In 2007, I took some heat for pointing out that Google Trends showed declining searches for “yellow pages” while theorizing that this indicated reducing consumer interest in print and online YP sites. About four years later, we can now look back and see whether this turned out to be a valid prediction, and also reflect on what value YP may still have for advertisers. When I wrote that earlier article, I was aware that connecting a major shift in overall consumer behavior to a graphed trendline of searches in Google was a little loose in terms of causality. There are many reasons why people search for a particular phrase, and many reasons why cumulative searches for the phrase can rise or fall. (Not to mention, there is uncertainty about what the actual volume of searches is in the graphs since Google obscures volume amounts, and there can be error in assuming that Google users reflect the same search patterns of users who may search elsewhere, such as in Bing.) I had some … [Read more...] about Are Yellow Pages Toast? Four Years Later We Review Ad Value
Good debt vs bad debt
For years now, there has been some discrepancy between statements from Google Local engineers and general optimization advice from some local search marketers where reviews and ratings are concerned. So, what’s the skinny? Rating values may simply not affect your rankings. Read on to see why. Ratings Vs. Reviews A rating is usually a qualitative measure — essentially, a numerical score which a consumer selects when critiquing a business — such as on a 5-point or 10-point scale, or one to five stars, grades between “A” or “F”, or some other qualitatively measured scale between “poor” and “excellent.” A review is typically some text one has written about a business. The two are often used in the same breath when talking about rating or reviewing businesses, and the two activities are often combined in the same process when users are encouraged to provide feedback about a business. In this article, we’re primarily … [Read more...] about Should You Count Reviews & Ratings Out In Google Local Rankings?