A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Google Tests Direct Hotel Booking (Search Engine Land)
Google appears to be testing out direct hotel booking, a move that would allow the company to keep hotel searchers all the way through purchase, instead of handing off the lead to a third party travel or hotel site. In the new (and perhaps experimental) flow, the user is asked to provide contact and payment details directly to Google.
Courting SMBs, Facebook Integrates Its Ad Platform With Wix Email Marketing (Street Fight)
Facebook and Wix announced a new integration this morning that will allow businesses using Wix’s email marketing app to creating a Facebook ad within the platform, automatically taking the email’s content and images and translating them into Facebook’s format.
Drivers Sue Yelp Over Unpaid Tips for Food Delivery Service Eat24 (Fortune)
According to a complaint filed in San Francisco federal court, Eat24 encouraged its customers to enter a tip amount for the food they ordered, but then failed to pass on that money, or even notify the drivers of the tip in the first place.
Panel: Different Kinds of SMBs Require Different Kinds of Marketing (Street Fight)
At a panel discussion hosted by CoInvent last week in New York, small business experts talked about a range of topics, including social media marketing, SEO strategy, and the importance of paying attention to online reviews.
Most Online Local News Sites Make Less Than $50,000 a Year (Poynter)
A nationwide survey released Monday revealed a pretty straightforward reality for local publishers: most are generating more revenue than they have been previously, but are “quite small both in revenue and reach and remain highly dependent on local display advertising.”
Deep-Fried Crystal Ball: Seamless’s Recent Missteps Pave the Way for Competitors (Digiday)
After failures with a site redesign and customer service, Seamless, once beloved by over 2 million customers nationwide, is swiftly becoming a case study of a brand brought down by iffy design decisions and tech snafus.
Google vs. Yahoo: The Local Listings Battle (Business 2 Community)
Dina Ely: I recently had the “pleasure” of having to update approximately 60 business local listings for a client across the Google and Yahoo local business networks, and what I experienced working with both companies on this was an eye-opener. In the end, I think I’ve figured out why Google will always trump Yahoo, and how out of touch Yahoo is with the needs of small and medium businesses.
Meredith Corp. Bought an Ad-Tech Company to Make Grocery Shopping Easier (Adweek)
Women’s magazine publisher Meredith Corp. has acquired Grocery Server, a digital firm that powers location-based ads for food and retail brands. Grocery Server pulls location data from grocery stores and CPG brands into ads on publishers’ websites.
6 Strategies for Increasing Conversions in Mobile Food Searches (Street Fight)
Sixty-three percent of consumers use smartphones and tablets to find local businesses, and 23% of those local business searches involve restaurants. Here are six strategies that restaurants can use to help convert mobile search traffic.
How to Make Money on Mobile (MediaReset)
Steve Gray: There’s a real revenue opportunity for local media on mobile, but it’s not about our content. It’s about our advertisers’ presence on mobile, and our non-advertisers, too — the large majority of businesses in our markets that don’t use traditional media to reach customers.
Shipster, The On-Demand Shipping Service For Businesses, Expands To SF (TechCrunch)
After launching in New York in November, Shipster is currently shipping 11,000 packages per month for hundreds of businesses that range from tech startup Squarespace to high-end fashion brand Diane von Furstenburg.
Are You Ready For Mobile Paid Search v2.0? (Search Engine Land)
Josh Dreller: Mobile Paid Search approach v1.0 focused on execution — understanding the tactical nuances of running mobile campaigns, best practices for mobile vs. desktop, etc. Mobile Paid Search approach v2.0 will focus on the philosophical approach to the art of the medium.
Foursquare Reboot: Revamped App An All-In-One Version Of Yelp, Facebook, Pinterest (International Business Times)
Why Foursquare’s new and improved app may still be your best bet at planning vacations or outings, keeping track of visits, and finding new attractions.