Linda Buquet is 65 years old, lives in Utah but recently relocated from San Diego. She has two children and seven grandchildren and Linda is on the verge of retiring after giving so many years of service to the industry.
Many of you probably know her name, as we cite her forum, the Local Search Forum, quiet often here. Linda and her community have been instrumental in shaping the local SEO community. It has been instrumental in helping not just SEOs do better in local search but also helping Google improve their reputation around their spam issues with Google Maps and Google Local.
Linda has been doing the internet and local thing for over 18 years. She is a Google Top Contributor, which is a hard thing in its own right. She has donated so much of her energy and time to improving not just some of her friends in the industry but the industry at large. From her articles, her tweets, her forum posts, her efforts in the Google forums and all the way to helping build the local search community - we owe Linda a great deal of respect and gratitude.
Colan Nielsen nominated Linda and wrote:
Linda has done so much for the local search community that it's hard to put into words. Linda has been giving her time and energy to the local search community since before I knew what Local SEO was. I remember the very first training session I ever had was Linda's local SEO training back in 2011. I came out of that training session a changed person with a totally new perspective on how amazing, challenging, and fun this specialty can be. This was when I first realized that this could a vocation and not just a job. And I am so grateful for that.
Later when Linda started the Local Search Forum, it gave everyone in the community a place to learn, teach and constantly sharpen their skills and stay on top of everything that was going on in the Local search space. I can speak for myself, and I know a lot of people feel the same, that the Local Search Forum is one of the greatest things to happen to the Local Search community and continues to thrive today.
Thank you Linda!
Dan Shure Bio: Linda Buquet is founder of the Local Search Forum. She has over 18 years of SEO/Internet marketing experience and has specialized in Local Search for the past 8. Linda is a Google Top Contributor and has been quoted by The New York Times, InfoWorld and PC World regarding Google Local issues. She is passionate about helping people learn Google My Business best practices.
She started off with "regular SEO" for years until she was bit (and bit hard) by the Local Search bug in 2010. She told me she soaked up everything she could learn from experts like Phil Rozek, Darren Shaw, David Mihm, Andrew Shotland and I especially learned a lot from "Professor Maps" Mike Blumenthal. Then she started off doing Local SEO for clients - then transitioned to Local Search training and consulting for SEOs and agencies.
July 2012, she launched the Local Search Forum. That was back when Local Search was still fairly new and "Google Places" was extremely buggy. There was such limited information about how Local ranking and optimization works and so much frustration with Google Local at the time, that she knew SEOs & Local Search consultants needed a place to get support, share ideas and sometimes just vent. Fast forward to today. Google has greatly improved both the Local product and support for it - but the market is ever changing and there is still lots of confusion. So our pros and team still have lots to do like: troubleshooting Local ranking issues, reverse engineering the Local algo, making sense of all the GMB updates and sharing creative hacks and workarounds to make life as a Local Search consultant easier.
Favorite thing about the SEO community? I'm always so impressed by how giving, caring and non-competitive the Local Search community is. At my forum, which caters mainly to SEOs, consultants and agencies, I'm always amazed at how much time/energy Local Search consultants, leading experts and my team invest in helping other SEOs and agencies (essentially their competitors). The same is true for the official Google My Business Community, where the Google Top Contributors selflessly donate their time and expertise to help small businesses and other consultants - which ends up helping the industry as a whole.
One piece of advice to the SEOs out there? To excel at Local Search I think you need to be a really good detective. In SEO they always say: "Correlation is not causation." I think with Google Local that's even more true, since there are so additional moving parts like NAP consistency, citations, categories, proximity, reviews not to mention the ever changing GMB rules. 1 + 2 does not always = 3 when it comes to figuring out Google local ranking shifts or the algo. You need to learn to read between the lines, have a good investigative process and the right tools.
Favorite things in general? Being a Grandma & playing with Grandkids is more fun than I could ever have imagined! Plus I have 2 adorable dogs, Kayli & Mobi, who make every day exciting. My current guilty pleasure is binge-watching foreign crime thrillers over the weekend, while snuggling with my fur babies.
What you want to be known for in the SEO space? I simply want to be known as someone who cares, helped people and made a difference in the Local Search space.