Google told me that I’ve been to Life Time Fitness 75 times in the last four months. I’m not saying this to brag about my super buff Dad bod, I’m bringing it up because I never asked Google to keep track of my life choices.
My go to person for complaining about proximity based anything for most of my adult career has been Industry leader Greg Sterling. Among many other things, he’s been a Contributing Editor for 13 years at Search Engine Land, and is the Principal at Sterling Marketing Intelligence.
Greg is one of the top authorities on local marketing and location intelligence. I don’t know anyone who could tell you otherwise. We TMI the changes he has seen in digital strategy and content development over the past <redacted> decades. Greg also talks about the importance of branding, what we may need to fix the internet, the wide range of privacy issues we see today and what we can do about them, and a whole lot of fun Star Trek throwbacks.
[2:05] Sterling Marketing Intelligence is a consulting firm, and Greg is the Principal. The goal at Sterling Marketing is to better inform the SEO professional community with concrete search engine tests and results that they can then apply to their marketing clients pages.
[13:29] Google takes strong action today against people scraping off sites, but when the internet first started, this was a prevalent practice.
[17:02] Besides Google and Yelp, there are not that many competitors for consumers to search and find a wide range of choices for whatever it is they are looking for. There are specific sites such as TripAdvisor for Travel, but Google pretty much owns the space for general consumer research.
[21:15] More consumers are purchasing from online, but a large majority still research online but buy in-store.
[24:02] Reviews are important, and oftentimes the dominant single influence on a purchase. However, we must keep in mind that sites like Yelp can hire people to write both positive and negative reviews, and treat outside members of a local community as though they are an outsider with no credibility.
[43:44] Consumers find it harder than ever today to really trust that their information can be kept private and that the government can be the one to keep it private.
[51:24] Branding is one way to rise above the noise and the only protection against the capriciousness of Google’s algorithm. The more you build the brand, the more you have a positive relationship with people.
[1:06:01] For someone to want to go and direct the Internet to be a place that really changes the planet for the better, there will need to be a financial upside or direct line to revenue for a cause that motivates or serves them.
[1:12:41] People care about privacy more than ever, but they feel powerless that it can be protected.
- “It’s dramatically different than it was. There’s virtually no competition on the consumer side.”
- “The more you build the brand, the more you have a positive relationship with people.”
- “The fallout position has to be one of skepticism for self-protection.”
- “You cannot sell anything to anyone that doesn’t already want to buy something.”
Mentioned in This Episode:
- Greg Sterling LinkedIn
- Sterling Market Intelligence
- The Kelsey Group
- Feist Publications, Inc. v. Rural Telephone Service Co.
- Search Engine Land
- Local Search Association
- Millions of People Are Still Risking Their Health for Lighter Skin — VICE
- California Consumer Privacy Act
- Go Daddy
- Alan Chappell
- SMX East