Local Viking is on the verge of an exciting development. It’s a lot of work for us, but it will result in a user experience that is unmatched in the space. Let’s talk a little bit about what led us here and what to expect going forward.
Local Viking started as a service that would allow agencies and business owners to schedule Google My Business posts. The scope of our mission has expanded greatly in the meantime. We now enable users to geotag images anywhere on earth (with lunar capabilities in the pipeline). We added our GeoGrid search functionality, which allowed users on our $20 monthly plan to run over 150 scans for the same price it cost to run a single one on the only competing platform at the time. We added reporting. We allowed for entire agencies to share a single account. We have continued adding new features right up to the present day.
One feature that we added was the ability to edit business attributes–you know, changing things like the business name or category or hours of operation. That was a mistake. It was and is a useful feature, but the potential for abuse was something we didn’t foresee. We underwent an audit from Google in February because, in a move that could perfectly define irony, a competitor repeatedly (and baselessly) reported Local Viking as a haven for lead generation listings on Google Maps. We passed that audit when the numbers showed that Local Viking users had their listings suspended at a lower rate than Google My Business users did as a whole. It seems to have been all for naught.
We have no intention of turning this blog post into a soap opera. The abridged version of events is that Local Viking’s ability to innovate startled the competition. Instead of beefing up their own capabilities in reaction to the new features Local Viking continued to add, they sought a way to terminate our business. As tempting as it is to mock that strategy, we have to begrudgingly give credit where it’s due. This plan of theirs almost worked.
Everyone has their own perspective on reality. Whereas we have no doubt that the people who have worked so hard to shut us down would have thrown in the towel if they were faced with the same obstacles in front of us, the world looks different to people who are further to the right of them on the Bell Curve. We indeed see a path forward, and it’s one that will make the user experience indescribably better.
This is not us putting a brave face on a grim reality. We are excited about being able to offer you the ability to fully integrate Local Viking into your agency instead of using it as an external tool. Let’s discuss where we plan to go from here.
First of all, let us be clear: we have no plans to stop adding new functionality. We are as committed as ever to making the user experience as robust as possible. We will be improving Local Viking’s feature set into the foreseeable future and we plan to support the software indefinitely.
Our vision for the future is one where our users no longer access Local Viking by logging into our website. We plan to migrate everything about the platform to your websites. We will be publishing documentation in the near future that spells out how this transition would work. We can share a rough outline of what this would look like for you in the meantime.
You’re familiar with the way Local Viking looks and the feature set we offer you. You will be able to integrate that codebase, with all of its functionality, into your own websites. You will be able to add users as you see fit, like individual clients, for example, while granting them individual access to the data associated with their listing or listings.
We have no plans to change our pricing. Everyone reading this will have the opportunity to continue enjoying the features they love at a price point that is consistent with what has been offered up to this point. GeoGrid and keyword credit rates will be the same.
You will need to apply to get your own API. We are actively working on instructions and documentation to walk you through that process. It’s a pretty straightforward undertaking, but we are aware that some if it may seem daunting if you have no experience with such endeavors. Be assured that our support team will be standing by to assist you if anything is difficult to understand or if you face any kind of execution problems generally.
We are looking forward to our users being able to enjoy the benefits of this kind of arrangement. You will no longer be subject to a productivity blackout if an 800-pound gorilla decides that group punishment is the ideal way to react to a party of wrongdoers abusing an API that everyone shares. Your experience will be isolated to your agency and your clients. Individual business owners will be further segregated, subject only to the consequences associated with their own listings.
Stay tuned for further developments. The Local Viking team is unanimously excited about implementing our next chapter of service. It’s all hands on deck over here. We are working around the clock to get this vision in gear. We will include additional details in tomorrow’s newsletter.
We ask only for a small amount of patience until we can start migrating our users onto their personalized, private instances of Local Viking. This vision will become reality in near future. We cannot wait to take the product that we have spent millions of dollars and years of man-hours developing and put you in the driver’s seat.