A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Local SEO Bible: The 2014 Local Search Ranking Factors (LocalSearchInsider)
Greg Sterling: David Mihm and his cabal of local SEO professionals have been reverse engineering Google’s local algorithm since 2008. Today the 2014 edition of the now widely anticipated “Local Search Ranking Factors” was formally published, and it contains a goldmine of data and insights.
Exit Interview: Thinknear Founder Eli Portnoy Leaves Telenav (Street Fight)
Two years after Telenav acquired Thinknear, the startup’s founder Eli Portnoy has left the company. We caught up with Portnoy to talk about some of the surprises in the mobile advertising industry over the past few years, whether location merits its own sandbox, and how his views about the small businesses market have evolved.
Google Adopts Delivery-Service Model, Targets Amazon (Nasdaq)
Google is expanding its delivery service and will start charging a membership fee, intensifying its battle with Amazon.com Inc. for consumer spending. Starting this week, Google will charge $10 a month, or $95 a year, for unlimited same-day or overnight delivery on orders over $15.
SPONSORED CONTENT: New Report Details Emerging Approach to Personalization on Mobile (Street Fight)
A new white paper from Street Fight Insights offers a step-by-step introduction to contextualization, an emerging technique aimed at merging the learnings of personalization on the web with mobility. The report, sponsored by Artisan Mobile, details the opportunities and implications of the technology for a range of industries from consumer packaged goods to brick-and-mortar retail.
Retailers Pin Hopes on Holidays After Sluggish Summer Sales (AdAge)
Expectations for the holiday season are upbeat, even as retailers grapple with the fallout from slow summer sales and shifting consumer shopping habits. Retail sales in November and December are expected to hit $617 billion. That’s a 4% increase over 2013, which saw a 3% increase over 2012 holiday sales.
Alignable Growing a Social Network for Small Businesses (Street Fight)
Founded by the co-founders of Constant Contact and Invisalign, Alignable allows small businesses owners to share information, ask questions, and seek answers from other merchants nearby and business owners in similar industries across the country. Think Nextdoor — but with worried store owners instead of overbearing parents.
Brian Chesky of Airbnb, on Scratching the Itch to Create (New York Times)
Brian Chesky: “We didn’t have any beds, so we pulled three airbeds out of the closet, inflated them, and called it the Air Bed & Breakfast. This was not going to be a business; this was a way to make rent for the month. We, of course, evolved from there, but the name stuck.”
The Crowds vs. the Critics (New Yorker)
Hannah Goldfield: The Times’ restaurant reviews are as sharp as they’ve ever been and still hold a good deal of clout. But, in this age of Yelp and Michelin stars, we run the risk of forgetting what real restaurant reviews are worth.
How Uber and the Sharing Economy Can Win Over Regulators (Harvard Business Review)
The relationship between sharing economy firms and regulators will likely remain uneasy for the foreseeable future. But companies in this space can benefit from being more cooperative with regulators.
SeatGeek Discussed a Sale to Live Nation Before Grabbing $35 Million Investment (Recode)
SeatGeek, a startup that runs a comparison site for concert and sports tickets, discussed a possible sale to Ticketmaster parent company Live Nation earlier this year. The two sides met multiple times, but the talks did not lead to a deal and SeatGeek instead raised a $35 million investment from Accel Partners and others.
Modernizing The New York Apartment Hunt (Fortune)
Urban Compass seeks to bring the ease of mobile technology to the often aggravating process of buying or renting an apartment in New York City. The numbers have ballooned quickly: the company now has 96 agents, 1,300 listings, and a total of $73 million in venture funding.
Walgreens Planning for October 18 Apple Pay Launch (Macrumors)
An internal memo addressed to Walgreens employees designed to prepare them for the upcoming launch of Apple Pay suggests that Apple’s new payments service might be going live on Saturday, October 18.