Who are you …. and what have you done with the Google guy?


I (Tim Judd) attended the morning session “Google’s Latest Word on Local” and while the description in the Agenda promised that “the reigning power in Local on line advertising” had a new sheriff in town, most of us mulling in the hallway before the early session didn’t expect much to be different. Then Todd Rowe, Google’s director of global SMB reseller partnerships, presented Google’s new approach to working with Local Ad Words Resellers. Now, I have sat through any number of presentations by various Google’s team at various conferences. Each one was given by a different person…the job of looking after Local gets passed around a lot at Google…they were uniformly mysterious cagey and generally opaque. Google is Google…and who the heck are you anyway was the general approach. The attendees would walk away scratching their heads, did Google understand the potential of Local Search? Did we just sit through an hour long session and not learn a thing?

Today was different. The new guy for local channel addressed the conference today and there was a surprising difference. The new guy isn’t from Google…he’s an ex SAP guy (elocallisting runs our accounting on SAP, btw) who is all about building and running a big powerful channel program.

While not actually apologetic he did concede that historically the Local Search crew had been inaccessible, inscrutable, and generally a difficult to work with (a hush came over the room, yeah we know this) and then something we hadn’t expected – that is going to change. In the new world, Google is appointing a Global Partner Council which will meet a couple of times a year and at those meeting (I picture them as happening in dark smoke filled rooms) Google will share the vision of Local Search and ask for input. Also they have up’d their head count, increased the number of partner relationships and they have decided that from now on they will actually answer email. That’s incredible, and very exciting. If it works and it gives us poor integrators and resellers better visibility into where Google is headed so we can plan our products and strategies accordingly that will help a lot.

Meantime, at eLocal Listing we’ll keep slogging away getting local businesses leads from Local Search, making the phone ring with new business for local businesses. The world is changing rapidly and if you are a local business even trying to keep up is a huge task. In fact it’s impossible. We’ll do what we do, we’ll get our customers found in search….and we’ll see what happens with the new Google guys.

I will keep my ears and eyes open to see if somewhere in a closet, empty room, or hallway, the real Google guys aren’t tied and gagged and desperately trying to get free and give the morning session on Google’s Latest Word.

Tim Judd
President and CEO of eLocal Listing, the nation’s leading provider of internet marketing.

Facebookonia Welcomes Careful Drivers


The long anticipated data point that Facebook has just passed the 500 millionth user mark was greeted by a flurry of press reaction and an outage on the Facebook site….maybe the half billionth user was one too many for a while. With more members than the entire populations of the US and Brazil put together we should perhaps just declare them a separate country and be done with it…my suggestion is the Peoples Republic of Facebookonia.

The phenomenon which is Facebook prompted my hero the King of All Media, Howard Stern to rant for about half an hour this morning about the demise of traditional media, in his case terrestrial radio. His logic was “If you can reach half a billion people with an ad on Facebook why would anyone ever use radio.” It’s an interesting argument, but there is still a way to go…online media is still only 10% of all ad spend…and search is the largest component of that. Search is already significantly larger than magazines as a medium.

Will Facebook evolve into a media powerhouse? No doubt. Will it get bigger than magazines or radio for that matter in the immediate future? Beats me. However, in the world we currently inhabit (as opposed to Facebookonia) search remains the best way for companies to reach customers…and at least for now, we’ll use social components to increase the reach of our products and stay focused on driving a huge amount of visibility to local businesses through search.

~Tim Judd
President and CEO of eLocal Listing, the nation’s leading provider of internet marketing.

Facebook Takes a Swing at the Massive Piñata That is Search

Facebook Logo


Facebook recently announced changes in their search offerings which have been seen by some as them declaring war on the mighty Google with their Facebook’s search strategy and their recent statement that “all Open Graph-enabled web pages will show up in search when a user likes them”.

I thought I’d just try it out …. I was in Vegas so I thought I’d check out the hotel I saw a show at. A search for Rio Hotel Las Vegas on Facebook yielded two results neither of which were the actual hotel, but both were masquerading as such. I then searched for ‘Pen and Teller’ and got a bunch of likes from various people, but not until I searched for ‘Penn and Teller Rio Las Vegas’ did I get any results which might have helped me go see their show at the Rio…and they were provided by Bing.

Needless to say, any of those queries done on Google yielded just about perfect results for both the hotel and the show. Facebook  is following (in part) the premise that a “like” on Facebook is similar to a “link” as counted by Google. It’s an interesting idea, but at first glance I would have thought that’s an approach which is highly prone to spam…in the same way that Digg seems to be….but they are the guys with the war chest of cash so what would I know?

