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david oremland
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david oremland

☛ Local Website/Pages  - 
 
The Explosion of Near Me usage:

I just looked at the change in near me phrases showing in adwords impressions for our smb's. The explosion of usage is simply astounding. We find that near me out performs many geo phrases that are considered important and critical. From our adwords data
From '13 to '14 near me impressions Quadrupled, clicks almost quadrupled and $ quadrupled.

From '14 to '15 impression grew by abt 3.5 times. clicks went up by 2.5 times and costs grew by 3+ times.

full year 15 to almost full year '16. Impressions doubled, clicks doubled, costs slightly less than doubled.

Near me phrases have gone from virtually non existent to very critical. Just a huge change!!
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david oremland's profile photoMatt Maglodi's profile photoMichael Stricker's profile photo
7 comments
 
+david oremland yes, been checking Trends for some time over that, as Voice Search grows among ALL age groups. Just be sure your landings are Mobile Friendly and fast... or, rely on Click to call. +Purna Virji does a nice job speaking about this!

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A short while ago +Sherri Arnaiz published an article in this community comparing citation services. Nice article. Thanks Sherri.

Recently saw a noteworthy article on what occurs if you cancel Yext after a period of time. This has been a concern for some time. The following article is a case study: https://whitespark.ca/blog/what-happens-when-you-cancel-yext/
Detailed case study reveals that 60% percent of your listings revert or disappear when you cancel your subscription!
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Sherri Arnaiz's profile photo
 
Thanks for posting this one David.

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david oremland

❞ Reviews  - 
 
Here is a story about how a small business (a restaurant in this case) absolutely thrives off of reviews and WORKING REVIEWS.
Ive experienced it first hand. It is undoubtedly the overall friendliest restaurant you will visit. I absolutely love it and the food does not blow me out of the water by any stretch of the imagination. Read through to the end.

https://www.washingtonian.com/2016/10/24/how-did-ambar-become-the-number-one-restaurant-on-tripadvisor/
It may not top local critics' lists, but the Balkan restaurant has tapped into a community of travelers.
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Andrew Goulding's profile photodavid oremland's profile photo
2 comments
 
Just to add some perspective. I experienced the response phenomena. I was unaware of the article in Washingtonian. After my initial visit I left a review on yelp with a 4 rating. A 4. That is good. I got a response from someone via yelp. My review was very complimentary. My "beef" was that I like spicier dishes. But I loved everything else and ended it saying I'll be back.

Amazingly I got a response email inviting me back. They may or may not have suggested I contact them and/or might have offered a comp. I really didn't pay attention. I returned there, and half way through the meal flagged a manager in that we had communicated on a different issue a while back.

Amazingly they comped us through the roof. Completely surprised us. But long before that every aspect of the restaurant was terrific. And the service was just so GREAT.

I did an update on the Yelp review and gave them a 5. Oh jeez how could I not. Frankly its as fun a restaurant as you will experience.

To the extent they are working those reviews, contacting guests, giving and getting feedback and treating guests way better than anywhere else....they'll do great. Its a combination of service and working reviews.

Lastly to add; I last visited on a Tuesday evening. The place is located in a restaurant heavy area. Tuesday is not a big evening in general. During dinner I walked outside and checked a couple of the nearby restaurants. None of the others were busy. Ambar was JAMMED.

Clearly they are doing some things right. Very impressive!!!!
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david oremland

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
Is a new Google Local Spam Filter blocking certain businesses from getting into Google My Business??   This past July 4th Bill Slawski wrote about a patent recently released that describes a Local Business Spam Filter:  http://www.seobythesea.com/2016/07/fake-business-spam-detection/

Ignore the title.  Its about a LOCAL GOOGLE SPAM filter that is directed toward spam submissions to Google My Business.

But I think I've seen it hit 3 businesses this year which are essentially rebranding of existing spaces with a new business, new URL, website, new name BUT always in the same category.  The new businesses are taking over a space built out for them and their use.  They aren't spam they are new.   In each case it has been almost impossible to get Google to accept the new Google My Business submission.  They can't get into local.

I've discussed the 3 instances with Bill.  He believes the characteristics might have triggered this spam filter.  Has anyone experienced this in the past year?   Has anyone worked through this with Google?
A google patent has been granted to throw off people who may be spamming fake business listings at Google
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Arthur Morehead's profile photoTim Capper's profile photoAndrew Wilkins's profile photo
9 comments
 
I guess they haven't made their way over to other home services yet. It's still very rampant in some cities.
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david oremland

☛ Local Website/Pages  - 
 
Has anyone noticed that Profile Pictures in the Knowledge Box are being rotated for their SMBs? I have. Following Mike Blumenthal's piece from his blog on May 14th about Hotel Profile pictures being changed to virtually all room pictures, I've been looking at some of our profiles on the KB. Its been rotating. I've now seen the chosen profile picture plus two others from our photos. As Mike commented, I feel as if Google has made a change but not contacted us...and has reversed on language that suggested we had control of the Profile pics. I've sent GMB customer service 2 screenshots of the pic we chose and one of the alternatives and asked questions. What is going on???

