• author: RustyBrick Barry Schwartz Search Engine Roundtable

Small Businesses in Local SEO: A Passion for Success

Small businesses have always held a special place in the hearts of local SEO professionals. Their unique challenges and the opportunity to make a real impact in their growth and success are what attract many experts to this sector.

Connecting with the Right Businesses

For me, small local businesses, particularly solo entrepreneurs and law firms with a handful of locations, have always been the most appealing. These businesses require effective strategies to establish their presence in their respective markets. By optimizing their websites and ensuring seamless integration with their Google listings, we can ensure their potential customers know who they are, what they offer, and how to find them.

The Power of the Little Things

What excites me the most about working with small businesses is the ability to achieve significant results through minor changes. Sometimes, a simple change in the cover image or an adjustment in the optimization strategy can lead to a substantial increase in website traffic. It's amazing how the smallest optimizations can make the biggest difference.

Balancing Budget Constraints

One common challenge faced when working with small businesses is their limited marketing budget. While they need a lot of attention and guidance, it can be challenging to provide the level of support they require within their tight budget constraints.

In many cases, I find myself explaining concepts and techniques to business owners so they can understand the value and navigate the process themselves. I also make an effort to direct them to trusted developers or other resources when certain tasks are beyond their capabilities. Ultimately, empowering them with knowledge and resources allows them to make informed decisions and progress independently.

Contributing to the Community

As a former top contributor and product expert, I enjoy spending personal time in forums, solving problems for business owners who are struggling with SEO-related issues. I believe in giving back to the community and sharing knowledge to help others grow.

Forums not only provide an outlet for business owners to seek assistance but also act as a platform for me to identify emerging challenges and bring them to the attention of search engines like Google. Additionally, by engaging with different business owners' inquiries and concerns, I often gain new insights and discover solutions that can benefit my clients.

The Challenges of Misdirected Anger

Of course, forums can also be a breeding ground for frustration and anger. Many visitors arrive with urgent inquiries, often expressed in capital letters, demanding immediate assistance. It is crucial to remember that as forum contributors, we are not Google employees but rather volunteers dedicated to helping others.

Remaining polite and empathetic plays a significant role in diffusing tense situations. By acknowledging their frustration and offering step-by-step guidance or resources, we can help calm them down and guide them toward a solution. However, it is important to recognize that even though their concerns may be significant for their business, we must keep them in perspective and help them understand the boundaries and limitations of our role.

Building Resilience and Adaptability

Participating in forums has also helped me develop a thicker skin and adaptability. It requires the ability to manage frustrations and handle blame for issues that are out of our control. It's essential to remember that the bugs and limitations of search engines like Google are not our fault. The lack of transparency from these platforms often leaves business owners confused and searching for answers. Our role is to guide them back to the right path and empower them to navigate these challenges.

Dealing with Spam and Remediation on Google

Spam is a persistent issue on Google, particularly in the math space. However, it's important to note that it's not your fault if you encounter bugs or spam on the platform, as Google is not as transparent as it could be in addressing these issues. Nevertheless, there are ways to navigate through the problem.

One valuable resource for finding solutions is the Google Forum. It serves as an excellent platform where users, regardless of whether they are product experts or not, can share their experiences and guide others facing similar challenges. The collective knowledge and support available on the forum can help direct you towards resolving spam-related issues.

While Google has made progress in reducing spam, it remains a concern. In recent years, the nature of spam has evolved, becoming increasingly intricate and challenging to detect. Businesses often fall victim to spam tactics, leading to significant disruptions if left unaddressed. Recognizing and understanding different types of spam is crucial in combatting these malicious practices.

The diversity of spam techniques is astonishing. Fortunately, having experience in detecting spam allows for better guidance and assistance to those who may be less familiar with the tactics. It's disheartening to witness the detrimental impact spam can have on businesses, but it is also rewarding to be able to help restore their reputation.

Sometimes spam issues arise due to flaws in Google's software, while other times, they are a result of unintentional actions or deliberate sabotage by competitors. The latter can be the most devastating, as it not only affects the business but also adds a sense of betrayal. Nonetheless, there are channels available for remediation. Businesses can flag suspicious reviews, submit them through a redressal form, or escalate further if necessary. It's reassuring to know that taking action against spam can be a proactive process rather than a helpless waiting game.

In recent times, Google has shown improvement in addressing spam-related concerns. If you encounter spam and decide to report it on the Forum, ensure that you provide comprehensive information in your post. Include the name of your listing(s), provide a link to the relevant content, and present conclusive evidence to support your claim. By doing so, you increase the likelihood of prompt assistance and a quicker resolution. This is particularly important when seeking reinstatement for your business. Simply stating that you've fixed the issue is insufficient; you need to back it up with evidence of your business's legitimacy.


small businesses form the backbone of local communities, and their success is vital for our economy. local seo professionals embrace the challenges and rewards that come with helping these businesses thrive. through understanding their unique needs, providing guidance within budget limitations, and contributing to the seo community, we aim to empower small businesses to make their mark in the digital world.
, managing spam can be challenging, but there are avenues for resolving the issue effectively. By leveraging resources like the Google Forum and providing comprehensive information when reporting spam, businesses can take proactive steps to safeguard their reputation and maintain a healthy online presence.

If you want to stay connected and learn more about combating spam and other digital marketing strategies, you can follow me on Twitter at @AmyToman or reach out to me via email at [email protected]. My DMs are usually open, and I'll be glad to assist you.

Thank you for joining me in this discussion. Before we conclude, I'd like to take a moment to appreciate the beautiful surroundings we're in. Barry and I are about to embark on an exciting adventure—an ice swim. If you can see this picturesque view, you'll understand why we're so delighted. Enjoy your day!

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