A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology.
Google Helping Local Publishers Surf The Programmatic Wave (Forbes)
Google has forged a deal with the Local Media Consortium that will result in its 800-plus daily papers gaining access to the tools they need to play in the fast growing marketplace. The help comes at a crucial time, with real-time bidding — a term that gets used more or less interchangeably with programmatic — forecast to account for nearly a third of all display ad sales by 2017.
Study: Only 13% of Small Businesses Invest in Reviews (Street Fight)
Small business owners are underestimating the importance of online reviews — negatively influencing their communication with customers as a result, according to a new survey conducted by local marketing provider Yodle. Only 13 percent of small business owners said they actively pursued online reviews from their customers.
Will this Billionaire Saudi Arabian Prince Back Jack Dorsey’s Square (Fox Business)
Saudi Arabia’s Kingdom Holding is close to buying a $200 million stake in Square in an investment that would value the mobile payments startup at $5 billion. The deal is expected to be locked up through negotiations between Kingdom Holding’s billionaire chairman Prince Alwaleed bin Talal and Square head Jack Dorsey on Monday.
GoDaddy Will Take On Shopify With a Simpler E-Commerce Storefront Arriving This Spring (TechCrunch)
GoDaddy is launching a Shopify competitor aimed at small business customers, TechCrunch learned and the company has confirmed. The “GoDaddy Online Store,” as the new product is being called, will be announced later this week, and is intended as a replacement to the company’s current e-commerce offering QuickShoppingCart.
Icahn Claims Governance Lapses at EBay (Wall Street Journal)
Activist investor Carl Icahn stepped up his attack on eBay on Monday, accusing the online retailer of overlooking conflicts of interest on its board in what amounts to a broadside against a common practice in Silicon Valley. Mr. Icahn said two long-serving directors, venture capitalist Marc Andreessen and Intuit founder Scott Cook, were conflicted because of other business interests.
Uber Will Let Customers Know When Surge Pricing has Ended (Fast Company)
Uber has taken plenty of heat for its surge-price policy during busy hours, but the e-hailing startup tried to assuage this backlash Monday by announcing a feature that will let customers know when surge pricing has ended. Riders dissuaded by surge pricing during periods of high demand will be able to set a push notification that will tell them when prices have returned to normal.
Directories Must Radically Embrace Mobile (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: For several years internet yellow pages and other “horizontal” directories have been losing traffic. Yet the loss of “IYP” traffic is also a function of the failure of most directory sites to evolve with the market, as well as changing consumer demands and the pressure of intensifying competition and fragmentation in the local space.
10 Local Marketing Myths Hamstringing Your Business (SearchEngineLand)
Craig Silver Smith: As an internet marketer, I frequently encounter local business owners (and large chain store companies with many local outlets) that haven’t had time to really understand online marketing. Many of them have latched onto some myth that’s completely false — and which can keep their businesses from soaring as high as they otherwise might.