Optimal Places Scout Setup


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Hi everyone...I hope I'm putting this in the right section. I know that a lot of folks around here are big fans of Places Scout (as am I) but I've always wondered what the optimal settings are for the program. I have a pretty fast computer (Quad Core i7 w/ 16 Gigs of ram) for whatever that's worth.

Furthermore, I haven't been using proxies up to this point. I know they suggest some sort of proxy software over at Places Scout Support, but was curious if anyone's had any experience with it or has alternative suggestions in terms of proxies.

Thanks ahead of time
 

Linda Buquet

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Great question Spencer.

I'll get you an answer right from the horse's mouth and ask Mark to come and address it. He's swamped working on the software but will see if he can break away.

For anyone that does not know about Places Scout yet, you can read about it at the top of my <a href="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/google-places-software-tools.html">Google Places Software and Free Local SEO Tools</a> page. I beta test, consult and make upgrade recommendations for the software.

Scout's strong suit is Google Places ranking reports and competitive analysis but the NEW reputation module should be out any day now. Here's my pre-launch announcement. <a href="http://marketing-blog.catalystemarketing.com/reputation-management-software-google-places-reviews.html">New Reputation Management Software with Google Places Review Backups, Review Alerts and More ? PreLaunch Announcement</a>

Mark and I have been talking about doing a FREE Google Places/Scout webinar after he gets rep management update out the door.

Emailing him to come answer your Q now Spencer.
 
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Thanks so much Linda.

To clarify a little, I'm not even sure if I need to use proxies (or decaptcha's) because I'm not using the "Client Finder" aspect of the software. Rather, I'm mostly using the citation finder module.

What's concerning me is how few "verified citations" that are showing after I run a search. For example, I'll show some sites with 5 or 0, when I'm nearly certain there are a lot more.

As instructed in the video, I'm not getting SEOmoz or PR data...just the citations.

One thing I have noticed is that after running the software, I'm "temporarily banned" (usually only need to put in a captcha) from several of primary citation sites like Citypages, Yellowpages, etc. so I'm guessing that has something to with it.

The only reason I bring this up is because I imagine that maybe others are having the same problem?
 

Linda Buquet

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Yep I'm sure answers will help others. I did Ping Mark yesterday and today I've been in a hangout with Google all AM. But will ping him again tomorrow if he doesn't reply today.
 

KabanaSoft

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Thanks so much Linda.

To clarify a little, I'm not even sure if I need to use proxies (or decaptcha's) because I'm not using the "Client Finder" aspect of the software. Rather, I'm mostly using the citation finder module.

What's concerning me is how few "verified citations" that are showing after I run a search. For example, I'll show some sites with 5 or 0, when I'm nearly certain there are a lot more.

As instructed in the video, I'm not getting SEOmoz or PR data...just the citations.

One thing I have noticed is that after running the software, I'm "temporarily banned" (usually only need to put in a captcha) from several of primary citation sites like Citypages, Yellowpages, etc. so I'm guessing that has something to with it.

The only reason I bring this up is because I imagine that maybe others are having the same problem?
Hi Spencer,

Here is a screenshot of the data gathering settings that i typically use when running Places Scout:



If your primarily using the Citation Finder, you will need to pay close attention to your 'Max Simultaneous HTTP Connections' setting, as Places Scout will attempt to verify citations in Parallel and this setting limits the number of parallel HTTP connections that can be active at any given time. I don't recommend setting this any higher than 20, as you will start to get lots of HTTP connection timeouts depending on the speed of your internet connection. If you have a slower connection, set this setting to 10. If you start to see lots of HTTP connection timeouts (> 100) in the status window when gathering data, then that means you should lower this setting. It is normal for some connections to timeout, but not 100's of them.

In regards to proxies, you only really need to use proxies if you choose to gather Business Owner Name data from Manta.com. However, if you would like Places Scout to use a proxy when gathering data so that all requests come from the proxy's IP address instead of yours, you can goto the 'General' settings section, and then click on the 'Proxy Settings' button and add some proxies. Then, for whatever proxy you want to use when gathering data, much sure you check the 'Is Master' checkbox next to that proxy to tell Places Scout to use that proxy when gathering data. For more information on using proxies, please see my proxy tutorial video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P3SRWlKgap8

Next, in regards to the Citation Finder and its current ability to 'Verify' citations - Google made a minor change since the last update that caused Places Scout not to properly parse out individual parts of the address data which is necessary to verify citations. So this change has currently affected Places Scout's ability to properly verify citations based on the split parts of the address data.

I have since fixed this issue in the beta of my next update, and actually spent alot of money on a highly accurate address parsing component that allows Places Scout to split the address into its individual parts, even in other countries where the addresses have different formats.

So the combination of the bug fix in parsing addresses due to the change made by Google as well as the new address parsing component i purchased will fix the issues in verifying citations in the current version, as well as make this citation verification algorithm much more accurate that the previous versions.

