Mike has been involved with offering web services since 1995. Prior to specializing in web design and search consulting in 2001, Mike was a principal in a family owned & operated retail business for over 30 years. Like all small business owners attempting to market to a fragmented clientele, he was continually frustrated by the barriers & costs imposed by the advertising options available. Shortly after Google Maps was released in 2004 he threw out his 9 Yellow Page books and started focusing on Local Search. Mike helped co-fund Localu in 2009 and co-founded GetFiveStars.com in 2012. He presents nationally at search conferences and writes a regular column at Streetfight Magazine with David Mihm. During the week, you can find him at his blog, Understanding Google Maps and Local Search, where he writes about local search and its impact on the business community and at the GatherUp.com blog where he writes on issues surrounding reviews and reputation.