More threads by Linda Buquet

Linda Buquet

Local Search Expert
Jun 28, 2012
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Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc.
Has Acquired the Local Search Forum

I’m pleased to announce that Joy Hawkins’ company Sterling Sky, Inc. has acquired the Local Search Forum. Joy does not need much of an introduction, I think everyone in the industry is aware of her many accomplishments (some of which I’ll share below.) In addition to all of her other contributions to the industry, she’s been an important part of this community since the beginning and a good friend.

Colan Nielsen, is the VP of Local Search at Sterling Sky. Colan was our 1st moderator 6 years ago and has been a loyal & invaluable part of the team ever since. Excited that Colan comes with the package - so he will be rewarded for his hard work by taking his rightful place at the top, helping Joy run the forum.

About Sterling Sky, Inc.

Sterling Sky Inc is owned by Joy Hawkins, who has been working in the Local SEO space since 2006. Colan Nielsen is the VP of Local Search and has been in the Local SEO Space since 2010. Here are some of our achievements:

· Columnist at Search Engine Land
· The only company in the world with two Google My Business Top Contributors
· Speakers at marketing conferences such as State of Search, LocalU, SMX, & Pubcon.
· Faculty Member at LocalU
· Moz Local Search Ranking Factors Contributors
· Certified Google Partner

Why I sold the forum… Most of you know I’ve been in semi-retirement, due to health issues. The time has come for me to go into full retirement. But you can't totally get rid of me, I’ll still be around some. :)

I’m looking forward to watching where the “Dynamic Duo” will take things. It will be very gratifying for me to see “my baby” evolve and grow under their direction! With their knowledge, energy and passion for supporting the industry, this community can only get better from here!

HUGE thanks to our team, our members & our sponsors!

PS This post is the cut & dried official announcement. In my next post, I’ll be sharing a more personal, detailed thank you & recognizing some very special people. I’m sure Joy & Colan will be by to wave hi and share more details too.

And now… Please join me in congratulating Joy and Colan!

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Re: New Ownership: Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc. Has Acquired the Forum

Wow, very nice!! Congrats to everyone!
Re: New Ownership: Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc. Has Acquired the Forum

Wow! Talk about "Bittersweet". First, Linda, thank you SO much for your dedication, support and friendship to all over the past 6+ years. Your steadying influence and keen insights have been a blessing to all Local SEOs everywhere. Thank you!

But so happy for you at the same time. Now you can be the Full Time Grandma that you've wanted to be. They are very lucky kids. Cheers to the First Lady of Local SEO!

And as a "parting gift" you leave us in the most capable hands of Joy Hawkins (and Colan too :p) Isn't that just like you, Linda? Leaving "your kids" with THE best sitter imaginable. Joy was definitely cut from the same cloth as you. Always giving and insightful.

For any relatively new SEOs here that may be concerned about this transition, don't be. Volume One of the Local SEO story is closing. Volume Two begins now. And with a very talented author.
Re: New Ownership: Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc. Has Acquired the Forum

I don't post much but I've been lurking for a few years and this has always been a go-to place for great resources. It's always so positive and welcoming in here, and none more so than Linda - thanks and good luck! With Joy and Colan around, I'm sure you've left this place in good hands :)

This has always stood out to me as well. Many times, especially in tech related forums, the conversations can get a bit condescending at times (to put it nicely). I have never, EVER seen that here from any member. It's difficult to cultivate a "safe for all members" environment like that - but it has been done very well here.

Glad you guys mentioned how different the attitude is here compared to other forums. In the past I went to lots of forums that had too many spammers, trolls, flamers. Oh and debaters, all trying to one up each other and of course their answer is always the only right one.

One reason this forum is so calm is that David (DJ) has put so many spam filters in place that spammers seldom get through. He's done this for so long he can smell a spammer a mile away and knows all their tricks, so he can block them before they ever get in!

The 2nd reason this forum is so positive and helpful is YOU GUYs! I swear people in the Local Search industry and our members in particular, have to be the nicest people on earth!

Where can you see this kind of camaraderie? Most of the active members here are consultants, SEOs or agency peeps - so you are all competing with each other, essentially. Yet so many of you take time every day to come by and help someone out, or warn us about a new problem, or share a hack that helps not just the active people in the discussion but EVERYONE who reads the thread.

David (DJ) and I have owned and moderated many other forums between us (him a lot more than me) and we've never seen anything like this one!

As I've always said, it's the people here, the members that make this place so great! You guys are lucky to have Joy & Colan now, but they are also really lucky to have you!

