Tool/Service: Admin Console
Date: 10th May
Update/Fix/New Feature: Database structure update
We released a major update to the database structure which improves the speed of the admin console and enables us to process weekly/monthly reports at a faster rate – double win! We’ve been working on the change for 8 weeks and it required extensive testing to ensure that data integrity was not compromised. It’s great to get this out so far it’s having the desired effect – lighting quick interfaces and better report processing time.
We are planning further server & database optimizations in coming weeks to enhance user experience and site performance even further.
Tool/Service: Google+ Local Wizard, CitationTracker, SEO Check-Up
Date: 10th May
Update/Fix/New Feature: Multiple interface changes to improve customer experience.
We have released quite a few updates and improvements across all of our tools to make it a more user-friendly experience for our customers:
‘Which client is this report for?’ field – for your convenience we applied an auto-complete function to the clients’ field across all of our tools. Now even if you have hundreds of clients, it will only take seconds to find the one you are looking for.
Google+ Local Wizard:
Categories – we have optimised the process on how the categories are being picked up on business’s Google+ profiles. So now you can enjoy an even more accurate your customers’/competitors’ lists.
Pre-report checks- we added pre-report check-ups for the business name & zip/postcode when adding/editing report to make sure that your reports would return correct data.
Citation status – we have improved the way citation status gets updated so that you could see the change instantly.
Design – we made a few interface changes to our Citation Tracker tool, such as pop-up window style change and a more informative processing message to improve the usability of our tools.
‘Primary Location’ field – we have increased the character limit to our primary location field. So now you can set the locations with longer location names than usual to get the more correct results.
Date: 19th April
Update/Fix/New Feature: New CitationTracking charts and notes function
We have begun a series of updates to our CitationTracker tool. The first of which involves new designs for the reports; you can now visualize your active citations and how they grow over time in our new citation tracking charts. Each column on the chart represents 1 report run and the banded colors show how many new citations we identified each time we re-ran your citationtracker report. In addition to this, by popular demand we have also added a notes section where customers can leave themselves messages about a specific citation.
Tool/Service: Admin Console
Date: 15th April
Update/Fix/New Feature: Optimization to improve interface speed
Optimization of database queries which affect interface speed. These small but important changes will make the admin console work faster and smoother; when customers are creating or analyzing reports they won’t get as much delay between pages and content loading into pages.
This is another step in the ongoing process of improving the site and making it more efficient and easier to use for our customers.
Tool/Service: Training Workshops
Date: 9th April
Update/Fix/New Feature: Launched new online workshop program
This isn’t a code release but it is an important step forward for BrightLocal & our customers.
We have launched a workshop program and are running 2-3 free workshops every day of the week (Mon – Fri). These are highly interactive sessions with a maximum of 3 attendees per workshop. Our experienced in-house trainers will tailor the content of the workshop to the needs of attendees.
For new customers/free trial users we will provide a general overview of the service; and for existing customers (aka ‘Advanced’ users) we will focus on specific tools and processes. Find out more about our Workshop & Webinar program here.
Book yourself or your whole team onto a workshop here.
Tool/Service: Local Search Rank Checker
Date: 5th April
Update/Fix/New Feature: ‘Location Emulation’ Feature added to Rank Checker
We have enhanced our Local Search Rank Checker tool to let users set a search location for their ranking reports. Users can now enter town name, city or zipcode and then we look for search results from this location. This truly localizes search results and means that you can just enter a generic term – e.g. Dentist – rather than Dentist in San Diego. This feature is currently available in the Local Search Rank Checker tool. We will be adding it to the Local SEO Check Up & Google+ Local Wizard in the coming weeks. Find our more here.
Date: 2nd April
Update/Fix/New Feature: Slick new report designs
We have re-designed our Google+ Local Wizard reports to make them easier and more enjoyable to use. With these new designs it is now easier to make side by side comparisons between client’s and competitor’s local search ranking factors.
These designs are another step in the process of re-designing the whole admin console. Next up for a new look is CitationTracker which will be live later this month.
