When the MAPS algo rolled out in 2005 it was all about location prominence.
  • The typical results were Map results integrated into the search results. Data was drawn from a different siloh
  • Google had the problem then and still has it… how do you rank every business in the world when some have full high signal internet presence and others perhaps a shoemaker in rural WNY or a car repair shop in Kazistan have none? The algo needed to accommodate a broad range of situation
  • Score of Website # of links referring to business Highest score of those links
  • RelevaIn the City being searched.
  • Vote for Your Business Prominence
  • Tracking citations over timeCategory analysis by KeyphraseCompetitive analysis
  • Tracking citations over timeCategory analysis by KeyphraseCompetitive analysis
  • Over time the obvious variables have changed somewhat an with the rollout of Places Search on October 26 and the vastly increase weight of traditional web ranking factors
  • One relatively constant was Reviews
  • 90% search online for nearbybusinesses via search engines
  • 70% trust reviews from StrangersA recent study showed that with it required a minimum of 6 Reviews for someone to have trust
  • 24 Percentage of Adults that say they have posted comments or reviews online about the product or services they buy,http://www.pewinternet.org/Press-Releases/2010/Online-Product-Research.aspx70% trust reviews from StrangersReality of reviews is there are two types of businessesOnes that have been reviewedThose that will be reviewedYou can either wait for the day when an angry customer rails on you or you can out in front and give your many happy customers a voice You have a choiceYou can either engage in the process or hide your head
  • David Mihms great slide on the local search ecosystmThe Review world is almost as equally chaotic! Beyond the main sites that provide feeds, Google also is scraping Rich Snippet structured data from smaller, vertical review sitesALSOGoogle is doing sentiment analysis and with frequently inaquarate results is surfacing “reviews wherever they find them” from news articles, blogs and owner websites that containg review sentimentThe industry itself is also in turmoil with first Yelp and now Tripadvisor getting in very public spats with Google over how and where reviews are shown
  • For a business, saying you will do something versus actually doing it, is a matter of the process being easy for employees and a required part of the internal procedures. This may require employee training and perhaps new procedures to be sure that the ask for reviews happens. Reviews are like traditional testimonials. If they all occurred last year or the year before both potential clients and the search engines are going to wonder what’s up. Putting your eggs in one basket is never a good strategy. For example Google has been known to periodically loose reviews from one source or another. It is also difficult to predict next year’s review site winner and the looser. Being in a range of places protects against both eventualities.
  • Any Review management process needs to makethe customers needs paramount to suceed
  • October 2010 Added Blended results
  • But location prominence was not the only ranking routine. …. Google also ranks by distance. They would normalize the two ranking schemes So in a typical search result you would see the top results ranked by prominence but the lower ranked ones by distance… this is still the case
  • Over time the obvious variables have changed somewhat an with the rollout of Places Search on October 2010 and the vastly increase weight of traditional web ranking factors. But to account for the fact that Google needed to rank both large national franchises AND small local business Google emphasized the authority of domain NOT page prominece…
  • Starting in October of 2010.. Google rolled out the Blended results. These results displayed content from the businesses website AND Place page
  • Starting in October of 2010.. Google rolled out the Blended results. These results displayed content from the businesses website AND Place page
  • October 2011
  • When the MAPS algo rolled out in 2005 it was all about location prominence.
  • But location prominence was not the only ranking routine. …. Google also ranks by distance. They would normalize the two ranking schemes So in a typical search result you would see the top results ranked by prominence but the lower ranked ones by distance… this is still the case
  • Over time the obvious variables have changed somewhat an with the rollout of Places Search on October 2010 and the vastly increase weight of traditional web ranking factors
  • When the MAPS algo rolled out in 2005 it was all about location prominence.
  • Mike Flow in and highlight just Places Search then flow in Domain Prominence and then Venice Over time the obvious variables have changed somewhat an with the rollout of Places Search on October 26 and the vastly increase weight of traditional web ranking factors In Mid January the Venice update cemented the role of your website in Places ranking.1- No more traditional Maps based 7-Packs2-Almost all results now blended (were 50-50 before03- Increased the use of the Plus Box4- Increase contextualization of Organic results – More long tail truly local
  • Localization down to the city level….
