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The first Aston Martin Valkyrie destined for a customer is complete
One of the most interesting cars that Aston Martin has announced in a long time is the Valkyrie. The coolest part about the Valkyrie is that it was designed to be the first F1 car for the road with technology that aims to redefine hypercar. Aston Martin has now confirmed that the very first Valkyrie that will be delivered to a customer has been completed.
While confirming the first car that will be delivered to the customer is complete, Aston has also confirmed that the Valkyrie is in full production. The completed vehicle represents the first hypercar Aston has ever produced. Construction of the hypercar is happening at the UK HQ in Gaydon, and it’s being handled by a dedicated project delivery team in charge of the vehicle from build through delivery.
The factory has a special area dedicated specifically to the production of the Valkyrie. Specialized technicians are constructing each of the 150 examples by hand. A single Valkyrie hypercar takes 2000 hours to create. Aston has a process requiring each completed Valkyrie to be sent to the company’s high-speed performance facility at Silverstone Raceway for testing.
Interestingly, Silverstone is the racing track where the vehicle was developed. The car utilizes Formula One racing technology with a 6.5-liter naturally aspirated Cosworth V12 that makes 1000 horsepower paired with a hybrid electric motor. While being a large and high displacement engine, it can rev to 11,100 rpm while making its peak power at 10,500 RPM.
The hybrid system is a battery-electric system similar to the technology used in Formula One racing known as KERS. The hybrid system in the Valkyrie comes from Rimac. The V12 engine is responsible for most of the power output, but the electrified hybrid system adds another 160 horsepower and 207 pound-feet of torque.
Combined, the naturally aspirated V12 and the hybrid system produces 1160 horsepower and 664 pound-feet of torque. Consider those massive horsepower and torque numbers are propelling a car that weighs less than a ton, and it’s easy to envision the kind of performance that will be delivered. The entire engine weighs 450 pounds.
Aston Martin’s Valkyrie is undoubtedly an impressive feat of engineering, but it looks a bit strange from some angles. The body is designed to produce downforce more so than to look pretty. The rear three-quarter view and full-on rearview are the strangest to many eyes. An extremely high-performance vehicle tends to have significantly more maintenance than your average Honda.
However, Aston Martin wanted owners to enjoy the vehicle without constant maintenance and designed Valkyrie to last 60,000 miles before the engine needs maintenance and servicing. There’s a strong likelihood with the extreme cost and rarity of these cars that the vast majority of the 150 unit fleet will never see 60,000 miles of use.
In early 2023, Aston Martin announced that it would have an optional AMR Track Performance Pack that would bring even more performance to the table. That package is for the road version of the car and adds components meant for use only on a racing track that can be exchanged with the parts that make the car street legal. Adding those new components claims to improve lap times by eight percent.
The parts include an aerodynamic front clamshell for improved downforce, lightweight titanium brakes, track-focused suspension, and new wheels. The package also includes a complete set of body panels for replacement if an accident happens on the track. Aston Martin is also developing an AMR Pro version that wants to take on Le Mans. The Valkyrie AMR Pro reportedly lapped the 8.5 mile Le Mans track in three minutes and 20 seconds. That was fast enough to win the 24 Hours of Le Mans in the hypercar class.
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Aston Martin DB5 Junior is an affordable way to Aston Martin ownership
Make no mistake, the Aston Martin DB5 junior is not a toy. It is, in essence, an electric vehicle for kids we admit, but Aston Martin claims the DB5 Junior allows enough room for an adult and child to seat side-by-side, which is awesome if you’re a filthy rich, dotting father. And with base prices starting at around $46,000, your rich kid will easily become the king of playgrounds.
The Aston Martin DB5 Junior is the result of a growing trend among premium carmakers like Bugatti with its Baby Bugatti II. And while both the DB5 Junior and Bugatti Baby II are working replicas of scaled-down original models, it’s the level of authenticity involved in assembling each piece that makes the DB5 Junior highly desirable. “I’m thrilled to see this new, exquisite interpretation of what is, perhaps, our most iconic model to join the Aston Martin family,” said Marek Reichman, Executive Vice President and Chief Creative Officer at Aston Martin.
For the price, you get a two-thirds scale replica of the iconic Aston Martin DB5 complete with a modest electric motor and battery pack. Aston Martin is only making 1059 examples of the DB5 Junior, and each model receives automatic membership to the Aston Martin Owners Club. For future provenance, each vehicle has three complete registers held by Aston’s Gaydon and Newport Pagnell headquarters and by the Little Car Company, the same folks that built the Bugatti Baby II.
