Vincent Cert: Mobile is where its at

In a Sunday comment piece in the Guardian UK/ the Observer, Vincent Cerf highlighted his belief that most of the world will access the internet via their cell phones and that will lead to an explosion of online information:

There are more than three billion mobiles in use today and more than 80 per cent of the world’s population live within range of a network. In areas where wireline or WiFi access barely exists, many new users will first experience the internet through a mobile phone. In developing economies, people are already finding innovative ways to use mobile technology. Grameen’s micro-finance and village phone programmes in Bangladesh and elsewhere are known and respected around the world, but there are many less famous examples. During the Kenyan elections, Mobile Planet provided its subscribers with up-to-the-minute results by text message. As the cost of mobile technologies fall, the opportunities for such innovation will continue to grow.

We’re nearing the tipping point for mobile computing to deliver timely, geographically and socially relevant information. Researchers in Japan recently proposed using data from vehicles’ windscreen wipers and embedded GPS receivers to track the movement of weather systems through towns and cities with a precision never before possible. It may seem academic, but understanding the way severe weather, such as a typhoon, moves through a city could save lives. Further exploration can shed light on demographic, intellectual and epidemiological phenomena, to name just a few areas.

It’s amazing how quickly those of us with internet access have come to take for granted the remarkable amounts of information we have at our disposal, but we’re only seeing the beginnings. The bulk of human knowledge remains offline. As more of us get access to the internet, more of the world’s information will find its way online.

Both the medium (cell phones) and the message (the increased amount of human knowledge) speak directly to the growing role that local will play in the ecosystem of information retrieval.

Blumenthal & Mihm video shows us being faster than a speeding bullet

David and I have been immortalized in Brian Carter’s newest video: Local Search Rock Stars Mihm & Blumenthal Doing Some Local Parkouring. According to Brian:

In my opinion the biggest two rock stars in the “local search” space are David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal, exemplified in their separate analyses of local search ranking factors. Check them out in this video teaming up to do some local buildering and building-jumping.

Big vacab day for me…My daughter noted that I looked “good” in a wife beater and I even learned what Parkour is…

Local Links of Interest

Polo Ralph Lauren to Launch Shopping by Cellphone – Reuters News Service
Polo is the first luxury retailer to launch a mobile commerce site, hoping to stay ahead of a trend that is making its way from Asia to the United States, said David Lauren, senior vice president of advertising and son of designer and Chief Executive Ralph Lauren.

5 Steps for 5 Stars: Reputation Management for Small Businesses
– David Mihm, davidmihm.com

A great summary and “a list of truly exceptional posts related to this topic written in the last couple of months, and summarizing their findings”.

Hyperlocal Blogging Sonoma County, CA – More SEO Copywriting Tips – Miriam Ellis, Solaswebdesign.com

The second part of a two part series on copywriting tips for hyperlocal blogging.

Smartphone Is Expected via Google NY Times

T-Mobile will be the first carrier to offer a mobile phone powered by Google’s Android software, according to people briefed on the company’s plans.

How Image-to-Text Could Be Used in Google Street View – Phillip Lenssen, blogoscoped.com

Google could be able to make the streets searchable through a normal text input box. If a club is called “Foobar” and you enter “foobar”, you may find the location even if it’s not available from any existing yellow pages overview service.

An Internet Change of Address Guide

I recently read and responded to this post in the Google Maps for Business Group:

=================================================
TOPIC: Fix our phone number – repetitive problem.
=================================================
== 1 of 1 ==
Date: Wed, Aug 13 2008 11:26 am
From: rihard2000

Sorry to butt into this discussion, but I am having the same problem with my updated listing.

We recently moved our offices and switched our phone number. After updating the information in our Google Local Business center account, the new phone number isn’t showing on Google Maps or Local 10 pack (the new address is showing though). It has been about 1 week since we first updated our information.

Local 10 URL for North Coast Events
Google Maps URL for North Coast Events -

Please advise. Thank-you.

Dear rihard2000,

It generally takes 8 weeks or so for all of the information to filter through Google’s system so I wouldn’t worry until October sometime. It is unfortunate but it is the reality of the Google Local Business Center. It takes time for all of the pieces and parts of the database to realign themselves after a change like this. If after 8 weeks the discrepancy has not cleared up you should return to the group and plead with one of the Google Maps Guides to look into it. I would note, however that this is a small part of your concern.

I would strongly suggest that you scour the internet for your old address and phone number and start the Internet Change of Address Niggle Trauma (ICANT). Your old address/phone is embedded in the ether in a way that makes permanently changing it a task for the Gods and not mere mortals.
Continue reading

Google Maps: KML for authority and ranking?

If you are looking for information on Ranking in Google Maps you might want to view these:
SMXEast Presentation: A patent review of Maps Ranking Factors
Ranking Factors in Google Maps – Cracking the Code SMX Local
10 Likely Ranking Factors of Google’s Local Search Algorithm

We know that Google is using KML files and Geo Sitemaps to establish location and legitimacy for bricks and mortar businesses. Could it also have more importance on ranking than we currently know?