  • Google has nearly stopped show Map originated 7 Pack results… not completely Integrate a strong webpage admidst the previously unbroken blended results
  • Google has nearly stopped show Map originated 7 Pack results… not completely Integrate a strong webpage admidst the previously unbroken blended results
  • For a business, saying you will do something versus actually doing it, is a matter of the process being easy for employees and a required part of the internal procedures. This may require employee training and perhaps new procedures to be sure that the ask for reviews happens. Reviews are like traditional testimonials. If they all occurred last year or the year before both potential clients and the search engines are going to wonder what’s up. Putting your eggs in one basket is never a good strategy. For example Google has been known to periodically loose reviews from one source or another. It is also difficult to predict next year’s review site winner and the looser. Being in a range of places protects against both eventualities.
  • The move from Place to Web to Trusted Individual is obvious with this display… it requires a business to link their website and the Google Plus page via the Rich snippet rel=author
  • The move from Place to Web to Trusted Individual is obvious with this display… it requires a business to link their website and the Google Plus page via the Rich snippet rel=author
  • The move from Place to Web to Trusted Individual is obvious with this display… it requires a business to link their website and the Google Plus page via the Rich snippet rel=author
  • Originally introduced in Dec 2006, but hardly visible over the past 2 years has resurfaced…when Google isn’t show blended results the PlusBox is common It comes from the organic side of Google but requires STRONG signal (hcard, KML, Places page)
  • ProminenceTrust
  • Title: Taking Local to the next levelGoogle Places & the 7-pack
  • You need to be positioned to not miss that historical opportunity whenit occurs

Everything you Need to Know about Local Search and Google Places by Michael Blumenthal Everything you Need to Know about Local Search and Google Places by Michael Blumenthal Presentation Transcript

  • Mike Blumenthal, blumenthals.com/blogmike@blumenthals.com | Twitter: @mblumenthal
  • Choose a number thatrepresents your business.
  • it’s not your mother’s yellow pages
  • Comscore.com 03/12 | Google 03/10
  • Comscore.com 01/12 | Google 03/10
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  • Yellow PagesDifficulty: EasyCost: ExpensiveService: Phone & Rep Service Google PlacesDifficulty: More ComplicatedCost: FreeService: Do It Yourself
  • • Business Listings are Assembled by Computer• Listings Displayed Across Different Array of Devices and Technologies
  • Places Data1 Data2 LBC Dat Data2 Feed1 Feed2 Web1 Web2 User Dash. a1 EditsName YY X X X X X XAddress XX X X X Y YPhone YY X X X X X X XWeb X X XCategory XX X X XReviews X X X XGeoInfo X X XCitations X X XAdditionAdditional X X Xal DetailsDetails The “Cluster”
  • v Nearby Competitors
  • Listings display acrossdifferent array ofdevices
  • Listings display acrossdifferent array ofplatforms
  • • Before You Start• Establishing Trust• Providing A Baseline Presence• Enhancing Your Standing• Review Management
  • • Do keyword research.• Review business name & address (NAP)• READ THE GUIDELINES• Make sure that you provide excellent customer service.• Pick the right categories.• Write a great business description.• Gather Digital Assets.• CHECK FOR PROBLEMS
  • • Do keyword research –Adwords
  • • Do keyword research –Related Searches v
  • • Do keyword research – Suggested Terms
  • • Do keyword research.
  • • Do keyword research – Google Insights
  • • Review business name & address (NAP) • One name • One Phone Number • Every Place off-line and on • Check Map accuracy
  • • READ THE GUIDELINES
  • •Provide Excellent Customer Service
  • • Pick the right categories.• Write a great business description.• Gather Digital Assets.• CHECK FOR PROBLEMS
  • NAP Audit – Getlisted.org
  • • Have your contact information on every page of your website.• Include Your Business Name on Landing Page, Title & Meta Description.• Whois Domain Record Visible (Not Private)• Add a KML Sitemap or hCard info.
  • • Claim Your Record in the Places Dashboard (with email @yourdomain) WWW. Google.com/Places/
  • NAP+W – Consistent name, address,phone & website on: • Legal Documents • Phone Directories • Update Your Listing W/ Google’s Primary Providers - Localeze, infoUSA & Axciom (via Getlisted.org)
  • Claim listings from the principalsecondary data suppliers/sites: • Yahoo, Bing, Yelp, SuperPages • Claim Industry Specific Directories -Avvo etc. • (HotFrog, YellowBot, Kudzu) • Note: You claim it. You own it.
