It is the start of a new year and that means bloggers of every conceivable topic are publishing year-in-review roundups. Which is a good thing, because year-end recaps can be especially useful reference guides. The good ones are worthy of bookmarking.
To mix things up a bit, I have decided to post a roundup of contributions related to local search marketing by blogger and their respective areas of expertise:
2012 saw big changes occur in Google Local, and no one tracked the developments more comprehensively or thoughtfully than Mike Blumenthal. The transition from Google Place Pages to Google+ Local pages was the most significant development, and to be precise, this was not one lone development.
The transition had consequences that ranged from local search optimization to reviews. More than any other single blogger, Mike was on top of each development, offering tips that included merging listings with Google+ business pages and new restrictions with Google reviews.
David Mihm’s annual survey on local search ranking factors draws from the collective experience of dozens of top SEO experts, and it is widely regarded as the definitive resource on the subject. In Volume 5, Mihm breaks down the survey data into a digestible format that includes five overarching ranking signals: Place Page Criteria, Off-Place Page/Off-Site Criteria, Website Criteria, Review Criteria, and Social/Mobile Criteria.
It is interesting to note that the survey looks at 14 separate ranking signals related to customer reviews, including “Quantity of Third-Party Traditional Reviews” and “Product/Service Keywords in Reviews.”
Greg Sterling covers a lot more than just trends in mobile. Greg heads up a research firm he describes as focused on “the Internet’s influence on offline consumer purchase behavior” and he is a contributing editor at Search Engine Land.
Whether on Search Engine Land or his own blog, Screenwerk, Greg is an authority with regard to local search as well as trends in mobile search. His breakdown of YP’s end-of-the-year report on local search data is a good place to start: YP: 30 Percent Of Search Queries Now Coming From Mobile
One of the big stories from 2012 was Apple’s release of it’s own maps product. The release was met with widespread criticism as the app was beset with bugs and flaws. However, Apple’s foray into Local search is important as many searches are now conducted on mobile devices like the iphone. In recognition of the lack of coverage on Apple maps, and the glut of coverage on Google maps, Andrew Shotland started a new blog: Apple Maps Marketing
When apple dropped Google Maps from their latest IOS, Apple Maps naturally garnered much more attention. After all, there was a void. Now that Google has new Maps app for IOS, some question the need to follow developments on Apple Maps. To which Andrew Shotland correctly reminds us: “businesses should at a minimum make sure their presence on Apple Maps is what they want it to be.”