The next update with these fixes is due out tomorrow (Friday) night
, so as soon as i release the update i encourage you to run the Citation Finder again and let me know if the results are much more accurate than they are in the current version.

Lastly, in response to your comment that you are getting 'temporarily banned' from Citypages and other review sites, i have never seen this happen in all my testing, and take matters like these very seriously as i try to write my code as best as possible so that Places Scout 'flies under the radar' when gathering data. Can you please open up a support ticket using my support portal located at:

Places Scout Customer Support - Powered by Kayako Fusion Help Desk Software

And let me know what keywords / locations / citation settings you used when you ran into this issue so i can test it right away and make sure there is no issues gathering data from these sites? If you can do that ASAP so i can test it before my next release tomorrow i'd greatly appreciate it.

Hope this helps.

Best Regards,
Mark Kabana
Places Scout Development Team
 

Linda Buquet

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Awesome Mark! Thanks for the detailed reply and resources!

I'll give the folks here a head's up about the update features when I get a chance.
 

Linda Buquet

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Oh and for anyone that doesn't have Scout yet, Mark just announced that today is the last day for the 147 price. Tomorrow when he launches the new Reputation Management module, the price goes up to 197 which is still a steal for unlimited usage.

Here is the link to the discount offer at the Warrior forum. <strong><a href="http://www.warriorplus.com/linkwso/62jh37/22293">Places Scout</a></strong>
 
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Mark,

I'm sorry I didn't see this until now. I would have updated immediately but for some reason Google Apps/Gmail has decided to put a lot stuff in my spam box that's not actually spam. I'll open a ticket right away.

Regarding my connection speed, I'm on a 100 meg connection. I'll detail this in the ticket.

Thanks for all of the updates.

For anyone reading this, I don't want it to come across like I was bashing Places Scout. I don't think there's any other software available as good as Places Scout...period.
 

Nick.SEOSpark

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Thanks for all of the latest technical info for Places Scout.

I've recently started using it and it really is fantastic! I can't praise it enough.:)
 
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Update:

I spoke with Mark and he couldn't have been more helpful.

Here's what we figured out...it's almost certainly the fact that I had SEO plugins installed in the browser, which makes complete sense.

Again, I couldn't have been more impressed by the support.
 

KabanaSoft

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Spencer,

FYI - I just released another update tonight to Places Scout...and i also worked on the citation verification code a bit to improve caching of citation data during the citation verification stage...so Places Scout will never visit the same site twice during the citation verification stage.

Although i still do believe that your issue was due to the firefox plugins you were using since i never ran into this...i figured i would improve the code a bit more just incase. So either way the new code has been optimized even more :).
 
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Mark, thanks a lot for coming on here and giving all the technical support.

For anyone that is not using it, I very much recommend Places Scout software - it's in a league of it's own and represents exceptional value.:):D

The latest update this week was great!
 

Linda Buquet

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Thanks Nick, glad the software is serving you well and you like the big update.

For anyone that missed it, here is my announcement yesterday about the update with all the new Reputation Management features. (Screen shots, video too.)

Reputation Management Solution with Google Review Backups and Alerts - Just Launched

Or for anyone that wants to check out all the other features like local rank tracking, citation finder, customer finder, competitive analysis, etc. here's the link: <a href="http://www.warriorplus.com/linkwso/62jh37/22293">Places Scout</a></strong> (Warrior Special Offer)
 

edens

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Hello New to this forum but not places scout.
Manta seems to be killing all my proxies and i really need to get the best settings or find another program to pull owner info-really just the business owners name.

I get every thing from goog just fine but once it hits manta it burns all my proxies and says rediret deceted (i have the green box in the proxies validation with in places scout but still burns them) I have my delay stupid high at 6500.

Really need this help and anything helps at this point. even other programs. I also use HMA VPM along with it.
 

KabanaSoft

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Hello New to this forum but not places scout.
Manta seems to be killing all my proxies and i really need to get the best settings or find another program to pull owner info-really just the business owners name.

I get every thing from goog just fine but once it hits manta it burns all my proxies and says rediret deceted (i have the green box in the proxies validation with in places scout but still burns them) I have my delay stupid high at 6500.

Really need this help and anything helps at this point. even other programs. I also use HMA VPM along with it.
@edens - The problem is most likely being caused by the fact that you are using HMA when gathering data. Doing this can cause problems when gathering data with Places Scout because your IP can change when gathering data, which will cause intermittent connection timeouts and losses due to the fact that the IP is being changed by HMA periodically. This will cause Places Scout to think the proxy is no longer responding because the connection will be lost, which is why Places Scout will move onto the next proxy and render the current one unavailable.

There isn't really a need to use HMA since you are also using proxies with Places Scout. I would suggest not using HMA when gathering data and try again to see if it fixes the issue.

If you need further assistance please open a support ticket as Linda suggested.

Hope this helps.
-Mark
 

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