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Understanding Google My Business & Local Search

Loci 2011- David Mihm

David Mihm is a passionate golfer and when he has time to play, maintains a scratch handicap. He is also passionate about local and is one of the people in the industry that you should pay attention to.

His online tool set at has helped 1.3 Million U.S. Small Businesses get their business’s noticed. His annual Local Search Ranking Factors is a foundational survey that helps virtually every local SEO every year. He is not just passionate about local, he is a fierce advocate for small business as well. He co- founded the Getlisted Local University small business training seminars and implemented the innovative Review Wednesday to help recognize quality local businesses.

I am proud to have David kick of Loci 2011 (and to call him my friend). Here are the developments in 2011 that David has identified as significant.

Several years from now, I think 2011 will be primarily remembered for:

– The Google-Yelp-TripAdvisor drama on a massive stage in front of the Senate Commerce Committee. We haven’t seen the end of this by this Antitrust scrutiny for Google by any stretch–given their COMPLETE dominance of the mobile ad market. Conspiracy theorists might suggest that part of the reason for the major interface update in July — and ESPECIALLY the one in October which shows Place Page data but still directs clicks through to SMB websites — was due to this increased scrutiny.

– The launch of Google Plus for businesses, and the presumptive integration with Places that is coming in 2012.

– The launch of Mapmaker in the US. Not only for its help for those of us in the SEO community with cleaning up listings, but what it signals for the future of data aggregators here and around the world.

– Google’s investment in feet-on-the-street–initially as part of Offers, but going forward, for a whole suite of SMB digital marketing products.

– The birth of critical awareness of mobile marketing among small businesses–seeded initially by campaigns like Google’s GoMo.

– Google’s quasi-serious effort at customer service for Places.

– Facebook’s continued neglect of the entire Local arena. Much like Google did, they’ve left billions of dollars on the table…but so far this has not hurt them as it’s still by far the most popular place for small businesses to spend their social media time.

– Bing Local’s continued competitiveness on functionality with Google Places…if they can ever get the traffic…

– The beginning of the end of a fall from grace for Groupon, partially precipitated by our mutual friend Rocky Agrawal. And a broader realignment/reconsideration of the Daily Deals space as a whole.

I also want to recognize again your amazing Web Equity infographic. It’s rare to find one that is so actionable–and also scalable–that can take into account future developments in our space.