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Marcus Miller
The Dude abides
The Dude abides


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If you are in the hotel or hospitality business then online reviews are an important factor in your online marketing. Reviews can help drive visibility but more importantly they help customers choose you (or not) over the competition. 

This post takes a look at the importance of reviews for hotels and provides some simple strategies to take control of what people are saying about your business in search. 

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SEO is a hell of a game and most folks are not really sure what is fair game and what is manipulation that will get you in trouble. This new resource pulls all of the SEO guidelines into one location so you no longer have any excuse to not gen up on what you can and can't do. 

Forewarned is forearmed folks. 

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Have you ever checked what the Google street view looks like for your business? Google has a nasty habit of getting this wrong and in our case they were showing a boarded up building rather than our swanky office - not cool. 

This article details how to fix the street view image for your business whether you have claimed the listing or not. 

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If you want to work with a real website professional in Birmingham you can do a lot worse that Darren Langley. Bowler Hat stamp of approval! 

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There are so many 'list of citations' articles out there for Local SEO that I wanted to address something that I don't really see mentioned and that is how important it is to audit and correct existing citations. In many cases just adding new citations can hinder rather than help and the first job should be to audit and correct what is out there. 

I like the idea of sending a clear and strong NAP signal and any inconsistencies add interference to that signal.  

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Running out of ideas for you Local SEO campaign? The Local Search Ranking factors study from David Mihm (now of (formerly SEOMoz)) is now out and should provide you with some ideas. 

You may have done the obvious but we have 180 positive factors for foundational ranking and then competitive placement so I am sure there area a couple (maybe about 175) of areas you have not really dug into. 

There is also 30 negative factors that you can also take a look at as a problem resolved is also another positive step in the right direction. 

We are deep, deep, deep in Local SEO at Bowler Hat so would love to hear your thoughts on this so give me a shout with any questions - we will cover the best questions we get in an upcoming blog post.

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Whilst working on a site this week that had suffered with some URL based duplicate content issues I found hundreds of mod rewrite rules that had been hacked together over time. 

Well, I managed to replace over 100 rules that took weeks to implement with one simple rule that took care of all of the issues. 

Hopefully, this may save someone some pain out there! 

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I wrote a blog post last week considering the continued importance of links in the SEO mix post Penguin and the War on Spam. I generally concluded that whilst many types of links that worked when they should not have done no longer work that good, honest, relevant links from socially active and well read sites work better than ever. 

Well, the first insight into the (SEO)Moz ranking factors post is out and they pretty much confirm that links and even anchor text is still well correlated with good page level results:

So, as you were people. Links are still a factor, there are lots of other important factors as well now but they should still be a part of the mix in competitive areas and online businesses targeting national markets. 

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Interesting update for Google maps for Android rolling out shortly (and following on IOS devices soon after). 

Big changes seem to be easier way's to navigate and find local places to eat, drink and visit along with tighter integration of reviews and offers. 

In fact you will actually be able to see offers from local businesses when browsing the map so if local was not important enough for local restaurants and eateries it is even more so now. 

They have also retired latitude and integrated the satellite navigation into the application with updates on traffic and alternative routes. 

Looks amazing, I am not seeing it on Play store here in the UK yet but will report back when I have had a tinker. 

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Folks will always want hard metrics for SEO and in many cases people will obsess over the secret ingredients that Google is looking for that will help their site grab more visibility in search. This approach is beyond flawed & in many cases paralyses good companies who could just be doing some good, honest Internet Marketing. 

This post takes a look at a common question regarding blog post length and what is best and tries to provide an answer that goes beyond the simple > 350 words or > 1000 & < 3000 words kind of generic guidance we see banded around from SERP analysis. 
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