Google Tags for Bulk Listing Uploads… or Not?

August 25, 2010

A few weeks ago, I wrote a post on how different hair salons were using Google Tags. This time, it’s the same subject with a different twist.

Something odd appears when creating Google tags for bulk listing uploads. In a picture…

I left the name of the company out but notice you can create a tag for the first one and not the other three (actually, there are 26 others). The first listing was created manually and the rest were created through Google’s bulk listing format.

I did a quick search, didn’t find much but did notice someone else had the same issue.

As of this writing, no one has answered his question. Maybe not being able to create tags in bulk listings is just a glitch on Google’s part, maybe it’s one of those things that’s a simple fix from the user end. Figured I’d throw it out there for you smart, local search folks. What are your thoughts?

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City Guidelines in Google Maps

February 9, 2010

In the Google Maps world, it’s pretty-well known they’ve had Mapspam issues and at least now (arguably) tries to keep very strict guidelines including using your exact physical address, as is.

There are some marketers who suggest using multiple PO boxes in different cities for one single location. Google may frown on this as “people have used this to spam the local listings to get them closer to the city center”. Maybe the 0 of 2 folks who find this particular answer helpful are guilty?

Disclaimer – I don’t know who the user andyhugh is in this answer.

Google Maps Answer

Google Maps Answer

Anyway, there’s an example I haven’t thought of much. I was speaking with the owner of SOS Appliance Repair of Minneapolis. Technically, the business is in Golden Valley. However, their DexKnows profile page shows their correct physical address and zip, but with Minneapolis as the city. So does Yelp.

Companies have been practicing this long before the Internet for branding purposes alone. A lifetime ago, I worked for a company in the western suburb of St. Louis Park and the yellow pages providers listed their official street address and zip code. The city just changed to Minneapolis. Again, they did this for branding purposes. We’ve all probably seen this many times.

To my knowledge, SOS hasn’t added their business to the Google Local Business Center. If they did, I bet it would be just fine if they used Minneapolis as their official city location. It may or may not help for their Google Maps listing but doubt it would hurt.

Any thoughts out there and do you think this helps or hinders your Google Maps business listing?

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Google Maps Listings Now Include a Reporting Dashboard

June 5, 2009

Well, Google definitely did a cool thing a couple days ago. They now offer a reporting dashboard for your local business listings.

Of course, Google provides an intuitive YouTube video tutorial:

Here is a small sample of two different businesses in two different areas:

Status and Statistics

Status and Statistics

This is slick but it gets better. The lower stats are for a piano instructor in a SE Minnesota city. Google is showing the top impressions.

Top Search Queries

Top Search Queries

Notice that none of the top 10 search queries included a regional qualifier? This has to do with Google showing local results without showing the local search. In a business such as piano instruction, it looks like they’re showing somewhat relevant stat results. This could be different in other industries.

One small glitch. The instructor doesn’t have a website and Google’s showing 6 clicks to it.

No Actual Website

No Actual Website

They also provide where driving directions came from. I could really see this useful for lawyers. Depending on the practice area, if a lawyer from Minneapolis was getting many requests from St. Paul, maybe opening a St. Paul branch would be a good idea.

Keep in mind, this is all totally separate from Google Analytics. The new Google Maps reporting dashboard is for your Google local listing visits.

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Google’s Big New Layer of Local Search Results

February 18, 2009

It’s been shown on David Mihm’s blog, as well as other blogs that Google is now showing a new layer of local search results, all at once. Simply put, it allows you to see many more than the standard “ten” map results when doing a local search query.

A few examples:

A Google Web search of yellow pages recycling center in Minneapolis MN gives you… oh, wait. No map. Big surprise.

In your early twenties and near La Crosse, Wisconsin? You’ve more than likely done a search for bars in La Crosse, WI. Yes, you really have. When you click on the map you see an image similar to the one below. It doesn’t just show the A-J listings, but a layer of smaller dots of bars in the area including many on the infamous 3rd Street.

Bars in La Crosse, WI

Bars in La Crosse, WI

Do search marketing in Minneapolis for an attorney whose goal is to “be #1 in Google for Attorney in Minneapolis, MN“? Well, now they probably can. Ok, </sarcasm> 🙂

Google Map of attorneys in Minneapolis

Google Map of attorneys in Minneapolis

Ok, from a consumer point of few, I can really see all of this being valuable when you’re mapping out local businesses and don’t want to go out of your way. This could be:

  • Picking up Chinese food on your way home from work
  • Traveling to a new city and need a chiropractor close to your hotel (this happens a lot more than I would have thought)
  • Hotel if you’re really looking to pinpoint a specific location while traveling
  • Simple car wash

These are just a few examples. I hope Google keeps this, it’s pretty slick! Any other examples or thoughts?

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New Beta AdWords Interface

January 29, 2009

Clint Danks from ThinkSEM found something pretty slick. Turns out one of his Google AdWords clients has the new interface option that Google first mentioned a couple months ago. Some initial thoughts:

They sure make it easy to view.

Updated AdWords Interface

Updated AdWords Interface

When looking at the dashboard, both Clint and I said something like “it looks a lot like the Google Analytics dashboard”.

Looks Like GA?

Looks Like GA?

The top tab looks similar to the old tabs, just designed a bit differently with a “billings” tab added.

Updated Tabs

Updated Tabs

One interesting thing we noticed was that Clint has many clients in his AdWords account and only one of them has the option to view the new interface. On the new interface, everything else still seems to run the same.

Looks like Google has some new info on all of this as well.

Have any of you seen this, and if so do you have anything to ad?
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New Google MapSpam – How Long Will This One Last?

December 9, 2008

Thanks to Mike Blumenthal for catching this.

My guess these will be taken down within 24 hours. Notice the same toll free number and fake addresses?

MapSpam

MapSpam

A person named Promoter Local is certainly clever by artificially manipulating local results with fake and/or existing physical addresses. How do they do it? Dunno. A few thoughts come to mind though.

  • This seems very familiar to a different scam from the same geographical area months back.
  • As Mike said, “why would they blow their cover with such obvious spam?”
  • I’m sure this is a funny coincidence, but at least a few of their fake addresses land them right where McDonald’s restaurants are located.

I’m not a betting man. My guess is these results will be barred by this Friday, December 12th. 🙂

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Using Social Media to Help Pass a Political Amendment

December 8, 2008

Finally put up another post on Search Engine Guide. This time it was an interview with Mike Rynchek of Spyder Trap Online Marketing regarding social media and managing-for-objectives (November 4 vote).

When putting together the post, it came to me that they played a big role in passing a clean air and water amendment called Vote Yes MN.

It turns out that they dominated Google results with some cool piggy-back SEO using social search vehicles such as Facebook and Twitter. Here’s a couple examples.

Yes for MN Facebook Page with over 3600 fans:

Vote Yes MN

Vote Yes MN

They had a decent Twitter following too with just over 400 followers in a very short amount of time.

Vote Yes MN

Vote Yes MN

These two examples don’t come close to the Obama numbers, but it didn’t need to. It’s a much smaller target that happened to dominate niche search engine results.

I voted for the amendment absentee since I was in Rochester November 4. I was having dinner with my sister and bro-in-law while I was voting and joked with them that I was voting for this amendment because “I know the guy running their social media campaign”.

I can only guess that others voted for the amendment because they have seen it prominently on both search engines and social sites. Correct me if I’m wrong Mike, but I believe this clean air and water amendment passed at 59%? If the non-votes counted as “no”, that makes this campaign even better.

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