Some links of interest in Local

Comparison of Google Maps on the iPhone and N95

Google Maps and the Onebox Hate Advertising Agencies!! EarlPearl has found some interesting aberant results on Google Maps at SEORefugee

Local Housing Gets OneBox Treatment from Google  Miriam has noted the replacement of the Local Onebox with GoogleBase results. This seems to be a trend in some local results that I noted last March in a different search.

comScore Introduces Expanded U.S., Global Search Measurement And Methodology by Greg Sterling at SearchEngine Land. Maybe now we can get some meaningful local numbers. This has been an area that has mostly been filled with speculation and inference.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Some links of interest in Local by

6 thoughts on “Some links of interest in Local”

  1. An interesting list of links, Mike. The comparison of the G Maps application on both phones was very interesting. Frankly, for the first time….I got oriented toward buying a phone with better applications.

    Miriams catch on real estate was nifty. I worked through that a bit and found some excellent listings. If Google accesses the complete MLS listings….that would be a coup….and dramatically change the business of residential real estate brokerage.

    I do agree with your earlier suggestion that Google is probably doing a lot of experimentation…and some kind of balance will be established in the future between “best results” and a platform wherein Google maximizes its advertising revenues.

    As to Greg’s article and Comcast’s new reporting…I can only hope that they they can and do break out the migration from google.com searches into onebox results from Google Maps. That would really identify how active and trafficked google maps is. To date there is no data on the topic.

    As to what I found….there is still strong evidence of all sorts of weaknesses in the data that Google Maps generates. The algo’s and logic within Google Maps are often weak. But it isn’t just Google’s fault.

    I have this strong suspicion that advertising agencies haven’t submitted their information to Google Local Business Center. If that’s the case….I don’t think I’d turn to them for optimizing help on the web.

    Dave

  2. Hi Dave-

    I have a 3 yr old nokia 3650 with their xhmtl browser and Google Maps is painful although on occsasion very useful. I am looking forward to more functionality myself. The real interest to me is that I perceive that ultimately it is the way that Maps etc will get their day in the sun so to speak.

    Time will tell on comScore’s new reporting…their current break out sure is deficient.

    Mike

  3. One other point, Mike. Having recently submitted questions to Google Groups for Business Owners, which is the ONLY way in which corrections can be made at Google Maps if submissions to the Google Business Center are not handled appropriately–there have been no responses from Google personnel in the last week or two.

    Reading through Google Groups for Business Owners has been the single best source to grasp the power, utility, and potential reach of Google Maps since its algo and rankings were injected into Organic Searches via a onebox. Ironically, most of that power is seen through complaints, (the Duke University Hospital scenario) and reports of spamming/abusing bulk uploads (with your fascinating follow-up interview with the representative of TechPro.)

    In one case wrong data was causing problems with a hospital phone system. In the other case the interviewee acknowledged that the bulk upload was effective.

    With the Duke University example, a correction was made immediately, once the problem was uncovered and SAW THE LIGHT OF DAY.

    With the revelation of the bulk uploading abuse….the problems were removed rather rapidly….again after the issues were made public.

    I think it is Google’s responsability to maintain a healthy and robust group of personnel who can identify and correct problems at Google Maps and to be able to do so rapidly.

    Otherwise it is a source of misinformation, potential problems, etc.

    The larger world of commentators on the web and SEO in general grandly suggest in unison that businesses should submit to the Google Business Center to enhance visibility within Maps and to enhance Local visibility within the Web and Google in particular.

    What this group doesn’t see, though, are the problems, errors, slowness, and cracks within Google maps.

    One Engine will get this data correct–sooner than others. If and when it does… I’d market the accuracy aspect like crazy across the land….trying to capture the possible 10-20% of searches that are estimated to be local in nature.

    I’m surprised Google isn’t working more aggressively to be in that position.

    Dave

  4. Dave-

    “get this data correct” from my point of view is a process not a product and while they can set up systems to avoid the most egregiously erroneous data it will always have some turkeys in there.

    They need to get it “good enough” in that the top 10 are accurate. And below that bad ones drop off reasonably quickly.

    Mike

  5. Hi Mike,
    Thanks so much for the mention. I agree with Dave…this could really change the landscape for realtors. And, for renters in more rural places, it would be a blessing. The rental sites where I live are so poorly optimized, you literally can’t find them in Google. I was stunned to see housing that I’d never come across in any of the regular SERPs.

    This is such a great, blog, Mike. So meaty!
    Miriam

  6. Hi Miriam-

    I have tried to convince several realtors to post to GoogleBase listings but to no avail. It will change their future but many are still grappling with other issues.

    From Google’s perspective it is interesting to me when they start choosing GoogleBase over Maps as the source of additional data for a query. It appears to me that ulimately Google would like even more data at this level of granularity and when they get it they will show it as opposed to Maps results.

    Mike

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