I’m a fan of both Facebook and Google (no pun intended). Google has tried some interesting social media stuff of late, to very mixed reviews, and it makes sense that Facebook would want to take a swing at the massive piñata that is Search. This is obviously early days and if I were Google I’d be concerned that someone with as much traffic as Facebook came after my cookie jar. I’m probably a bit on the old side to really use Facebook, I tend to watch on the sidelines at the fascinating lives led by people I know, but I use search all day, every day and I like to think I know enough about it to be dangerous.

In terms of getting our customers new business through Social Media we’ll continue to integrate as much social content as we can with our products. The opinion of others is enormously important when it comes to choosing a product or a service, but when it comes to getting found through search then Facebook has a very long way to go if it intends to compete with the mighty G.

Meantime….if you happen to be in Vegas and want to see an  amazing show those magical funsters Penn and Teller at the Rio are worth every penny.

~Tim Judd
President and CEO of eLocal Listing, the nation’s leading provider of internet marketing.

Now We Are Three

I have to admit that somewhere in the cluttered attic of my brain I had thought that “Now we are Three” was a book about Christopher Robin and Winnie the Pooh (I just wrote that as Winnie the Pho…who is presumably a kind of Asian soup…). On further investigation I think I was confused by “When we were very young.” which is a Pooh story. In any event…it’s our birthday…eLcoal Listing is three years old today. I have to admit that on occasion it feels like much longer, it’s been a very intense and interesting time. We have built a considerable business by providing effective and affordable internet marketing for small businesses all over the US.

In those three years time we have established a strong track record and a huge customer base of companies who thanks to eLocal get found on the front page of the major Search Engines every day by people  looking for their products or services locally. We have driven millions of visitors to our customers through Local Search and have helped our customers land  thousands of new projects from new business. We have launched successfully in Europe and become a force to be reckoned in the US.

Looking back at what is perhaps most remarkable is just how important the world of Local Search has become. A few years ago Local was the redheaded step child of Search. The focus was squarely on national brands and national search driven mostly through Pay Per Click advertising and traditional site based Search Engine Optimization. A few short years later the landscape has changed dramatically. Recently Google themselves announced that at least 20% of all queries they process are local in intent. With the emergence of social media with Facebook and Twitter which themselves also generate enormous amounts of local content, local is gaining in importance all the time.

We find ourselves squarely in the middle of this exciting and fast growing market. It turns out that local businesses, many of whom have minimal experience in advertising let alone online advertising, have figured out that they can track every dime spent online through our products. That means that every day we are held accountable by tens of thousands of local businesses who ask us “what have you done for me lately.” The answer is typically “we have driven a bunch of calls to your phone and visitors to your company information online and we are helping you to grow your business and pay your bills”. Every month a local business lands a couple of new deals because eLocallisting.com made their phone ring through local search. As our customers grow and thrive so do we.

I am enormously proud of what our team has achieved and I have every confidence that having achieved so much in such a short time the best is yet to come. Happy Birthday elocallisting.com….and many happy returns.

~Tim Judd
President and CEO of eLocal Listing, the nation’s leading provider of internet marketing.

What’s Wrong with this Picture?

Cinco De Mayo


OK, so I shouldn’t be too tough on Ask.com as the mistake happened two years ago, but I can’t really resist poking a bit of fun at ask.com on May 5th (Cinco do Mayo) and after Experian® Hitwise® announces that its share of searches has increased 4 months in a row.

In an article posted on April 7, 2010 Experian® Hitwise® announced that Google accounted for 69.97 percent of all U.S. searches in March 2010.  Yahoo! made up 15.04%, bing.com 9/62%, and Ask.com 3.44% the fourth month in a row that Ask.com saw an increase in searches.  These statistics show a small decrease in search volume to Google, Yahoo!, and bing, but it is still clear that Google remains the King of Search Volume in the U.S. and it doesn’t look like they will be dethroned any time soon.  Making an Internet Marketing Strategy that includes being found prominently on Google a must for savvy business owners.

So, back to poking a bit of fun at Ask … and it has nothing to do with their Search Share, instead it has to do with a blunder they made on this very day two years ago.  In creating their logo for May 5th, 2008 … instead of Cinco de Mayo .. they misspelled it Cinco Do Mayo … Too funny!  Hey Google … we like the subtle changes in your logo as well … subtle, very subtle!

eLocal Listing provides Internet Marketing to thousands of small businesses across the U.S.

