Predictions for 2016, New Year Joy, Facebook Local and Foursquare Pilgrim

local search marketing news for Friday 8th January 2016


Happy New Year everyone! 2015 is well behind us (great review post here) and we’re now a full work week into 2016. Last year gave us plenty of things to talk about including Live Chat in the Knowledge Graph (now gone) to Mobilegeddon, issues with MapMaker, Local divorcing itself from Google+ and finally the Snack Pack.

So what does 2016 have in store? In the first Roundup of the year we’re looking at some of the better prediction posts … and there are plenty of them! In addition we’ve got a couple of great technical local SEO posts along with some news on both Facebook and Foursquare. Enjoy!


Local search trends and predictions for 2016
There are a combined 61 predictions in the posts linked to below, covering everything from beacons and autonomous cars to Twitter and Apple Maps. No doubt we’re in for another interesting year! With the continued rise of mobile useage and voice search the key areas for businesses would appear to be mobile optimisation, citation consistency and the use of structured data. I’m really interested to see what Apple may get up to, how Facebook will continue exploring Local, if Amazon Home Services takes off and how Google will respond to it all. Should be fun!
Read more:
 2016 Predictions via Yext
24 Expert Predictions for Local Marketing in 2016 via LSA Insider
What’s Next for 2016 via SIM Partners
Six Trends Shaping Location Marketing In 2016 by Adam Dorfman
10 Digital Marketing Advances That Will Impact Local SEO & Search in 2016 by Bernadette Coleman

Start the year with Joy
There are folks in every industry who you can turn to when you encounter a particular issue you haven’t come across before. In local search one of my favourite troubleshooters in Joy Hawkins, who is one of the Google My Business forum’s Top Contributors (among a great many other things). Couple of great articles from Joy went live over the past week or so, both with a focus on some specific local SEO issues that can have a big impact. The content on duplicate listings is a must-read and one to bookmark for future reference. The article on Moz highlights another great local search insider tip
Read more:
 Definitive Guide To Duplicate Research For Local SEO via Search Engine Land
What Big Brands Need to Know About Google’s Filter via Moz

What’s Facebook up to in Local
In terms of local search on the platform itself, Facebook still way underperforms. Sure, it can be useful to get recommendations from family and friends but pretty hopeless as an outright search engine. But maybe Facebook isn’t too worried about that. Places, Nearby and the newer Services feature aren’t easy to find but if Facebook is taking a long term view on things then they can be patient. Plenty of interesting points made in the article linked to below.
Read more:

 Facebook Continues to Experiment in Local — But Its Focus Is Long-Term by Damian Rollison

Foursquare location data – what is Pilgrim?
Foursquare’s location data is used everywhere, including Twitter and Pinterest. That data is now going beyond merely business NAP information and into maiing actual predictions based on footfall around specific areas. For example, in September, Foursquare accurately predicted Apple would sell 13 million iPhones during the iPhone 6S opening weekend based on its foot traffic data around Apple stores. The potential uses for that data in other apps could be really interesting and get some discussion in the article below. Well worth a read.
Read more:
 Foursquare’s location data is way more powerful than people realize via Business Insider

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See you all back here next week!

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Nick Rink

Managing Director at Smart Local
Nick runs Smart Local from its base in Wimbledon and writes about local search, social media, the mobile web and other online marketing issues affecting small businesses.

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