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Local Search Articles

MerchantCircle, Demand Media Provide New Local Search Opportunities
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MerchantCircle, a social network for local businesses, which boasts over a million businesses, announced an expanded partnership with Demand Media. I spoke with Darren Waddell, VP of marketing for MerchantCircle and Sean Pate, the company’s Director of PR about this and some other news.

Google Maps Gets More Useful on BlackBerry

Google introduced a new version of Google Maps for BlackBerry devices today. There are quite a few significant features that come along with it.

YellowPages.com Rebranded as YP.com
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In local search news, AT&T Interactive has rebranding its popular YellowPages.com to YP.com. AT&T’s Jamie Carracher tells WebProNews, "YP.com will replace YellowPages.com as its flagship web property and brand."

This was actually revealed last summer, but is now being implemented.

Why MapQuest Should Be Considered in Your Local Marketing Mix
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I don’t think too many people will dispute the fact that location is buzz topic of 2010 so far within the online marketing industry. Big players in this space include Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Facebook (soon), and of course Google.

As reported earlier this week, Google noted that a third of its searches via the mobile web pertain to some aspect of the searcher’s local environment, and that they think of location as a "hugely important signal".

Citysearch Has New Way for Local Businesses to Advertise
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Citysearch recently announced a set of APIs to make all of Citysearch’s local listings content and advertising available to other Websites and mobile apps. It’s called CityGrid. Today, the company announced an online advertising solution called CityGrid Complete, as an extension of that.

Bing Talks Local Business Listings
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In case you missed it, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at SMX West in Santa Clara yesterday, addressing the search marketing industry for the first time (you can watch that at our new site live.webpronews.com). Obviously, much of the conversation was centered around Bing.

AlikeList Points Customers to Local Businesses Their Friends Like
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As we’ve written about a lot lately, local search is continuing to evolve, and that evolution is not just coming from the biggest names in search. We recently had a discussion with RateItAll President Lawrence Coburn about user location-sharing as  new kind of query that can yield local business results. ChaCha is bringing in Q&A to local search.

Local Business Search as Q&A

Human-driven Q&A search service ChaCha launched some new functionality this week for local businesses. Now users can access information about over 15 million businesses in the U.S., courtesy of partner Localeze.ChaCha spoke with WebProNews about why the company considers itself a legitimate contender in the ever-growing local search space.

Why Even Local Search is Becoming More Real-Time

As the web quickly becomes more mobile and social than ever, we see apps filling voids that were mostly left empty throughout the history of search and social media. People are increasingly sharing their locations with their friends, certain apps, certain sites, and even the world.

Google Suggests Competitors for Local Business Searches
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Google is offering suggestions for "nearby places you might like" on Google Maps when you look up a place that you do like. So if you like a particular bakery, you might be presented with other places within the same vicinity that Google thinks you might also be interested in trying.

Bing Gets Localeze To Augment Local Biz Listings
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Thanks to a new deal, Bing’s results for local businesses should soon get much better.  A report’s indicated that Localeze, which specializes in local search, is going to provide something like 14 million business listings for Bing Local and Bing 411 to use.

Google Ditches Local Listings for SEOs and Designers
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As 2009 came to a close, Google managed to get SEOs riled up for one last controversial topic. For some time, SEOs and web designers have been noticing that Google has not been showing local listings in search results for queries related to their businesses – even location-specific ones.

Should SEOs and designers be worried about local listings?
Comment here.

Google Tailors Mobile Search Suggestions to Location
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Google has launched search suggestions based on geographical location for iPhone and Android devices. This is currently only available in the United States.

"Typing a query into the search box on a phone can often be slow and difficult," says Google’s Mobile Engineering Team. "For this reason, relevant search suggestions that match your intended query can meaningfully reduce the time and effort it takes to submit a search."

Google’s Place Pages Just Got More Useful
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Google has introduced some new features for its recently launched Place Pages for local businesses. Most notably, businesses can now instantly (close anyway) post data to their Place Pages from Google’s Local Business Center dashboard. If you log in, you can post updates, coupons, announcements, etc. that will go live in minutes.

Yahoo Aims For Better Local Business Results
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Yahoo’s got something to offer people who are tired of typing cities’ names and zip codes into search boxes.  Today, the company announced improved local business results that will allow users to find nearby places without first providing tons of details.

Verify Your Place Page in Google’s Local Search Results
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When you find a business on Google Maps and click "more info", you will be taken to that business’ "Place Page." These are the pages that Google introduced a while back that essentially gather content related to that particular business in one place. One might find photos, coupons, reviews, etc. on the Place Page.

Google Adds Place Pages to Google Earth

Google has started including Place Pages in Google Earth. Place Pages are the pages that Google sets up for places and businesses that have been accessible via Google Maps for a little while. They incorporate photos, videos, reviews and other content about that particular business or place, into one spot.

Google Comes to Brick and Mortar Store Windows
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In a recent article, we discussed ways the local search landscape is changing. Add another one to the list, because now Google is sending brick and mortar businesses decals to put on their windows, with barcodes that people can scan with their phones to bring up business listings on Google.

Critical Local Search Factors To Pay Attention To
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Local search is only one sliver of the search marketing game, but it is an increasingly important one, and one that is changing rapidly. These days people are going to the web to find local businesses, sometimes more than even the phone book. Having a presence in local search is imperative for any small business, but just as imperative is being able to compete for visibility.

Google Revamps Mobile Local Search Experience
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Google has launched a new version of local search for mobile. This version heavily utilizes Google Maps to make organization of results easier on your phone.

The new local search for mobile lets you find business listings on Google Maps while you’re on your computer, where you can "star" them. Once you star them, you can easily find your starred listings grouped together from your phone, making it easy to keep the listings you need while you’re out, together. This can potentially make errand running a lot easier, as demonstrated in the video below.

Google Now Identifying Businesses in Street View
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Google has now made it easier to view businesses in Street View on Google Maps. When a user conducts a local search, the bubble that pops up on business results will show a Street View link.

Users can click on that link and see the business marked with a 3D marker in Street View, just like the one you’d find on the map. When you click the marker, details about the business are shown right within Street View.