The DB5 Junior is pretty much like the original car. Working alongside the Little Car Company, Aston Martin utilized a reference 3D scan of the original DB5 to create the junior model. It has a working instrument cluster with updated gauges including a battery meter and motor temperature. It even has an authentic Smiths clock like the iconic DB5.
The steering wheel is an authentic two-thirds replica of the original. However, it now has a racing-style quick release lever for easier ingress and egress. The interior is wrapped in black leather and black carpets while the Silver Birch body color is standard. The vehicle sits on double-wishbone front and a live axle rear with lower trailing arm suspension like the actual car. It rolls on 10-inch wire wheels, and stopping power is courtesy of four-wheel ventilated disc brakes with regenerative functions.
The Aston Martin DB5 Junior has a single electric motor producing 6.7 horsepower. And since the vehicle sits on an aluminum honeycomb chassis with composite body panels, the whole shebang only weighs 595 pounds, which is enough to propel the car to a top speed of 30 mph. The removable battery pack is stashed under the hood and offers 10 to 20 miles of range.
This toy has three driving modes: Novice, Expert, and Race. There’s also a Vantage model that offers more adrenaline by unleashing 13.4 horsepower via a hidden missile switch. The Vantage model also comes with a lightweight carbon-fiber body and a second battery pack for up to 40 miles of range. Production for the Aston Martin DB5 Junior starts next year, with first deliveries arriving in the next two years.
Apple MacBook Pro (14-inch, M1 Pro): starts at $1,999 / £1,899 / €2,249 / Rs. 1,94,900
Apple MacBook Pro (14-inch, M1 Max): starts at $2,899 / £2,799 / €3,209 / Rs. 2,79,900
Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, M1 Pro): starts at $2,499 / £2, 399 / €2,749 / Rs. 2,39,900
Apple MacBook Pro (16-inch, M1 Max): starts at $3,099 / £2,999 / €3,439 / Rs. 2,99,900
The M1 Pro is for everyone that doesn’t already know they need the M1 Max.
The rest of the updates in the MacBook Pro (2023) are equally as significant: an updated adaptive 120Hz display, an upgraded 1080p webcam, improved speakers with spatial audio, and some of the best battery life you can find on a really powerful laptop. On top of all that, MagSafe makes a welcome return, as do the SD card slot, HDMI port, and physical function keys.
The MacBook Pro (2023) was released in October 2023, and is available via Apple’s website, Amazon, and from select retailers including Best Buy, Walmart, B&H, and Adorama. All models are available in Silver or Space Gray. The 13-inch MacBook Pro, powered by the new M2 chip, appeared in mid-June 2023 but is really just a 2023-era MacBook Pro with a new chip. If you keep your eyes peeled you can often find deals offering several hundreds of dollars off the MSRP.
What’s changed in MacBook Pro design?
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
The 2023 MacBook Pro feels a lot like the 2023 MacBook Pro I’ve just come from but with updated specs. I’ve been using the latter laptop for years, lovingly referring to it as the Last Great MacBook Pro. It was the line in the sand I wasn’t willing to cross until Apple backtracked on half a decade’s worth of bad laptop decisions.
I’m used to having ports so have never bought a dongle, I never experienced the much-maligned Touch Bar or butterfly keyboard, and am simply switching from one MagSafe power cable to another. In tech, going backward is almost never a good idea, but in the MacBook’s case, it is. Apple took the Last Great MacBook Pro and… made it again.
The MacBook Pro (2023) has almost the exact same footprint and weight as the 2023 model — not to mention basically the same ports — but it comes with a one-inch larger display and slightly edgier chassis. It’s definitely bigger and heavier than more recent MacBook Pros but not by a huge degree.
I’ll talk about the display a little later, but the other main changes to MacBook Pro design are the reintroduction of physical function keys and the abandonment of the Touch Bar. Whether you liked the Touch Bar or not, it is no longer an option on the 2023 MacBook Pros (it is still present on the 2023 M2 13-inch MacBook Pro, however).
The SD card slot, MagSafe, and HDMI port make a triumphant return. Physical function keys are back and the Touch Bar is gone.
The rest of the keyboard is also great. The scissor-switch keys have a solid 1mm of travel and are housed in a black anodized aluminum tray. Over time I’ve noticed the tray gets pretty grubby looking, accumulating lots of visible dust and fluff, and the keys get shiny, requiring regular cleaning. The Touch ID sensor integrated into the power button is super fast and reliable and the Force Touch trackpad is enormous, responsive, and accurate. The built-in Mac trackpad is one of the main things I miss whenever I temporarily switch back to a Windows laptop.
