Archives for October 2011

1873 Los Angeles City Saloon Advertisement

Recently while doing business listing research on the city of Los Angeles, I got the opportunity to view and photograph a rare advertisement from the 1873 Los Angeles City and County Directory. The ad is for a saloon owned by historical Los Angeles figure Henry Dockweiler (aka Heinrich Dockweiler).

The 1915 Los Angeles City Directory (and the 1916 directory) had advertisements for locally brewed and bottled beer by the Los Angeles Brewing Company, but I don’t recall any advertisements for local saloons. Check out this advertisement for Henry Dockweiler’s Mammoth Lager Beer Saloon, which was located under Temple Bank, in downtown Los Angeles.

Henry Dockweilers Saloon Los AngelesNo Killing at 300 yards here.

The above 1873 saloon advertisement was 42 years prior to the ads I saw for beer in Los Angeles in 1915. Dockweiler’s saloon served cool lager, wines, liquors and cigars. The word to the wise is most interesting. There would be no killing at 300 yards from the saloon’s central downtown location on the corner of Spring Street and Main Street in Los Angeles.

Blue Cut Fault Pushawalla Loop

One of 51 earthquake fault lines in Southern California, the Blue Cut fault extends for about 50 miles through the Little San Bernardino Mountains, under Pleasant Valley, and into the Pinto Basin. Most of the 50 mile length exists within the boundaries of Joshua Tree National Park (JTNP), one of my favorite desert hiking environments.

Note: This is not a guide to Hiking the Blue Cut Fault, it’s more an October day photo journey through the region.

In the mid 1800s, there was a wagon mule trail that traversed through the area, providing passageway for miners transporting gold and mining equipment to and from railroads (in the Coachella Valley region) to the Lost Horse Mountains, the Hexie Mountains, and other nearby mining sites.

Pushawalla Blue Cut Fault LoopPushawalla Canyon Blue Cut Fault Loop

I’ve hiked Pushawalla Canyon (see photos) numerous times over the years, but this was my first time along the Blue Cut fault line and wash loop. The location is extremely remote (4×4 high clearance vehicle strongly recommended for access to dirt pullout area) and fairly good navigational skills are required if you’re planning on hiking the region. Other than a sign marked “Wilderness Boundary” near the pushawalla trailhead, there are no signs or markers (other than a few rock cairns) in the region.

ovis canadensis desert bighorn sheep scat(Ovis canadensis) Desert Bighorn Sheep scat

Inside the pushawalla region, it’s a Day Use Only area, created to allow wildlife (such as the endangered Desert Bighorn Sheep) to reach scarce water resources without interruption by humans. I arrived at the trail head just before sunrise, and while inside my Jeep packing peanut butter & jelly sandwiches (and some turkey jerky) into my pack, a group of coyotes approached, and made their presence known (Sorry, no photos. Was still dark and I prefer not to disturb their activities).

water pinyon wellWater at Pinyon Well site

When available, wildlife utilizes the water sources at the Pinyon Well site, a historic mining and milling area first developed in the 1800s. On this visit there was lots of evidence of animal activity in the area, and I could again hear coyotes barking nearby as I explored this former mining site. Nature has long reclaimed nearly all evidence of human use of the area, but there are several interesting milling and mining remnants (several not on maps) to be discovered on the surrounding hillsides.

bighorn sheep carcassBighorn Sheep Remains near Pinyon Well

The remains of a big horn sheep are a reminder that coyotes are not the only predators in the area. While I’ve yet to encounter a mountain lion in Joshua Tree National Park, I’ve come across the remains of at least a half dozen desert big horn sheep while on hikes in the Pushawalla area. I’ve kicked up more bones in this region than any other in JTNP. While different from the nearby Eagle mountains, it’s still an unforgiving environment.

green hummingbird joshua treeGreen Hummingbird in Desert

Near one of the open wells, this green hummingbird paused long enough so that I could take its photograph. Other than birds, coyotes and jackrabbits, I saw very little wildlife during the day I did this hike. Even though the early October weather was perfect for animal activity, it wasn’t my lucky wildlife day. During this trek, I took mostly photographs of things that don’t move too quickly (like rocks).

pushawalla asphalt roadAncient Asphalt Road along Pushawalla Trail

It would be easy to miss it, but the above photograph identifies the remains of an asphalt section of road that was built along the pushawalla trail. Once upon a time there was Jeep access to this area (it’s long been closed to vehicle and bicycle traffic) and before that, mule pulled wagons worked their way to the top of the Pushawalla Plateau and into the canyon that leads to what is now Indio Hills.

