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SEO is something we pay attention to but probably don’t spend enough time covering here. Besides its level of sex appeal to some of our readers, it’s often sidestepped because of the can of worms factor or the general “that’s an entirely different” post attitude.

And it’s true: It’s a complicated area that we’ll leave to the experts such as Andrew Shotland, Steve Espinosa and David Mihm. When invited to our conference stage, these guys do a knock-up job communicating how the art of SEO applies to the content and user behaviors of local search.

This of course includes optimizing listings based content. It also means paying attention to key events — most coming from a certain place in Mountain View, CA — affecting the way IYPs and local search players have to play (7-pack, LBC/Places, etc.).

The latest is an announcement at Google’s I/O conference last week about how it will rank “long tail” content — a designation in which local listings (read: YP content) fall. Though overshadowed by sexier topics coming out of I/O, this will have a big impact on IYPs, according to Shotland:

Over the past few years there have been numerous challenges for yellow pages sites to overcome — the 10 pack, Google Maps, Place Pages, SEM resellers, etc., but for some reason I am feeling like this one is the big wake up call and if you want to survive you probably don’t want to hit the snooze button this time.

As always, Shotland gives actionable tips, which you can read on his LocalSEOGuide. If 1. he’s right, and 2. you’re an IYP, it’s something you’re going to want to read (and perhaps call Andrew).

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