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My guest on this episode of Suds & Search is Mike Blumenthal. Mike is the Founding Partner of GatherUp and the Co-founder of LocalU. Mike is one of the most important voices in Local SEO. His motto is all local, all the time. It’s hard to think of anyone who has contributed more to the Local SEO community than Mike.

Mike and co-host Mary Bowling have their own podcast called Last Week in Local. It’s a great podcast for anyone who wants to stay on top of Local SEO news, updates, or generally learn from some really smart people. He’s on the faculty at Local U where he is affectionately known as Professor Maps.

He’s a frequent presenter at search conferences including Whitespark’s Local Search Summit, Local U Advanced, and many of the different SMX events.

Mike is also an excellent blogger. You can find his work on the GatherUp website, on Bright Local’s blog, and in Street Fight Mag. His blog at has been an indispensable source of education and inspiration since I started doing SEO for small businesses over a decade ago. I’m going to ask him about a post he wrote titled “10 Likely Ranking Factors of Google’s Local Search Algorithm.” Not surprisingly, the post of chock-full of really good information. Somewhat surprising…he wrote it in 2007.

In 2013, Google began powering its search engine with the knowledge graph. This had major implications for Local SEOs. With new features appearing in the knowledge panel, users were now able to learn a lot about a business and even convert without ever visiting a company’s website. I’m also going to ask him about one of the most popular quotes in Local SEO – Google is your new home page.

Grab something cold to drink and join me for a conversation with professor maps, Mike Blumenthal. We’ll talk about the ways local search on Google is becoming a more immersive experience, why everyone needs to rethink their approach to reviews, and what keeps him excited about local after all these years.