pushawalla plateauPushawalla Plateau Vehicle Gate

Near the top of Pushawalla Plateau are a series of iron pipes cemented into the ground and roped off in cable (here is another view), which was likely installed several years ago to prevent vehicle travel through the canyon. There are some amazing views to be seen from this point, and there’s several well hidden and quite historical mine sites close by. To my knowledge, a few abandoned mine shafts remain open and pose potential life-threatening risks, stay out and stay alive.

pushawalla canyon minesPushawalla Canyon Mine seen on Hillside

When you’re eyes are trained for spotting mine tailings (oftentimes areas of grayish color pulverized rock), you begin to see evidence of them on several mountainsides in this region. Veins of white quartz can be spotted along some of these hillsides as well, but they’re not as easy to see from a distance as mine tailing piles. I think old-time miners left behind sardine tins and other trash, just so we could more easily locate their historic sites of gold and silver glory.

white quartz vein joshua treeWhite Quartz Vein Joshua Tree National Park

I’d be lying if I didn’t say I haven’t many times thought about stumbling across a chunk of gold while hiking Southern California deserts, inspired by a story about a miner that one supposedly found a gold nugget the size of his fist, on nearby lost horse mountain. It was on the surface among the rocks. Thanks to the terrain, you can’t just leisurely walk around this area looking for gold nuggets without the risk of being stabbed numerous times in the process (by a cholla).

Silver Cholla (Opuntia echinocarpa)Silver Cholla Cactus (Opuntia echinocarpa)

There are few Joshua trees across the blue cut landscape, but the silver cholla cactus (Opuntia echinocarpa) is abundant, and the spines can be sharp as daggers. Sometimes worse than the live ones (like shown above), are the millions of needle sharp spines from dead cactus, lying on the ground and waiting to puncture the flesh at your ankles. Even the most innocent appearing desert plants can be sharp enough to cut into our clothing and/or skin.

joshua tree nutsSimilar in Appearance to an Acorn

Plant eating wildlife in the region appears to find plenty to provide themselves with nourishment. Although rainfall is infrequent in the region, both plants and animals have learned to adapt to the harsh environment. Temperature before sunrise on the day of my trip dropped to 36°F and it was over 86°F when I was leaving the area later in the day. A 40° swing in temperature is not uncommon for these parts.

blue cut weathered rockBlue Cut Fault Weathered Rusty Circles Rock

Rock formations in Joshua Tree are fascinating and some of the rocks along the blue cut fault are estimated to be over 1 1/2 billion years old. Rocks like the one shown above crumbled just by my stepping onto them. Ascending one of the hillsides to get photos of other mountain ranges, I thought the ground would avalanche underneath my feet, if there were strong seismic activity.

Mountain Ranges Joshua TreeSan Jacinto and Little San Bernardino Mountain Ranges

The San Jacinto mountain range can be seen in the left side of the above photo. There are some spectacular hikes to be had on that mountain as well. Much closer (and still mostly within the borders of JTNP) are hills of the Little San Bernardino range. I intended to stop for a break at the nearby rock pile, but moments after laying down my pack, red fire ants had ascended on my gear. while shaking off all my gear, I again heard nearby coyotes curiously making their way towards my location. Time to move.

Blue Cut Wash Joshua TreeBlue Cut Wash Joshua Tree

Once back into the wash, navigation becomes less difficult, but it’s nearly an all uphill 3 miles to the blue cut wash plateau. After already hiking 9 miles, I’m reminded how much I dislike hiking uphill in the sand. Why was it that I decided to hike 16+ miles along an earthquake fault line? The old man didn’t have any answers.

Old Man Prickly Pear CactusOld Man Prickly Pear Cactus

From my experience, there’s far less old man prickly pear cactus (Opuntia erinacea var. erinacea) growing in the region compared to the silver cholla, which was quite abundant throughout my hike. Due to the time of year, there was near zero desert wildflower blooms, but there was still plenty of rock, and lots of brush to make my way through.

Blue Cut Fault RocksBlue Cut Fault Rocks on Mountainside

The blue cut fault is named for the blue granodiorite that is exposed on the mountainside to the southwest and marks the main branch of the fault. On one side the land was uplifted to form steep and straight mountain edges of the Hexie Mountains, and on the other side the land drops to create Pleasant Valley.

