According to TorrentFreak.com, Google has removed over 50 million URLs from the search results in 2012. It was expected that the number would rise due to Google’s Pirate update in August 2012, which involves the removal of sites that have a large number of legitimate DMCA takedown requests filed against them. The most “takedown” requests came from the RIAA (Recording Industry Association of America). Check out the graph below that shows the dramatic increase in takedown requests that starts in August when the Pirate update was introduced.
Facebook’s recent update to its “Nearby” feature now gives it a competitive edge in the local search world for mobile.
Prior to the update, Nearby was an app that showed you where your friends had checked-in. Now, the app not only shows you that information but also shows you nearby businesses, making it the newest local search tool to add to your mobile tool belt. Results are ranked according to the number of check-ins to the location, the location’s star ratings, likes and recommendations. Your network is the immediate decision maker for which businesses are shown to you. However when no data from your network of friends is available, the larger Facebook network will step in and help determine the rankings for the local businesses that appear on your smartphone screen.
Users of the Nearby app can search or browse local businesses by name or category. Only users who have actually checked-in to the business at some point in the past will be able to rate it, this seems like a great way to legitimize ratings and reviews.
Local Businesses – Get a Facebook Page Now!
If you are a local business owner and don’t have a Facebook page yet, now is the time to get one. This is because if you don’t have a Facebook page for your business, you won’t show up in the Nearby app’s local results. If you already have a Facebook presence, now is a great time to update your page. Make sure all of your information is completely filled out and current. Take special care to update your category because people now use categories as a way to browse local businesses on the app and you don’t want to accidentally appear in the wrong one.
Currently, Nearby is only on Facebook for mobile. However, if the app does well, we don’t see why the company wouldn’t make it available for desktop use as well. What do you think about Facebook’s new venture into the local search realm? Have you used Nearby yet? How does it measure up to the local apps we’re used to using on our mobile devices?
According to an article on Mashable, only hours after the Google Maps app for iPhone was released, it became the most popular free app in the Apple App Store. For many iPhone users, this app is long awaited after Apple’s disappointing attempt at a Maps application (see Apple’s apology to its customers regarding Apple Maps).
Check out some screen shots of the new iPhone Google Maps app:
Easily search for local businesses and view their Google local listing. Click to call, save and share the listing, read the reviews and see how far the business is from your current location.
Choose different routes and view the entire route or use turn-by-turn navigation to get to your destination.
So far, our first impression of Google Maps is great – it’s easy to use, has a beautiful interface and integrates nicely with Google+ Local, all with the legendary power of Google Maps.
What are your first impressions of the new Google Maps app for iPhone?
According to CBS News, a contractor in Virgina is suing one of his clients for posting negative reviews about his service on Internet review websites, Yelp and Angie’s List.
Jane Perez hired contractor, Christopher Dietz, to do some work on her house in June 2011. She was unhappy with the outcome, posting photos of trash left behind, strands of hair stuck in a refinished floor and beat up door hinges to Yelp and Angie’s List. She also accused Dietz of stealing jewelry from her house. She gave him an “F” rating on Angie’s List and accused him of causing more damage to her home on Yelp writing “bottom line, do not put yourself through this nightmare of a contractor.”
Dietz responded to the negative reviews then issued a $700,000 lawsuit for defamation. He insists that her claims are lies and that he did a “150% professional job in her house.”
On Wednesday, December 5, a judge ordered Perez to remove any allegations of theft and comments about legal action. The court is still deciding on whether there are grounds for a defamation lawsuit.
What do you think? Does this story make you want to think twice about leaving a negative review on Yelp?
Did you know that 57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog? If you’re ready to get yours started, here are 3 WordPress tips from Mashable.
1. Change blog post authors. Everyone loves variety! When you get multiple authors posting on one blog, it makes it more interesting. When you have multiple authors contributing to a WordPress blog, make sure you’re giving credit to the correct person by changing the post authors. Go to the Edit screen for the blog post and click “screen options.” From there check the box that says “Author,” and a drop-down box will appear that allows you to choose the author or add a new author. Then click “Update” to save the changes on the post or “Publish” if the post hasn’t been published yet.
2. Change the URL for your blog post. This can help with search engine optimization. You can change the URL to your post by clicking on the “edit” button that is sound next to the permalink, just below the title of your post (you need to do this while you’re in “edit post.” When you click “edit” the box will turn to a blank text box. Add keywords that are relevant to the post in this box. Example: www.localsplash.com/blog/three-wordpress-tips. Then click “Update” or “Publish” to save your blog post.
3. Save time, schedule blogs for the future. It’s best to keep your blogging on a schedule. That way your readers know when to expect a new post from you. When you schedule posts for the future, you will save time and you’re more likely to be consistent with your posts, which is important. Designate a day out of the week where you will write all of your posts for the week and schedule them. This will become a routine and that way you won’t find yourself slacking off on posting in your blog later down the line.
Local Splash is excited to announce that we have been featured in this week’s Orange County Business Journal. Check out the article about the local companies that made the Deloitte Tech Fast 500 list below.
It’s only half way through the day but Cyber Monday sales are already up 24.1% since last year according to a report by IBM. IBM based the report on IBM Digital Analytics Benchmark, a platform that tracks over a million e-commerce transactions per day from 500 American retailers.
According to the reports, which feature data through noon Monday EST, 22.4% of consumers are using a mobile device to surf retailers’ Cyber Monday sales and a little over half of them are making purchases from the device. IBM broke down the data further to show that 8.7% of the consumers are using iPhones to make purchases, 7.2% are on iPads and 6.3% are using Androids.
Stay tuned for the final statistics of Cyber Monday sales!
In honor of Small Business Saturday, which is coming up this Saturday, November 24, here are some great facts that explain why small businesses should build their online presence (whether they are building a website, a social media following or a mobile marketing campaign) and focus on reaching their target audience via the Internet.
Building a Web Presence
85% of consumers are searching for local businesses online
63% of small businesses don’t have a website
25% of small businesses don’t show up in the search results
22% of consumers’ time is spent on social media sites
86% of small business owners view Facebook as a valuable website
57% of businesses have acquired a customer through their company blog
72% of consumers trust online reviews as much as personal recommendations
50% of mobile search is now local according to Google
79% of smart phone users use their phones to help with shopping and 74% make a purchase
It is predicted that by 2014, mobile Internet users will surpass desktop Internet users
The Web gives small businesses with a smaller advertising budget the ability to compete with the larger corporations. With a combination of social media marketing, local SEO and mobile marketing, small business owners can connect with their target audience and grow their business just in time for the holiday season.
According to a recent survey by Balihoo, 47.3% of national brands plan to invest more money in local search in 2013 than in 2012. Forty-four percent said they will invest the same amount in 2013 as they did in 2012.
The companies reported that most of that budget will go to mobile local marketing. In fact over 34% expect to use mobile as a major marketing technique in 2013, up 2% from last year.
Other interesting findings:
Companies that earn an average revenue of $100 million to $250 million are more likely to use social media more often
87% of national brands are not properly represented on local affiliate websites
Only 8.6% of companies said they will spend less on local marketing in 2013 than they did in 2012