GoDaddy Provides a Neighborhood Level GeoDomain Finder

GoDaddy has introduced an interesting geo-domain locator tool, GeoMapDomain, using Bing Maps for the backend. It provides an interesting way to find whether specific towns, villages or neighborhood domains and variations are available via a mapping interface.

From the Bing Blog post:
The GeoDomainMap takes your location input and finds nearby neighborhoods. Then, it takes your keywords and appends your keywords, sans white space, and creates a domain name. It then checks the GoDaddy database of available domain names and returns those that are available.

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Let the neighborhood domain gold rush begin!

What Would a Local SEM Do?

This tale of woe was posted anonymously to several threads yesterday. We have no way of knowing, given the poster’s intentional anonymity, the veracity of the post. She left no email address or other identifiable information. For all we know, the story is totally fabricated.

But if it were true, I am curious how you would have counseled this person if they had come to you at some point in the process.

Here’s “Out of Business’s” story in his/her own words and no editing:

Let me tell you a story of how Google local put me in debt. First we have to go back… 2 years ago, Google gave my Local Business listing the #1 place for my service and location. Today, I wished they never had and here’s why:
Continue reading What Would a Local SEM Do?

Google Maps: LBC Now Provides Direct Link to Business Listing

Barry at Search Engine Roundtable was the first to point out that Google has added a link to the Local Business Center that allows a business to locate the particular listing in the Maps index.

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It is a simple upgrade, that has long been requested, that hopefully will indicate to new listers and businesses unfamiliar with Maps how to find their listing once it has gone live. It will increase confidence levels amongst users and decrease postings in the forums.

The only question now, is, when the link leads to nowhere, how do you find where your listing went? I have recently seen/heard of cases where the listing is in fact missing in action and this link nor any other search seems capable of dragging it out of the index.

I was also curious as to the parsing of the URL that is generated by the link so I asked Barry Hunter, mapper extrodonaire….
Continue reading Google Maps: LBC Now Provides Direct Link to Business Listing

LBC: Canada & Australia Get Data Rich Dashboard

I heard yesterday that the Data Rich Dashboard in the Local Business Center was rolled out in Australia. Today it seems that it has finally made it to Canada as well.
Canada may very well be the last major industrialized nation to have gotten the dashboard although we have yet to hear from Denmark.

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Usually Canadians dance in the streets when a hockey team wins some sort of cup or another, but I hear that tonight Jim Rudnick and Joan Van Hilten will be joining Dev. 🙂

Hey keep it down up there! Some of us are trying to sleep.

Google Maps: Will We Ever See Sunrise?

Update 10/22 about dawn: Sunrise will occur at its regularly scheduled time and place today. Google has located the lost village of Sunrise Fl. Word is that champagne is being opened for breakfast. Mimosas are being served all around.

The say that it is always darkest hour just before the dawn. The seems particularly true for the businesses of Sunrise, Fl whose town seems to have been misplaced by Google for the second time in two years. As Sherry Tannozzini, owner of Flowers from the Rainflorist, noted in her blog: Google….the amazing search engine can find a gnat’s pahtootie in Mozambique but can’t keep two cities in Florida, located on opposite sides of the State and spelled differently in their right location.

Whenever a user searches for a business in Sunrise, FL, located on the east coast of Florida, the results are returned for businesses in Sarasota, Fl. which is on the west coast of Florida (Sunset, FL?).

The change, which was fixed at one time during the pre TeleAtlas times, seems to have reverted to bad data as a result of the recent Google Maps switch from use of TeleAtlas base map data to using their own.
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The error was reported via the Google Maps Report An Error link and via the forums. It will be an interesting test to see how quickly Google is able to respond to serious Map errors.

In the Google Maps Report a Problem FAQ Google notes:

In some cases we might not be able to immediately confirm a solution to your problem. Please be patient. As more people tell us about the issue, we’ll have more information that we can use to verify the fix we need to make. Remember, if you sign in and let us know you want to be kept updated, we’ll keep you posted on any changes to the status of your issue.

I only have one question for the folks of Sunrise:
Are residents called Sunriseans?

I have one question for Google:
How exactly are towns misplaced?

StreetView Uses You Never Anticipated

Caution: The default volume on this video is set for 19 year old ears.

Ah, the price of mapping the world.

This season has been temporarily interrupted to bring you this important announcement:

Upstate NY is known for its roast beef on wick, salt rising bread and its colorful display of fall foliage. Some here think that the fall leaves are as good as or even surpass Vermont for beauty.

The peak season for viewing this annual pageant is usually the few days before and after the long Columbus Day weekend.

However, this year the colors have suddenly been somewhat muted by…. Continue reading This season has been temporarily interrupted to bring you this important announcement:

Local Listing Ads: When do the Blue Pins Show on the Map?

Update 10/21: According to Joel Headley of Google: The blue pin is there – it’s just hiding behind the “D” marker.

My curiosity was piqued when I noticed that the blue pins for some Local Listing Ads were not showing on the Local Lucky 7- Pack Map.
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So what was up? Continue reading Local Listing Ads: When do the Blue Pins Show on the Map?

Local Listing Ads Using Call Tracking with Google Voice

This morning, I was looking at a screen shot of a dentist that had both Adwords and a Local listing ad. It was obvious that the later was using a call tracking number. I was thinking that it must be a Google Voice number but I had no way to confirm.
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Well, this afternoon in Google Q3 conference call my question was answered: All the calls generated via Local Listing Ads “go through Google Voice” (i.e., call tracking).

I am curious, will the client be able to retain use of the Google Voice phone number after their advertising ceases? Will the SMB be required to set up and configure a Google Voice account or will it just be a Voice number with none of the trappings? Does it have a simplified interface as well and can the SMB “pick” their phone number?

Additionally, SVP of product Jonathan Rosenberg spoke at some length about Maps and noted: “Everything is finally in place to enable small businesses to connect with customers online”.

In a related observation, this particular iteration of the Local Listing Ad display, shows the Blue Pin placed next to the ad but it was not showing on the Map. Continue reading Local Listing Ads Using Call Tracking with Google Voice

Google Maps Adds UGC Feedback to Front Page Display of the OneBox

Whether this upgrade to the display of the Authoritative OneBox is a test or permanent is not yet clear but Google is now offering up to the searcher the ability to confirm the accuracy of a businesses listing information.
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It is not clear how this information will be used by Google as the option is available on both claimed and unclaimed listings. What level of trust will be placed in this information? Will listings be pulled if too many people contest the accuracy? Will the LBC owner of a listing be notified of the notation?

There are usability issues with the new capability. As one reader pointed out to me

Also, the phrasing is ambiguous…the call to action is, “Is this accurate?”, but yet when you click on it, it reads “This address, phone number, map or business info is not accurate. Confirm. Cancel.” Not sure why it reads ‘not accurate’. Either they should remove the word ‘not’, and follow with ‘Yes’, ‘No’, ‘Cancel’ – OR, change the call to action to read “Is this inaccurate?”

These Google product folks need to brush up on their User Experience skills.

Developing Knowledge about Local Search