Blue Cut Fault WashBlue Cut Fault Wash

The Hexie Mountains are scarred with scattered abandoned mine sites, and there’s some exploring of historical sites that can be done near the Pleasant Valley backcountry board, a good place to park. In the above photo, Joshua trees can be seen growing in the distance, we are entering back into the Mojave Desert region.

Blue Cut Pass PlateauBlue Cut Pass Plateau

Vegetation gets much thicker and greener as I cross the blue cut pass plateau and into Pleasant Valley. Those mountains (coxcomb mountains) far in the distance are still within the boundaries of JTNP. At nearly 800,000 acres, it’s not uncommon to go hours (and sometimes days) without seeing another human being, especially in the more remote regions.

Malapai Hill Joshua TreeMalapai Hill Joshua Tree

Along Geology Tour Road is Malapai Hill. It’s not that difficult to hike to and the area is quite significant archaeologically. The double humped hill was the result of volcanic activity in the area, with piles of monzogranite and basalt talus occurring on the mountain’s steep slopes. The hill is also my marker that I’m only a couple miles away from my Jeep Rubicon, and lunchtime is near.

Happy Birthday Mylar BalloonHappy Birthday Mylar Balloon

Is it your birthday? It is a good day when I can hike nearly 18 miles in desert wilderness and only come across a single piece of trash (now properly disposed of), aside from the rusted tin cans and other historical artifacts left behind from area mining days. This is never a place I’d recommend someone hike for pleasure, it’s moderately strenuous and the hazards are numerous, but the solitude makes it worth the journey for me.

Blue Cut Pushawalla TopoBlue Cut Pushawalla Topo Map

Pinyon Well, prospects, ruins, and an old guzzler site can be seen on the topo map above. Us USGS Malapai Hill, Calif. map for the region and don’t feed the coyotes.

Hotels Lose against Google Local: Centroid Battle for Las Vegas

This is part 3 of my three-part series on Local Search in Google (The Centroid Battle for Las Vegas). In part one we dissected a Google 7 Pack page for hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada. In part two we took a close look at a major hotel property that had virtually disappeared from local hotel search results on that same ‘7 Pack’ page. In part 3 we are going to look at a variation of how a hotel property can ‘disappear’ even though its physical location suggests it is in one of the best possible locations for top rankings.

Our research again begins at the intersection of S. Las Vegas Blvd. and E. Flamingo Rd. in Clark County, Nevada. This time we’re going to take a look at the area from above, thanks to a digital orthophoto quadrangle (DOQ) provided by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), that I added some arrows and hotel names to.

Caesars Palace Flamingo Ballys BellagioCaesars Palace, Flamingo, Ballys, Paris, and Bellagio as viewed from above

You may recall from post one in this series that only Caesars Palace (position B) and the Flamingo Las Vegas (position C) appear in the 7 pack even though all four of the hotels listed above (Paris is for reference) are equal in distance to the city centroid. In post two we uncovered some likely reasons why the Bellagio Hotel had lost its place (position D) in the seven pack, which leaves us with one final hotel property.

Places Ballys Las VegasPlaces for Bally’s near Las Vegas

I’m actually a big fan of Bally’s Hotel Las Vegas (much in part due to its central location) but there is no shortage of errors to be found online that are quite likely to be keeping Bally’s Hotel (and possibly even Paris Hotel) off of the seven pack results page. Take a look at my edited screen grab above to spot some errors.

Just like the Bellagio (also not appearing), there are 3 place pages found when searching for Bally’s by brand-name. It’s an ugly mess no doubt. Position A has a title of Paris Las Vegas with the URL for a restaurant located in front of the hotel. Position B is for Bally’s but notice how the address is incorrectly posted? The address (which is correct for the hotel) is also duplicated as the address for the restaurant (incorrect). Position C also has a Bally’s URL (like in position B) but the title reads Paris Las Vegas and the toll-free 866 number listed isn’t even correct for the hotel (Paris toll-free reservation desk is 877-796-2096).

Every one of the listings shown above has at least one element of incorrect or inaccurate information, providing greater evidence that what was discussed in post two, offers strong credibility for reasons why a particular business may not be appearing in the seven pack.

Ballys Google Place PageBally’s Las Vegas Place page (click to view full size)

You would think large corporate hotel and casino operations would have a lockdown on their place pages (you would be wrong). As we can see on the upper right side of the above screen grab, this Bally’s Las Vegas Hotel page (which I believe is the real deal), has not been business owner verified. The address starts out good as 3645 South Las Vegas Boulevard (I prefer Las Vegas Boulevard South) but there are some obvious errors with the address after that.

