Fighting For Minimal Clicks


The Fight for Less Clicks

I’ve been thinking about this for a while and wanted to get some thoughts to paper, especially since I’m nowhere near my 1 post per month I anticipated doing at the beginning of the year.

I recently read 3 terrific articles – one from Gyi, one from Andrew Shotland at SEL and another from Jon Henshaw on Medium  – and they got my mind buzzing. Google has never really been one to give away free traffic and make things easy for SEO’s. Back in the wild west of SEO, there were ways to game the system and rank a website, though G was always cutting down easy ways to rank, attempting to get people to buy Adwords and penalizing websites. The same continues today at an even more rapid pace, as easy loopholes get shutdown, more ads are placed and there is less real estate in the SERP.

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Google Adds “People typically spend” in Knowledge Graph



People Typically Spend X  Minutes Here

This weekend, I noticed a new feature in the Knowledge Graph. With all the changes/testing Google does on a regular basis, I decided to reach out to Barry Schwartz and Mike Blumenthal to determine if they had seen this new feature before. Turns out they had not.

What is the new feature? Google is showing the time a person typically spends at an establishment.

I found this when searching for equipment at a local Play it Again Sports. Curious to see if there were other industries/businesses showing similar information, I searched for a few local restaurants and found they did.

Mike, Barry and a slew of others have already written overviews of the new feature, so I won’t get into that here. What I did want to discuss is the usability and privacy concerns of this feature.

Privacy and Convenience

Google has been collecting loads of data from Android users for years now and we are slowly beginning to see just how much data they have with several fairly disturbing product releases in the past few months. Specifically, Google began showing Popular Times for an establishment in the Knowledge Graph. More recently, Google began matching photos of businesses from users Google Photos. You can see this in action when you take a photo and then receive a pop-up on your Android Device asking you to add the photo to the business to help others understand the location. This is Google using data location, privacy and AI to make life easier, all the while creeping us out. Google Photos was a great move as it began developing into a crowd sourcing project and helps local businesses at the same time. It does raise some issues on privacy though.

Is this a Useful Feature?

Now, Google releases “People typically spend X min here”. Not only does this bring up additional privacy concerns, but is this new feature even useful? Do you need to know how long it is going to take to get a cup of coffee at a local coffee shop? Allot yourself 15 and you’ll be fine. Do you need to know how long it is going to take you to go to Target, the grocery store or McDonalds? Most of the time, you are going to travel to a store, purchase the items you need and then leave. The time it takes you is going to be almost completely based on your needs at that time and will have no effect on how many others are in the same store or what they need at that particular time.

I do not see this feature as useful for grocery stores, department stores or many small businesses. Where I can find this feature useful would be in certain service industries. Restaurants, salons, certain auto repair shops (think quick oil changes) and immediate care offices come to mind. To me, any business which takes reservations or requires an appointment would not need this feature, nor would the customer.

That being said, this could be another Google test. They could be testing to determine which industries this would be most helpful in, how many people use this feature or they could be targeting personal assistants more than general customers.

What do you think? Have you noticed this feature yet? Do you find it useful?


Breakdown of the GMB Help Guide

gmb motherload
The GMB Motherload

Updated: July 20th, 2016

GMB Help

Yesterday, Cori Shirk found the Google My Business goldmine. A few weeks back, I remember hearing Google was going to be adding more information and guides to their Google My Business help section. I was skeptical on how much “information” they would be providing. Turns out, it’s a good deal of information, 7 sections in total.

Here’s a breakdown of each of the sections:

  • Report incorrect Street View imagery
  • View business info live
  • Cant Find business info
  • Info displayed on G+ pages
  • Place Labels on G Maps
  • Info in Knowledge Panel
  • Improve Local Ranking

Lets roll through a few of the more interesting sections:

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Let’s Push it to #1


I enjoy SEO experiments and though I don’t perform them nearly as much as I should, they are useful to determine how/why pages are ranking and for finding new ways to rank. That said, there is a fantastic “test” going on now in some parts of the SEO world. I’ve been following one of these tests in particular.

Mike and Andrew are convinced that a link from this site will not get them a penguin penalty but will instead vault them to the first page of the SERPS for the term “Alan Bleiweiss”. If you want the full run down of the test, be sure to check out their sites, especially Mike’s because it is fucking gold.

This is Mike’s Alan Bleiweiss website.

Here is Andrew’s Alan Bleiweiss where he repeated calls him an asshat.

You can also check out the real Alan, here.

How’s that for exact match anchors, guys?

Onward to Page 1.

2015 Year in Review



It’s been a bit since I last posted – nearly 3 months in fact. Been wicked busy and my brain has been focused on learning the ins and outs of my new gig. This post won’t be anything ground breaking but should be fun.

I figured I should write a 2015 wrap up post since there was a good amount happening last year, not only in Local SEO, but to me as well. Let’s just jump right in with some of the bigger happenings.

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Time to Move On

In May of 2014, I traded my entrepreneurial boots for the comfort of corporate loafers. There were a few reasons I decided to go the corporate route and was excited to do so. A new experience, financial stability, opportunity and change were some of the reasons I chose to leave small business for the corporate life. It took some time but I realized that currently, Corporate America is not where I am supposed to be. That may sound harsh, though it is not intended to be so. Presently, my calling is in small business though my mind is open to whatever the future brings.

In saying that, my last day at Allstate will be Friday the 30th.

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Are Big Brands Being Forced Out of the Local Stack?


Google Local in a nutshell
Google Local in a nutshell

Updated July 25th, 2016

It has been over 2 months since Google reduced the Local results from 7 down to 3. Since the change, I’ve been attempting to analyze various items in the Pack – picture sizes, who is ranking, why they are ranking and what factors are keeping the businesses in the Local Stack. I’ve written several posts on how terrible the results are and what a poor experience the Local Stack has been so far. I think Google is doing some things to better the user experience but it still has a ways to go.

I have been noticing more and more small business, “mom and pop” shops, located in the Local Stack since the change and decided to test my theory that big Brands are being pushed out of the Local results.

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