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Mike Blumenthal
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Mike Blumenthal

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In case you missed some of the coverage from our LocalUp Advanced event, here's Mary Bowling to the rescue!
RoundUps of What You Missed at LocalUp Advanced 2015. Posted on March 3, 2015; by Mary Bowling; in Local U Workshops. Our first LocalUp Advanced Conference -- a partnership of Moz and LocalU -- was not only a complete sell-out, but a great success according to attendees. LocalU at LocalUp ...
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Looks like it was jamed packed full of good stuff. Thanks for sharing +Mike Blumenthal . Sory I missed it.
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Mike Blumenthal

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My health insurance company, Blue Cross Blue Shield of WNY, has somehow come to the conclusion that wasting money on marketing 2 for 1 eat out specials is related to their mission of providing health insurance.

1- eating out isn't healthy no matter how you cut it, particularly panini and BLT (two of the cards)
2 - spending an inordinate amount of money on marketing is unconscionable.
3 - this is a company that wants $200/mo for a critical maintenance drug that I use for asthma

Just how screwed up are this companies priorities? Instead of focusing on providing a valuable insurance product that is useful, easy to use and a good value, they think I will love them if I am eating out at their encouragement.

This sort of behavior (I am sure my company is not unique) should be criminalized. 
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Wow.. that's stunning. And messed up.
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Mike Blumenthal

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Good insight into G+/Hangouts/Photos
This is the best of the recent speculative articles: the writer actually knows his Google+!
I don't agree with quite everything but he's on the right track...

Google+ as We Knew It Is Dead, But Google Is Still a Social Network

A snippet:

"Google as a social network is very much alive. Pichai told Forbes that Google+ was always at least as much about identity as socializing—the goal was to connect and cohere who you are across all its different products.

In that sense, Google+ worked; from your horrifically racist YouTube comments to your Blogger blog to your Gmail, you’re the same person everywhere. That helps Google know more about you so that it can place more and better ads in front of you. And it makes your social experience more cohesive.

The difference with these changes is that your social, interactive experience isn’t relegated to a single screen with too much white space and not enough people.

It’s everywhere, on every platform, based around what we want to share, where, and with whom. And it makes automatic GIFs out of your photos. If that can’t be a successful social network, well, I don’t know what can..."

Read the article in full: WIRED

#Googleplus #Changes #Photos #Communications #Social
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Bill Bean's profile photoMike Blumenthal's profile photoMobile & Local's profile photoJohn Kent's profile photo
I think +Mobile & Local and local nailed it. Recommendations will stay the same- maps, NAP, reviews, images & posts for front page visibility only. 
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Yesterday on the beach in CA today x-country skiing in Upstate NY. 
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Tough life Mike! 
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Marketing under the Guise of Health

My health insurance company, BlueCross Blue Shield of Western New York wants $200/mo for a critical maintenance drug that sells in Canada without insurance for $62.

They are obviously using the extra profit to move into crazy expensive and bs marketing to me. (Not sure why they need to market to me as I can't switch plans for another year)

One of my "health benefits" is this coupon card pack offering 2 for 1 discounts on "healthy" food like panninis at restaurants 70 miles away.

What a resource sink of our insurance dollars

where is #singlepayer when you need it?
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H/T to +Bill Slawski
Focused Crawling For Structured Data

A paper by @pmika, @roiblanco, @rmeusel

Which discusses preliminary findings on the potential impact/benefit of using Prioritized (Focused) Crawling of Web Pages Based Upon Richness Of Structured Data on a web page.

In the spirit of looking at how Semantic Technologies might impact all stages of the search process, the one arena we have not yet seen impacted, is that of prioritizing what web pages are crawled based on the existence of structured markup on a webpage.

Amongst many other interesting & significant items of information revealed in this paper (and it needs a careful read through) , I found the following to be of particular interest:

The crawler was designed:
  " to maximize the value of the data collected as opposed to maximizing the number of pages crawled"

One of the more significant conclusions/outcomes,  reads as follows: "10% more relevant pages (were crawled) within the same budget than approaches making use of pre- trained static classifiers. 

“The selection policy of (existing) web crawlers typically use variations of the PageRank algorithm with the aim to collect the most popular pages within the Web, as they are also more likely to be searched for."

In the experiment, one of the criteria used was: "reward only pages that embed at least five statements using the markup standard Microdata " (a rough quality criteria)

And a primary component of the conclusion reads as follows: 

“The current implementation, which is publicly available, is designed to replace the selection policy of existing crawlers. We have shown that the use of online classification, in comparison to static classifiers, can achieve better results in this domain being able to collect over 10% higher numbers of relevant pages for a given objective function. Furthermore, our results show that grouping pages based on their host and making use of features shared by this group empowers the selection strategy for pages and improves considerably the resulting percentage of relevant crawled pages"

Here we have yet another reason one can provide to add semantic markup to webpages, and provide pages with high value semantic markup.  It could affect how your web pages get crawled.  This may be research at this point, but with results this interesting, I am sure we will be seeing more along these lines.

#semanticsearch   #focusedcrawler   #webcrawler   #highvaluewebpages   #semanticweb   #schemaorg   #LinkedData   #schemaorg   #structuredmarkup    
The Web is rapidly transforming from a pure document collection to the largest connected public data space. Semantic annotations of web pages make it notably easier to extract and reuse data and are increasingly used by both search engines and social media sites to provide better search ...
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Have him in circles
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Mike Blumenthal

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In roughly 2006, Google Executive Chairman Eric Schmidt discussed the possibility of ad-supported, free wireless service. Versions of that idea have been tried unsuccessfully a couple of times in the past. I wouldn’t expect Google to go that route.
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Coldest winter on record for Western NY. February daily average of 10.9 deg. F vs. normal average of 26.3 deg. F.

