A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology
Gannett Said Near Deal to Buy Rest of Cars.com for $1.8 Billion (New York Times)
The Gannett Company is near a deal to buy the 73 percent of Cars.com that it does not already own for $1.8 billion, giving the media company complete control over the online car-sales website. Cars.com, which was found 16 years ago, is one of the biggest online markets for customers to buy and sell cars.
How the Former CEO of Digg Plans to Win in Local (Street Fight)
Matt Williams, the former CEO of Digg and an Amazon vet, hooked up with a few other former Amazonians to found Pro.com, a local services marketplace that raised $3.5 million from investors that include their former boss Jeff Bezos. Street Fight caught up with him recently to talk about what local can learn from the early days of ecommerce.
As Competitors Close In, Square Moves Beyond the Credit Card (Wired)
For Square, the proliferation of competitors means finding new ways to set itself apart. That goes some way to explaining why a company ostensibly devoted to credit cards just bought buying Caviar, a company that delivers food from local restaurants that typically don’t offer delivery on their own.
8 Ways to Collect More Customer Email Addresses (Street Fight)
The desire to add more subscribers to email marketing lists is nearly universal, and the average merchant hopes to increase his or her email list by 28% this year. Here are eight strategies that businesses should consider for collecting more customer email addresses.
Picking Through Google’s Pigeon Droppings (SearchEngineLand)
Andrew Shotland: Local appears to have been hit with the most far reaching update since Venice, and one that has flung more kaka than Hummingbird – so “Pigeon” seems pretty apropos, perhaps because Google appears to be treating many local SERPs like so many statues in the park.
I Want It, and I Want It Now — It’s Time for Instant Gratification (Recode)
A decade ago, we got iTunes, and the ability to buy a song bought and delivered with the push of a button. Then Facebook helped us stay in touch with our spread-out friends and family from the comfort of our couch. Now it’s not just Web pages that we can load up instantly, it’s the physical world.
Hotel Fines Wedding Parties $500 for Each Negative Yelp Review (New York Post)
A hotel in tony Hudson, NY, has found a novel way to keep negative reviews off Yelp and other sites — fine any grousing guests. The Union Street Guest House, near Catskills estates built by the Vanderbilts and Rockefellers, charges couples who book weddings at the venue $500 for every bad review posted online by their guests.
The Persistent Gap Between Mobile Devices And Web Traffic (MarketingLand)
A new report on Q2 201 4 smartphone traffic in North America from ad-network Chitika prompts us to take another look at the curious gap between mobile device share and what might be called traffic share. It once again raises the question: which set of metrics is more important?
Verve Launches ‘Programmatic Direct’ Platform For Location-Based Mobile Ads (MediaPost)
Verve Mobile, a mobile ad network, announced the launch of a “programmatic direct” trading platform for location-based mobile advertising, dubbed Verve Direct. In a “programmatic direct” deal, the terms of a campaign are fleshed out between buyers and sellers directly, but the actual buying of ads is done programmatically so advertisers can use data to target specific audiences.