Review: Google Local, Sticking to Its Own (Not so Smart?)

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Once again, Google’s on the news here in the small business arena. What do you expect? You’re looking at the multi-media cyberspace ultra-giant mega-monster of the internet. Google. And now guess what? They’ve gotten so big, so powerful, that they have their own entrepreneur word-of-mouth advertising service called….

Google Local

Rating: 3 1/2 out of 5 stars

What?? Only 3 1/2? This is Google, for cryin’ out loud! G-O-O-G-L-E. This is the same internet company that was having so much fun redesigning their search engine home page to fit a Halloween theme, or Christmas theme, or an interactive theme (ever see the one where you can ‘bounce’ all the words on the screen all over the place? Pretty amusing, really).

What is the deal? Let’s start from the beginning….

What we have here with Google Local is a service for small businesses to list themselves specifically on Google with SEO assistance based off of what surfers type in to search.

In other words, you would know what the popular phrases are for a music store — like “what to find in a music store” or “best music store in Los Angeles” etc. etc.. Google Local fields it for you.

Tied in with Google Places and Google Maps, Local is the quintessential built-in small business advertiser and marketer, complete with features that allow you to interact with your customer — right online.

That’s All Great, But….

There’s one problem: I call it the ‘Scrooge.’ Clever, right?

Not to mess around with Charles Dickens, but good ol’ Ebeneezer Scrooge (fitting since we’re getting close to Christmas here) wasn’t much of a ‘free content’ type of person. What belonged to him belonged to him and nobody else. He was perfectly fine with taking from others, too!

Not to say that Google’s going to be visited by the Ghosts of Cyberspace Past, Present, and Future — but Google’s not far from the apple tree here.

Basically, Google Local only sticks to their own listings, not plugging any listings from, say, Yelp or Yahoo! Local.

Big mistake. Why?

Let’s Give You a Little Internet Hardware Morality

A number of years ago, it became clear that the whole technological industry seemed to be folding in on itself to the point where competition really seemed pointless.

Think about it: many cell phone companies have already merged together; we someday soon might see just one global cellular enterprise named Verizometrapplesprint or something funny like that. No more competitors.

And computers? The bottom line is the customers lose out when it’s all about the competition. Back then compatibility wasn’t even in the dictionary; and if businesses wanted to exchange data and information, good luck on that because Apple files would never work on PCs and PC files would never work on Apples. It was like Apples and Oranges.

Now compatibility is the name of the game. Linux is completely compatible with Windows. Apple is completely compatible with Windows.

Competition doesn’t work anymore. Convenience matters to businesses. They want to maximize their advertising online. And the only way to do that is take advantage of all the internet has to offer. It’s free enterprise, baby.

That’s Google’s Big Mistake

Do you think Google’s keeping compatibility in mind here for entrepreneurs? No. They’re sticking to their own. They’re getting ‘Scrooged.’ In our society filled to the brim of humans carrying handhelds all over with their little Bluetooths sticking out of their earlobes, the last thing any mega-company wants to do is limit themselves.

Free content. Free internet. Free information. Freedom.

All I’ve got to say is I hope Google realizes that. Or else the Ghost of Cyberspace Future will send the seraph of search engines into the grave for good.

Related Keywords: SEO, viral marketing, internet advertising

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