8 Tips to Maximize Your Branded Presence in the Google Local Search Results

With the rollout of the new grey pin local search results, Google has continued to increase the amount of information from your Places page that is visible in the main search results. This is particularly true with the new Branded One Box result. Google is prepared to turn over to your company the better part … Continue reading 8 Tips to Maximize Your Branded Presence in the Google Local Search Results

Google Places: Now Permanently Closed with 2 clicks – Its Getting Worse NOT Better

Last Monday, the NY Times ran an article about how easy it was to mark businesses as either “reported to be closed” or “permanently closed” in Google Places. There had also been reports at the time that Google was actually sending out an email to claimed businesses that were marked as “permanently closed” although not … Continue reading Google Places: Now Permanently Closed with 2 clicks – Its Getting Worse NOT Better

Google Places Descriptor Snippets

One of the changes in the rollout of the new Places Page last month was the inclusion of short descriptor snippets high on the page between the review count and the business description. The descriptor snippets, besides recently changing from a light grey to black in color, have seemed to improve somewhat over the last month. In the case … Continue reading Google Places Descriptor Snippets

Places Blackhat Playground – Reported To Be Closed

It seems that the newest blackhat playground of user generated input annoyance is the “Place is permanently closed” radio button in Google Places. I have been receiving an increasing number of complaints from readers that are seeing the flag. In fact Barbara Oliver Jewelry and Andrews Jewelers both experienced the dreaded yellow highlight on their Places … Continue reading Places Blackhat Playground – Reported To Be Closed

Review Management: 7 Tips on Avoiding Bad Reviews

In my presentation at Getlisted’s Local University seminars for SMBs, I note that there are three simple elements to a review management plan: Provide Great customer service Ask for reviews Avoid Negative reviews It used to be said that an unhappy customer would tell 10 people. Today an unhappy customer can influence hundreds if not … Continue reading Review Management: 7 Tips on Avoiding Bad Reviews

Hit by Competitor Spam Reviews: The Plot Thickens

I seem to be mired in competitor spam reviews these days. The second bad review in as many weeks showed up this weekend on Barbara Oliver & Co. Jewelry’s Place Page. At first glance it appeared legit. The complaint, that it is pretentious to require appointments, is untrue and probably comes from a misreading of Barbara’s … Continue reading Hit by Competitor Spam Reviews: The Plot Thickens

Hit by Competitor Spam Review – How to Respond?

On July 22, my client Barbara Oliver & Co. Jewelry’s Google Place page was hit with what appears to be a competitor spam review. The review is rather bizarre with racial innuendo and unfounded accusations. It would appear that the reviewer had not ever visited the store. The timing of the spam review is interesting. There have … Continue reading Hit by Competitor Spam Review – How to Respond?

hReview Testimonials from SMB Sites Starting to Show in Places

Since last October when Google noted in their FAQ that Rich Snippet testimonials might flow into a Place Page, many webmasters took the time to mark up their client’s sites in hReview. As Andrew Shotland has recently noted and my observations have confirmed, these marked up reviews have slowly been making their way onto Places … Continue reading hReview Testimonials from SMB Sites Starting to Show in Places

Testimonials as Reviews – A View from the Field

Last week after publication of the new Google Rich Snippets for Local FAQ and follow up comments by Carter Maslan, there was a great deal of discussion about what was best practice vis a vis testimonials on a SMB web site. Clearly, when you focus on the client, having this type of content can be … Continue reading Testimonials as Reviews – A View from the Field

Which Review Sites Should You Use?

I am frequently asked: Which reviews sites should I send my clients to? Which one should I pick? My answer: think about your customers needs first (easy, choice), think about your business needs second (leverage) and consider using as many sites as make sense. I asked this question of David Mihm, Local SEO expert, and … Continue reading Which Review Sites Should You Use?