We’re going to be live blogging the Think Visibility Conference in Leeds. Format will be more of a brain dump than anything structured. It is what is!

Tom Critchlow – Distilled
Google Local Tips and Tricks


Search for Hotel in London. Not a single organic listing above the fold.
Verified Listings
Single location, go into Google local and upload the vaious bits of data. Photos, opening hours etc. This is the best way if you have enough properties. Good control of data nad is trusted by Google.
When you are talking about many locations Nationwide: Bulk Upload whitelist using excel but these are slightly less trusted than manual upload

Worst approaches are not to claim your data. Data may be obtained by Google from Yelp or Trip Advisor

For multiple languages:
Think of hotels problems as they are relevant on multiple variants of Google (.uk, fr, .es etc):
Separate bulk uploads for each country
Use the country selection drop down in each country
Unique store code for each listing.
Solves 70% of the problems in Google.

Caps in description field (UNESCO or NATO) Google sees it as Spammy (Google local lags behind regular SEO)
Odd phone number formatting: try uploading small btaches of data so you can see what works for each country

Number of Reviews
Number of reviews is more important than quality! At the moment. Quality of website that holds the review is also important.
Qype and Yelp have relationships. Google is algorythmically pulling in reviews from 3rd parties. (microformats and rich data v useful)

Imagine a Venn Diagram. Big Circle which is links intersects with Mentions of brand which arent linked. Citations spans across all this this space?? Good number of citations is very useful. (lists, directories etc Big opportunity for PR)

Citation opportunities:
Competitor citations via Google

Distance to Centre
Google says it doesnt matter
It does matter
I guess this will change

Can add up to 5 categories
Use Keywords

Advanced Ranking Factors
User generated mentions (user generated maps?)
Citation Quality

Don’t spam the company name field. Google really cracking down on this Can be a negative ranking

  • http://www.virtuaffinity.com Simon Wharton

    Alun Rowe

    Your Brand is more than your URL
    Not a search guy, a design guy

    What do we mean by brand?
    Colours? Font type?
    brand values: cheap? expensive? Austere? Cuddly?

    We no longer own our own brands. This is impacted by

    Word of Mouth (WOM)
    Blogs, Twitter, Facebook etc

    Forums, mailing lists, Flickr groups

    What can you do? How can you keep your brand pure?
    If you cant beat them, join them
    Improve your brand
    Expose your brand values etc

    Use tools like
    Linked in etc

    Getting Started
    write those brand values down and refer back to them
    Determine responsibility with in your or your clients organisation
    Who are the decision makers?

    Create a presence on each service you use
    start engaging
    Speak to the people who run the service and be up front with them

    Rules of Engagement(For such as Twitter)
    Dont just post news items
    Put some personality into it. Avoid auto responders
    Make responses meaningful
    Dont try and be everyones mate
    Dont slate the oppostion. It will make you look a bit cheap.
    Dont try too hard
    Make sure you LISTEN

    Be helpful where you can, even if it’s not your product but be passionate about the product when it is appropriate

    What Now?
    Track what you are saying
    Track what the world is saying about you/the client

    Dealing with Criticism
    Dont REACT (in a kneejerk way!)
    Do respond

    When the Interenet Attacks
    Refer to guidelines
    Step back
    Dont lie
    Create an official response
    Hold your hands up and say sorry
    Vodaphones response to recent issues is held up as a good and personalised reponse to a cock up

    Lots of focus on the personal value that can be generated via using forums

  • http://www.pushon.co.uk Simon Wharton

    Patrick Moogan

    Pin Digital
    “Getting the Links that Matter”

    Link Building Strategy

    How to get Difficult Links
    Have a plan in place from the start

    List your techniques
    List your assets
    Choose your techniques
    Schedule your time
    Go and do it!

    List EVERY link building technique you know

    What gives you an advantage?
    Whats unique about the company?
    What web properties do they already have in place that you can make use of
    Are there any influential personnel that can be capitalised upon?
    Buy Links – noone admits to it but done well, it still works
    Any stock/vouchers you can send out for reviews?
    Dig into the site for under utilised content.

