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The question in this column’s headline has been on my mind lately, prompted in part by the recent announcement of the LSA’s new Digital Marketer Certification Program. As part of their announcement, the LSA notes that small businesses today get an average of 24 calls every month from marketers trying to sell them something.
Amidst the deluge of news before, during, and after last week’s inauguration, you may have missed a small item that, though comparatively insignificant, held up an intriguing local-sized mirror to the contemporary debate around the ethics and neutrality of media. For most of us around the country, last Monday the 16th was Martin Luther King, Jr. Day.
Bold predictions make good copy. I’m as guilty as the next person; asked for predictions about local search in 2017, for Street Fight and elsewhere, I found myself channeling the zeitgeist and suggesting that with the advent of voice search, we’d see an inevitable trend toward specific queries with specific answers, and thus the death of the ten blue links of search and all th ...
Machine learning is slowly but surely becoming a ubiquitous presence in digital technology, one that is likely already having an impact in local search. To understand its importance in consumer technologies today, consider the case of Snapchat Lenses. Lenses are those wacky overlays in Snapchat that make you and your friends look like puppy dogs or fairies wearing flower wreaths.
Last week Street Fight published the twelfth in a series of Brand Battles created by the team at Brandify. These studies pit two major national brands against each other to measure effectiveness across multiple channels of local marketing. I’d encourage you to check out the entire series and in particular the latest Brand Battle, where the two opponents are Starbucks and Dunkin’ Donuts.
The release this week of version 3.1 of the Google My Business API represents another significant step in Google’s increased openness to businesses looking to manage and optimize their listings, and offers a glimpse into where Google sees local search heading in the near future. This week’s release follows the 3.
A friend who recently returned from a trip to Russia mentioned the popularity in that country of an app I’d never heard of called Maps.me. I’ve spent the last few days exploring its features and I’m impressed by its level of detail and by some key differentiators that make Maps.me seem like a fresh approach to mobile navigation. Indeed, I can see the app eventually finding favor in the U.S.
A couple of years back when a new social network called Ello briefly caught the public’s attention, I wrote about the need for digital marketers to stay focused on a coherent strategy, aimed at sites and platforms with established reach and proven value, rather than chasing the latest fad and diluting the effectiveness of their efforts.
A few days ago, Joy Hawkins broke the news on Twitter that Google was announcing a potentially significant change in the so-called “Snack Pack,” the box containing three local listings that is featured in Google’s organic results page for searches with local intent. Hawkins was in attendance at SMX Advanced when Ali Turhan, Global Product Lead for Local Ads at Google, discussed ...
It might be argued that local search, on-demand services, and other components of the local digital marketplace have long had a neighborhood problem. Facebook, only tangentially a member of that group, nevertheless sums up the problem well. Networks of affinity on Facebook haven’t been inherently local in nature since the company expanded outside the university campus.
Are bots the future of the internet? Maybe, maybe not; like the buzz around Google Glass in 2013, we’re in the midst of a moment when it’s hard to tell the difference between hype and technological breakthrough. In one fell swoop, Facebook’s announcement at this year’s F8 that it would open its Messenger platform to bot developers transformed a vibrant but under-the-radar star ...
The concept of the marketing funnel has been with us since the early twentieth century, and remains a useful tool for understanding the path by which consumers interact with businesses. According to the funnel metaphor, customers travel in stages from awareness to purchase, the funnel getting narrower at each stage as some customers drop off and do not move to the next stage.
As first noted by Mike Blumenthal last week, Google has significantly updated its help page on the topic of local ranking to include, for the first time, specific common-sense guidelines showing businesses how they can increase the likelihood that online searchers will find them in Google Maps on desktop and mobile.
For years, the most important performance indicator for local business websites and business listings has been rank position in Google search. Getting found near the top of the Google SERP for your chosen keywords has been the focus of all SEO effort and attention, and the key selling point of many an agency and consultant. But local ranking isn’t what it used to be.
Google My Business, the portal for small businesses and brands to manage business listing information across various Google properties such as Maps, organic search, the Knowledge Graph, and AdWords, has been available in some form or another, under different names and guises, for several years now.
Uber unveiled this week that it’s been running a pilot program since November that tracks driver behavior via the driver’s phone in order to determine the validity of passenger reviews. Using GPS and accelerometers in driver phones, Uber thinks it can double check consumer reviews that claim a driver was driving erratically, speeding up too quickly, or stopping short at too many lights.
Facebook, the putative sleeping giant of local search, has made a few attention-grabbing forays into the local arena over the last four years or so, including the launches of Graph Search and Nearby Places. I’ve been writing myself about the local potential of Facebook since 2012. Each time Facebook makes a new announcement, we prognosticators opine that the social network is ...
Once upon a time, Google only displayed organic search results, so the only thing that mattered was how your website ranked against others. Thus the origins of search engine optimization. If you were a local business, you only had two options: Try to beat the big names with your own website, or ride the coattails of others. The latter was a much easier path for most businesses.
The consumer path to purchase typically depends on the vertical. Some purchases by their nature are more impulsive, while others require thought and research. Typically, one chooses a restaurant or a coffee shop based on immediate need and convenience, whereas choosing a new washer and dryer might require lots of preplanning.
I’ve had occasion to write in this column before about the concept of local search as a public trust. Indeed, it may be helpful to think of local search, in a metaphorical sense, as a kind of public utility, although that concept is, as they say in academic circles, fraught. Local search takes place across devices and services that are proprietary and dedicated, even if indir ...