Is it just me, or does it seem like Google starts celebrating April Fools’ Day earlier and earlier every year? No company on the web takes April 1st more seriously than Google, as we’ve been covering for years now. So what about this year’s April Fools’ Day antics? Let’s have a look. Google Maps: Pokémon Challenge It was a little past 12 pm ET today (March 31), when the Google Maps team posted its April Fools’ Day gag — the “Pokémon Challenge,” a game/adventure where Pokémon masters are tasked with using Google Maps to find game characters out in the wild. Winners will (facetiously) have a chance to become Google employees. As with many of Google’s April 1st gags, this one’s kinda “real” in the sense that you can open up your Google Maps app (iPhone or Android), tap the search bar and then touch the new “Press start” button (just as seen in the video below). When my daughter, … [Read more...] about Google Maps Pokémon Challenge, Magic Hand & More
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We all know that monitoring online reviews is important for online marketing; but lately, it seems that not all reviews are created equal. In fact, Google+ Local reviews may have a greater impact than others on your online marketing effectiveness. According to Searchmetrics’ analysis of SEO ranking factors in 2013, Google+ had the highest correlated effect on search rankings for Google UK. A 2013 study from Now Digital Marketing Works took it one step further, reporting that Google+ reviews are the most important factor when it comes to inclusion and ranking in the Carousel. While some consider it rather bold of Google to place so much importance on its own social media platform, it’s not exactly surprising. Google is the ultimate authority in its own eyes, so it makes sense that the search engine would turn to its own subsidiary when determining rank. Your Google+ Local page is all the more important, then, when you’re looking to give your site an SEO boost. Google+ … [Read more...] about Does Google’s Review Count Inflation Give Them An Unfair Advantage In Local Search?
Steve Coast founded OpenStreetMap (OSM) in the UK in 2004. It’s 10 years old this year. He was inspired by the Wikipedia model and compelled by a lack of available map and location data in the UK at that time. Coast now works for GPS navigation company Telenav, which owns location-based mobile ad network Thinknear. Not long ago Telenav also acquired Europe-based skobbler, which built a popular consumer-navigation app on top of OSM data. Telenav offers an equivalent, free consumer navigation/local search in Scout. The two apps are being merged later this year. Earlier this week Telenav held a press day intended to discuss mapping and navigation and showcase the company’s capabilities and products. The company also made several announcements, including that Scout navigation and routing in the US are now entirely built on top of OSM, indicating how much the latter has matured. Several sessions and speakers spent time contrasting Telenav’s mapping apps and capabilities … [Read more...] about OpenStreetMap Already As Good Or Better Than Google Maps
It always surprises me how many other professionals I meet and network within the Local SEO community who have little to no knowledge of how Google Map Maker works and how it can impact the small businesses they work with. Many either hate Map Maker or ignore it all together. However, I’ve always found Map Maker to be an awesome tool that can really benefit the Local SEO community if used properly. I’m going to be writing several articles on how I use Map Maker, and I’ll start by highlighting some of the ways the rules for Map Maker are unique. Differences in Rules The rules for Map Maker are different from those of Google My Business (GMB). Many SEOs have a bad first experience with Map Maker because they approach it with the GMB guidelines and think that all the rules are the same. The rules are not the same — and if you aren’t familiar with the differences, you’ll have a less-than-great experience. Here are just a few examples of what is different … [Read more...] about 5 Major Differences Between Google Map Maker & Google My Business Guidelines
Does the name Bryan Seely ring a bell? He’s the guy last year who managed to create fake listings for the US Secret Service and the FBI in Google Maps that some people fell for. Seely did it to demonstrate a weakness with Google Maps, one that still exists and allowed him to recently make another fake listing — this time putting Edward Snowden in the White House. Google Maps Shows Edward Snowden In The White House is our Marketing Land story from yesterday that explains how the listing for “Edward’s Snow Den” was shown by Google Maps to exist within the White House, complete with Google verification. Tonight, Seely got in touch to explain how he did it. Seely claims to have done it, and he’s going to forward proof my way. But after our phone conversation, I have little doubt it was his work. It was a demonstration, he explained, that he put together for a Tedx Kirkland talk he gave last week. The FBI & Secret Service Fake Listings The video of … [Read more...] about How A Long-Standing Google Maps Loophole Let This Man Put Edward Snowden In The White House