The new MacBook Pro has large feet on the bottom of the chassis, presumably to increase airflow for regulating thermals. I never noticed heat being a problem, as it often was on my old MacBook. The laptop still gets warm under load but never uncomfortably enough to not want it on my lap. Having used the MacBook Pro through summer heat up to 95 degrees Fahrenheit (35 degrees Celcius), I feel comfortable saying ambient heat won’t impact performance for my use cases. I’ve still only rarely heard the fans after seven months of daily use.
The only branding on the new laptop is a debossed “MacBook Pro” on the bottom and a shiny Apple logo on the lid that doesn’t light up. One could argue that Apple is leaning into the notch-as-identifier, as the words “MacBook Pro” no longer appear under the screen. If you’re not into the idea of broadcasting your notched laptop to the world, you can hide the notch by making apps fullscreen (see image below) or using an app like Forehead. Dark mode and a dark wallpaper also do a nifty job of camouflaging it.
SDXC card slot
HDMI 2.0 slot
3.5mm headphone port
3x Thunderbolt 4 ports
MagSafe 3 with USB-C PD 3.1
14-inch (M1 Pro): 8-core CPU+14-core GPU; 10-core CPU+14-core GPU; 10-core CPU+16-core GPU
14-inch (M1 Max): 10-core CPU+24-core GPU; 10-core CPU+32-core GPU
16-inch (M1 Pro): 10-core CPU+16-core GPU
16-inch (M1 Max): 10-core CPU+24-core GPU; 10-core CPU+32-core GPU
All versions include a 16-core Neural Engine.
On paper, the M1 Pro and M1 Max CPUs are, according to Apple, 70% faster than the original M1. The M1 Pro GPU, however, is twice as fast as the M1, and the M1 Max GPU is four times faster than the M1. Some things depend on your particular workflow, but the performance gains from the M1 are truly massive, especially where GPU-heavy tasks are concerned. The new M2 chip offers better single-core performance than the M1 Pro but the M1 Pro still wins on multi-core and more GPU-intensive tasks.
It is extremely hard to slow a MacBook Pro (2023) down with anything but extreme use cases.
I know my workflow wouldn’t put a dent in a maxed-out M1 Max. That’s why I opted for a more sedate M1 Pro with 32GB of RAM. I don’t edit 8K video, I don’t mix multiple hi-res livestreams, I don’t compile vast quantities of code, render 3D animation, or create visual effects for a living. But let’s be real, neither do most people that buy MacBook Pros.
If you are a professional with heavy GPU needs, however, the new MacBook Pro still has you covered. It is extremely hard to slow a 2023 MacBook Pro down with anything but extreme use cases. It’s no overstatement to say the new MacBook Pro is the first viable desktop replacement for many serious professionals.
For anyone not described above, the M1 Pro will still knock your socks off. I’ve spent years working to the constant whir of my MacBook Pro fans but no matter what I did on the new MacBook Pro I almost never heard them. I know there are fans in there but I’m yet to hear them except when exporting hi-res video files. If you want to see just how much you need to throw at a 2023 MacBook Pro to slow them down, there are some great torture tests on YouTube.Display
16.2-inch Liquid Retina XDR
Adaptive 24-120Hz ProMotion
3,456 x 2,234 pixels, 254 ppi
1,000,000:1 contrast ratio
The Liquid Retina XDR (Extreme Dynamic Range) display is an almost-4K IPS-like LCD backlit with mini-LED that’s really good. Contrast ratios are excellent, colors are vibrant, and it’s locally dimmable. If you like HDR content, viewing it on your laptop is now a really satisfying possibility, and I didn’t see any significant blooming.
The XDR display covers 99% of the DCI-P3 color gamut and sRGB. It only covers 94% of Adobe RGB, however, which will be of note to photographers. Color calibration is excellent and there are a bunch of preset color profiles to choose from.
Adaptive 24-120Hz is a blessing for future-proofing your laptop and being able to lock it to specific refresh rates — ideal for editing video — is a nice touch. 120Hz is mostly limited to Catalyst apps right now but Safari support has also been confirmed. As with all 120Hz displays, it seems unnecessary until you actually use it.
