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New Websites Help Consumers Find a Good Smog Check Station

by Administrator 12. September 2013 08:08

In 2013 the STAR smo check program went into effect in California.  Each year a certain number of vechicles are directed to a specific smog check station type.  In the past consumers were directed to a Smog Test Only station.  Now under the STAR program they are direct to a STAR Certified Smog Check location.  These locations can be either test and repair or test only.  Along with this change the STAR smog program also introduced more stringent monitoring of smog tests by the Bureau of Automotive Repair.  This has reduced the number and location of smog check stations. 

Find a nearby smog check station

Locating a a STAR Smog Check station by you can be trying.  Thankfully two websites make that a bit easier.The website www.whatisastarsmogstation will display nearby STAR smog stations in a map for a city or a zip code. Additionally the website www.check-smog.com provides helpful information and coupons about all smog check locations.

Hopefully those websites will help you find your way in 2013 to a good smog check location.


Recent Changes to Google Places

by Administrator 1. August 2011 13:34

Google is committed to local search and routinely changed the way local search works in an effort to improve the relevance of the results.  The latest change in July 2011 has significant impacts on how the places page works and merits a closer look.

3rd Party Reviews Not Counted in the Search Results Page

Google is shifting away from 3rd party reviews in favor of Google reviews.  This will have a major affect on some businesses whose reviews from TripAdvisor or DemandForce will not be prominent.

Say Hello and Goodbye to HotPot

Google's local rating and review feature introduced last fall is now the primary source for rating information on Google Places.  To make it easy for users to write a review Google has added a "Write a Review"  button to the top of the Places Result page itself.  So HotPot is now more fully integrated into Google Places

Citations Have Very Little Emphasis on Search Results

The mantra for the past several years is to ensure that your site has plenty of citations to improve page ranking.  A citation is the appearance of your business in another web site in particular with location details that may or may not link back to your web site.  The Jully 25, 2011 update places very little emphasis on citations to determine page rank.  In addition, the value of reviews from sites such as Yelp, Dex and CitySearch was reduced.

It's easier to Add Pictures to Google Places

Along with the integration of reviews users can quickly add a photo to the Places page using the "Upload a photo" button to the right of the review button.

Will the Google Place Changes Affect Your Ranking

Some users say they have seen their ranking drop.   In general the sense is to wait until the release stabalizes over the next few weeks.


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About the author

Joseph Vandertol has been working in technology since 1985.  As Managing Director of BulletProof Technologies, his company designed and supported all of the reservation and sales operational technology for easyJet Airlines, (www.easyjet.com).  easyJet's site has won numerous awards and this web site is dependent upon the eCommerce engine that BulletProof Technologies provided.

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