Meanwhile here is a link to the original post about profile pics for hotels: http://blumenthals.com/blog/2016/05/14/google-to-hotels-we-pick-your-profile-photo/
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Darryl Quinlan's profile photodavid oremland's profile photo
4 comments
 
Very annoying. On the day AFTER I spoke with a GMB customer service REP and went back through the process of identifying the profile Photo...there sits one chosen by the google algo.

My suspicion is down the line google will vary and rotate photos. Ultimately they will have data on which photos generate actions or conversions...then they'll take your photos and load them to ads. Monetize your data for the betterment of google. Frankly they'll know more about what works than I'll know. Its a big brother big freaking controlling monopoly that feeds you one line and acts differently.

My $0.02 for the day. :D
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david oremland

■ Other Discussions & Help  - 
 
Pathetic on twitter. For some reason I went back and looked at traffic to our websites for one type of smb we operate. Remarkably BAD. HORRIFIC.

Over the last 2 years for 3 smb's, all of the same type, all in different markets, we have respectively 15, 12, and 8 visits.

The only thing we admittedly do, is have FB posts go to twitter. Of course that was after abt 2 years of no results...taking one of those smb types into the local twitter environment abt every week...engaging folks, etc etc.

Twitter??? Does it work for any kind of smb???
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Bryan Heckler's profile photoChad Kimball's profile photoUK Tutoring Services-Cambodia's profile photo
22 comments
 
Heard the same thing said about G+.
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david oremland

☛ Local Website/Pages  - 
 
Sort of surprised, sort of saddened, but very aware this is the pattern to anticipate over time. Of the last 15 day period, our largest smb, with most traffic, saw 43% of its Google Mobile traffic coming from ads and 57% coming from organic/maps. This is an old business website/ with tremendous visibility and one wherein we've used adwords for over a decade. Over the long haul google traffic might have been 75 to 80 % organic to 20-25% adwords (with our having #1 rankings in ads on the majority of phrases).
Clearly though, on mobile, ads absolutely dominate. Overwhelmingly so. (btw: total Google traffic for that period was roughly the same as in same period in 2013 and 2011.

We are getting similar volumes of google traffic. More of them are coming from ads/less from free (organic/pac/maps) The change is dramatically via MOBILE. Mostly mobile. Overwhelmingly mobile.

Wanna be found in search??? Better think about ads. 
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Tansy OBryant's profile photoRahul Agrawal's profile photodavid oremland's profile photoUK Tutoring Services-Cambodia's profile photo
17 comments
 
Basically, bite the pillow, here comes Google. "Your wallet or your life"`.
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david oremland

$ Paid Advertising  - 
 
Any of you seeing value or utilizing google "SMART GOALS" in analytics at this point? Smart Goals have only started showing in our smb(s) in the last month or so, adding "conversion" data. In our cases our "Goals" are when folks fill out contact forms on our websites. The "Smart Goals" are when visitors act on the site significantly enough that google "machine intelligence" assumes its the prototype of a conversion.

From the Goog Smart Goals Page description:

To generate Smart Goals, we apply machine learning across thousands of websites that use Google Analytics and have opted in to share anonymized conversion data. From this information, we can distill dozens of key factors that correlate with likelihood to convert: things like session duration, pages per session, location, device and browser. We can then apply these key factors to any website. The easiest way to think about Smart Goals is that they reflect your website visits that our model indicates are most likely to lead to conversions.

In our cases the smart goal data is only showing for ppc traffic, not organic traffic "yet".

So....in our cases it is showing visitors who at the minimum spend a tremendous time on the site and visit a lot of pages. For the last month or so the "smart goal" traffic has also converted/filling out a form at a rate that is about 5-7 times normal conversion rates. OF COURSE that only means they filled out a contact form...that doesn't mean they purchased---yet.

Frankly we are aware that folks that read through the sites are pretty likely to contact us. So its no surprise.

What I'd really like though is to know WHO those contacts ARE??? I'll be speaking to google adwords assistants.

Any experience on this???
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david oremland

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
Saw a discussion recently that included referencing Insights within the Google My Business Page and referenced back to an announcement from  early August wherein Google changed its insights data/presentation:   http://searchengineland.com/google-business-insights-updates-analytics-dropping-google-source-data-255413

Now this is data I've never believed in, have no way of verifying, its so broad and so ridiculously non revealing....I never rely on it.....BUT I saw some interesting data that correlated to other data we see.....FOR A FIRST TIME!!!!

