Streets Ahead | Street Fight - Part 2

Streets Ahead

Let’s Simplify and Strengthen Business Listing Verification

No Comments 22 January 2014 by

Verification is a great idea in theory and, once you navigate the tangled process, it even works well for most business owners in practice. However, there is very little consistency across publishers as to how the process should work or what the result should be, and there is plenty of evidence that the supposed lockdown of business data via owner verification doesn’t always operate as it should...

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Streets Ahead

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Google’s Local Social Conundrum

1 Comment 02 January 2014 by

Google’s attempt at ushering in the Facebook-ization of search, local and otherwise, depends on a major shift in perception and engagement. It may be difficult to bring about such a shift with a “build it and they will come” approach — given the current volume of content, the emphasis on social turns Google's rich local result set into a desert.

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Streets Ahead

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When Big Platforms Go Local

No Comments 11 December 2013 by

Though Amazon's plan to have drone delivery by the end of the decade may seem far-fetched, it speaks vividly to the notion that large online platforms are working hard to localize their inventories, and even to redefine what “local” means...

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Streets Ahead

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Finding the Balance Between Relevance and Reach in SMB Content

No Comments 20 November 2013 by

It’s simple enough to say that creating great content or a great platform should be enough to bring users to your door; but if they have no idea you exist, getting the word out effectively is both a matter of reaching your intended user base and staying within the confines of an algorithmically defined concept of quality content. For small and medium-sized businesses, the challenge is to be present and available to customers and potential customers in multiple online venues in a way that conserves effort while remaining effective...

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Do Small Businesses Really Need a Website?

6 Comments 30 October 2013 by

The website is the richest online repository of compelling information about a business, but it probably isn’t its primary means of attracting customers. Rather, customers who find you via Google Maps or Facebook may need to refer to your website in the event a third party search doesn’t provide enough information to make a buying decision. The website serves as a last stage effort to win business that hasn’t already been secured via local search...

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Streets Ahead

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The Government Shutdown and the Local Data Economy

5 Comments 15 October 2013 by

For the most part, local search appears to demonstrate with flying colors the benefits of getting things done in the private sector. Not only is it a self-sustaining and profitable industry; it exhibits a drive to innovate that brings ever-improving services to our desktops and handheld devices at a dizzying pace. Imagine if local directories and apps were run by the same bureaucracy that manages the Postal Service, the IRS, and the Census Bureau. We’d probably still be using phone books. Yet at a fundamental level, governmental authorities still act as objective reference points when it comes to information of interest to the public...

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Streets Ahead

Calculating the ROI of Local Search Campaigns

4 Comments 18 September 2013 by

How can we calculate just how much return a given business can expect on the investment of time, money, or both into a local search campaign? For many business owners, it’s that type of dollars and cents calculation that will drive them to decide whether or not to move forward with a campaign. Other metrics are important but ultimately secondary to the bottom line...

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Streets Ahead

What Will It Take to Bring All Businesses Online?

3 Comments 29 August 2013 by

Many small businesses are claiming their Google and Bing listings, interacting with reviewers on Yelp, and using social sites like Facebook and Twitter. Inside the local bubble, it might seem as though the importance of these activities has been long established. Surely only a business stuck in the stone age would ignore the statistics we all know and love about searches with local intent, the explosion of mobile, and the critical need to be well represented in Google search results. How, then, are we to take a report showing that 52% of SMBs still don’t have a website?

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Streets Ahead

How Will Jeff Bezos Redefine the Newspaper?

1 Comment 07 August 2013 by

Amazon has always been a virtual marketplace, where the location of the buyer has very little to do with a transaction. Bringing the Bezos vision to bear on a community-oriented portal could mean any number of things, but it certainly means the potential for services that bear some resemblance to traditional journalism but are remediated into a form that takes advantage of digital commerce and social media, while maintaining a sense of local community...

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Streets Ahead

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How Local Search Looks to the Rest of Us

2 Comments 17 July 2013 by

It seems like many recent conversations, webinars, articles, and studies have pointed to the same conclusion: local search as an industry is insufficiently aware of how its products are actually used by consumers and small businesses. Many of the solutions put forward by consumer-facing local publishers and by business-facing services overestimate our appetite for new products and the amount of time and energy we want to spend using online tools...

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