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Old 12-04-2010, 01:01 AM   #1
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Default Google Hotpot, Tags, and Boost - Oh my!

A little video from Google "explaining" in very simple terms the three factors used for ranking local pages as well as a very brief introduction to three new locally relevant products: Google Hotpot, Tags, and Boost.

A very interesting thing about Hotpot...if you sign up and your online friends rate other businesses, those will be ranked preferentially when you search in those categories. Your personal results will also be ranked based on your past preferences/reviews/etc in hotpot.

Local search is getting a lot more social, folks. This is happening on a pretty wide scale already, but I predict that in the coming few years, very few of us will see the same results for the same local search terms, even when we search from the same geo location. Our past preferences/ratings as well as those of our online "friends" are playing a larger role in the results we see.

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Old 12-04-2010, 01:22 AM   #2
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Cool stuff, can always count on you! I checked out Hotpot, looks interesting, the Boost is only available in limited areas.
I wonder how effective the tags are?

I do see when I do Google searches, "results from people in your social network".
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Old 12-04-2010, 01:26 AM   #3
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I stopped tags a few weeks ago. Despite a large number of clicks on the local listing, very few clicked on the "tag." Boost is coming to all areas pretty soon, they're still testing it in limited markets.
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Old 12-04-2010, 08:09 AM   #4
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Natter is not gonna like this



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Old 12-04-2010, 09:20 AM   #5
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I was watching some Matt Cutts vids last night and came across this new feature on Google. You nailed it when you mention that everything is on the cusp of major change. I was hard headed and slow to adopt the social aspect but yes, businesses that are willing to interact across multiple platforms are going to dominate Google and their market in general.

A new field is born... Social Positioning Optimization.
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Old 12-04-2010, 05:16 PM   #6
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If your Seo game is good no need to worry about hotpot.
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:14 PM   #7
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Who's worrying about it?
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Old 12-04-2010, 09:52 PM   #8
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I think the Nazi's are behind this. lol
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Old 12-05-2010, 04:03 AM   #9
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The new Google SERP that rolled out a few months ago is heavy on the local/places; so optimize your Local Place. With big price tag for Groupon (higher than what youtube cost) it is clear Google wants to improve Local search.
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Old 12-05-2010, 11:06 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Seattlepainting View Post
The new Google SERP that rolled out a few months ago is heavy on the local/places; so optimize your Local Place. With big price tag for Groupon (higher than what youtube cost) it is clear Google wants to improve Local search.
I agree 100%. This is a big advantage to smaller companies or new websites. You still have to get Google to notice you and they still weigh site strength (via standard SEO algorithm) to place you but distance is heavily weighted. I hate the change because it killed my first page dominance. Something I have started incorporating is for customers to leave me reviews.

All Google is doing is taking the referral model and digitizing it. Instead of asking your neighbor who a good local contractor is, Google does it for you. They show you local guys and your reviews are what's going to build consumer confidence.

Here's a decent and basic outline by Matt Cutts, the front voice of Google.

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Old 12-06-2010, 02:47 AM   #11
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Google has changed, I think that it will be a different beast. Totally different. I am reading that 2 people, in the same room, side by side.. using the same keywords in google will get different results. This is due to the influence of a person's friends, their opinions on "things" is taken into account also.

This is taking our economy and putting it in a bubble. It is actually taking our businesses and turning them into characters to be played out on the "who's cool list" on the web.

I do have some ideas for this new social based search engine kluster-****.

These type of changes usually help the brick and mortar companies. We will see, but one of the hinges to this happens to be Facebook. And I really don't like the way facebook is setup. Myspace was better for user functions/tweaking. I am with Plain in saying that Facebook is STILL broke or backward with the posting stuff to the account, it goes to personal instead of to your business' profile.. still a HUGE gripe of mine.

Happy Web-mastering!
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:56 AM   #12
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N8, I look at Google in a little different light. I have heard many of y friends say it is all about who spends money with them and that Google is all about bringing in more revenue. That is of course true to some extent as indicated by their stock price and earnings but I do believe they are successful because they do one thing... provide the most relevant search results.

The Google map placing can't really be argued with in that respect. If I search for "plumbing services" I don't want the nation's largest plumbing company in Chicago, I want local listings so I can find someone to fix my problem.