Sincere thanks to every single one of you for the kind words and kudos! I'm so sorry I can't keep replying to people individually, but my hands are totally fried. I worked harder the past 2 months on acquisition stuff and tying up loose ends to make a smooth transition, than I think I did the rest of the year, trying to run the place. Haha!

Ok so I only have enough "handwidth" left for 1 more thought, then I need a long break.

WIN/WIN/WIN! This change is really a win for all: Sterling Sky, myself and especially the members. I'm so happy that even though I'm retiring, you guys will continue to have this place - and it will only get better from here with Joy & Colan in charge!
Re: New Ownership: Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc. Has Acquired the Forum

Linda, thank you, so much for creating this forum. It has been a constant in my pursuit of cutting-edge local SEO & strategy. As said many times above, Joy and Colan are excellent choices to continue the forum. Thank you, for all of your countless hours moderating/contributing to this wonderful forum.
Re: New Ownership: Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc. Has Acquired the Forum

All the best and happy retirement.

Good luck to the new crew :)
Re: New Ownership: Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc. Has Acquired the Forum

Oh My! Big congratulations and best of luck Linda.

Hope our paths will cross but enjoy your new phase of life.

Sterling Sky crew, it should be an amazing new adventure!
Re: New Ownership: Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc. Has Acquired the Forum

Once again, thanks to all for the kind words and well wishes.

Your thoughtful replies mean more to me right now, than you could ever know!
Re: New Ownership: Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc. Has Acquired the Forum

Linda, you have been incredibly helpful and beyond generous with your time, assistance, and support for myself and other members on and outside this forum. It is a tremendous resource for those in this industry and with Joy and Colan taking over, I'm positive it will continue to grow in value over the years.

Joy and Colan - the two of you have been so helpful and supportive over the years as well! SO happy for you two and I'm excited to see what the future brings for this forum.

Re: New Ownership: Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc. Has Acquired the Forum

Thank you Linda for taking such good care of us. This is my go-to source for everything Local. I know we are in good hands and I'm happy for you. But selfishly I teared up. Oh life, oh time. :eek:
Re: New Ownership: Joy Hawkins’ Company Sterling Sky, Inc. Has Acquired the Forum

Thank you Kristen and Jennifer. I really enjoyed my time here and appreciate your comments above - a ton!
Just heard the news and wanted to pop in and say congrats Linda! Thanks for starting and growing this community over the years. It's been an invaluable resource and I'm looking forward to seeing what Joy brings to this place next!
Just wanted to pop in to say hi and give a little update...

For someone who didn't think she'd ever want to retire, I sure am having a blast! :)
But miss you guys and this place, so still check in often!

Who knew there was a beautiful waterfall 20 minutes from me? Working Linda had no clue it was even there. Retired Linda went there 3 times last week! Talk about relaxing! Haha


Been obsessed with the idea of going fishing. Grew up fishing and loved it, but have not done it in about 40 years. :sneaky: Had to start from scratch buying fishing pole, tackle, filet knife, etc. and have been researching the best lakes to fish. Finally ready to go and plan to hit a couple lakes this week. Sooooo excited!

Kudos! Love the new design and really have been thrilled watching this place come back to life!

Hope everyone here is doing great! I think about you often!
Awesome to hear from you Linda. Sounds like you're living the well earned, well deserved good life. Beautiful falls. There's so much beauty in that part of the US. Fish for dinner tonight? :p
Thanks guys!

I was so excited to go today and had so much fun! That is until I sprained my hand from too much overzealous casting.

Grrrr my stupid hands! Maybe should have healed them up longer after quitting work, but didn't even think of casting being an issue.

Who sprains their hand fishing? Le sigh.... o_O Some Fisher(wo)man I am David!
I have to admit that's not something I've heard of before, Linda, although in your defense it makes sense if you have a hand injury. Maybe for now you need to be fishing Mayberry style, where you just drop the hook and bait in, wedge it with rocks, and snooze in a deck chair until it moves? :)

More seriously, could you look into wrist braces from the drug store to help stop from overextending the tendons when you cast? Ask your pharmacist about it. They are great at stuff like that.
Mayberry style, that's a good one!

I already have almost every type of wrist & hand brace, splint, compression sleeve. But none of them help with this, due to the odd location. 1st knuckle middle finger. It's such a weird spot for a torn tendon or ligament, but right in the middle of a cast, I could feel it just snap. Had a hard time even finding a picture online. Mine's a lot more purple and bruised but about same size.


So not common enough of an injury to find a drugstore brace. So I just jerry-rigged a splint and used one of my hand braces to hold it in place. No biggie, just can't bend knuckles to grip anything with that hand and it's my primary hand, so makes stuff like dinner prep super hard.
Been icing and elevating and it'll be fine.

Anyway, thanks for the advice Dr. David. :)
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