Weekend 3 of 5 For Sun Country Promo – Las Vegas

September 26, 2010

OK, weekend three of five for the Sun Country promo is in the books. This post will be a bit different. The first two weekend trips were solo and just went to businesses on my own time to hopefully have good experiences to showcase via reviews or social media formats.

This weekend was different. Close to 20 of us met in Vegas to help four people celebrate turning 4-0 this month. This was more about having fun amongst friends. To my knowledge, none of us have big things to hide so we can apply the phrase “What happens in Vegas, goes on Google Maps, Twitter, Foursquare and Flickr”.

Again, speaking of Flickr, here is a small picture set of the short trip.

Thanks to Sun Country and the promo, I did unlock the Jet Setter badge on Foursquare upon checking in at McCarran at 7am this morning. That’s right, 7am. The airport was busier than I would have figured.

Don’t care? Yeah, I really don’t either.

I did have one, absolute five-star review to give to a place called The Griffin. The bar is in the downtown Fremont East district. The area apparently used to be pretty shady but has certainly cleaned up. The place is wonderful!

This next four-star review for Uncle Joe’s Pizza probably should be closer to a three-star but it was still fast and convenient.

I’m big into staying at locally-owned hotels/motels. The staff are often the owners and they always appreciate your business. This time, the dollar won out as the downtown Super 8 was available for something like $55 a night through Expedia.

I had to have a little fun with Aaron Weiche when he heard I was going to Vegas.

4am in Minnesota is 2am in Vegas. We all had our fill of food and drink Friday night and got back to my motel about 1am. I didn’t have any uploaded pictures at the time but decided to somehow wait until 2am to send him a random DM on Twitter. Aaron was definitely amused. At the airport this morning, I sent this.

Weekend four will be in Boston (Cape Cod) with hopes to showcase nice locally-owned businesses. It turns out Boston itself is very expensive but you can get to Cape Cod and live very thrifty for a couple days. See you soon, Hyannis Holiday Motel and thank you, Vegas!

Bookmark on Google :: pos</p>

Bro-Sis Photography Marketing Update – Google Maps (Local) & SuperPages

October 24, 2008

For those following the bro-sis photography/Internet marketing project and speaking engagements, there are a couple new updates. For those who wish to know more about it, go for it.

Heather has updated a very nice SuperPages profile as shown here.

Tin Shed SuperPages Profile

Tin Shed SuperPages Profile

It’s nice to see this. Search engines often feed off of SuperPages data to be included in their local listings. It makes sense. Different Yellow Pages have structured data which can make Google and Yahoo local listings more relevant.

So far, Heather is not prominently displayed outside of Mazomanie, Wisconsin, which is 30 miles west of Madison. Since she’s highly regarded, she does get plenty of customers from Madison willing to travel and spend for her premium services. We plan on making her more visible for “Madison” area searches.

So, we’re updating her Google Maps and Yahoo Local profiles to make sure we include Madison in the mix. We could, but will not do the Google MapSpam thing because people who do that suck.

One thing that has worked for many companies is to display their categories exactly how they appear in Yellow Pages such as Dex or SuperPages. So, we will be including this in Google Maps and Yahoo Local profiles while adjusting SuperPages profiles:

SuperPages Info

SuperPages Info

The “animal and pet” photographers will most likely be weeded out, but the others accurately displays what she does.

A question comes to mind, and I always look for peers to help answer. Mike Blumenthal (and any others), do you have any opinions?

Bookmark on Google :: post to facebook :: add to del.icio.us :: Bookmark Post in Technorati

Google Mapspam Coming to a City Near You

May 3, 2008

Greg Sterling and a few others note of a new Interwebz spammer called biglocal.com on a Search Engine Land post.

Many have noticed local (map) results on Google when doing a local search query. If you do a common one such as “pizza in Minneapolis” you’ll see something like this.

Minneapolis Pizza

The above results are pretty slick and very relevant, appear above the natural results, and the algorithm is separate from the natural results as well.

Now you can do a search for “internet consulting in Minneapolis” and you find a bunch of fake ones from biglocal.com.

Big Local spam

Clever indeed, although it’s obviously search engine manipulation and will be deleted once Google finds out what’s going on. Some notes…

1) They’re not local to Minneapolis which is considered essential for Google in these results.

2) Everytime you call their number, you suddenly get a “Due to the high volume of calls, we cannot answer. Please try again later”. On a Saturday? Right. This is noted by others as well.

3) The domain is registered by proxy, which basically means you can’t find out who they are. Domains by proxy are primarily used by those who don’t want themselves to be known.

4) Their “about us” page leads you to a broken page and they don’t show a physical address on their contact page, or anywhere else on the site.

5) The listing addresses they use for themselves are fake. Not just in Minneapolis, but in Seattle, Los Angeles, and pretty much any city across the country.

Although it appears they want to be anonymous, they do have a SuperPages profile and a Yahoo Local listing complete with a five-star “review” and matching physical addresses and Salt Lake City local phone numbers.

It does seem strange that the phrase they’re targeting is “Internet consulting + YourCity”. So many more people search for terms such as “Internet marketing”, “Web marketing”, “Internet advertising”, or “search engine marketing”. The free WordTracker tool isn’t perfect, but see for yourself.

The person or people submitting their listings are pretty clever though, and apparently pretty horny as well. The first Minneapolis listing shows an address of 307 3rd St S. This is about a block from what Google considers the city center and is also arguably one of the main factors Google considers in their local (maps) algorithm.

If you do a “street view” map search, there is no such address, but 308 and 316 3rd St S. shows you none other than this.

Rick\'s Cabaret

That’s right folks. Rick’s Cabaret, a well-known gentleman’s club. Maybe this photo was taken in the morning and these two gentleman shown are waiting outside for the club to open?

In addition to Greg from Search Engine Land, others have written about this too including Mike from the Blumenthals blog, Stephen from I’mNotADoctor (I believe he was the first to find this), and Greg’s article was even Sphunn on Sphinn.

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