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Hello and happy Monday!
It’s that time of week again. The time where we share all the juicy updates on digital marketing that we’ve found across the interwebs.
If there’s ever an update you think we missed or should know about, let us know in the comments below!
Now, let’s dive in, shall we?


• Data: Local trends from 2017 – 2018

There have been a lot of updates and changes over the past few years. We love this deep dive into some of these trends put together by Yext and Search Engine Watch. Example, Local pages saw increased consumer actions (i.e. pages for booking appointments, placing orders, etc.): Up 30.4% YoY. 



• Photos in Google Local Service Ads: What You Need to Know

Are you running Local Service Ads with Google yet? Local Service Ads from Google are a great way to advertise your business to people searching. It is also a pay-per-lead vs a pay per click model, so they are really emphasizing calls and contacts.

Photos were introduced last year, and were initially listed to photographers and event planners, but are now open to other industries as well. In addition to the guidelines and size recommendations, how can you make your images stand out and increase your conversions?



• Google My Business messaging via SMS to end, but where is the alternative? 

Allo, the messaging app that used to be required to use SMS in Google My Business listing is set to retire in March of 2019.

If you try to set up messaging on your GMB listing currently you will be prompted to download the GMB Manager app, but with Allo going away, will messaging still work? And what if you are an agency or have a franchise where managing messages from one app just aren’t possible?  Joy Hawkins asks some important questions. person holding phone texting

Google My Business bug prevents photos from showing on Google Maps

From Joy Hawkins reporting on Search Engine Land, “There is a known technical issue right now with Google My Business photos where users can see the photos they added in the dashboard but they are not publicly displaying on Maps. Google is aware and looking to resolve it.”
Good to know if you recently uploaded any images and they are not showing on your listing in Google Maps.

How Google helped foster the fake review economy and benefits from it

Mike Blumenthal laying it down!

From his post, “Google claims that “last year, Google’s search and advertising tools helped provide $283 billion of economic activity for more than 1.5 million businesses, website publishers, and nonprofits nationwide”.
Unfortunately, Google doesn’t much care whether the activity created is legal.

See how Google plays a role in this review economy and even how it profits from some of the illegal markets that have popped up.