My History with Local Search



-October 31: Release long-awaited 3rd edition of my free guide to local SEO. The 2nd edition was 58 pages long. The 3rd edition is one page.

-September 12: Name a Google algorithm update: Possum. When Google doesn’t officially name an update, often SEOs settle on a name (so we have something to call it). Somehow my goofy name stuck, though Google may replace it with an official name.

-August 25: Speak at the Brandify Summit in LA. (Slides here.)

-July 16: Retire my “Done-for-You” service – the 3-month “package”-type service I’d offered for 5 years. As local SEO gets more and more involved, it’s become more necessary to work on it longer-term.


-September 15: Contribute to the Local Search Ranking Factors survey for the 4th year.

-July 22: Begin offering my ongoing services publicly on this site.  (Previously “off the menu” and available only to old and current clients.)

-July 1: Hire my excellent assistant, Danielle Owens.

-March 25: Speak at MN Search in Minneapolis (View my slides or watch the video of my talk.)


-November 17: Speak at State of Search in Dallas. (Check out my presentation.)

-November 7: Publish my 200th post on this blog.

-October 13: Contribute to the Local Search Ranking Factors study, in my 3rd year as a contributor.

-October 1: Speak at SMX East in New York City.

-April 2: Soft launch of LocalSpark, a joint-venture with Whitespark.

-February 6: Become an “Elite” Yelp reviewer for the first time (after only 29 reviews) – the result of a little review-writing experiment I embarked on in 2013.

-January 28: Speak at the Worcester Web Marketers meet-up – my first local “local” talk.

 -January 21: Five Stars: The Smart Business Guide to Online Reviews is published.  (I served as technical editor.)

-January 5: Join the Local U forum as a moderator, a few days before its launch.


-December 20: Voted 2nd place in “Best Local Search Blogs 2013” industry survey by BrightLocal.

-November 20: Release the 2nd edition of my free guide to local visibility – almost exactly 2 1/2 years after I released the 1st edition.

-October 26: Co-found the Local Search Google+ community with Max Minzer – as a moderator and member #2.

-August 5: Contribute for the 2nd time to the annual Local Search Ranking Factors study.

-June 4: Publish my 100th post on this blog.

-March 12: Speak at SMX West on “Must Have Local Search Tactics” panel.  (Check out my presentation.)  First speaking gig.

-February 27: Feature first-ever guest post (and the only one so far) on this blog.

-January 30: Become a Top Contributor at Linda Buquet’s Local Search Forum.


-September: Named a Trusted Company ( later acquired GetListed, at which point I became a Moz Recommended Local Company.)

-July 16:  Nominated for the 2012 Small Business Influencer award under the “Experts” category.

-June:  David Mihm’s annual “Local Search Ranking Factors” study released; I have the honor of being one of 41 contributors.

-May:  Debut my Local Visibility X-Ray service.

-April:  The number of new clients I’ve acquired in 2012 alone equals the number of clients I acquired in the entire year of 2011.

-February:  First guest post: “How to Pimp Your Google Places Listing.”  My biggest hit to that point.


-October:  Finally begin using Twitter.  First blog post to be featured in SearchEngineLand’s daily SearchCap email.

-September: Offer the first version of my Google Plus review handout on my website.  Publish the “Definitive Citations List.”

-July:  My first “big” blog post: the “1st Annual Google Places Freak Show.”  First mention in Matt McGee’s monthly “Best Search Marketing Posts” roundup.  I launch my charitable “Visibility for Veterans” program.

-June 1:  Launch of the new-and-improved  I give my kit (the local SEO infoproduct I’d sold since 2009) the 21-gun salute.  Begin offering my Done-for-You service to the general public.  Long-time clients and email subscribers become the first readers of my blog.  This day proves to be the rebirth of my business.

-May:  Announce to my clients and email readers that I’ll be revamping my entire site.  Start and complete the 1st edition of my free guide, and build my new site (using the Genesis framework for WordPress).

-March:  Final sale of the Local Visibility System kit.

-February:  Complete work for my first “Done-for-You” client (who went on to have a record year of profits for his company).


-December:  Begin work for first “Done-for-You” client – a service I initially only offer to people on my email list who inquire about it.

-October:  Have a one-hour consultation with Howie Jacobson (perhaps the best money I’ve ever spent).  Stopped advertising on Google AdWords.  Begin planning the “new”, which would be centered around a blog.  Daunted, but excited.

-May-September:  Add materials to the kit.  Work closely with a handful of my buyers/clients on further local SEO projects.  Read everything about local search that I can get my hands on.

-April: Google Local Business Center becomes Google Places – an event that I capitalize on with a bunch of strategically-placed AdWords ads, leading to a meager bump in sales.


-October:  First sale of the Local Visibility System kit – shipped to sunny San Diego, CA.

-September 3: goes live.  First trickle of subscribers to my email list.  Only traffic comes from AdWords ads and (!).

-August:  Complete the Local Visibility System kit.

-June:  Read David Mihm’s Local Search Ranking Factors (Vol. 2) for the first time.


-December:  Start building what would become the “Local Visibility System kit” – a $300 collection of reports that showed business owners step-by-step how to improve their rankings in the “Google Local Business Center”

-July 6:  My first-ever piece on local search appears in The Sun Chronicle – the local newspaper.


– Not much happening between me and local search yet.  Still in college – studying Japanese language and literature at Boston University, rather than local rankings.


-December:  Begin learning how to build websites.

-June:  Begin learning how to build and run Google AdWords campaigns.  My fascination with Google search begins.


-Growing up.  My first encounters with computers are playing Gato on my family’s Apple IIe and Gorillas on my dad’s ThinkPad for work.


-Born.  Phone books and mullets will reign supreme for many years to come (well, at least the phone books).

(Still interested and want even more detail on me?  You may enjoy this interview I did at LocalU.


Local Visibility System, LLC | N. Attleboro MA 02760
phil ( at )

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