  • Increase your Relevance & Prominence v
  • (2006-2010)
  • •Score of Highest Citation •• Proximity LP Score of Website• Business Name # Of Links on Business Name•• Business Category• Content Total # of Web Pages (Citations) Geo References Reviews Total # of review sites Mentions in Info Docs Legitimacy & Location Trust Local Business Center Primary & Secondary Data Providers KML Sitemap, Bulk Upload, Whois, Phone Verification
  • •Score of Highest Citation • LP Score of Website # Of Links on Business Name • Total # of Web Pages (Citations) Geo References Reviews Total # of review sitesMentions in Info Docs
  • • Reviews• Citations w/Links on Business Name OrKeyphrase
  • Business Name Or NumberPhone Number Address Link
  • (In order of importance) Barbara Oliver and Co Jewelry 5820 Main Street Suite 311 In a Directory: Williamsville, NY 14221 (716) 204-1297 v Barbara Oliver & Co Jewelry was In a newspaper great helping me find anarticle or blog post: engagement ring for my fiancée. Give her a call at 716-204-1297
  • (In order of importance)Barbara Oliver and Co Jewelry - 5820 Main Street Suite 311 -Williamsville, NY 14221-5776 - (716) 204-1297Barbara Oliver and Co Jewelry 5820 Main Street Suite 311 -Williamsville, NY vBarbara Oliver and Co Jewelry (716) 204-1297Barbara Oliver and Co Jewelry is offering a class this weekendon evaluating diamonds. To register call 716-204-1297
  • (In order of importance)Barbara Oliver and Co. Jewelry, call (716) 204-1297 for anappointment with Buffalos best jeweler vBarbara Oliver and Co. Jewelry, 5820 Main Street Suite 311-Williamsville, NY 14221, your source for custom jewelry in Buffalo
  • • Boards you volunteer on• Donations to charity• Chamber of Commerce• Mine Existing Links• Find New Citations
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  • Score of Website• Within Geo-Area # of links referring to business• Business Name Highest score of those links• Business Category Popularity of User Maps• Content• Anchor Text Total # of Web in Citations Page (Citations) Geo References & Reviews Legitimacy & Location Trust Local Business Center Primary & Secondary Data Providers KML Sitemap, Bulk Upload, Whois, Phone Verification
  • Total # of Web Page (Citations)Geo References &Reviews
  • Where Information is Sought Across All Areas of Interest in Different Age Groups 54.5 43.5 16-34 3 35-552.5 55+ 21.5 1Already Know-Would Not Ask Anyone With Online FriendsReviews Online-Google, Yelp, CitySearch, Friends and Co-workers Check Read Merchant Check With Closest etc. Places Information Is Obtained
  • Sources: eMarketer
  • Sources: Neilson 2009Harvard Business Review 2008
  • Pew Internet Research 9/10
  • (10/2010-1/2012)
  • Score of Website •• Within Geo-Area # of links referring to business •• Business Name Highest score of those links •• Business Category Domain Prominence • Places Search• Content• Anchor Text Total # of Web in Citations Page (Citations) Geo References & Reviews Legitimacy & Location Trust Local Business Center Primary & Secondary Data Providers KML Sitemap, Bulk Upload, Whois, Phone Verification
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  • vBarbaraoliver.com/testimonials
  • (Jan 26-2012)
  • Score of Website •• Within Geo-Area # of links referring to business •• Business Name Highest score of those links •• Business Category Domain Prominence •• Content More Blended results Venice •• Anchor Text Total # of Web in Citations Page (Citations) Geo References & Reviews Legitimacy & Location Trust Personal Authority Venice & Rich Local Business Center Primary & Secondary Data ProvidersSnippet Integration KML Sitemap, Bulk Upload, Whois, Phone Verification
  • “Improvements to ranking for local searchresults. [launch codename “Venice”] Thisimprovement improves the triggering of LocalUniversal results by relying more on theranking of our main search results as a signal."Improved local results. We launched a newsystem to find results from a user’s city morereliably. Now we’re better able to detectwhen both queries and documents are localto the user."
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  • 1- Create a link to your Google+ profile from your webpage, like this:<a href="https://plus.google.com/109412257237874861202? rel=author">Google</a>2- Add a reciprocal link back from your profile to the site(s) you just updated.Edit the Add custom link, and then enter the website URL.
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  • Mike Blumenthal, blumenthals.com/blogmike@blumenthals.com | Twitter: @mblumenthal