The photos (provided by Panoramio) appear to be showing the Las Vegas area but they are quite poor in branding for this particular hotel. That’s been frequently the case in my research of relying on user generated photos that are placed algorithmically on the page. It’s a far better user experience in my opinion when the business owner provides at least six high quality photos that appropriately reflect that particular place page.

Paris Hotel Las Vegas Place PageParis Hotel Place page (click to view full size)

The place page for Paris Hotel isn’t any better than the one for Bally’s. Both hotels are under the same ownership, and likely the same management, but there’s no logical explanation for this mishmash of confusion. Paris has the URL for Bally’s listed even though they have their own site and reservation system. It’s also not a business owner verified place page. A user landing on the page and looking at the images would quite likely assume this was a page for Bally’s. Even the category information is incorrect (circled in red). While other (well ranking) hotel properties were listed in categories such as “Casino, Hotel/Casino” this one above for Paris is listed first under “Physician.” Somebody get me a Doctor.

Eiffel Tower Restaurant Page2 place pages aren’t always better than one

I’ve included a screen grab of the Eiffel Tower Restaurant (which is located in front of the Paris Hotel on the Las Vegas strip) because it’s likely not helping the situation when there is a restaurant place page using the address for Bally’s Hotel and a duplicate restaurant place page using the address for Paris Hotel. It’s bad for users, it’s bad for search engines, and it’s bad for business.

Let’s Review: We started in the first post at the corner of Flamingo Road and Las Vegas Blvd. because that is where Google says the current centroid for Las Vegas is located. Since there was a hotel property on each corner of the intersection we used ‘hotels’ as the keyword for our local research. It could be expected that each of the four adjacent properties would have shown up in 7 pack results, but that wasn’t the case. Two hotels (Bally’s and Bellagio – highlighted in post number two) are currently excluded from the seven pack, which provided excellent opportunity to study potential reasons why. We found many.

Also in the first post of this series I talked about ‘wildcards’ that typically appear in positions F and positions G (or 6 and 7) of a seven pack. The hotels appearing in those positions have already altered since last week. Here’s a fresh look at today’s results.

Las Vegas Hotels OctoberLas Vegas Hotel Results

Today’s newcomer is Casino Royale Las Vegas taking over wild-card position F. The MGM Grand Hotel and Casino has moved into wildcard position G and the Luxor is gone from the 7 pack mix. For now, the cluster has moved North of Flamingo Rd., and the battle for the centroid in Las Vegas continues.

Note: I will be addressing several “most important factors” from this three-part series in more detail (along with quite a bit of information about reviews and other local search signals) during my Local Search Rankings PubCon session in Las Vegas Nevada on November 8, say hi if you’re at the conference.

Battle Las Vegas: Disappearing Hotels in Local Search

This is the second of a three-part series on Local Search in Google (The Centroid Battle for Las Vegas). In the first post of this series (read it again), we dissected the ‘7 pack’ of results that appeared when searching for Las Vegas hotels. Seeing who is listed in the 7 pack is easy, discovering who is not, takes a little bit more research.

Las Vegas is known for magic shows that mystify audiences (it’s also legal to drink from open containers), so how about we look behind the curtain to see how a major hotel property in Las Vegas, vanished from the 7 pack. Grab yourself a beverage and let’s head to the intersection of S. Las Vegas Blvd. and E. Flamingo Rd. at the center of the Las Vegas strip.

Ballys Bellagio Center Las VegasBally’s Hotel and Casino & Bellagio Hotel in center of Vegas

X marks the spot, that according to Google local search, is the center of Las Vegas. There are four massive hotel properties at this intersection (one on each corner). We have Caesars Palace, The Flamingo, Bally’s, and the Bellagio. 3 of the properties (Bally’s, Caesars, Flamingo) are owned by Caesars Entertainment Corp. The Bellagio is owned by MGM Grand Resorts International. There is also Bill’s Gambling Hall and Saloon which straddles The Flamingo (also owned by Caesars). Who’s got the edge if all of these properties are listed in the 7 pack? Let’s review that screen grab again.

Top Three Las Vegas HotelsTop Three Las Vegas Hotels – 7 Pack – Plus Corporations

While dissecting the 7-pack, something I did not highlight in the first post and marked by red rectangles, was the exact match domains to title tags for results A, B and C. Remember the 3 pack? Those are still the coveted positions in my opinion. I included who owns each property because it’s important when doing research to know that we’re not always dealing with 7 individual players jockeying for position. In this case there are 3 winners, and several unseen losers.