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
With peak brightness of 1,600 nits and 1,000 nits sustained performance, HDR content looks great. Even at its non-HDR brightness of just over 500 nits, there’s no trouble with outdoor visibility. The screen itself is quite matte, so reflections are minimized (not so with the keyboard, which is horrendously shiny and reflective under overhead cafe lighting). The mini-LED backlight and high contrast ratio also mean HDR content looks great outdoors. As with most MacBooks, the edges of the screen get very fingerprinty so you’ll either be cleaning it a lot or learning new laptop-handling skills to keep it looking nice.
I ended up not even noticing the notch after a few days.
The notch is admittedly less than ideal but with the dark theme on and a dark wallpaper, I ended up not even noticing it after a few days. The only time I originally even noticed it was when it obscured something in my status bar. Long story short: at launch, status icons (or “menu bar extras” as Apple calls them) would appear under the notch while app menu items would avoid it. This was an embarrassing oversight for launch software. Apple later fixed the issue in macOS 12.1.Webcam and audio
1080p FaceTime webcam
6-speaker system with spatial audio
The MacBook Pro webcam finally got an update this year, from the dated 720p potato cam to a much more acceptable 1080p FaceTime camera. Quality is generally good but it’s nothing exceptional for a lockdown world, just what you’d expect from a built-in webcam in this day and age. Compared to my Logitech 920 it has a wider field of view and is a bit brighter, with what looks to be a slight skin smoothing effect.Battery
Li-Po battery: 100W/8,694mAh (16-inch model); 70W/6,068mAh (14-inch model)
MagSafe fast charging: 140W (16-inch model); 96W/67W (14-inch model)
USB-C charging (at slower speeds)
With the 10-core M1 Pro I was easily getting 10-12 hours of screen-on time with brightness at around 50%.
Standby battery drain is normally about 2% per day and you can get a 50% charge in 30 minutes with the bundled 140W charger. This is incredibly convenient considering how many hours 50% battery will get you. From 10% battery to 100% only takes an hour and a half. That’s only on the MagSafe port though; you can charge via any of the USB-C ports but only the MagSafe port is USB-C Power Delivery 3.1 compliant.
My typical workflow includes writing, watching videos, editing, web browsing, and using a ton of cloud-based apps like Lightroom and Photoshop. The MacBook Pro (2023) handled all of this without breaking a sweat. Beyond uninterrupted performance, I knew I could get a whole day’s worth of work done without worrying about power outlets.
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
Native apps: If you’re not sure which apps are running natively and which are run through Rosetta 2, just check the Activity Monitor, which has a column called Kind. It’ll either show Apple or Intel. If you have any weird performance issues this might help you identify the cause.
Memory bandwidth: If you need high bandwidth memory make sure you spring for the M1 Max, as that chip offers double what the M1 Pro does (400GB/s vs 200GB/s). For me, it’s not a huge issue but it could be for you.
External monitors: I ran two 4K external monitors on the M1 Pro MacBook Pro without a hitch. The M1 Pro can actually run two 6K monitors at 60Hz. The M1 Max can handle three 6K monitors and one 4K monitor, all at 60Hz. That’s sick.
Bundled chargers: The 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with the 140W charging brick in the box. The base model 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 67W charger. If you want to enjoy its maximum 96W charging, you’ll have to pay $20 extra at the checkout. If you don’t, it’ll cost you $79 to pick up the 96W charger later.
See also: The best MacBook deals
When I gave up on Apple laptops over five years ago, never did I think Apple would reverse course and add back all the things I wanted. Somehow, amazingly, that has come to pass — and I could not be more impressed. Just because the new MacBook Pro tickles my fancy, however, doesn’t mean it’s for everyone. If you need HDMI 2.1 or UHS-III, you’ll be disappointed. Hate the notch or want Face ID on your laptop? You’ll want to skip this one. And if you’re waiting for Apple to fully embrace gaming, well, I wouldn’t hold your breath.
Apple MacBook Pro 2023 review: The verdict
Kris Carlon / Android Authority
The MacBook Pro (2023) is 95% of the Mac many of us have been wanting for years. Apple giveth and Apple taketh away but, as unbelievable as it may seem, Apple has finally listened to what MacBook Pro fans have been complaining about. With this MacBook Pro, Apple has once again delivered a laptop that earns its place as the default laptop for creatives (though there are still some good alternatives). Even though it’s expensive, to my mind it’s well worth its hefty price tag.
Apple really cares about making money, so here’s a tip if you’re in the market for a new laptop. If you want Apple to continue to listen to what its customers want, do us all a favor and buy a MacBook Pro 2023. We might just get our remaining complaints addressed next time if Apple sees the money rolling in. It would be a sad day indeed if this all ended up being a one-off.