Tool/Service: Server Upgrade
Date: 15th March
Update/Fix/New Feature: Increased database server
We have doubled the size of the database server and split out the interface from the database so that we have more capacity to handle higher numbers of users on the site. This has also enabled us to run a higher number of reports at any one time and thereby increased the speed at which those reports are run and the overall efficiency of the site.
This is the first step in a number of system and database changes we are planning to make to improve and optimize our service. This all leads to better performance and therefore a better experience for our customers.
Date: 25th March 2013
Update/Fix/New Feature: CitationBurst now available in Australia
CitationBurst has done over 10,000 campaigns, we have been doing local directory submissions in the US, Canada and UK for the past nine months and it is now available in Australia too. We have over 200 local directories, niche directories and general directories which we can submit our businesses to in Australia. Submissions cost US$3 per submission, but will drop to US$2 per submission for bulk purchases of 500 or more.
Date: 5th February 2013
Update/Fix/New Feature: Additional URL format rules for CitationTracker
We have updated CitationTracker to improve the accuracy of the active citations that we return. We have added new additional URL format rules so that when we return results for different directories we look for actual business listing landing pages and a common URL structure for those pages.
The objective and benefit of this is that the pages we list on the CitationTracker reports will be actual business listing pages rather than category or search result pages.
We have implemented this on the most commonly appearing 2000 sites within our CitationTracker reports.
Tool/Service: Google+ Local Wizard New Features
Date: 28th January 2013
Update/Fix/New Feature: Additional data and analysis added to Google+ Local Wizard reports
There are 4 key changes to the data in the reports -
- Quality of citations – we now display the quantity & the quality of the citations your client has vs. the top 10 ranked businesses. Quality is determined based on the ‘Domain Authority’ (aka Page Rank) of each citation site and then an average Authority score is produced and displayed on your report.
- Citations Matrix – we now display the full list of citations your client has, as well as the citations which each of the top 10 ranked businesses has. These are displayed in a table (matrix) which can be ordered by ‘Domain Authority’ and ‘Count’ so you can quickly identify citation sites your competitors are listed on, but you’re not.
- Name, Address, Phone Number (NAP) comparison – we compare the NAP listed on the Google+ listing with the details you provide when setting up your report, and highlight any inconsistencies.
- Other Local Ranking Factors – you can now identify if your client is correctly optimized for 3 other important local ranking signals correctly -
- Do they use a local phone number on their Google+ listing?
- Do they have their town/city name in the <<title tag>> of the website landing page?
- Do they have their state code in the <<title tag>> of the website landing page?
Tool/Service: CitationBurst ‘Credits’ system
Date: 4th January 2013
Update/Fix/New Feature: Launched discounted bulk credits system for CitationBurst
Credits can be bought in blocks of 500, 1000 or 2000 and can be used across multiple clients & campaigns (minimum campaign size is 10 submissions).
This new system makes it easy to set up on-going (i.e. long running) submission campaigns and quickly buy submissions each month when you want them. You simply click on the ‘Confirm & Pay (Credits) button, and we handle the rest (we submit the same business information for follow-on campaigns as we did for the original campaign).
Tool/Service: White-label Report Solution for all tools
Date: 24th December 2012
Update/Fix/New Feature: Updated white-label solution makes is easy to white label reports on all BrightLocal tools
We updated our white-label solution so that customers can create 1 white label profile and use
this across all of our tools (except ReviewBiz). Now you can upload your logo, select your brand colors & enter text which you want to appear on all of your reports on all tools. The new white-label solution is also very flexible and allows you to enter specific text for each type of report (e.g. you can display different text on Rank Checker report vs. CitationTracker).
If you have multiple brands or provide white-label SEO services you can create multiple white-label profiles and use the appropriate one on each report.
We migrated any existing white-label profiles (for Rank Checker & SEO Check Up) to the new, central white-label area so you can find your existing profiles listed there. (login required).
Tool/Service: Local Search Rank Checker
Date: 7th December 2012
Update/Fix/New Feature: Added a new feature to the Local Search Rank Checker which lets you track multiple websites.
Using this feature you can track your own website and two others that you want to monitor – eg your blog / facebook page etc.