People oftentimes assume Google’s 7 pack results are based on proximity, but when viewing the map above, we clearly see that’s not the case. I imagine you’ve been to Las Vegas and you’ve walked the strip at least once. If results were proximal to who was physically located near the centroid we’d likely see the Bellagio Hotel, Bally’s Hotel, Imperial Palace, the Mirage, Paris Hotel (adjacent to Bally’s), and maybe even Planet Hollywood, the Palazzo, Treasure Island (TI) Hotel, and the Wynn. Yet none of those hotels are listed in the 7-pack. So, how do you make one of largest hotel properties in Las Vegas vanish?

3 Place pages Bellagio Hotel3 Place pages for Bellagio Hotel in Las Vegas (like having 3 aces of spades hidden in the deck)

Google suggests not having three place pages for your business, local search experts suggest not having 3 place pages for your business, and yet when searching via keyword ‘bellagio’ we see 3 different place pages for one of the largest hotel casino properties in Las Vegas. It’s like someone slipped three aces of spades into the house deck, but who?

In the first post of this series I pointed out that the Mandalay Bay Hotel was incorrectly being listed on the map location of the Bellagio (both hotels owned by MGM) and that was potentially creating a bad user experience. Looking at the screen grab above we see several potential reasons why the Bellagio is currently nonexistent in the 7 pack. To make matters worse, users are leaving reviews on all three Place pages. Will the real Bellagio place page please stand up?

Via Bellagio Hotel Las VegasVia Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas Non-Owner Verified (place page A)

Someone into conspiracy theories could suggest this is hotel ranking local search sabotage. It’s not an owner verified business listing, the address only says ‘Paradise, Nevada’, and all the photos are provided by a Google User. However, the toll-free number listed is the room reservation assistance number for the hotel. It gets worse.

Bellagio 3600 Las Vegas BlvdBellagio at 3600 Las Vegas Blvd. – Place page position C

Place position C looks like the real deal until we take a closer look. Again, we see the page has not been business owner verified (a red flag). However, the address is correct and the phone number listed is the Clark County local calling area code (702) for the Bellagio hotel operator, even the appropriate domain is listed. But those images are coming from a third-party hotel aggregating website, with none of the photos being business owner verified. There is a pearl of wisdom in this oyster: the Bellagio is getting screwed.

Bellagio Hotel Casino Las Vegas 89158Bellagio Hotel & Casino Las Vegas Place Page – Owner Verified

Place page position B is the real deal, and it’s marked as an owner-verified listing. The address is correct, the toll-free contact number is correct, but the images could use some improvement (more on that in part 3 of this series). Think this is all circumstantial evidence and perhaps maybe having owner verified place pages, proper phone numbers, and correct address data isn’t as important as the experts suggest? Good thing I save my screenshots, take a look at position D.

Position D Bellagio Hotel Las Vegas NevadaBellagio Hotel in Position D for Las Vegas Nevada Hotels

Oh, the mystery of the disappearing hotel. In part 3 of this series we’re going to look at another hotel that happens to share the same intersection as the Bellagio, along with some examples explaining why it also is a no-show in the 7-pack, hopefully providing you with a better understanding of what’s going on in the local search world.

Las Vegas Hotels: 7 Pack Place Page Review

This is the first of a three-part series on Local Search in Google (The Centroid Battle for Las Vegas). In this post we’re going to look at the ‘7 pack’ of results that appear when searching for hotels in Las Vegas, Nevada.

I do much of my research for local in the city of Las Vegas, primarily because there is more of everything that one might be searching for. For example, there are scenarios where a hotel can be found on every corner, which makes it easier to study how one business location is ranking versus the others. Our research today begins at the intersection of S Las Vegas Blvd & E Flamingo Road in Clark County, Nevada.

E Flamingo Road at S Las Vegas BlvdE Flamingo Road at S Las Vegas Blvd

I chose this intersection because this is where Google has determined to place the centroid for the city of Las Vegas. The location differs from what’s considered the center of Las Vegas according to US geological survey maps and some other government map data, but I think in this case Google made the right call, let’s seek to understand why.

Ask your friends or family who have been to Las Vegas to name a hotel that’s located in the center of all the action. Chances are, they will name one of the major hotel properties located near the center of the strip (S. Las Vegas Blvd.), versus downtown Las Vegas (a more accurate geographical center of the city). This goes against the wisdom that Google places centroids near city municipalities (like in downtown Los Angeles).