Google® Confirms that 20% of All Online Searches Have a Local Intent.

local search google

I have attended many (many) Search Engine conferences. They are sometimes fascinating, sometimes dull, and on occasion soul crushingly boring. I especially enjoy the keynote sessions given by the great and the good of the Search world. What’s noticeably missing in many sessions is hard data. Understandably folks tend to play their cards close to their chests, but any nugget of real data is a refreshing change…getting hard data from the almighty (by which I of course mean Google®) is a rare and wonderful thing.

Then just the other day Google® came out with an announcement, almost casually, that 20% of all the Searches that they process are related to Local Search. I have heard the question “How much of search is Local?” debated any number of times and have heard numbers as small as 4% and as high as 40%. Clearly the pundits were throwing darts at a wall and giving their best guess. Then Google® put us all out of our misery and let the local search cat out of the bag…it’s 20%.  According to a press release from Google® itself they state that “about the percentage of local searches is “20%”.  This number is significantly higher than comScore’s estimate of 11-12% and to put it all in perspective that is 2.8 billion (yes, I said billion) local queries on Google® each month.

Is 20% a big number?…Well it’s a decent pay raise or a horrible inflation rate. In our world of local search 20% of the half a billion queries trafficked by Google is about 100 million queries per day or 2.8 billion (yes, I said billion) local queries on Google each month.

So now, at every Search conference I attend, every presenter (no matter how dull) will now have at least one amazing, heart stopping, startling statistic which validates the importance of everything we do. 20%…Wow!

~Tim Judd
President and CEO of eLocal Listing, the nation’s leading provider of internet marketing.

eLocal Listing is Breaking Records with United Glass

eLocal Auto Glass

Never before has eLocal Listing’s Found Fast Products made such an impact so quickly.  The success story of United Glass of Louisiana demonstrates how eLocal Listing gets business up on the major Search Engines and fast.  On March 26th Holly from United Glass was contacted by Herb La Madrid from our corporate headquarters for a 3 City Found Fast Multi-City Package.  This regional package includes free submission to Yahoo! And Google Local, as well as the creation of a Profile Page that balances SEO and Marketing.  In less than a week they received their first call from their eLocal Listing Internet Marketing Package and the calls just keep coming.  In the first three weeks of April, United Glass has received over 4 quality calls as a direct result of their Found Fast Multi-City Package.  In less than one month, they have received 16 calls.  We look forward to driving more calls to United Glass.

United Glass has been providing quality auto glass services in Kenner, LA for over 50 years.  They focus on customer service and are committed to excellence.  Their services include:   Auto Glass, windshield replacement or repair and mobile auto glass services.  We think that United Glass Rocks – Hear what they have to say about our services.

April 2010
United Glass has been in the glass business since 1959 and have tried several different online advertisement services, however they charge us per lead even if we don’t book the job.  We signed up with eLocal Listing and love their product and service.  eLocallisting is different from other Online Advertising companies because 1) You know when someone is calling through eLocal’s Internet Marketing because of the prompt ahead of the call.  This makes it easy to keep track of how many calls you are getting a day.  2) The quantity and the quality of the calls versus the other guy’s (wrong #s, etc) are much higher with eLocal Listing.  3) The set fee each month and not per lead allows us to budget and plan rather than wonder how much our marketing is going to cost each month. 4) Last, but not least is the Customer Service that is provided by eLocal Listing.  They call to keep you updated on your account and we absolutely love doing business with eLocal Listing.  They are friendly, honest, and helpful.

Thank You eLocal Listing
The Staff and Owners at United Glass of Kenner, LA

Thank You United Glass – We think you rock!

eLocal Listing Launches the Quick Glance Dashboard

An online tool that allows eLocal Listing Customers to Easily Track Campaign Success and ROI

Temecula, CA (PRWeb) April 22, 2010 – eLocal Listing, one of the nation’s fastest growing local internet marketing companies offering affordable online advertising solutions for small to mid-sized businesses, announces the launch of their Quick Glance Dashboard. eLocal Listing’s Quick Glance Dashboard is an online campaign tracking and monitoring tool that allows Multi-City customers to gain access to detailed and thorough information about the success of their internet marketing campaign 24/7.

With the Quick Glance Dashboard customers can track all campaign activity in an easy to use dashboard that allows customers to track campaign activity at a glance with intuitive data, charts, and graphs. And because they are available on line 24/7, customers can glance when they get the chance.

The Quick Glance Dashboard allows customers the ability to keep track of the number of calls, visits, emails, text messages, and now clicks to a customer’s web site as a direct result of their eLocal Listing Found Fast Internet Marketing Campaign.