Top MacBook Pro questions and answers
The M1 Pro is more powerful than the M2 in multi-core and GPU-intensive tasks. The M2 performs better in single-core tasks and is more power efficient. The M1 Pro has higher bandwidth, more GPU cores, and supports more RAM but the M2 has a higher CPU clock speed. The M2’s improvements are primarily over the M1, not the M1 Pro. Naturally, the M1 Max far outperforms the M2.
Not on the current 13-inch MacBook Pro. You’re better off getting an M2 MacBook Air or waiting for the M2 Pro and M2 Max MacBook Pro.
The M1 Max chip is great if you have a sustained, GPU-intensive workflow. Coders, animators, videographers, and film editors will benefit from its high-performance capabilities but most average users don’t need it and won’t benefit from the extra power. Considering the M1 Max’s additional GPU cores draw more power whether they’re being used or not, you also pay a battery life premium (not to mention the monetary one) for the M1 Max, so it’s only worth it if you actually need it.
The 16-inch MacBook Pro comes with the 140W charging brick. The 14-inch MacBook Pro comes with a 67W charger. You can, however, pay $20 extra at checkout to upgrade it to the 96W charger.
The MacBook Air is lighter, cheaper, and less powerful than a MacBook Pro. The 2023 MacBook Air has fewer ports than the 2023 MacBook Pros, weaker speakers, and a worse screen. Despite coming with the newer M2 chip, the Air doesn’t have a fan, so thermal throttling is more of a consideration for sustained performance. The new Air is also 20% more expensive than its predecessors but still much cheaper than the base model MacBook Pro. For more differences, check out our post on the best Apple MacBook to buy.
It depends how much performance and portability you need. The M1 Pro and M1 Max are available in both the 14- and 16-inch models and the new 13-inch MacBook Pro features the M2 chip. While the M2 is newer, the 13-inch MacBook Pro design is older and it comprises primarily older components. The 14-inch MacBook Pro is obviously smaller and lighter but it has a smaller screen and less space in which to manage thermals. The 16-inch is still portable but it’s much heavier to lug around, even if it does have a larger screen, bigger battery, and faster charging. If you’re still undecided, we have a buyer’s guide to help you make the right choice.
Google Drive is a fantastic online storage space that provides up to 15GB for free so you can back up and sync your files. It also syncs with several third-party services, and you can access it on major operating systems like Windows and macOS. However, on Linux the process is different.
While there is no official Google Drive client for Linux, you can still browse your Google Drive files in the File Manger if you’re using a GNOME-based desktop, thanks to the integration within the Files app. Otherwise Linux users would have to resort to third-party options to access Google Drive.
Below is a complete list of the known methods and proprietary services you can use to access Google Drive in Linux.1. Web Browser
Like Google Drive, Linux can be used with any modern web browser such as Chrome, Firefox, and Opera. Other lesser-known browsers like Midori, Epiphany and Vivaldi also work beautifully with Google Drive.
However, only Chrome and Chromium browsers allow you to work offline with documents in Drive.2. GNOME-Based Desktop Environment
If your Linux distro uses GNOME, with GNOME Calendar, you can use the Online Accounts feature to add your Google Drive account. This integrates your Google account with the Evolution Groupware Suite that has to-dos, email, tasks, calendar, contacts, and more, plus the GNOME calendar, among others.3. Insync
Insync claims to be the “official unofficial Google Drive client for Linux users.” It’s an easy-to-use commercial app that runs on platforms such as Linux, macOS, and Windows.
The Drive-to-Desktop sync tool allows you to back up and sync Drive to your Linux desktop.
It offers some extra features that Drive doesn’t provide for other platforms, like support for multiple Google accounts. Other features include intuitive and selective file syncing and managing your Drive files with a GUI.
Insync offers a free trial so you can test run in Linux and see whether it works for you before upgrading to the paid plan.4. overGrive
overGrive is an app created by the developers of Grive, a previously open-source command line tool. Due to changes in Google Drive’s API, Grive has been abandoned and no longer functions.
overGrive is a paid option with a free 14-day trial and is designed as a Google Drive client for Linux.
The tool automatically syncs offline copies of files the same way Drive does in Windows or macOS.5. Drive
Drive is a command line program that runs on macOS and Linux to push and pull files to and from Google Drive.