Carter Maslan, VP of Maps, has indicated that businesses should start using KML files in his interviews with Greg Sterling & Eric Enge.

Eric Enge: I first heard about KML a while back and I have seen some stuff suggesting that KML would allow you to provide a deeper level of metadata about your business. I believe people have talked about using this within the context of the sitemap files, is that something that is useful for people to do?

Carter Maslan: Yes, it helps a lot in knowing the precise geographic location that is being described by a page so it is definitely good to have a sitemap that references a KML file with an accurate description of the entities referenced geographically.

Eric Enge: Right, the sitemap file is something that is authenticated, and therefore the KML file would be by implication authenticated.

Carter Maslan: Correct. It helps both from that perspective and simply just knowing that there is additional information about that place, and that it is also correlated with that web page, helps.

As Martijn Beijk pointed out in a previous comment: if the Local Business Center = 2, then a Bulk upload +KML file + a geo sitemap + Webmaster Central = 2 as well. Whether that math is exactly correct, KML process does seem to convince Google of the legitimacy of a bulk upload and increases the authority of the business listing in Google’s eyes.

The KML process should be a standard part of the Local Search Marketing arsenal when using bulk uploads to create business listings in Maps.

Martijn has written an excellent tutorial on creating a KML and a GeoSitemap for Google’s Webmaster Central. I tested Martijn’s process using the Mike Test to determine if I can learn it or not. I can report that it passed my test.

Here is a summary of the steps involved to complete the needed steps:
Continue reading

Google Insights? I’ll say…

I had just finished reading this disturbing speculative piece on possible federal legislation referred to as the i-Patriot Act when I bounced over to the NY Times for my cheerful morning read and noticed the photo in this article about Google’s new Insight Tool….

I had been a little disappointed that Google had not included me in their pre-briefing on the new product. After looking at the photo, I can say that I was relieved that I had not been invited as I am not wont to wear a tie. Although one has to wonder when the head of the FBI and Justice Department started running Google’s product announcements. I guess on second thought they wouldn’t have let me in anyways.

The Lazy Son of The Mother of All SMX Local/Mobile Recaps

This is a summary of summaries and related posts from SMX Local Mobile. I had the intention of writing several posts but being the lazy son and having found some good reporting I thought I would just provide you a complete set of links. They are arranged in the order of presentation at the conference:

Thursday

Keynote:

Live Blogging Yahoo SMX Local-Mobile Keynote Greg Sterling, SearchEngineLand

Keynote by Frazier Miller Michael Jensen,, citymarketer.com

Covering SMX Local and Mobile – Frazier Miller Keynote – Don Campbell, Expand2Web

SMX LoMo Keynote: Frazier Miller – Chris Silver Smith, naturalsearchblog.com

SMX LoMo Keynote: Gur Kimchi – Chris Silver Smith, naturalsearchblog.com

Local Search Tactics:

SMX Local and Mobile Coverage – Ranking Tactics for Local Search – Don Campbell, Expand2Web

Local Search Ranking Presentation – SMX LoMo 2008 – Will Scott, searchinfluence.com

Sources of Local Business Reviews – Michael Jensen, citymarketer.com

Local Search Ranking Tactics – Michael Jensen of SoloSEO.comAndrew Shotland, LocalSEoGuide.com

Local Search Ranking Tactics – Steve Espinosa of ELocalListing.com – Andrew Shotland, LocalSEoGuide.com

Monetizing Local & Mobile: Who’s Making Money:

SMX Local and Mobile Coverage – Who’s Making Money? – Don Campbell, Expand2Web

Monetizing Local & Mobile: Ten Tips (Plus Three) for Going Mobile Profitably -Bryson Meunier, brysonmeunier.com

Friday

Local Mobile Case Studies:

Local Case Studies- Mary Bowling – Michael Jensen, citymarketer.com

Blended Search in a Mobile World: Optimizing Digital Assets for Mobile Devices-Bryson Meunier, brysonmeunier.com

Managing a Local/Mobile Search Marketing Campaign:

Five (5) “POWER” Tactics for POWERful Local/Mobile Marketing Campaigns that Give You Super-POWERful Results - A Cheezy Presentation On Purpose from Brian Carter, Director of Search Marketing @ www.FuelInteractive.com

Cracking the Code

CRACKING THE CODE: Inside the Black Box of Mobile Search Algorithms
– Jordan Kasteler, jordankasteler.com

Ranking Factors in Google Maps – Cracking the Code SMX Local – Mike Blumenthal

Recaps:

SMX Local and Mobile Recap – Don Campbell, Expand2Web

The Mother of All SMX Local/Mobile Recaps – David Mihm, DavidMihm.com

SMX Local Mobile Grows Up: The Future ArrivesMarty Weintraub, AimClearBlog.com

Google Maps missing reviews returned to rightful owners

There had been recent reports in Google Groups for Maps and elsewhere of review gone missing.

Intrepid Maps Guide Jen reports today that they have been found:

Hi B.J.
The Maps team implemented a fix for your listing (and others that were
similarly losing reviews). You should find that they are now all appearing.
Let us know if you notice anything amiss!
Cheers,
Jen

Developing Knowledge about Local Search