Local Search

In the Google tradition of continually adapting their products toward the best interest of its users, Google Places officially announced this week the introduction of user contributed updates for Google Place pages. Customers of local businesses will be given the opportunity to provide up-to-date information on business listings that are potentially outdated or incorrect. In addition, Google Places will also source and identify content from third party...

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It's nearly been a year since Google started to merge its Maps listings into organic search results, with many iterations along the way. Now there is another change on the horizon, if the on and off appearance of these map sitelinks over the last few weeks are anything to go by: As we can see above, there are keyword terms related to the service plumbing and also the locations...

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If you're like many people, you like to check the weather before you head out to a destination. Likewise, you might be fond of using the Internet to look up directions to the place you want to go before heading out the door. Wouldn't it be convenient if you could see the weather conditions while checking directions to your destination? On its ongoing quest to consistently improve its user experience, Google has...

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You may remember my post last week about Google experimenting with the search results for brand keywords such as "apple" and "ebay". Search industry experts had noticed for the past few months, and more prominently in the last few weeks, that the search results for brand keywords had begun to merge. The search engine announced yesterday that this change is now a permanent fixture of the search results. Google's stated reasons...

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Noticed changes on Google Places again?  The design and layout of Place pages has been altered slightly, but the big change that is shaking up the Google Places Optimisation industry is all about content. External Reviews Are Ripped We are used to seeing excerpts of customer reviews from third party websites in Google Places. For example, snippets from TripAdvisor for attractions such as Sydney Powerhouse Museum, TrueLocal for service providers such as a computer repair shop,...

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Within the last few hours we have noticed that there have been some changes to the mobile version of www.google.com.au. It first came about when Stefan (one of our SEO programmers) noticed that there were some not seen before icons on the mobile version of the search engine giant. [caption id="attachment_3773" align="alignleft" width="200" caption="The mobile version of www.google.com.au gets a face-lift"][/caption] From the image on the left you...

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Show people what your store looks like! Google is currently offering free photo shoots to local businesses. Google snaps professional grade pictures of the out and inside of a store, then integrates these images into the business' Google Places page. The advantages of having integrated store images are: Proper validation to prove that your business exists Improve user interaction with your Google Places page, as the 360-degree view of...

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Remember Google Hotpot? The experimental Hotpot was released earlier this year to make make local search results more personal and significant to users. Google Places already featured ratings and reviews, while Hotpot added the social touch of amplifying the locations you like and the locations your friends like. Since the release has been met with great success, Google is now merging Hotpot more fully with Google Places, solidifying the connection between the two. ...

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In the past, it has been possible to instantly verify and validate your Google Places account by phone or SMS. There have now been some changes to this process, wherein it is only possible to receive verification by postcard, which takes 2-3 weeks to come through. Why has this change occurred? While it is not certain whether this is a temporary issue that Google is working to...

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Google Maps is now an even better place with the release of an advanced widget to help users better explore the different layers of the Maps interface, such as photos, traffic information and satellite view. [caption id="attachment_3007" align="alignnone" width="300" caption="The widget on Google Maps"][/caption] Above, you can see a new widget on the upper right corner that allows you to select from maps, earth or satellite view. The widget icon...

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