Suggested Local Search Terms Ooze onto Google’s Default Homepage

Local-business results were plenty visible before.  We’ve long seen them in the Maps 3-pack, in the Maps tab, in the Maps app, and in the local organic search results. You or I might say, “The local results are visible enough” or, “OK, we know where to find ‘em.”  Google, on the other hand, might say, […]

[Continue reading…]

Want to Guess How Many Local Businesses Use Google My Business Posts?

Google My Business posts have been around since mid-2017.  They seem to have caught on – more than many of Google’s “local business” features have – mostly because the payoff is clear: GMB posts stick out in your brand-name search results, and can nudge people toward the next step you’d like them to take. Should […]

[Continue reading…]

Can Google Index the Content of Embedded Yelp Reviews?

Can Google?  Yes.  Will Google always index the content in Yelp reviews?  Jury’s out. Google can access the content in Yelp reviews you embed on your site (via Yelp’s embed feature), despite the fact that those Yelp reviews are in iframes. Here’s an example: On those two pages the only content with that phrase is […]

[Continue reading…]

How Likely Is Google Maps to Approve That Anti-Spam Edit?

Fighting competitors’ spam in Google Maps is an unpredictable, mushy part of local SEO, and it requires the patience of a monk.  Competitors ethical and unethical come and go, their rankings bob up and down, and Google flip-flops on policies, enforcement, and safeguards.  The least-predictable part of all is: what happens to the anti-spam “edits” […]

[Continue reading…]

Why Clunky Sites (Often) Punch Above Their Weight in the Local Search Results

https://www.flickr.com/photos/61896505@N04/15267050363/

By “clunky” I mean a website of which you can say some or all of the following: Doesn’t look smooth. Not mobile-responsive. Built on an old or less-common CMS, or is hand-coded. Doesn’t have an SSL certificate. Has some cruft, like pages with overlapping content, messy URLs, wordy title tags, etc. At least in my experience, […]

[Continue reading…]

Generic, Local-SEO-Friendly Business Names: the Pros and Cons of Using One

You’re considering a change of one size or another to the name your business, in the name of better local rankings.  The basic plan is to get a “keyword” and city or other place name into your name. To make that change you might feel the need to keyword-stuff your Google My Business name, to […]

[Continue reading…]

Can’t Fix a Spammy Google Maps Name? Try a Partial Edit

https://www.flickr.com/photos/seanfreese/7185529293/

Let’s say you have a local competitor with a Google My Business page with a spammy name like “Your Best HVAC Company Cleveland.”  You know the real name of their business is “Harry’s Heating,” and you’ve submitted the real name as an edit in Google Maps, but Google didn’t approve your edit.  Google is too […]

[Continue reading…]

How Long Does It Take for a User-Submitted Yelp Page to Rank on Page 1 for a Branded Search?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/jasonparis/4066106103/

One week or less, from what I’ve seen. A 7-Eleven opened nearby last year, but Yelp didn’t have a page for that location.  The locally-owned convenience store that used to be at that location had and still has a Yelp page.  (Nobody’s reported it as closed, and Yelp hasn’t de-duped.)  But the 7-Eleven didn’t have […]

[Continue reading…]

Scraping Gray SEO Barnacles off the Local Spam Flotilla

https://www.flickr.com/photos/dickdotcom/13971900011/

“Barnacle” SEO, or the process of getting a page other than a page on your site to rank well in Google’s local organic search results, can be a great way to grab extra local visibility.  If your competitors get barnacle SEO to work for them, more power to ‘em – if they do it in […]

[Continue reading…]

What Kinds of “Contacts at Google” Can Local SEO Companies Have?

https://www.flickr.com/photos/infomastern/12407730413/in/photostream/

Some local SEO companies tout “contacts” at Google who can straighten out problems (like competitors’ spam or a penalty you think you’ve received).  Sometimes that suggestion is plain untrue, other times it’s an exaggeration, and most times it’s irrelevant and won’t help you. Knowing the specific type of “contact” your company has (or claims to […]

[Continue reading…]