I looked at the data that shows total times the site has been seen, and additionally breaks it down by "discovery searches" and "recovery searches" (name or with address info).  

We can "verify" this data with very comprehensive adwords data.  

The total volume of times are site might have been seen by appropriate searches was very close for 30 and 90 periods to the adwords volume.

The so called number of "recovery searches" was HUGELY overstated relative to the search terms we've seen in adwords....and are very very long tracking of how people find us.

Now that is just one case...but I was surprised.  I'll continue to track.  Over many many years in all its manifestations, this is the first time I've seen what data from google local/google my business  EVER Give data that I might believe!!!!   :D  At least some of it.  ;)
Google My Business updates their analytics to show business owners the source of their views and how users found the listing.
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david oremland

❞ Reviews  - 
 
Google is telling us that "this review hasn't been approved yet"   Is this new?  I don't recall ever seeing it. 

One of our smb's got a review today.  I was in the gmail acct and saw notification of the review.  Under the Read the full review button I saw the following:

This review hasn't been approved yet and may be removed from your page. Learn more about review policies.

It came with a link to the review policies.   (BTW: the review was showing despite the notification).

Simply don't recall ever having seen that comment before.  Is it new?
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Max Minzer's profile photodavid oremland's profile photoTim Capper's profile photoJake Beaty's profile photo
5 comments
 
+david oremland I just recently had this same experience. I have no idea what Google's motivations might be, but wanted to let you know you're not alone. 
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david oremland

✆ Listings & Maps  - 
 
 
The Knowledge Box:  Pros and Cons
(note to Max and others--not sure which category this falls into).   From the business side this is one of the pro's and cons with regard to Google's presentation--The Knowledge Box.
I was on the phone receiving side at one of our smb's and took a call from a prospective customer.  He found the smb by searching on the category...a discovery search rather than a recovery search by name.   The good thing was we were highly listed.  He called us first.

He had not visited the website.  I simply got the number, easily available via google.  Some issues:
1.  Customers may happily find an smb via high rankings/ being first in the pac, etc.  That is great if they call.
2.  The SMB info sits out there...and they may not visit the website.  No web traffic.  The only info they get is that which google puts out in the KB.  No salesyness there.
3.  If you are a web marketer/local SEO/  you have ZERO metrics.  Your client got the call.  Hopefully your client tells you/acknowledges your effort and results....but as a web marketer your efforts are somewhat devalued.
4.  As a business and as a marketer you want traffic to the website.  Its your real brochure on the web.  Google moves people off of it.

I can go on and on about pros and cons....but with all things considered...I have watched actual traffic for highly visible websites continue to lose traffic year after year...as google's UI changes/changes/changes...with most of the changes designed to reduce traffic to urls.  

Good thing we are good on the phone.  and as for google...don't ever think they are your friends.    
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david oremland

☛ Local Website/Pages  - 
 
The Knowledge Box:  Pros and Cons
(note to Max and others--not sure which category this falls into).   From the business side this is one of the pro's and cons with regard to Google's presentation--The Knowledge Box.
I was on the phone receiving side at one of our smb's and took a call from a prospective customer.  He found the smb by searching on the category...a discovery search rather than a recovery search by name.   The good thing was we were highly listed.  He called us first.

He had not visited the website.  I simply got the number, easily available via google.  Some issues:
1.  Customers may happily find an smb via high rankings/ being first in the pac, etc.  That is great if they call.
2.  The SMB info sits out there...and they may not visit the website.  No web traffic.  The only info they get is that which google puts out in the KB.  No salesyness there.
3.  If you are a web marketer/local SEO/  you have ZERO metrics.  Your client got the call.  Hopefully your client tells you/acknowledges your effort and results....but as a web marketer your efforts are somewhat devalued.
4.  As a business and as a marketer you want traffic to the website.  Its your real brochure on the web.  Google moves people off of it.

I can go on and on about pros and cons....but with all things considered...I have watched actual traffic for highly visible websites continue to lose traffic year after year...as google's UI changes/changes/changes...with most of the changes designed to reduce traffic to urls.  

Good thing we are good on the phone.  and as for google...don't think they are your friends.    
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Max Minzer's profile photo
 
