David Mihm, well known for his writing on his blog & at SearchEngineLand and for his work on Getlisted.org, an smb local listing management tool, offers up the articles that he found most important over the past twelve months…
There were a ton of great articles in the Local Search industry this year & the following list really does not do a number of noteworthy posts justice. But here are my choices of articles I couldn’t do without from the past 12 months…
General Interest: Why SEO Still Matters for SMB’s (Lisa Barone / Outspoken Media)
Lisa takes Web 2.0 “thought leader” Robert Scoble to task for his short-sighted view of what SEO actually means in 2009, and highlights why it’s perhaps more important than ever for small business owners. If there were a “rising star” award for Local Search blogging, Lisa would surely win it–although she’s been a regular blogging star for years already.
The State of the Internet Yellow Pages: Brave New World for IYPs (Chris Silver Smith / Search Engine Land)
Chris details the impact that Google’s Local Universal interface has had on IYP companies in 2009.
Tips and Advice: If I Were Launching a Small Business Website Today (Matt McGee / Small Business Trends)
Wow. A FREE, detailed Internet marketing plan for small business owners just getting started on the web courtesy of one of the oldest-school gurus in our space. Well-written and spot-on as usual from Mr. McGee.
Analytics (tie): Tracking Local Search Traffic with Analytics (Martijn Beijk / Blumenthals.com) and Tracking Analytics from the 10-pack (Mike Belasco & Mary Bowling / SEOverflow)
Similar to Liebnitz’ and Newton’s simultaneous yet independent discovery of Calculus, Martijn and the SEOverflow team both solve a long-time headache for Local SEOs by detailing an ingenious strategy to segment 10-pack clicks from organic clicks.
Research / Analysis: What Is Location Prominence? (Mike Blumenthal)
Yes, I could have nominated the Local Search Ranking Factors for this award but no one outside of Bill Slawski has ever dived into a Google patent as assiduously as Mike did on this one — and translated it into plain English for the rest of us.
Holding Google’s Feet to the Fire (tie): Is It Time to Send Google Maps Back to the Drawing Board? (Matt McGee / Search Engine Land) and Go-to-Client and Home-Based Businesses Out of Google’s Local Loop (Miriam Ellis / SEOigloo)
It seems a shame for Mike not to win the award in this category, but we’ll use the argument “he wins it every year” to justify his exclusion. Matt calls Google out very publicly for its over-aggressive merging on Search Engine Land (an issue which was largely fixed within a week) and Miriam continues to agitate for, in her typically polite but insistent fashion, a solution to the service area problem (which has still not been solved despite a constant outcry from the Local SEO community since the very dawn of the 10-pack).
Excellence in Business Listing Data Exposition (tie): SMN Webcast Recap: Local Business Listings (Matt McGee / Small Business SEM) and Who Powers Whom? A Closer Look at the Local Search Data Providers (Yours Truly / GetListed.org)
Matt does a bang-up job of recapping the Search Marketing Now webinar featuring representatives from infoUSA, Acxiom, and Localeze, and I take things one step further with the most up-to-date chart of which data providers feed which search engines.
Corporate Philanthropy: Google Maps Should Consider a Canonical Phone Number Tag (Chris Silver Smith / Natural Search Blog)
Chris proposes a solution to help clean up business listings for the local search engines and data companies.
Business Owner Philanthopy: The Complete List of Google Local Business Center Categories (Mike Blumenthal)
Mike came across the full taxonomy of Google’s LBC and published for business owners and SEOs everywhere.