Our unique Call Tracking and Call Reporting features lets customers see call dates, times, duration and status and even allows them to listen to each call generated by their eLocal Listing Campaign. The Quick Glance Dashboard provides insightful graphs and charts that allow small business owners the ability to monitor call activity, visits to their Profile Pages, emails, text messages, and website clicks. In addition, our user friendly graphs help business owners with internal sales training and staffing requirements through easy to use graphs that detail missed calls, call volume, and call quality. All of which are designed to help turn a search in to a sale.

Phil Dizon the lead engineer on this project and a graduate of University of California, Irvine, also played an integral part in the development of our Found Fast Technology and the installation of our SAP Business One System comments on the launch. “We are excited that our customers will reap the benefits of our new Quick Glance Dashboard. Designed with our customers in mind, it is a simple and easy way for our customers to see how well their profiles are doing over time; from the number their profile page has been visited to the number of calls and emails received. Our beta launch received a great response from our internal users and our customers who participated in the test; we anticipate that the official launch will receive similar accolades.”

The Quick Glance Dashboard is currently available for eLocal Listing Multi-City Customers with Call Tracking.

About Us

eLocal Listing, LLC is a wholly owned subsidiary of Search Initiatives, LLC and is located in Temecula, CA. eLocal Listing specializes in managing internet marketing campaigns for small businesses. eLocal Listing’s small business online advertising solutions are both affordable and effective. The company has over 100 employees and currently provides local internet marketing solutions to over 10,000 customers.

Contact info:
Carolee Collins carolee.collins@elocallisting.com

Being Evil by Omission


The unofficial Google motto for the longest time has been “don’t be evil”. It’s a laudable goal and one that they have done a pretty good job of living up to for many years. However, there is one glaring hole in their shinny armor where evil is in danger of oozing in. We are a local SEO company focused on getting small businesses found in the search engines at a price they can afford. The Google Local Business Center allows local businesses to adopt their listing for free, it’s a community service where millions of happy, honest, fluffy, and well behaved local businesses update their own listings so that all the world can find them.

Google has opened a way for large companies with lots of offices to enter and manage their own information but beyond that small business are pretty much on their own. One of the more unpleasant side effects of this laissez faireapproach is that business of the less friendly and fluffy kind can in fact easily adopt competitors listings in an attempt to drive customers to them by fraud. There was a recent case in Australia where a florist was convicted of doing just this and received a fine and a bunch of community service time. Google claimed they were “shocked just shocked” to hear of such underhand and hard to predict behavior. That is a little hard to swallow as we come across it all the time.

The simple solution would be for Google to allow companies (or their agents like us) to adopt their listings and lock them through a verifiable and traceable approach…like…hummm…let’s see…how about a credit card! It doesn’t even have to be charged…but it would at least deter the casual scoundrel. Without some form of suitable security the LBC will remain vulnerable to abuse. Of course one way to absolutely secure your listing is to join the LBC advertising program and pay for your listing to be featured for local queries…but making business do that by making the rest of the LBC chaotic would be evil wouldn’t it?

Buzz Off


As I never tire or stating…I’m a huge Google fan…given my job I pretty much have to be. Cut me crosswise and I have Google written in concentric circles….I’m currently reading a book about those awfly clever people. So I was a bit taken aback earlier this week when I opened up my Gmail to find an invitation to join ad new social network platform called Buzz. OK ‘cool’ I thought…just what I need…another social network to be annoyed by use for two weeks then ignore. When I checked it out I was more than slightly weirded out to note that they had taken the precaution of jump starting my network by hooking up a bunch of more or less random folk from my Gmail distribution lists. The people involved had been neatly selected to be my followers and I was selected to follow a bunch of others.

I know Google is pretty munch omniscient…but even I thought this was a little high handed of them to suggest which of my diverse bunch of correspondents might like each other. I’m guessing they looked for emails where I had included multiple folk in the CCs and figured since I knew them they would probably know each other…a fair assumption but a little rude and potentially disastrous…a couple of scenarios ran through my mind and I got goose flesh just thinking about them.

As it turned out my mild surprise was as nothing to the rain of pain that descended on the Googleplex with everyone from the Canadian government down sharing their concerns/paranoia over this over enthusiastic feature. Google is much more than a day late and a dollar short to the whole social media thing.They have a ton of loyal Gmail users (like me) but those 100 million or so users barely compare to the 400 million Facebook users and I can see how it would be attractive to launch with a built in user base and Shazam! instant social media giant.

In fairness Google took the criticism well and have responded by changing the way the product works and has retreated behind “we were just trying it out and looking for feedback” defense..the last refuge of the scoundrel, but it does rather neatly make the point as my old grandma used to be fond of saying… just because you can doesn’t mean you should.