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Local Articles

Businesses Benefit as Customers Share Current Locations
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Is the world really ready for geo-location? That’s a question that a lot of companies are answering with a resounding "yes." The rise of smartphones has led to a variety of businesses looking to cash in on your whereabouts. Smartphone users have their devices on them all day long, wherever they go. Naturally, these companies can find ways to capitalize on this.

Twitter Launches Local Trends for Everyone
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For a week or so, some Twitter users have been seeing a new feature called Local Trends. This feature shows users things that are being heavily talked about at the city and state levels. Twitter has now announced that the feature is live for all users.

Google Makes it Harder to Hide from a Bad Reputation
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Google is now including reviews from more sources on its Place Pages for businesses. They’re no longer coming from just review sites. They’re coming from news sites, blogs, and more.

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.

Google Simplifies Finding Nearby Businesses from Your Phone
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Google has released what is called the "Near me Now" feature for the iPhone and Android browser. The feature shows nearby businesses by category based on the user’s location.

Bing Gets a Bunch of New Search Features
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Update: According to Bing, all of the features that were announced are now live. However, they do not appear to be live yet for me. I am guessing they will be soon at least.

Yelp Not Being Acquired by Google

Update: Reports now say that Yelp has backed out of the deal.

Original Article: Multiple reports say that Google is in negotiations to acquire Yelp, a site that caters to reviews of local businesses. Mike Arrington claims to have confirmed this with "multiple sources," and says the price is at least $500 million.

Twitterers in the UK Can Now Easily Find Locals
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Twitterers in the United Kingdom, Ireland, the Isle of Man, and the Channel Islands will be happy to know that TwellowHood, the Twellow feature that allows Twitterers to connect with people in their own area, is now available in these areas. Until now, it has only been available in the US, Canada, and Australia.

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.

Americans’ Social Media Habits Highlight Business Potential

Euro RSCG released some interesting findings from a study exploring the different ways Americans are using social media to "redefine their lives." The study looked at 1,228 social media users in the United States.

Twitter Makes Geotagging Tweets Possible

Back in the summer, Twitter announced that it was working on an API to give developers the ability to geotag tweets. The company has now made that available.

There is no geotagging on Twitter.com yet, but Twitter apps will now be able to support it. So potentially, you will be able to geotag tweets and show the location from where you tweeted.

10% of Display Ads in Major US Markets Locally Targeted

comScore has released the results of a study on locally targeted online display ads in the US, which focused on four major markets: Atlanta, Chicago, San Francisco, and Washington D.C. In these areas, the results indicate that about 10% of all display ads are locally targeted.

"Locally targeted ads are an increasingly important component of the digital ad landscape because they represent a more efficient allocation of ad dollars," said comScore vice president Brian Jurutka. Here’s a look at some additional numbers:

Local Search Usage Gains Slightly
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The number of U.S. searches grew 31 percent across all media platforms between June 2008 and June 2009 (21.9 billion searches in June 2009), according to a new study by TMP Directional Marketing.

Search engines continue to be the main source for local business information. Local search sites increased slightly in usage, from 11 percent in 2008 to 12 percent in 2009. Also Internet yellow page sites gained ground as primary sources of local business information, from 19 percent usage last year to 21 percent this year.

Google Gives Local Businesses New Way to Advertise
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Google has introduced a new type of ad for local businesses called Local Listing Ads. They are designed to display when users search for a business in its local area. Google says it’s the easiest way to advertise your business to local customers on Google, because they require no maintenance. 

Will Google Eliminate the Need for Small Business Websites?
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Google has people riled up with its latest local search effort Google Place Pages. Place Pages are a Google Maps feature launched last week, which serve the purpose of providing everything you want to know about a place (a city or a business) in one spot. For example, if you search for a specific restaurant, you should get web pages, directions, reviews, images, street view imagery, business hours, etc. Google lets businesses submit specific categories they want to include.

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.