It’s not the first time “crop art” or corn field maze designs have been used to promote a company. (more…)
Matt McGee’s news piece on SEL caught my eye this morning, reporting that Google Maps now sports a new look and feel. The change was apparently announced late yesterday on the Google LatLong blog (I have to agree with Matt’s aside, their blog redesign is not an improvement).
The change comes after a few weeks of observed changes to Google Place Search and rumors and speculation about “big changes coming to Google Maps” followed by increasing buzz around place editing bugs and map interface errors.
Could this be what all the hubbub was about?!? At first glance, most of the changes seem relatively superficial.
This likely does explain some of the errors I encountered yesterday when attempting to do some searches and driving directions requests – that was likely during their code propagation. However, it still seems to me that there could be other changes on the horizon for when Google Plus for businesses rolls out.
Unfortunately, I can immediately see errors in the code that was just rolled out. For instance, the tooltips which appear when moused-over contain encoding errors, rendering various special characters like ampersands and apostrophes into gobbledygook:
People have reported seeing the “7-pack”, or local integrated listings under Universal/Place Search, in Google SERPs less in the past few days (reported on Search Engine Roundtable and WebmasterWorld). I’m seeing some similar cases where local queries are not invoking the business listings as I would’ve expected previously (such as for “Memphis locksmiths”).
So far, one of the prime theories in the discussion forums is that Google might’ve done that in advance of their antitrust hearings in Washington this week, in order to appear less aggressive by allowing more competitor directory pages to rank higher. I find that theory hard to believe, although it’s possible.
However, another theory is that this could be linked-to the recent rumors I earlier reported upon regarding Google planning to launch some “big changes” to Google Maps on October 1st. I opined that this could tie into their planned release of Google+ pages for businesses, and I think that’s still the case.
If Google were merely showing fewer local listings in the SERPs, I might suspect that (more…)
It’s almost, but not quite, shocking to me that Amazon has launched another experiment into local business marketing with the Amazon Local daily deals service. I just got an email promotion for Dallas-Fort Worth area from them this morning:
Amazon apparently uses LivingSocial, with which they are an investment partner, to power this service, and it launched a short while ago in June.
There are lots of companies hopping on the daily deals bandwagon, and this has been described as one of many “Groupon killer” competing services out there.
What’s almost shocking to me about it is that Amazon launched an online yellow pages directory some years ago with A9, back in 2005. The product was innovative (the first business directory to provide “Street View” pictures of businesses, perhaps), and those of us at Superpages watched the development with some apprehension. But, they did a very crappy job at SEO (more…)
I happened to see Greg Sterling briefly at SMX East today, and he alerted me that Google announced that they’ve launched “+snippets” for Maps, allowing users to share Google Maps pages with their friends in Google+:
According to Google Trends, it appears there may have been a significant drop in traffic from Google referrals to major Internet Yellow Pages (IYPs) sites:
Yellowpages.com, Superpages.com, Yelp.com, Citysearch.com, and WhitePages.com all look like they’re dipping in sync.
Is it possible that IYPs have fallen under the treads of a Panda update?
It’s still perhaps early to tell, but it’s looking like they’re all experiencing something similar.