To know where we were starting, I simply did a search for the city name [las vegas] to determine Google’s preference for placing the centroid. You can typically do this for any town or city you’d like to locate a centroid for. I then set my browser’s default location to Las Vegas, NV (you can also disable local search by selecting United States) and typed in my keyword of interest.

Hotels near Las Vegas 7 packHotels near Las Vegas – 2011

For the image above, I moved the map so I can refer to corresponding letters, results will appear differently on your screen when doing searches. It’s important to know that the screen grab was made in Oct 2011 and live results will vary.

I’m assuming you’ve been to Las Vegas and walked the strip at least once. You may have been in a drunken stupor but now you can tell people you were conducting research. Take a look at the map and count through the 7 letters from A to G. Notice results A, B, C and E are north of the centroid (Flamingo Road) and results D, F, and G are south? Do you see how five of the letters are clustered and two are quite a distance away from the center. That’s not at all uncommon and I’ll refer to those scattered individual results as wildcards.

The Flamingo Hotel & Casino (in position C) is located nearest the centroid and Caesers Palace (position B) is located directly across the street, giving us the feeling perhaps that everything appears normal, but it’s not the case. To spot the misfit take a look at the address for The Venetian (3355 Las Vegas Boulevard South) and see which addresses are the furthest away. Notice any?

3355 Las Vegas Blvd. (position A) to 3950 Las Vegas Blvd. (position D) is a 3 mile one way walk and so we can see THEHotel at Mandalay Bay (in position D) is marked in the wrong location. It should be south of the Luxor (position G) and adjacent to McCarran Airport. It could be happening intentionally or Google is accidentally marking this hotel property next to Caesars Palace. Imagine the disappointment of a first time tourist in Vegas booking a stay at Mandalay Bay based on this map and discovering it’s at the near absolute end of the strip. Also, the hotel expected in position D has had its place hijacked and/or sabotaged (more on that in post 2 of this series). We can see the 7 pack isn’t perfect, even for a highly visible search term like hotels.

Las Vegas Hotels 702 area codeHotels using local area code 702

Viewing the image above, we see that only three hotels use a local 702 area code phone number, while the other four use either a toll-free 800-number (Luxor and Harrah’s), a toll-free 877 number (Mandalay Bay), or a toll-free 888 number (Flamingo). One of the original Nevada area codes, established in October of 1947, was area code 702. Due to growth in the Las Vegas area, nearly all areas outside of the city rely on other area codes. There is disagreement in the local search community on the value of phone numbers, but it is my feeling that if you have a number that signals location, make use of it.

Las Vegas Boulevard SouthLas Vegas Boulevard South

Five out of the seven hotels listed include ‘Las Vegas Boulevard South’ in their address. One location (Caesars Palace) uses the abbreviated 3570 Las Vegas Blvd S address, and the MGM Grand lists its address as 3799 Las Vegas Boulevard without identification of North or South.

Las Vegas Brand vs HotelBrand vs Las Vegas Hotel

Remember, my location was set to Las Vegas, Nevada and my keyword searched was hotels. Four out of the seven locations (technically 3 of 7) use the keyword in their listing, but positions A, B and C (the top 3) do not. Think any of the bottom four could be positioned better relying on their brand name alone?

Some would argue that all of this granular attention to detail doesn’t really matter when it comes to getting listed in the 7 pack, I’m perfectly content with them thinking that way. If you don’t think the city centroid matters (more importantly in the mind of the consumer versus just Google) take a look at this.

Center of Las Vegas ShiftedAria hotel advertising suggesting center of Las Vegas has moved

The largest privately funded construction project in the history of the United States was the construction of CityCenter in Las Vegas. Construction costs totaled over $9 billion and the project was started by MGM Resorts International. Take a peek back at the map above to locate this area of recently constructed hotels. CityCenter is south of position D, north of position G, and east of the 15 interstate. It’s positioned nicely between the cluster of five hotels and the two wild cards.

It may interest those deeply into local search to know that Mandalay Bay, MGM Grand, and Luxor, are all owned by MGM Resorts International (along with hotels in the CityCenter). Caesars Palace, the Flamingo, and Harrah’s (positions B, C and E) are all owned by Caesars Entertainment Corporation.

Caesars Entertainment Corp. owns other hotels near the current city centroid and MGM Resorts International owns hotels near the current wildcards. It’s a virtual poker showdown on the streets of the Las Vegas strip, and Google is the house.

In part two (now posted) we will look at who’s not listed in the 7 pack (even though they share the same streetcorners as those that were) and identify a few of the likely reasons why. The centroid battle of Las Vegas has just begun.