Robert Forbes, Product Analyst

Last month, Google completed its roll out of the new local search results in a simultaneous, world-wide release. Previously, Google displayed anywhere from 3-7 local business listings shown on the map, depending on the keywords searched. The current view shown below, now only shows the top three results. Moreover, Google no longer displays phone numbers in the initial results.

Robert Forbes, Product Analyst

Smartphone use and ownership continues to increase daily throughout the nation. According to Pew Research, over 174 million people in the United States own smartphones and by next year smartphones are expected to make up 90% of the mobile market. The vast majority of these smartphones will be used to obtain information in real time about their location. A previous blog on the Convergent Mobile website addressed the subject of Geo-Fencing. More specifically, it focused on the ease of a company including these features in an app or as part of opt-in user service, to take advantage of location based services. Such services present the ability to include physical location and to store additional data-points in order to advertise to customers more relevantly and effectively. However, this is only one of several ascendant technological changes our society is rapidly embracing. The increasing penetration of smartphones worldwide and their ability to access information in real-time is leading to the development of new technologies that you and your business should be familiar with in order to remain at the top of your game and ahead of your competitors.

Robert Forbes, Product Analyst

With the ubiquitous position smartphones now occupy in our social and professional lives many companies, both large and small are wondering if to invest in a mobile app? The popularity of mobile apps cannot be denied, with Apple alone announcing that over the period July 2008 to June 2015, 100 billion apps had been downloaded from its store. The Apple App Store and Google Playstore each had about 1.4 million mobile applications available for download in the beginning of 2015

Robert Forbes, Product Analyst

Now-a-days a company can easily have an application built through any online app developer and quickly promote it to customers and fans. One of the most interesting options is to include is a 'geo-fence'. A geo-fence is a virtual perimeter for a targeted geographic area by utilizing the global positioning system (GPS) or radio frequency identification (RFID) to define boundaries. A geo-fence acts as a virtual tripwire for marketers. For mobile marketing, geo-fencing allows for a customer's location to be another data-point in determining what promotions to send and can quickly increase ROI during marketing campaigns, allowing for business to send locally-targeted and pertinent promotional offers to those within range.

Danielle Collier, Business Development

In recent months, Google released a new algorithm for local search analytics that has become known as the Pigeon Update. Pigeon has wreaked havoc on search engine optimization (SEO) companies efforts by single handedly changing search results in more ways than one. From decreased traffic due to spam links to almost completely removing the need for ranking results in local search, Pigeon is starting to live up to its true identity as the bird that no one likes.

Jessie Rutledge, Product Analyst

Just as the opportunity to purchase fast and convenient food resulted in the surge of growth in the fast-food industry, the opportunity to purchase any consumer good on the go, quickly, and conveniently is proving to have similar effects. According to a recent study on fifty-three retail websites by NetElixer, websites that have been optimized for smartphones have a 160% greater conversion rate than competitors that did not optimize their online stores for smartphone access.

Danielle Collier, Business Development

Listing Management remains a key foundational element for any successful SEO program. Previously, where individuals referenced the yellow pages, consumers now turn to the closest smart phone, tablet or computer to find business location information - and much more. We are in a time where creating a strong local search presence and maintaining visibility is more important than ever for local business.

Jessie Rutledge, Product Analyst

Obtaining and understanding consumer feedback in response to products and services is critical to improving performance and profits. Making small adjustments in response to customer feedback can often significantly heighten customer satisfaction and, in turn, repeat business. But in today's ever-competitive enterprising world, sometimes this just isn't enough. Many companies are getting a leg up on their competition by predicting trends before they happen, learning what their competitors plans are before they'e carried out, and identifying target customers before they even make a purchase. These benefits can only emerge when social intelligence comes into play.

Robert Forbes, Product Analyst

In 2007 for the first time, the average number of U.S. text messages per month exceeded the average number of U.S. phone calls. In 2010 a University of Wisconsin study found that our youth are now more than ever, inseparable from their cell phones - an observation that continues to be made daily in homes across America. The Pew Research Center's Internet and American Life Project reports that amongst teens, the use of texting has now overtaken every other type of common interaction amongst friends. But text messaging has evolved well beyond being a mere tool of social comradery, it has now become a cornerstone of daily life in a fast-paced technological world. The full commercialization of IT has arrived.

Amanda Shell, Senior Product Manager

This month Google made some big changes with big repercussions for businesses listed online in its search results. While it is still too early to definitively say what the final impacts will be, it is good to understand what changes we have seen thus far. The update, nicknamed Pigeon by Search Engine Land1, has dramatically affected local search results within certain vertical segments (restaurants, hotels, etc.) and select geographies. It appears the change has more closely aligned Google's local algorithm with its core algorithm(s) and standard web ranking signals. Meaning that queries, which Google previously deemed to have local-intent, are now returning results intended more for comparative research.