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December 16, 2010

Google’s Local Search Algorithm and Rankings

Google Tags

Google recently released a video explaining how its local search rankings work. I mean, Google would never really tell you everything, but the video gives some highlights and maybe even clues. But beyond the ranking factors Google talks about, local search has its own algorithm. In this post, we’ll go over some of the factors Google highlights, then next week, I’ll reveal research and dive further into other factors that might affect the rankings and give insight into the local search algorithm.

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December 15, 2010

Local Search Tips and Bunnies – SEM Synergy Extras

SEM Synergy

You might ask what local search and bunnies have to do with each other. Well, the answer is “nothing,” unless you’re searching for them locally. However, they do both tie into today’s SEM Synergy, because after poking around MySpace due to my interview with Tony Adam, I found a boatload of user-generated videos, one of which happened to be cute baby bunnies in cups. Stick around because I promise later in the post we’re talking some important local stuff like keyword selection and PPC campaigns.

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December 14, 2010

Google Places Business Kits Make Local Really Local


I’m kind of a big deal. Why? Because Google took my recommendation to create a way for businesses to market with Hotpot. OK, OK … maybe it’s been in the works for a long time, but the fact that the Google Places Business Kits were announced a mere 15 days after I wrote the post “Hotpot: Hot Tips for Businesses,” telling Google my idea – well, I’ll just assume they heard me. If you want more million-dollar ideas read on.

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November 24, 2010

Hotpot: Hot Tips for Businesses

lfy - pot of beans

By now, you have probably heard about Google Hotpot. If you haven’t, here’s a simple explanation: it allows users to rate local places they’ve been to and receive customized recommendations from Google based on those reviews. And while it’s really focused on creating a great experience for the user, I believe some key takeaways for businesses are:

1) If your local listings aren’t up to par, you’re in trouble.
2) The social wave continues to affect rankings and conversions.
3) Consumer and competitive research can be a part of the Hotpot experience.

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November 11, 2010

Should Search be Renamed?

Search Name

Developments in the past year are rapidly progressing to redefine the concept of search. And in fact, I believe the term “search” will soon be outdated. You’re not just searching anymore; you’re being found. Information is served up to you without even having to dig for it, based on things like your location, your behavior, your intent, your social networks, you. Search is about making your experience more personal and relevant, and it will continue to do so.

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November 4, 2010

Google Local – big changes

Google has recently rolled out an update which changes the face of Local Search and search engine optimisation professionals everywhere are likely to feel the effects. Not all forms of local searches are affected and the affected ones are to different degrees. For example, a search for Sydney banks results in a standard 7 pack […]

September 1, 2010

LocalPack Covers Local SEO Bases

localpack local seo service

As if there aren’t enough obstacles for the underdog, strong brands received a boost in Google SERPs this week. The algorithm update that presents up to seven results from the same domain within a search results page was a topic of discussion during today’s SEM Synergy. And so were those challenged by the update — small brands and businesses who may fall out of SERPs as Google favors big brand domains.

Also taxing small and local businesses is the decreased click-through traffic that results from a Google SERP with a local one-pack. In a thread on Webmaster World, webmasters compare their experiences with local one-box traffic, in one instance reporting a 19-25% CTR from a one-box and a 37-40% CTR from straight Web results (in position one for both scenarios).

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May 19, 2010

Small Business SEO — SEM Synergy Extras

many keys

On today’s SEM Synergy, our weekly show on, we look at unique challenges and opportunities of SEO for small business. Small businesses are often more nimble than large organizations, and are able to institute SEO initiatives without worrying about red tape. And small businesses often have unique linking opportunities available to them, such as their local Chamber of Commerce site or through partnerships developed with other area businesses.

While small businesses are sometimes poised to move up search rankings thanks to dexterity and cultivated relationships, they may also be faced with challenges such as a smaller budget to devote to marketing costs and a lack of man-hours to gain necessary education or manage SEO initiatives.

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February 17, 2010

Turning On the Lights – SEM Synergy Extras

When I found a to-die-for pizzeria hiding in plain sight across the street from my apartment building, it was bittersweet. Obviously, first-class New York style pizza in my backyard is a total win. But at the same time, I was bummed that Tony’s Pizza wasn’t showing up on the online search radar.

Just last week Paula was lamenting the loss of a printer in the area that had closed its doors. For years the company relied on word-of mouth advertising, which flourished thanks to friendly staff and competitive prices. Unfortunately, the company had some serious SEO issues — they’d claimed no local listings and had an all-Flash site. For all they were doing right in the store, the boat couldn’t stay afloat during last year’s economic storm.

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December 28, 2009

Best of Search Conferences 2009: The Agenda

Continuing our tradition, the third annual Best of Search Conferences 2009 is upon us. Over the last year there were five search engine marketing conferences that Bruce Clay, Inc. covered live on the blog, including SMX West, SES New York, SES San Jose, SMX East and SES Chicago. In the Best of Search Conferences 2009, you’ll find the most popular liveblog coverage from those five shows, as well as some other special posts and features.

Search marketer Marty Weintraub, founder and president of aimClear, guest posted on the blog, sharing his takeaways from PubCon Las Vegas 2009. You’ll also find BCI’s director of Eastern region operations, Christopher Hart, sum up his presentation from IM Spring Break. Plus, you can close out each day of the Best of Search Con by kicking back with a podcast of live broadcasts from search conferences this year. Here’s the agenda of what will be presented during this year’s Best of Search Conferences, coming to the blog all this week. Enjoy! And happy holidays!

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