    Factors for choosing link building techniques
    Types of links needed?
    Timescales to get the links?
    Who are the competition?
    Does Google perceive you as a brand? If so, you can get away with more creative link
    Diferentitae between keyword driven links and brand driven links
    What current anchor text do you have?

    How much time do you have to deliver the job.
    Relevant for agencies
    Get the quick wins first in time is limited

    Little Time:
    Buy Links

    What is the Competition like?
    If its big brands with strong SEO, long tail

    If few brands with no market leader, go broad base

    Use your assets
    Make your USPs clear on the site, eg Green Hosting
    Tell people why they should link to you.

      Phone calls: get a much better result than sending emails

    Direct mails
    Dont just ask for a link, comment on their site for a while before looking for the link. Get known
    Twitter about potential link targets
    Send them traffic from a web asset. Just get noticed before the link request
    Be personal, use the persons name
    Have a good subject line in an email
    Mention something specific that is relevant.
    Explain how you can help them.
    Appreciate their time.

      Look for local links as well. (Google Maps!)

    Build a Relationship
    They are a real person
    respect their time
    Even if they say no , respond respectfuly to them
    If appropriate send them some link opportunity in the future

    More Opportunities
    Discount Vouchers
    Find Universities (Students love discounts)

    Make all your links count with WordPress:
    Export all links from Yahoo
    Convert it into an RSS feed

    Indexing Tool is new and useful

    Only non-indexed links will be displayed
    Other RSS opportunties follow

    When looking for link partners, go to page 10 on Google to start cos they havent been approached yet

    Lots more stuff that I missed because there was so much good stuff in this.

  • http://indexingtool.com/ Paul Forcey

    Nice write up of Paddy Moogans Think Visibility talk, just noticed your link to the Indexing Tool goes nowhere!


    Is the url..I am sure he said something about finding links anywhere you can so i am taking his advice..

  • http://www.pushon.co.uk Simon Wharton


    Thats fixed. You could have even asked for anchor text!

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  • http://patrickmoogan.com/blog Paddy Moogan

    Hi Simon,

    Firstly thanks for doing the write up in such detail. I noticed that the link to Pin Digital doesn’t seem to be working at the moment?

    By the way I’ve published the slide deck on the Pin Digital blog if you want to take a look.



  • http://www.pushon.co.uk Simon Wharton

    Fixed it now. That’s me posting in haste and forgetting my http://

  • http://www.pushon.co.uk Katrina

    These were the things I felt were worth noting from the event:

    Google Local Tips by Tom Critchlow

    Uploaded local listings have less trust associated with them, so use the bulk white-list to get the same trust level as manually added and verified listings.
    For multiple languages, use separate bulk upload files for each language, using the country drop down for each country.
    Number of reviews is more important than the rating – the more the better.
    Make use of rich snippets on your site to feed Google local reviews.
    Citations (not necessarily links) are a factor in Google Local rankings.
    Check where highly ranked Google local competitors have reviews.
    Ensure citations are updated (e.g. address details in directories)
    Add address details & phone numbers to profiles to feed Google Local – but be consistent with the details.
    To see who has reviews in the local area, put * into Google local
    Use ‘user created’ maps if you’re a local business to
    If you have problems with a muddled up listing (e.g. your address matched to someone elses listing) – Google help engineers will advise.
    Categories are very important.

    SEO in practice by Judith Lewis (her presentation was fairly basic – introductory SEO and Chocolate samples).

    SEO Project Management by Sarah Goodwin
    Why bother with project management techniques in SEO?:
    – Efficient
    – faster
    – less stress
    – More profitability

    Project inception:
    Decide what needs doing

    In SEO terms:
    – Site audit
    – Client goals
    – Internal goals

    If we achieve this…. we will see this ROI

    Project monitoring:
    check that you really are doing what you said you were going to.