The open-source tool is written on Google’s Go programming language, originally written by Burcu Dogan, but it doesn’t offer many features like background sync.6. GoSync
Written in the python programming language, GoSync offers an easy-to-use GUI and lets you sync documents and files between remote and local storage.
You can also pause or resume sync any time you want.
Although it hasn’t been perfected enough to perform like a Google Drive client for other platforms, it still gets the job done.
GoSync shows you the amount of storage left on your Google Drive account, the type of files taking up space, and automatic regular sync every 10 minutes, which you can pause but cannot turn off.7. Rclone
Rclone is an open-source CLI-based cloud storage sync client that works for Linux and other primary platforms like macOS, Windows and BSD.
It offers file and document syncing to and from multiple cloud storage options including Google Drive, OneDrive, Mega, Dropbox, and more.8. CloudCross
CloudCross is yet another open-source Google Drive client for Linux that works with macOS and Windows. It offers features and tools for syncing files and documents between various remote and local cloud storages.
Currently, CloudCross supports Google Drive, OneDrive, Dropbox, Yandex Disk and chúng tôi clouds.9. Google-Drive-ocamlfuse
This tool allows you to read and write access to folders and files, access the trash directory, and read-only access to Google Docs, Slides, and Sheets.
The CLI fuse-based file system supports multiple accounts and allows you to mount Linux seamlessly on Google Drive.
It is simple, easy to use, and you can perform directory operations on your Drive account. However, you need to be online to access your files, as it doesn’t sync files locally.10. Tuxdrive
Tuxdrive is another CLI-based Google Drive client for Linux that gives you access to your Drive files and documents. It also allows you to upload or download files and manage everything in Google Drive.
Have you used any of these Google Drive clients for Linux? Tell us about your experience below.
Image Credits: Gnome, Github, Xmodulo
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A local search strategy is incredibly important.
Customers across all industry types are searching for the best products and services near them – and this does not just mean retail and ecommerce.
They want local answers and services fast.
One of the significant differences between local SEO and “regular” SEO is how you target customers.
However, the differences don’t stop there.
As local consumers look for better and more relevant experiences, “near me” searches continue to rise.
About 46% of all Google searches have local intent.
Consumers with smartphones are increasingly using GPS-based apps to search for local businesses that are just blocks away from them.
Smart marketers are also enhancing their local search campaigns with hyper-local strategies such as geolocation and mapping-based tools like Google My Business listings and Google Maps.
If your business doesn’t show up when someone in your location performs a search, that’s a huge missed opportunity.
Want to stay one step ahead of your competitors?
Here’s your complete local SEO checklist to help you do just that.Local SEO: Optimizing Your Website
Define your location strategy. Multi-practitioner businesses (e.g., medical, legal) have different, more complicated processes than a single location, brick-and-mortar business, or a home-based business.
Create a contact, about, and home page on your website.
On the contact page include the complete name, address, and phone number (NAP) for each location.
For businesses with less than 10 locations, list all the addresses in the website’s footer.
If you don’t want to include your business address for privacy reasons, don’t publish it. Instead, make sure to include all phone numbers used for business purposes and make them visible on the website.
Ensure all NAP entries are consistent everywhere they are mentioned on the website.
Add a Google Map to the Contact page so that customers can easily find you and to further improve for local SEO.
Use Schema structured data markup to help Google more quickly identify your local business.
Complete your Google My Business listings page and verify your website.Local SEO: Content
So you need a local content strategy.
Links and content are the two most important Google ranking factors.
This is also true in local SEO.
A recent Local SEO Guide study demonstrated that being proximate, ranking highly in organic results, having rich review and link profiles robust with category and geographic keywords are “still the things you need to rank in local pack results.”
Furthermore, relevant/high-authority backlinks are still the top ranking factors to consider for local SEO.
Create a consistent website content strategy that’s mindful of accessibility.
Optimize title tags and meta descriptions with localized keywords (e.g., “Third Wave Coffee Shops New York” instead of “Third Wave Coffee Shops”).
Optimize static text content and blog content with semantic variations of local keyword targets. For example, if your business is selling real estate in New York, aside from content to share information about homes, you’d also want to create content about what to do near those homes in New York.
Include local photos and videos (optimized with relevant keywords) to enrich and complement the content.
Publish original content.
Clean up duplicate listings. You can do this using a free tool like Moz Local.
While you’re at it, clean up any other duplicate content issues that might be hurting your SEO efforts.Content for Multiple Businesses
If you have multiple businesses in multiple locations, think hard about whether you need to create multiple websites.
