This Week in Search for 9/17/09

Posted by Sam Niccolls


Walter CronkiteIn a week that saw a State Representative heckle an American President and a rapper steal the stage from a 19 year old girl, it was difficult to differentiate the U.S. Congress from British Parliament or the red carpet from a wrestling ring. And though Joe Wilson and Kanye West may have each disoriented millions, the confusion caused by their outbursts pales in comparison to the confusion many small business owners have over how to rank on Google Local.

From lawyers to restaurant owners, few understand how local search is fundamentally different from organic search. So given the number of recent questions I have received about Google Local, I thought I would share a short list of local search resources to help propel your listing into the 10-pack and keep you from complaining like Kanye.

 6 Google Local Resources to Keep you Quieter than Kanye:

1. Basic Google Maps User Guide (Google Maps Help) 

2. Google Local Ranking factors (David Mihm)

3. Local Search Glossary (Bill Slawski)

4. Top Google Local Data Providers  (David Mihm)

5. How to Create a KML Sitemap (Martijn Beijk)  

6. Common Problems with Google Local (Mike Blumenthal)

Five Thumbs

  • New Google Parameter Handling:
    Google Webmaster Tools now lets webmasters pick up to 15 parameters for Google to ignore when crawling and indexing a site. In her Search Engine Land post, Vanessa Fox discusses the pros and cons of the new feature and talks about other methods of eliminating duplicate content.
  • Intuit Acquires Mint for $170 Million:
    CEO Aaron Payzer gets minted and Intuit gains access to the Mountain View based startups’ wealth of personal finance data. In related news, Mint alerts informed Intuit senior management that they have exceeded their acquisition budget for week.

Four Thumbs

  • Email, Interactive, & Search Strong Amidst Downturn: As media budgets continue to shift, the move toward digital is becoming increasingly pronounced. According to eMarketer’s survey, search is one of only three media channels to see more marketers increase rather than decrease spend in 2009.

Three Thumbs

  • Low Fidelity Prototyping:
    Having graduated from college at the age of fourteen, Andrew Chen is the closest thing Web Analytics has to Doogie Howser. In his most recent post, the Silicon Valley prodigy outlines the advantages of creating quick and dirty design prototypes.
  • Calls to Action: Does size matter?:
    In a post about button size, Linda Bustos proposes some ways to optimize checkout buttons and shares a handful of useful testing resources for Google Website Optimizer, which includes help guides and a nifty WordPress Plugin.
  • Ways SEO Supports Strategic Marketing:
    In a post that adds SEO to a host of traditional marketing acronyms, Living Online provides several marketing strategy takeaways that are applicable well beyond their home base of Perth, Australia.

Two Thumbs

  • Seth Godin: Flipping Abundance and Scarcity:
    Free can be fatal on top of a successful business model, but successful companies find ways to flip the model. In his short post, Godin talks about how abundance can create scarcity and underscores the importance of understanding free in an increasingly digital world.
  • Avinash Kaushik Announces 2nd Book Release:
    If you liked Web Analytics an Hour a Day, Avinash’s new book, Web Analytics 2.0 is on pre release and is slated to come out in mid-October. And for those looking to do more good than just decreasing bounce rates, all book proceeds will be donated to charity.
  • I Can Have Cheese Burger:
    The un-newsworthy, flash-based, yet oddly viral site from the Wisconsin Milk Marketing Board is worth mentioning for no reason whatsoever. That said, it is a site about cheese burgers and it does offer a mouthwatering alternative to stupid cat pictures.

Rocking on YOUmoz

YOUmoz is keeping its great stride and there were a number of great posts this week. These were the top post of the week!

  1. SEO – Only Half the Battle by rorycarlyle
  2. A Small Business Perspective of SEO by Data Entry Services
  3. SEO Ranking Factors – Pros vs. Joes by Netvantage
  4. SEO and Copywriting Can Be a Real Workout by jf3ig

From Jen: Thanks for all the great submissions, keep them rolling in! We’re trying to post two YOUmoz entries per day. It can take up to a week or two for your post to go live, if you have questions, feel free to contact me.


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  5. Whiteboard Friday – SEO for Local Search

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