It was cold, wet, a steady snow and traffic was miserably slow. I had left early, but now it was too close for comfort. I glanced at my iPhone (who wears watches now right?) and saw I had barely 7 minutes. I am winding up through Chicago into Evanston and am looking at being late for my first interview in years. I reluctantly start to think about calling the recruiter to tell her to call the employer and say I may be just a minute or two late while finding parking. Voilà! I turn the corner and my GPS says “destination to the left” and amazingly, a parking spot right in front of the door is vacant and empty. I park, grab my jacket, step into the wet puddle and run into the door. I go upstairs to the 3rd floor and am whisked to the conference room to start my interview and glance at the clock, I was one minute early!
That was one year ago. My drive through the snow and the amazingly vacant parking spot was a good omen. I’ve been working at this great technology company for a year now and couldn’t be more amazed by the talent surrounding me. I was clueless about local search and the associated technologies when I came to SIM Partners. Now, one year later, with the help of some great coworkers, I am able to demonstrate our SaaS platform to others and understand the technology. I have learned more about SEO strategies. I am able to understand Google+ optimization. The amount of knowledge absorbed in just one year was astounding, but it all boiled down to dedicated SIM employees who got me off the ground and running.
In your time on earth, you will go through companies, you will move, and you will have all kinds of experiences. If you are fortunate to get into a small and growing tech start up, take advantage. Soak it up. Enjoy the atmosphere. Learn all you can and realize the amazing opportunity in front of you. It’s been a great year here, and I cannot wait to see where this company guided by strong leadership takes us. I am excited for the upcoming ride and adventure as we grind our way to the top of the mountain of success!
We are bringing back our team member spotlights, so meet our Vice President of North American Sales, Tara!
What did you want to be when you were younger?
That is a tough one. I changed my mind a lot! I went from dreaming of being a teacher, to writer, to a movie star! I then started selling pagers (yes pagers!) and cell phones in high school and got the tech bug early. I will say I always wanted to land in advertising or marketing and bring innovation to the table. Selling is innovative right?
If you could invite 2 famous people to your party, who would you invite and why?
The simple answer- someone intellectual/incredibly interesting and the other would be someone hilarious. I would have to go with JFK and Chris Farley. That would make for an interesting party!
What is your favorite thing about working at SIM?
I have a lot of favorite things about working at SIM. I think the one that stands out most is being surrounded with very smart people that challenge the status quo every day. It makes for an environment where you feel you are learning and creating great moments every single day.
We are thrilled to share the news that the FXVA mobile app we developed for Fairfax County, Virginia, was named one of the “Best First-Tier Destination Apps” by ConventionSouth Magazine (click here to view the announcement). This is exciting news for both Fairfax County and its visitors. When we created the mobile app over two years ago, we wanted to build something that would remain relevant and update frequently with new events and attractions. It’s great to see the FXVA mobile app still being recognized in a tough field of excellent destination apps.
The app allows users to instantly access restaurants, attractions, and events literally right around the corner. To learn more and download the iOS or Android version of the app, visit the Fairfax County website.
In the world of local search there are a number of channels that contributed to the bump in localized search traffic we’ve seen over the last few years. Gain insights into which channels provide the most traffic and find out exactly where potential customers are looking for local information online.
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On January 14th, Google made local search marketing news when thousands of hotel business listings were hijacked by RoomsToBook. The listings were hijacked so that RTB could direct search traffic to their reservation site, away from the hotels’ reservation pages, allowing RTB to collect reservation fees from the hotels.
There are great discussions going on as to how RTB was able to hijack so many business listings on Google. An overview of a few theories can be found here, but one we thought was important to address is Mike Blumenthal’s suggestion that the hijackers preyed on listings that were managed by the bulk import process.*
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As you’ve probably heard, Facebook admits pages can expect to continue to see a drop in their organic reach. What does this mean and why are they doing it?
The news feed is becoming increasingly competitive. Facebook claimed in August 2013 that every time a user logs into Facebook there are on average 1,500 stories that could be shown in the news feed. Given Facebook’s user base has grown since that stat was given, the news feed is now more competitive than ever. Obviously Facebook cannot show all of these stories, because frankly it would be an overwhelming amount of information, resulting in a bad user experience. That is where Facebook’s news feed algorithm comes into play.
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2013 was another huge year for technology, with the creation of wearable devices such as smart watches and Google Glass, the announcement of Amazon’s drone delivery service (which they hope to launch sometime in 2016), medical technology advancements and many other exciting developments.
So what will 2014 bring? It’s hard to say for sure, but here are some of our predictions…
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SIM Partners was recently included in Bright Local’s annual Best Local Search Blogs poll. We were thrilled and honored to be included among such informative and well known local search blogs. Today, Bright Local announced the winners and while we didn’t take first place we did make the top five, for which we are thrilled. Thank you all for your support. We are looking forward to providing even more local search resources in 2014!
Happy holidays and continued success in 2014 from all of us at SIM Partners.
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