Archive for March, 2010

Spokeo Latest Personal Data Aggregator Exposing Data Privacy Fears

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010


Spokeo appears to be the latest player in the personal data aggregator space, mashing up public data, web search results and social media to generate profiles about people and home addresses. - A people search data aggregator - A people search data aggregator

The concept isn’t new, although adding on social media contents further broadens the dimensions of content that could be compiled about an individual. (more…)

Introducing Local SEO 101

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

I’m contemplating doing a series of posts on here of “Local SEO 101” tips. Each post would outline a specific tactic for ranking in local search results, including local searches under blended/Universal Search as well as with Google Maps and other local search engines.

Main St. Diagram

Local Search Ranking Factors include a lot of pieces including citations from internet yellow pages, newspapers, vertical directories, community guides, business review sites, and more.


Google Maps + Gmail = Snailmail

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

Student designers Rahul Mahtani & Yofred Moik from the Industrial Design program at Syracuse University came up with an interesting mashup. The concept is that one could write a note in Gmail, then click to have it snailmailed for a small fee. The paper envelope for the mail would be printed up with route directions from Google Maps.

Rahul Mahtani and Yofred Moik: Google Maps Snailmail Concept

Google Maps Snailmail by Rahul Mahtani and Yofred Moik

I think the concept flies a bit in the face of the trends away from print media, but there’s something compelling about the idea all the same. I like the envelopes with destination/route map images printed on them, even though I think the actual route information would be of minor-to-no-use for delivery men. And, I think there’d definitely be some market for sending snailmail notes from the Gmail interface.

(from Yanko Design)

Earth Art Collection From Google Maps

Tuesday, March 30th, 2010

Pongsocket has some fantastic satellite maps picked out as “Earth Art” from Google. Ex:

View Larger Map

Each of the aerial/satellite pictures highlights some extraordinary terrain or landscape coloration and patterns. The pictures have a wonderfully expressionistic feel to them and are well worth browsing.

However, these selections are not truly “Earth Art”, which is a name that refers to manmade constructions which fit into the natural environment in some way, rather like the works of Christo and Robert Smithson.

I’ve collected quite a bit of Earth Art examples for articles about Google Maps for a while now. Here’s Smithson’s famous “Spiral Jetty”:

Spiral Jetty by Robert Smithson

Pongsocket’s examples are some really good samples of beautiful satellite or aerial photography. But, for it to be “art”, it requires human intervention of some sort – some level of intention.

Is Reputation Management Pointless? Response to Techcrunch

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

Techcrunch is saying that reputation management is so impossible to control and limit that it’s pointless to even try, much like big labels trying to fight the illegal sharing of music (see Reputation Is Dead: It’s Time To Overlook Our Indiscretions).

I’ve worked on a lot of online reputation management cases, and until there’s a major paradigm shift in how our society views past behavior, (more…)

Yelp CEO Claims Biz Owners Just Don’t Understand Their Review Filter Algorithm

Sunday, March 28th, 2010

YelpA few days ago, a New York Times interview with Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman quotes him as saying that they don’t extort companies in return for suppressing negative reviews, but business owners fail to comprehend that reviews may appear and disappear based upon an algorithm that runs in the background.

New Yellow Pages Logo Wasted Effort

Saturday, March 27th, 2010

The Yellow Pages Group in Canada has announced a new logo makeover:

YellowPages logo

I really hate to think about how much was likely spent on this! I think the new logo is such a continued representation of the legacy yellow pages that it was pointless to make a change to it at all. (more…)

Google Maps Labs “What’s Around Here?” Feature May Reveal Ranking Factors

Friday, March 26th, 2010

Be sure to check out my new post over at SEM Clubhouse on how Google Maps Labs’ new “What’s Around Here?” feature may reveal PlaceRank secrets.

Enabling What's Around Here in Google Maps Labs

“What’s Around Here?” is a wildcard feature that allows people to view the most-popular businesses and places for a particular mapped area.

Listing out the most-popular places for any given area, without having a keyword relevance or business category factoring in as well, may allow one further insight into the relative weighting of the ranking factors that influence priority within Google Maps listings.

Welcome to Nodal Bits!

Wednesday, March 24th, 2010

Nodal Bits - thoughts, ideas and online businessHi, welcome to my new blog, Nodal Bits!

I can’t believe I’ve been blogging for so long, without ever having launched my own blog before! Doesn’t it seem odd? (more…)