Darren Shaw's avatar

Mikel Zaremba joins WhitesparkMany of you probably already know Mikel Zaremba from Radical Mustache. Today we are thrilled to announce that he has joined the team at Whitespark. He’ll be managing local search campaigns for our growing LocalSpark service, writing for our blog, putting local search resources together, and running Google Hangouts on Air.

Mike is a contributor to the Local Search Ranking Factors, and his Ultimate Local SEO Guide is one of the most popular resources in our industry. He has 15 years of web development and SEO experience, and has been focused on local search since 2008.

Mike also wrote a post about the move on his blog, here.

I’m stoked to be working with Mike and the other local search experts at Whitespark. I’m excited about what we’re building, and what the future holds for the company. Please join me in welcoming Mike to the team!

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Gene Maryushenko's avatar

Local SEO is supposed to be easy, at least that's what I thought when I was first introduced to the concept. The fact that organic factors weren't too much at play was good news for small businesses who simply didn't have the resources to compete. All that has changed in 2014.

The Changing Landscape

The recent Local Search Ranking Factors survey has shed some light on the changes that made a fairly simple process an entirely different beast. If there is one thing we notice from the seemingly complex ranking factors list, it's the shift of organic signals to local algorithms. Domain authority, link quality and your typical organic factors measured by user behavior are all playing a huge part in the new search results. Several experts have noted the growing significance of behavioral factors such as click-through rates, clicks on directions, pogo-sticking and so on.

Phil Rozek made a comment that reflected my personal opinion: “Google reviews do seem to help rankings, in my experience. I don’t know whether it’s a direct benefit or an indirect one (because reviews help click-throughs). Not that it matters. The benefits are ridiculous and many.”

Our own Darren Shaw is likely onto something when [...]

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Nyagoslav Zhekov's avatar

Unravelling the Mystery of Bad NAP Data

Posted Aug 25, 2014 by Nyagoslav Zhekov in Local SEO, Citation Building

Incorrect business information online is much more frequently encountered than correct business information online, and one of the main reasons for this is the way the business data flows through the ecosystem.


Problems with the Business Data Exchange System

Business data flows unidirectionally – from a small oligopoly of business data providers to an enormous number of online platforms ranging from GPS navigation systems, through Internet yellow pages (IYPs), to mobile applications of any sort. Unfortunately, the technological and data-exchange-related relationships between the business data providers and the business data receivers are not always as straightforward as everyone interested in finding correct business information online would have liked them to be. There are two main issues:


1) Business data is not transferred in real time.

Normally, the data receivers are “fed” the data or they “pull” the data at certain time intervals. The latter are most frequently between 1 and 6 months long. This means that if certain business data has been updated in a business data provider’s database it might make its way to a data receiver (for instance, a GPS navigation system) no sooner than 1 month after it has been originally updated in the source.


2) Business data updated in the [...]

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Darren Shaw's avatar

Welcome, Matthew Weiss!

Posted Aug 6, 2014 by Darren Shaw in Whitespark

Matthew WeissWe're super excited to welcome Matthew Weiss to our development team. Matt has over 5 years of web application development experience and is a JavaScript expert who regularly attends JavaScript conferences around the world. He's also a regular Mike Holmes when it comes to home renovations. 

We have SOOOO many projects we'd like to develop at Whitespark, so we're thrilled to be working with another pro developer to help us add new features to our existing tools and to help us develop more tools. Welcome Matt!

PS: We're still looking to hire one more developer, so if you know anyone that might be interested, please let them know!

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Travis Van Slooten's avatar

Rejoice...The Local Pack Is Near Me!

Posted Jul 29, 2014 by Travis Van Slooten in Local SEO

As a Project Manager here at Whitespark, I'm usually knee deep in implementing a bunch of SEO strategies for our LocalSpark clients. I'm usually not the guy around here that digs into the algorithm to see what has changed from one update to another. Let's just say I'm not the one around here that's going to tell you something new about the algo. I leave that sort of research and discovery to Darren and Phil. But on this day I found myself doing a number of searches for a Realtor we're working with to see if anything was triggering the local pack, and lo and behold, I stumbled upon something that even Darren thought was worthy of a post. What's the saying…even a blind squirrel finds a nut every once in a while? Prior to the algo update on July 25th, there were many broad real estate keyword phrases that would trigger the local pack. Keywords like "real estate Minneapolis" or "realtors Minneapolis" would trigger the local pack all day long. That is no longer the case since the update. It seems like nothing triggers the local pack for real estate agents…well at least not until [...]

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