RBT Threadwatch #2 (Sept-Oct, 2014)


Apple Maps now letting businesses verify

From my friend Marc Harris on the Facebook WIMP group (Web and Interactive Media Professionals)…

You can now verify a local business directly on Apple Maps without having to go through a service like Yext or Localeze. You may wish to wait a few days, as their system is getting slammed with requests.
Why should you care? Because all iPhones and iPads default to Apple Maps and making sure your business, or your client’s business is correctly listed is increasingly important. [see https://mapsconnect.apple.com/]


Broken Link Link Prospecting

Detailed primer on the old standby linkbuilding technique of finding broken links and creating content on your site that matches the need (15 Oct 2014).http://blog.majestic.com/general/way-link-building-even-pope-may-like/

The 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors

David Mihm’s annual survey of local search experts to pull together industry consensus on the most important factors and annual changes in local search. 15 Sept 2014. http://moz.com/local-search-ranking-factors

Choice quote from Matthew Hunt: "If you want to know how to choose the best citations to go after, then search your local keyword + local modifier for different cities and look at who is ranking in the Maps Pack. You want to look at those small local businesses (not the big brand businesses) and look at what citations they have." For a discussion of the different types of citations, Bowler Hat has a nice little primer. http://www.bowlerhat.co.uk/types-of-citations-for-seo/

Tablet versus Mobile data for Lodging

 (11 Oct 2014) Data from Buuteeq, creators of a lodging-oriented CMS/CRM platform:  http://www.4hoteliers.com/features/article/8618

Takeaway: comparing just tablet and mobile, mobile accounts for 66% of traffic, but only 39% of revenue. Breaking out mobile, tablet and desktop, desktop still accounts for 63.5% of traffic, but 83% of revenue.

A New Breed of Traveller: How Consumers are Driving Change in the Hotel Industry


Old one from 21 Nov 2013 on how Millennials are changing the lodging industry. A report/study by HSV

15 Browser Extensions for Social Media Management


From the good folks at Buffer. Most of these are well-known or not that useful, but some stand out:

Google Pigeon (local search updates) yields big wins for hospitality and small wins for spas.

According to data from BrightEdge

  • Hospitality (28 percent growth in Google Places results)
  • Spa +4.64 percent

 One of the things Google said happened in the Pigeon update was an improved distance and ranking parameters.

via SEW, 5 Sept 2014: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2363063/How-Google-Pigeon-Impacted-Local-Queries-and-What-You-Can-Do. See also the related article from July on Local Listing Management: http://searchenginewatch.com/article/2356917/Listing-Management-The-Required-Foundation-for-Local-SEO

Google Panda 4.1 rolling out 

(25-29 Sep 2014). Important takeaway: "This results in a greater diversity of high-quality small- and medium-sized sites ranking higher." This is good for sites like ours which are medium (as opposed to OTAs). Affects 3-5% of queries, which makes it the third biggest rollout since Panda 1.0 in February 2011 (which affected 11.8%). Screaming Frog did some really interesting digging in SearchMetrics into the huge impacts of 4.0 on several sites in the design niche and their spectacular recoveries in the wake of 4.1.

Popout Penalty.

Google is going to start penalizing sites with large popouts. One way to handle this is to use cookies to show popouts only on the second visit because Googlebot doesn’t use cookies (26 Sep 2014)


Yahoo! to close Directory

End of an era (26 Sep 2014)


How Bing Detects Spammy URLS 

(9 Sept 2014). No great revelation here, except maybe that they apparently weren’t very good at until recently. Takeaway: watch out for repeated words, especially repeated in an unnatural way. http://blogs.bing.com/webmaster/2014/09/09/url-keyword-stuffing-spam-filtering/

Google improves search for site links… 

…for branded terms (5 Sept 2014). Important change for branded terms – if you fail to implement this, users entering queries into the search box will be give results from a site: search with competitor ads. If correctly implemented, they will be taken directly to your pages. Very important for sites with a lot of branded term search.

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