A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology.
Google Starts To Downplay Zagat Scores; It Should Ditch Them Altogether (Search Engine Land)
Matt McGee: Google is changing the way it collects local business reviews and displays them in search results, making the Zagat score a less prominent piece of information. That’s a good thing in my opinion, and many people — myself included — hope it’s the first step toward the complete removal of the Zagat system in Google’s local business ecosystem.
New Government Report Calls for Rules on Mobile Tracking (AdWeek)
Consumers have flocked to location-based apps that provide services for everything from driving directions to finding the best pizza. Yet a new report from the Government Accountability Office today is giving privacy advocates another opportunity to press for new laws that could potentially limit the promise of mobile advertising.
Dennis Crowley: Foursquare Considered Selling, Is The Best Local Search Tool On The Planet (TechCrunch)
The New York-based company now sees itself as a local search tool and check-ins are not as relevant as they used to be. Crowley says he considered selling the company but “it wasn’t the right move at that time.”
For Small Businesses, What’s a Facebook Follower Worth? (Wall Street Journal)
Figuring out the value of a Facebook fan has become more complex for many small-business owners, ever since the social-media giant began asking businesses to pay to “promote” their posts. Under a program rolled out in May, businesses pay Facebook Inc. anywhere from $5 to hundreds of dollars to promote a post to the news feeds of users who have “liked” their page, plus Facebook friends of those users.
Internet Advertising Still a Growth Business, But Pace Slows (GigaOm)
According to a report released Thursday by the Interactive Advertising Bureau, Internet ad revenue reached $17 billion in the first half of the year, but the rate of growth declined from 23 percent between 2010 to 2011 to 14 percent between 2011 and 2012.
A Start-Up Helps Tourists Plan Vacations and Local Businesses Sell Tickets (New York Times)
Booking flights and hotels online is easy, but what about planning your daily itinerary once you arrive at your destination? Peek, a San Francisco start-up that opens to the public Thursday, tries to help with that.