Visiting the point you bring up about popularity, I guess I would pose this... what type of lead do all of us prefer? The person that has no idea what things cost, thumbs through a Yellow Pages and randomly picks our ad and calls, or a referral from a previous customer? That's what Google is trying to emulate. That's why they are scanning Service Magic, Yahoo local, Angie's List and other areas where people can give reviews. Angie's List and Service magic are hard to crack. An unscrupulous contractor cannot go make a ton of fake testimonials and 5-star ratings. So Google's recommendation is about as close as people are going to get to a referral.

The Quality of The Leads

My initial reaction to the way Google is presenting SERP's (search engine results page) was negative. But when you think about it, the amount of clicks may go down, but the conversion rate (people that make a RFQ) should go up.

Facebook is going to work on the same premise. I think it is a solid premise. My view now is very excited and positive about the social media aspects. People are going to get trained to leave testimonials. That's a double edged sword as people can also leave unfair reports when they aren't valid but as business owners it forces us to get our sh-- together and improve customer service. Anyone that has been in business awhile knows when customer service truly begins.. its not at RFQ callback or giving a quote. Its when you get the callbacks for problems. I've learned that the hard way a few times.

N8, install FBML on your company page. You can then put any standard HTML into the module it creates and put links, tables, pictures, whatever your heart desires.
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Old 12-06-2010, 01:10 PM   #13
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Quote:
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But when you think about it, the amount of clicks may go down, but the conversion rate (people that make a RFQ) should go up.
Well, this was timely. Here's a a post published today from by someone who manges a lot of Place Pages for local businesses.

He notes that for the 40 place pages he examined, after the change Google implemented (ie combining organic and local results), the following happened:

Quote:
Change in Aggregate Actions Up 28%
Change in Aggregate Impressions Down 25%
So while the total impressions for listings went down by a fourth, customers clicked on each listing more by almost a third. Something to keep in mind.
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Old 12-06-2010, 05:09 PM   #14
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that's pretty dang cool Y. Future will tell. I remain very leery..
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Old 12-06-2010, 08:06 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by PressurePros View Post
Facebook is going to work on the same premise. I think it is a solid premise. My view now is very excited and positive about the social media aspects. People are going to get trained to leave testimonials. That's a double edged sword as people can also leave unfair reports when they aren't valid but as business owners it forces us to get our sh-- together and improve customer service. Anyone that has been in business awhile knows when customer service truly begins.. its not at RFQ callback or giving a quote. Its when you get the callbacks for problems. I've learned that the hard way a few times.

N8, install FBML on your company page. You can then put any standard HTML into the module it creates and put links, tables, pictures, whatever your heart desires.
After watching the founder of Facebook on 60 minutes last night, I think the social aspect will only get stronger. As it gets easier for people to post comments, testimonials, complaints and share we will see more interaction.
It is very easy to find a local business on FB and ask a question, see the work and the comments from others.

There will always be business models that will do fine without it (NEPS can just say "no" to FB), but for many it will be a great tool in the marketing box.
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Old 12-06-2010, 09:38 PM   #16
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Quote:
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After watching the founder of Facebook on 60 minutes last night, I think the social aspect will only get stronger. As it gets easier for people to post comments, testimonials, complaints and share we will see more interaction.
It is very easy to find a local business on FB and ask a question, see the work and the comments from others.

There will always be business models that will do fine without it (NEPS can just say "no" to FB), but for many it will be a great tool in the marketing box.
yeah but until they can give you a stand alone business page that has nothing to do with your personal page it is worthless really.
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Old 12-06-2010, 10:02 PM   #17
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yeah but until they can give you a stand alone business page that has nothing to do with your personal page it is worthless really.
Why do you say that, John?
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:41 AM   #18
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Well try to send a link to your facebook company page and see where it goes.
you know I could be wrong though it just seem like in the past I have had a hard time linking to my company page.
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Old 12-07-2010, 12:51 AM   #19
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PP you talked about FBML, do you install it on your personal page or business, or both?
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Old 12-07-2010, 01:02 AM   #20
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John, its an app for your business page. Usually I have no problems posting a link on my business page (without using the FBML)
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