Local Search Experts say Local Factors haven’t changed much

I made this image to illustrate computing the ...

I made this image to illustrate computing the centroid of an object. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

2012 Local Search Ranking Factors is out find it here: http://www.davidmihm.com/local-search-ranking-factors.shtml

David Mihm’s initial reaction:

http://www.davidmihm.com/blog/google/local-search-ranking-factors/comment-page-1/
Many of the fundamentals have not changed.
It’s still important to:

  1. Have an address in the city that’s being searched
  2. Associate your business with complete and proper categories.
  3. Have an address close to the Centroid (sad to say)
  4. Ensure your data is accurate and complete across the Local Ecosystem–especially on authoritative citation sources
  5. Work on getting your customers to review you at the new Google +Local

All five of those factors were rated in the top ten way back in the first instance of the survey in 2008, as well as this year.

My Comment:

Sad, but true… the fundamentals of local SEO have not really changed much. In fact, I often feel that so many people are missing how heavily weighted those fundamentals are. Thanks again for doing this. I know it’s a lot of work. Your efforts are appreciated.

 

There is some relief in that Google’s Local hasn’t changed much, but they have made great improvements. Remember the days when all you had to do was claim a business page and within an hour you ranked?

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SEO Pest Control and Ethics

Inspired by http://joehall.me/seo-outing-is-immoral/
12-01 Bsktbll - WCS Crusaders vs BMR Chargers ...

FOUL PLAY!!!!!!!!! (Photo credit: gus_estrella)

Per a SEOmoz survey, those that participate in black hat tactics are more likely to report others that do the same. And Joe Hall calls “SEO Out-ing Immoral”. Actually entertaining in that they are both arguing nearly the same thing, if the surveys are correct. If black hat is immoral and those that do it are most likely reporting others for doing it then the black hatters are both immoral for practicing in link building and then immorally reporting on others doing the same thing. But really, to me, it just pest control.

And around and around they go… It’s actually a good read especially all the commentary.

Here is my comment

Funny, a friendly competitor of mine appeared to spamming twitter, I notified him about the obvious spam tweets as a bit of heads up. He replied letting me know that he had actually requested BMR to remove all of the links a client had acquired through them. We laughed and I let it go. A few days after that BMR was deindexed. In my opinion, this pattern alone, tweet out every article as it was updated, was a very clear signal. In a single day with one single twitter string I could have exposed a good portion of their network and I am just a pest control guy. I am sorry, but I don’t believe that anyone outed BMR here. A lot people speed down the highway. If you are going faster than everyone else on the internet super highway and fly by that one traffic cop you are going to get ticketed.

 

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Gowalla the location checkin service is retiring

Gowalla pins

Gowalla pins (Photo credit: sermoa)

Official news from SXSW comes out that Gowalla is shut down. You can read more about it here: http://mashable.com/2012/03/11/gowalla-shuts-down/

My Comment:

“I am really sad to see Gowalla swallowed up by the mass of facebook. I liked gowalla. But sadly, I don’t think there will be many that can compete in the social checkin arena. Even with adoption in facebook and Google+, social check-ins is far from mainstream, and Foursquare has it under wraps.”

There have been a few that have jumped into the social check-in arena. Gowalla was actually the only service that I believed could rival Foursquare. But Foursquare gained public buy-in from celebrities and others. Some how Foursquare became the cool kid in the check-in world. The few that remain have their own niches and will stay strong. Yelp.com has a check-in service and it’s devote following of Yelpers. Facebook, having bought Gowalla will continue to improve and… well it’s facebook, the king of social media. Google+ has SEO and marketing buy-in, but outside the geek/tech world, I don’t believe Google+ will gain much ground in the social check-in field.

Other pay contenders will most likely continue to drop off the map. Sorry,”My Town”, while I liked your game play the best, the sell out to sponsors made it unattractive to the masses.

