In episode #13 of the vlog series at the Search Engine Roundtable I interviewed Joy Hawkins (@JoyanneHawkins). Joy Hawkins been doing local SEO for over 13 years, all local, only local. Even other local SEO experts go to her for advice. She worked at Imprezzio Marketing and left that company after almost 8 years and started her own firm, Sterling Sky, Inc. It was one of the more scary things she has done but looking back, it was a great thing. Then a couple years ago she bought the Local Search Forums from Linda Buquet, a mentor to Joy. The forum is one of the most active forums in SEO, let alone local SEO. They keep the spam out and keep it very white hat.
Local Ranking Factors was the topic she covered at Mozcon, and she dug into what he spoke about at the event. Including the issues with local search rank checking, which are the most important ranking factors in local search and much more. The top local ranking factors according to Joy are keywords in business name, categories, reviews and which pages you link to on your web site. She said links do not matter as much for local SEO anymore. One thing was that even when reviews are removed because they violate guidelines, those reviews are currently still used for ranking purposes (at least right now). We also talked about Google Maps spam issues and in addition to the bugs that plague the platform.
Here is the interview:
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Forum discussion at YouTube.
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