Local SEO experts will tell you that it’s better to have one healthy website that houses all of your brands.
Offer location-specific promotions to differentiate each location.
Host or sponsor events in different cities to have something to write about on your website.
Write a blog post on tips that apply to a specific demographic, season, or location.
Create a content calendar. This allows you to plan your content and comes in handy for staying on top of seasonal content ranking opportunities.
Use Google Trends to identify seasonal trends and edit your menus.
Ask users to submit user-generated content (e.g., reviews, testimonials).Local SEO: Citations
Citations are complete or partial references to your name, address, phone number, and website (NAP+W) online.
Use a third party for local citations and listings. These third-party providers include BrightLocal, MozLocal, Whitespark, Advice Local, and Yext.Local SEO: Social Media & Customer Reviews
List your business on Yelp.
List your business on Foursquare.
List your business on Zagat (if applicable).
List your business on Bing Places.
If you haven’t already listed your business on Google My Business. This can have the most significant impact on your SEO because Google reviews are the first reviews people see when they do a search on Google for your business.
Pick a business listing management tool to help you optimize your local business information across the web. There are many business listing management tools, like Acxiom My Business Listing Manager and Localhub.
Invest in customer review management tools like BirdEye, ChatMeter, OnDemandReviews, and ReviewTrackers to notify you immediately about customer reviews that may require further action.
Create a social media strategy.
Identify social media sites that are popular with your customers/clients and target audience.
Claim a profile for your business on every major social media platform. Make accounts for Facebook, LinkedIn, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram, for example.
Localize all of your social networks and link them back to your site.
Add the NAP+W to each social media listing.
Try to get verified on these social media listings.
Designate or hire someone to tend to all social media sites so customer queries don’t go unanswered and maintain a consistent content strategy.
Share user-generated content on your social media sites.
Get your Google My Business profile verified.
Add photos to your Google My Business profile.
Encourage customers to add reviews to your Google My Business listing, but don’t force or reward reviews! Too many reviews at any single time can cause suspicion and account suspension.
Don’t be tempted to pay for fake reviews.
Brush up on the rules for customer reviews.
It’s inevitable that your business will get a negative review at some point. Be prepared to respond.
Track and analyze your rankings, including organic keyword rank.
Do a site audit every so often to check for any red flags.Local SEO: The Real World
Hire and train your employees well.
This complete local SEO checklist is only truly useful if you consistently give your customers excellent service.
Be present. Know your staff, customers, as well as your products and services.
Anticipate problems before they arise. Whenever possible, have a backup plan in place.
Hold regular meetings to celebrate, replicate the good, and learn how to avoid/reduce the bad.
Do everything to make your brand the best it could be, and be the first that comes to mind when people are looking for a product or service you’re offering. Local SEO is about being top of mind.Final Thoughts
More than a billion people use Google Maps every month, according to Google.
And more than 5 million active apps and websites are using Google Maps Platform core products every week.
Local SEO is exploding and involves many elements that are much different from general SEO best practices.
Specific local SEO strategies can help you effectively optimize your website, market your business, and reach more local customers.
Hyperlocal optimization will you stand out at that right micro-moment when customers are ready to buy.
As Google looks to provide new products and experiences for businesses, you have an incredible opportunity to show up in local searches and engage with customers in innovative new ways.
The result: more local customers.
Following this local SEO checklist can help you can get ahead in local search.
All screenshots taken by the author
Skydio 2 first impressions: Autopilot drone is a clear high-flier
Drones are fun, but learning how to fly drones effectively is generally a lot less fun, and that’s where Skydio 2 comes in. The second-generation of the autopilot drone, it’s smaller, faster, and smarter than its predecessor, not to mention considerably cheaper. I’ve been testing it out, and already I’m impressed.
One huge improvement is size. The original Skydio R1 was clever but big: each motor was enclosed in a fixed frame, which made sure the numerous cameras didn’t shift around in flight. That was important for the autopilot system, but meant that the drone was considerably larger than its folding counterparts.
Skydio 2 has fewer cameras, each with much higher resolution, and so the drone can be much smaller. It still doesn’t fold, but the carrying case now fits far easier into a backpack (and has a shoulder strap of its own). There’s space inside for a spare battery, spare propellers, and the charger, though not the new Beacon or Controller.
Despite the onboard smarts, Skydio 2 still needs clear visibility and dry skies in which to successfully fly. They’ve been in short supply in Northern California lately, so with a limited number of flights under my belt my full review will have to wait a little longer. Still, trying to fit as much flight time in as possible, in-between bad weather, has actually highlighted one of the reasons Skydio’s new drone is so appealing.