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SMX West – Recap by Speaker Aaron Friedman

SMX West was a great experience. And I agree with Aaron Friedman, If you are in the marketing world then “You should have been there.”

You can read Aaron’s recap here: http://digitalhighrise.com/smx-west-2012-why-it-was-awesome

My Comment:

“Great recap. Amazing to hear about your experience and the sessions you enjoyed. Sadly, I missed a lot of your sessions, and I still walked away loving it! Most note worthy here, and your underlining theme, is all the smart people you got to meet and hang out with. Those one on one opportunities offer some of the best advice and tips you will ever find. Perhaps next time you and I can share a table. =)”

All and All a solid event this year for SMX.

You can find photos of the even here: SMX West Photos

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If you run from your data then you are running from your job

Here is a post of mine found on Search Engine Journal: http://www.searchenginejournal.com/what-marketers-can-learn-from-proctor-and-gamble-and-old-spice-sem/39607/

Procter and Gamble (NYSE:PG) made headlines with their recent cuts and pending layoffs. The reports have P&G cutting their marketing and 1,600 workers.

 

NEW YORK - SEPTEMBER 22: Bob McDonald (C), Cha...

Image by Getty Images via @daylife

Per the CEO Robert McDonald, “As we’ve said historically, the 9% to 11% range [for advertising as a percentage of sales] has been what we have spent… In the digital space, with things like Facebook and Google and others, we find that the return on investment of the advertising, when properly designed, when the big idea is there, can be much more efficient. One example is our Old Spice campaign, where we had 1.8 billion free impressions”

 

Old Spice and it’s social media marketing make the cut. Google makes the cut. Facebook makes the cut. But some of the marketing team is getting cut. Marketers take note. “In God we trust… All others must bring data.”

The Marketing Spend Debate

Winston Churchill (1874 – 1965) English: Winst...

Image via Wikipedia

The marketing conundrum is always in the cost/benefit or ROI equation. The problem much marketing faces is the hard numbers. When looking at cutting marketing dollars, Henry Ford is often quoted with “A man who stops advertising to save money is like a man who stops a clock to save time.” But on the return banter you have “You can’t spend your way to prosperity”, “We contend that for a nation to try to tax itself into prosperity is like a man standing in a bucket and trying to lift himself up by the handle.”, by Sir Winston Churchill.

Both views are valid. The real question to be determined here is whether marketing is an expense.

Is Marketing an Expense or an Investment?

On the company’s accountant driven spreadsheets and cash flow, marketing is an expense. They only see the outgoing money. The equation disconnects marketing expense with incoming profits. The equation only looks at total cost and total revenues. What catches me off guard is the admission of the CEO in that P&G’s budget is 9% to 11% of sales. This may help keep a tight ship, but what if the marketing isn’t the weak link? What if research and development isn’t pulling it’s 10%?

I hate to use Henry Ford’s example, as advertising is only a small part of the marketing equation, but Ford gets it. Marketing is an investment. If monitored properly then you have a return on your investment. When you know that $1000 spent on a marketing weapon brings back $2000 then marketing stops appearing as an expense. The portion of Proctor and Gamble’s marketing team that is getting cut did it wrong. They failed to show good numbers.

Online Marketing Carries Proof

The advantage that marketing is gaining online is that there are now real numbers to be shown. For Old Spice, it was 1.8 billion impressions. The CEO says it was a well thought out plan. Online marketers need to plan it out. Monitor it. Show numbers. Show that the marketing is worth its weight in gold. And if the marketing efforts are carrying their weight then learn to help identify the areas that are not. The closer a marketing team can anchor its numbers to an actual increase in revenues the better.

I am encouraged by the fact that the Procter and Gamble CEO took note of the social media campaign. I find his comments about Facebook and Google as more efficient and take stock in the fact that some internet marketer is passing up the data and the CEO is hearing it. My note to marketers everywhere, If you run from your data then you are running from your job.

Author: Thomas Ballantyne III, Director of Marketing for Bulwark Exterminating.

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