A nice 10 minute-ish video with David Mihm on SEO strategies for Local Search:
A couple nice blog posts on the topic of Business Categorization in Local Search:
- Thoughts On Categorization In Local Search – David Mihm, September 2009
- How Many Categories Should A Local Business Have? – Hanan Lifshitz, July 2009
Chris Silver Smith asks if Google Maps has switched from PageRank to “BizRank” in an interesting post from June 2009.
Another nice post from Chris Silver Smith on Local Business SEO for Geo titled Should You Geotag Pages For Local SEO? As Silver Smith points out, geocoding web pages is acheived through semantic markup formats such as Geo microformat, ICBM meta tag (GeoURL), RDF tags, and the Geo tag meta data format. These various approaches are nicely summed up at the following Geotagging wikipedia page.
Which format to use? Here’s what Silver Smith has to say on the matter:
If you were only going to add one set of geotags, I’d suggest adding either the Geo microformat or RDF, because they’re supported in some ways by Yahoo! and Google (”supported” in the sense that both deliver up local content with microformats, and both have used microformats and RDF for purposes of special results listing treatments). Also, providing the coordinates on the page visibly can enhance usefulness as people are able to copy them directly into their GPS devices.
A couple fantastic posts from Chris Silver Smith on optimizing Search at Local Newspapers.
Optimizing Search for News
The first article is titled Local Newspapers Need To Embrace SEO To Survive. This article provides suggestions for how Newspapers can more fully embrace SEO to make their news content more discoverable in search results. Here’s one particular area of improvement Silver Smith feels Newspaper’s might focus on – Newspaper archives:
So, what’s to be done?
While there are a great many areas where online newspaper sites might improve and increase revenue prospects, one of the greatest untapped potentials on newspaper sites in my opinion is the news archive section. Even among poorly optimized newspaper sites, some articles may vanish into a walled-garden archive section at some point, going dark for search engines. Combined with very poor on-site search utilities, it’s as though these articles don’t exist at all for consumers.
I can’t count how many different newspaper sites I’ve visited where I’ve searched for articles which I knew existed, yet the on-site search engines could not locate them. In some cases, the “live” sites had search engines separate from archive search, yet offered no explanation to users as to which should be used and in what cases. Do articles pass into archive after one year? Two? Three? Why can’t the on-site search show them, regardless? In many other cases I’ve found articles by searching in Google, but the article is no longer available when I click through to the newspaper site, and searching within the site fails to reveal it. Did the article “expire” and pass into the archive graveyard or something? No messaging on the resulting error pages reveals this, nor suggests viable means for locating the article.
…How many articles are locked away in these old archives?!? It surely varies from newspaper to newspaper, but the potential numbers are staggering. While clicks on pay-per-click ads on newspaper sites may add up slowly, there’s no doubt in my mind that if newspapers dramatically expanded the content they have available to search engines, the clicks and associated revenue would increase. These newspapers must not realize the potential they’re sitting upon!
In the remainder of the article, Silver Smith offers specific ways that Newspapers can optimize their news articles for Search.
Optimizing Business Listings and Online Presence for Discovery and Citation on Online Newspaper sites
The second article is titled Three Ways To Optimize Business For Local Search Via Online Newspapers. Whereas the previous article focused on search optimization for news content, this article focused on search optimization for business listings.
A couple very nice pieces.
Another excellent blog post by Chris Silver Smith: Brave New World For Yellow Pages: Google Nabs Marketshare, Strangles Local Directories, from September 2009.
Also see the following related posts from Chris Silver Smith:
- Why Use Microformats?
- How To Geocode An Address & Optimize Location Pages
- The hCard Microformat & Local Search Optimization
- Optimize Local Events With hCalendar Microformat
A very provocative article from Chris Silver Smith at Search Engine Land on Google’s algorithm for ranking local landmarks, which Google has recently branded as Favorite Places. This algorithm, often referred to as “PlaceRank”, was apparently first highlighted by Bill Slawski in 2007 in a post analyzing the related Google patent.
Silver Smith’s post goes on to explore how the Placerank algorithm gives prefential treatment to Wikipedia pages, as well as highlights a couple articles on optimizing for PageRank:
- Can Your Business Achieve Landmark Status In Google Maps? – Chris Silver Smith, December 2009
- Google PlaceRank in the wild – Ash Nallawalla, December 2009
For additional local search-related commentary, see additional recent Chris Silver Smith’s articles here.
Geolocation is certainly a dominant trend for 2010.