Being able to get up and running, quickly and with minimal focus on “piloting” and more on just capturing what you want to capture, is a rare pleasure in the quadcopter world. There are plenty of affordable drones out there, small enough to fit into a backpack and with 20+ minutes of flight time on a charge. The problem with them is having to pilot manually.
Skydio 2 offers a manual flight mode, sure. In fact, as well as controlling it through the app with onscreen buttons and joysticks, as per the original drone, you can now connect your phone to a dedicated controller with the expected joysticks. Skydio uses Parrot’s design for that, with a flip-up holder for your iPhone or Android, and it’s easy to use with dedicated camera angle and zoom toggles. However you can just as easily bypass manual flight altogether.
With the new Skydio Beacon, the core controls are pared down to the essentials. It connects directly to the drone – and can also pair with your smartphone, so that you get the full functionality of the app but also the extra range of the Beacon – and has a small dissolution, a few buttons, and onboard GPS. Skydio 2 usually relies on visual tracking, but with a Beacon connected it can fall back to GPS if it loses sight of you.
What’s impressive is how rapidly you can be flying and filming. Turn the drone on, launch it with the Beacon, and then it automatically switches into follow mode. You can then use the arrow buttons to change the direction from which it follows: all the way around from directly behind you or trailing at an angle, to directly ahead of you or leading from off to one side. Other buttons control the distance from you, with three settings, and everything is shown on the monochrome display.
Within about a minute I had Skydio 2 in the air, set to follow from a mid-range and alongside, and tracking my car. If you don’t like how the autopilot positions itself, you can double-tap and hold a button and use the Beacon as a magic wand to drag the drone around the sky. Releasing it leaves it to hover in place. Maximum speed has increased with this second-generation, to 36 mph, and the Beacon’s controls are easy enough to adjust while you’re on the move and have the drone swing around you for the sort of tracking shots that would usually demand a reasonably-skilled pilot.
The Beacon also has the ability to trigger different trick shots, though if you want the full range of those you’ll need to head back into the app. You can do the usual array of dronies: swinging around you in a tightening or broadening loop; zooming out into the sky from you or vice-versa; and others. You can choose which one can be triggered from the Beacon, too.
Manual piloting is more forgiving than with non-smart drones. I’m not the best drone operator out there: it just requires more investment in time than I have spare to give it. Skydio’s obstacle avoidance stays active even when you’re in charge of the sticks yourself, though. Try to fly Skydio 2 into a wall or tree and it will swerve around.
Skydio’s autopilot isn’t infallible, and flying the drone isn’t entirely panic-free. During one car-tracking shot, for example, it collided with a thin branch too small for the cameras to identify, spinning briefly in the air before it settled. Then I had to get my phone out to pilot it back over.
Sometimes, the autopilot seems too smart for its own good. With a traditionally piloted drone you can be pretty confident that it will stay hovering where you leave it. Skydio 2, though, sometimes repositions itself without explanation, which can be disconcerting when they means it flying up into the tree canopy. You can trigger a return to home and landing from any of the three control options – app, Beacon, or Controller – but Skydio 2 won’t take into account potential obstacles when it’s landing so you do have to be pretty confident about the surface it’s descending to and the airspace it’s passing through to get there.
Then there are a few everyday usability annoyances I’ve run into. I like how Skydio’s batteries attach magnetically and have a proportional LED gage to show current charge, but I wish you could recharge them outside of the drone. Instead you can only charge one at a time, using a USB-C charger plugged into Skydio 2. The little clip used to keep the camera locked into place when not in use is fiddly, too, and doesn’t protect the actual lens; some sort of plastic cover that slipped over the whole gimbal would be preferable.
I do feel like I’m nit-picking, however. I’ve no shortage of drones that I could be flying, but generally the knowledge that I’ll spend the majority getting to grips with piloting and still probably end up underwhelmed by the footage that comes from it is pretty discouraging. Skydio 2 feels very different to that.
We’re still not at the point where you can turn a camera-drone on, have it leap into life and start filming, and leave it completely to its own devices. Skydio’s software is clever, but it’s not that clever. Yet the convenience of using Skydio 2 without having to worry about mastering traditional drone controls is a huge step forward. Anybody who has wanted to add drone video to their outdoor activities, but been put off because of the headaches that usually come with that, may find that the autopilot on offer here is enough to lower that barrier to the point where it’s really worth considering.
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