+david oremland, sorry I didn't check earlier... This post was filtered by G+ as spam. I suggest you repost it (and I'll try to be on lookout).
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pretty darn old; SEO work; business operations. love sports--still love it :D
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Bill Slawski is simply one of the sharpest smartest SEO's in the world. His publications on his blog, SEOBYTHESEA, present more in depth information about how the search engines are thinking and what they are likelier to be doing than is available anywhere else. I started following him around 2004 and he identified key changes in Google, and I'm still following him in 2011 and he is identifying changes that continue to work. Really one of the best in the world. I should update this to say its 2016 and I still follow him. His patent work reveals some of the mysterious goings on in google that simply nobody else catches.
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Public - 5 months ago
reviewed 5 months ago
I've been going to Earl's for several years. I've been to both locations. These are BY FAR, the best sandwiches in the Roslyn to Ballston, Wilson Boulevard area. Nothing else is close. I need to add something. Earl's provides some of the best soups in Arlington. Bar none. I've got to compare. I've been a fan and a regular of the lobster bisque at Rays. It is so often so excellent. I had the tomato crab bisque at Earl's in Clarendon. In a disposable bowl, downed with a plastic spoon. But my oh my. I'd have to say this is the best bisque in Arlington. The best!!!!! For Ballston sandwiches or Clarendon or Courthouse Sandwiches Earl's provides fresh roasted meats on terrific breads (I do love the ciabatta's) along with greens and a spread....all of which are superb. All of them!!! Lots of specials. They tend to come out excellent. Lots of TLC in the preparation. I'm still a fan of the original fresh roasted turkey sandwiches. My goodness, FRESH ROASTED TURKEY....none of that processed deli garbage. On top of that there are a couple of other places in the region that fresh roast turkey for sandwiches. Earl's is easily the best in my book. This is an exceptional sandwich place....and I have to admit...I'm a big fan of the soups too!!!!!
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Public - 6 months ago
reviewed 6 months ago
I've visited Drift on 7th twice. It has replaced Fishnet. Same ownership, same location, but a very different restaurant with a different menu. Fishnet was good. Drift on 7th is better. First of all it's a light airy spacious pleasant design. Ambiance and music are great. I emphasize great. More important are the dishes. Among the winners...and a big winner it is; Is the PEI mussels dish...which besides being excellent is priced significantly less than comparable mussel dishes around town and the suburbs. This version comes with plentiful and plump healthy mussels. The broth/sauce is simply scrumptious. Slightly thickened its a red curry sauce, a little spicy with garlic corn and other ingredients. I had to keep getting extra bread to swab it up and work my way to the bottom of the bowl. One of the best mussel dishes I've ever had. Now I (we) haven't worked through many dishes but we also loved the deserts. Among them the lime pie is a great rendition and variation on key lime pie...and one of us devoured their version of a banana split. Wonderful ways to end a meal. We've also had an excellent beer and a pleasant Riesling....all presented with very friendly service. Wonderful tastes, great pricing. A hidden gem...although so easily accessible just steps from the Shaw/Howard metro stop. (just reread this...hey I don't work there. Its really good!!!!!!) ha ha. Try it.
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Public - 10 months ago
reviewed 10 months ago
For several years this has been one of my go-to restaurants in the CourtHouse neighborhood. Casserole dishes are really excellent. Incredibly pleasant staff. Just enjoyable to dine in and great for takeout. Terrific pricing. Absolutely great value. Its been that way for years and it continues to shine as of early 2016.
Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago
35 reviews
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An Update from June, 2016: Can a great place get better?? Caffe Aficionado might be the example. So elegant, so casual and excellent coffee, liege, exemplary service...and a new treat. Try the coffee granita. Perfect for the summer. Coffee, chocolate...and each sip got better and better. OMG!!!!!! Excellent coffee, on a brew basis. The hand pour is exemplary...among the best coffees in the region. The chocolate croissant included a "hefty" amt of chocolate....not the skimpy amts you'll taste with chains and a rich dark chocolate. hmmmm. The staff is very nice. The establishment is sleek, handsome and comfortable to sit in. I was lucky to get a taste of the fresh squeezed OJ. OMG. A blast of mildly sweet orange juice...perfect to start the morning. Caffe Aficionado is in a corner of Rosslyn and is open limited hours. If you are in the neighborhood down toward where the Key Bridge comes over from Georgetown give it a try. In an area with many chains the coffee, the bakery items and the OJ are truly superb.
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Public - 7 months ago
reviewed 7 months ago
I find Ray's Hell Burger to be a constantly changing evolving institution. Hell Burger, Hell Burger 2, Rays Steak and Cheese, HellBurger across the street, counter service, now The Inner Circle with wait service and a more diversified and still changing and evolving menu. One thing has been consistent: Quality and a great price point!!! Last week I had a steak sandwich; the one with mushrooms and onions. Another winner!!! Steak sandwiches with meat that isn't shaven are something I haven't seen in decades. This was tasty and substantial. Either $11 or $12 but at a quality that isn't being matched anywhere in the area. Another winner. I had it with a chocolate shake. Sort of food heaven. Keep it up
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Public - 11 months ago
reviewed 11 months ago
The chocolates from Artisan Confections are among the most appreciated gifts one could give. Good reason for that. The chocolates are extraordinary. As a gift they come gift boxed and wrapped in a beautiful setting. But my advise is eat them first before giving them as a gift. They are that good.
Public - a year ago
reviewed a year ago