Woke up one morning two weeks ago when it was -5 F and the dew point was -12. Brutally cold and brutally dry. 
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A very well reasoned, response.  Whatever the cause it is a good idea to expect more and prepare well.
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Google+ Splits Into Photos and Streams

Google is splitting Google+ apart, breaking the social network's photo element away from what it's now calling "Streams." Bradley Horowitz, a longtime Google VP of product, announced that he had become the new lead for both new products, Google Photos and Streams, in a post on Google+ today.

I'm not quite sure that's what +Bradley Horowitz announced but it certainly seems likely that a large shake-up is happening in the near future.

Google is splitting Google+ apart, breaking the social network's photo element away from what it's now calling "Streams." Bradley Horowitz, a longtime Google VP of product, announced that he had...
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They have had a branding problem from day one is G+ an ID service or a social service?

This will allow G+ to become a digital ID service will the Google stream is the social service. 

Photos and hangouts are already mobile apps so that won't change much. And it will allow Hangouts to be refined promoted and perhaps even split further. 
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Mike Blumenthal

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Larry Page Channels Lewis Carroll with new KP Hotel Finder Links

“Would you tell me, please, which way I ought to go from here?"
"That depends a good deal on where you want to get to."
"I don't much care where –"
"Then it doesn't matter which way you go.”
― Lewis Carroll, Alice in Wonderland
"As long as it's back to Google"
- Larry Page
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Hotels added to Google Knowledge Graph
A new option to see hotel average rates by rating, or select view hotels to trigger a [city + state + hotels] Google Search query.

I'm very surprised I wasn't led to #GoogleHotelFinder; maybe a feature coming you see this in Google when you search for a city?  

+Google Travel 
#travel   #googletravel   #googleknowledgegraph  
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There will most likely be some big changes coming. The Google Business View for Hotel program will enhance it as well.

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Mike Blumenthal

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A New Google Ranking Algorithm?

According to, it's coming soon:

"Instead of counting incoming links, the system – which is not yet live – counts the number of incorrect facts within a page. "A source that has few false facts is considered to be trustworthy," says the team."

Here's the paper on which the article is based

"We call the trustworthiness score we computed Knowledge-Based Trust (KBT). On synthetic data, we show that our method can reliably compute the true trustworthiness levels of the sources. We then apply it to a database of 2.8B facts extracted from the web, and thereby estimate the trustworthiness of 119M webpages. Manual evaluation of a subset of the results confirms the effectiveness of the method."
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Search is evolving continuously 
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All local, all time. What else is there?
A student of life, political economy, Google Places, Maps & local search. Loves cooking, x-country skiing and time with my family. I am an avid fan of things local (ie Local Search) which I write about in my blog- Understanding Google Places and Local Search. I am currently a partner in three companies; a small design, hosting and marketing firm:, a training series: and a review management product:
Local Search & Web Consultant
    2013 - present
    Helping design, implement and market a feedback and review generation system for SMBs
  • LocalU Seminars
    CCH, 2013 - present
    Local Search & Web Consultant, 2001 - present
  • Blumenthals Inc
    VP, 1980 - 2001
  • NOLS
    1973 - 1989
Map of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has livedMap of the places this user has lived
Olean NY
Olean NY - Kenya, Wyoming, Alaska, Costa Rica, Ann Arbor, Ithica
Contact Information
+1 7163724008
Address Web Hosting & Design201 N. Union St. #307Olean, NY 14760
Mike Blumenthal's +1's are the things they like, agree with, or want to recommend.
35 Tweets That Show What You Missed at LocalUp Advanced - Local University

35 Tweets That Show What You Missed at LocalUp Advanced. Posted on February 9, 2015; by Matt McGee; in Local U Workshops. localup-ramsey-650

Poll: How Would You Rate Google My Business Support Today - Local Univer...

Poll: How Would You Rate Google My Business Support Today. Posted on December 23, 2014; by Mike Blumenthal; in Local Search. Recently, Googl

Why does Google show a 4.8 rating when I have all 5 Star reviews? - Loca...

Why does Google show a 4.8 rating when I have all 5 Star reviews? Posted on December 22, 2014; by Mike Blumenthal; in Local Search. Why does

They have just reopened in a new, beautifully renovated location right downtown. We had the Hot lips Mussels and the pulled pork plate. Both were excellent.
Public - a week ago
reviewed a week ago
I presented at a conference there. The hotel is well, a hotel, and the continental breakfast sucked. But the exercise room was very nice and the AV staff were incredible.
Public - 3 weeks ago
reviewed 3 weeks ago
I ordered the char broiled oysters. They were good but not great. So much butter that it was a touch finding the darn things beneath it all.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
Open 24/7 these folks deliver on the poutine goods. They jam a ton of folks into a small seating area and then serve up incredible and varied versions of poutine - traditional plus a ton of other combos. We arrived at 2:30 pm on New Years Day and it appeared that the New Years resolution for ask if Montreal was to eat more fat in the new year. The lines were out the door and took about 30 minutes to get in.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
105 reviews
Any place that offers a 6 am to 9 am happy hour AND unlimited home fries obviously occupies a unique niche in the market. They do a great job of delivery hearty and filling breakfast that appeals to most of us. No yuppie pretension here.
Public - 3 weeks ago
reviewed 3 weeks ago
For a small grocery they had lots of variety. It was incredibly crowded on New Years Day and while the isles were not quite wide enough that had exactly what we needed. Their sale items were very reasonably priced. We found the veggies fresh and a lot of variety.
Public - a month ago
reviewed a month ago
A family style restaurant with cheap and hearty breakfasts. Busy, very local restaurant with great service.
Public - 3 months ago
reviewed 3 months ago