A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
LivingSocial Posts $183M Loss in 2013 (Washington Business Journal)
District-based LivingSocial Inc. posted a $183 million net loss last year as it continued to reshape itself into a smaller, more focused company, well down from the $653 million the deal-provider lost in 2012. Revenue fell to $399 million in 2013, down from $455 million the prior year.
Is Guest Blogging Dead? Focus on These Link Building Strategies Instead (Street Fight)
Chris Marentis: While guest blogging used to be a respected link building practice – and still might be okay in some instances – it is now often considered a violation of Google’s quality guidelines. Instead of placing all of your eggs in the guest blogging basket, it is best to focus on authentic link building.
Airbnb Is Testing Out An Affordable Cleaning Service For Hosts In San Francisco (TechCrunch)
Peer-to-peer lodgings marketplace Airbnb has been focused on finding ways that it can help its hosts improve the quality of experience for guests that stay in their homes. As part of this effort, the company is trialing a low-cost cleaning service for some hosts on the platform.
How Merchants Can Create a Comprehensive Strategy for Mobile (Street Fight)
Building a mobile-optimized website is certainly a starting point, but it’s far from the last step a local merchant needs to take when developing a comprehensive mobile strategy. Although small business owners tend to be more interested in mobile than outsiders give them credit for, it’s the process of combining those solutions to create a comprehensive strategy that trips many merchants up.
In Defamation Lawsuit Over Yelp Reviews, Neither Side Wins (Washington Post)
After a five-day trial and eight hours of deliberations, the jury essentially declared a draw when it returned a verdict Friday night that caught both sides off guard. First Amendment advocates say businesses are increasingly taking legal action over posts on review sites such as Yelp to squelch critical — but important — consumer information.
Here’s the Leaked Uber Email to Drivers, Showing It’s Finally Taking Background Checks Seriously (Pando)
Earlier this week, following the filing of a wrongful death lawsuit against Uber, the company finally admitted it hadn’t been independently background checking its drivers from black car companies. Instead, Uber had been relying on the black car companies themselves to verify the background of its drivers.
BMW Wants to Put Adverts in Your Car (MSN)
BMW sees a future where location-based services can bring real-time and tailored information directly to the driver. The auto maker, which is conducting the research in collaboration with software firm SAP, speaks of “special coffee deals at filling stations, the best parking deals or even real-time offers at a sports shop along the route”.
Yahoo Needs to Do a Lot More Than Simply Imitate Google in Local (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: If Yahoo wants to be competitive in mobile over the long term it absolutely needs to address local. That doesn’t mean recreating Google Maps or Street View. It does however have to offer a credible and useful local search or local discovery experience on mobile devices.
What Retailers Think About When They Think About Mobile (NYMag)
Much of the conversation around how mobile technology will affect retail has recently revolved around in-store tracking. However, brands are more concerned with how to use mobile to effectively connect with consumers, tracking conversions between desktop and mobile and, of course, driving them into stores so they can ultimately buy their goods.