Date: 30th November 2012
Update/Fix/New Feature: Released a ‘Buy More’ function to CitationBurst, making it easier to manage your citation campaigns
This week we enhanced our service by releasing our new ‘Buy More‘ function which makes it easier than ever to manage your citation campaigns and build juicy new citations for your clients.
Using CitationBurst you can set up a whole citation campaign in advance and then pay for the next batch of submissions using the ‘Buy More‘ button.
Tool/Service: Google+ Local Wizard
Date: 22nd November 2012
Update/Fix/New Feature: Added extra look-ups for ‘Phone Number’ matches to Google+ Local Wizard
We have added some extra citation look-ups to Google+ Local Wizard (GPW). This brings GPW inline with CitationTracker so that both tools use exactly the same mechanism.
Date: 15th November 2012
Update/Fix/New Feature: Added extra look-ups for ‘Phone Number’ matches to CitationTracker
We have added some extra citation look-ups to CitationTracker.
Previously we use a combination of ‘Business Name + Zipcode’ to identify citations for a business. Now we have added some additional look-ups which use the ‘Phone Number’ of a business.
This update means that we’ll be able to return a greater number of positive results for ‘Active Citations’ for a business – so you should see your citation count improve when you next run your reports.
This is particularly true for businesses with long, ‘difficult’ names (e.g. Unique Smile Clinic of Pasadena). These businesses tend to have a problem with data consistency; different directories store a different name for these businesses.
Date: 8th November 2012
Update/Fix/New Feature: Released new APIs for rank checking, local directory look-ups, google + & more
We have been working hard to create a bunch of APIs which provide data on a wide range of local SEO areas. These APIs have been extensively tested and released to live today.
These APIs allow you to do 2 things -
- Control & manipulate your account on BrightLocal from your own dashboard or control panel. Now you can add/edit clients and reports remotely meaning that you can change data in your own database and update BrightLoca automatically
- Create reports and retrieve raw data for rankings, local directory information, google+, social media & off-site SEO factors such as inbound links and domain authority
Full API documentation can be found here – https://tools.brightlocal.com/seo-tools/admin/api/docs
Here is a summary of the additional APIs and what they do/data they provide -
- Local Search Rank Checker
- Version 2 of Rank Checker API
- Allow you to add/edit/delete ranking reports from your BrightLocal account
- Also returns raw data in JSON
- Local Directory Listings
- Identify listings on top 20+ local directories
- Get URL for listing
- Get data such as profile claimed, business name + address + phone number (NAP), reviews & star rating
- Citation data
- Identify active citations for a client/business
- Identify potential citation opportunities (based off citations top competitors’ have)
- Set-up citationtracker reports within your BrightLocal admin console
- Google+ Data
- Listing found/not found
- URL for business listing
- Verified listing
- Description added
- Photo count
- Review count
- Score (0ut of 30)
- Social media data
- Listing found on Facebook & twitter
- Profile data such as likes, tweets, last tweet content etc…
- Off-site SEO Data
- Number of inbound links (aka backlinks)
- Domain authority
- Domain age
- Hosting location (country)
Tool/Service: Account email & password security enhancement
Date: 8th November 2012
Update/Fix/New Feature: More flexible email recognition + robust password protection
We have had some issues with emails not being recognized due to have ‘CAPITALS’ in the email address. We have updated our system to handle these better so that both lowercase & uppercase emails are handled better. We have also upgraded our password protection; it wasn’t bad before but is now doubly secure. Neither of these changes will affect the experience of users but there should be less issues with emails not being recognized.
Tool/Service: Various items
Date: 5th November 2012
Update/Fix/New Feature: Invoices & Ranking Report PDF/CSV file names
1. Invoices – customers can now access their historical invoices via their MyPackages pages. Invoices are compiled each month and include all payments made within each calendar month. Invoices can be viewed online and downloaded as PDFs to be stored locally.
2. Ranking Report CSV/PDFs – we have update the naming structure on ranking reports CSVs/PDFs so it is easier to identify the which client the report is for and what date the results refer to.