Street Bytes | Street Fight

Does Google Really Need a Social Network to Succeed at Local?

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

Does Google Really Need a Social Network to Succeed at Local?

“The driving vision of Google’s entire local arc is to be able to give a single eyes-free answer to any query with local intent. Social features like reviews, Guides, business owner data, and Q&A are just the means to that end,” writes David Mihm in his biweekly column with Mike Blumenthal.

GateHouse Media Shows How Media Orgs Can Offer Value for SMB Advertisers

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

GateHouse Media Shows How Media Orgs Can Offer Value for SMB Advertisers

“Most newspapers and Yellow Pages (and Yelp?) are basically ad-selling machines. GateHouse, in selling HR, IT, and financing services as well as digital services, understands that once you know how to sell one service, you can sell (or more likely upsell) any service. It’s critical for legacy organizations to bite the bullet and figure out services,” writes Mike Blumenthal.

Google’s Local Improvements—Posts Become Essential, and Mike Wins the Bet!

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

Google’s Local Improvements—Posts Become Essential, and Mike Wins the Bet!

“Google’s made plenty of laudatory improvements to Google My Business and associated products over the past 24 months, and there does seem to be a qualitative shift in the way it’s approaching the space,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their biweekly column.

What Happens When Knowledge Panels Aren’t Actually Knowledgeable?

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

What Happens When Knowledge Panels Aren’t Actually Knowledgeable?

In the latest of their biweekly columns, David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal explore what they find to be a troubling practice on Google’s part: granting select platforms the power to insert themselves into a local business’ knowledge panel without any recourse for the business or verifying that the information is accurate.

What Google’s New Review Guidelines Mean for SMBs, Agencies, and Vendors

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

What Google’s New Review Guidelines Mean for SMBs, Agencies, and Vendors

Given Google’s new anti-review gating guidelines, what’s important for businesses, Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their biweekly column, is to “make giving direct feedback to the business extremely easy. Most unhappy consumers just want to express their dissatisfaction and given a choice will do so directly with the business rather than on a review site.”

Q&A, Reviews, and Fake News on Google: False Content Is Not Just a Facebook Problem

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

Q&A, Reviews, and Fake News on Google: False Content Is Not Just a Facebook Problem

“Given the primacy of Google’s market position, and the primacy of Knowledge Panels in SERPs—also a conscious product decision on Google’s part—the percentage of customers who are likely to come across fake information is great,” David Mihm tells Mike Blumenthal in their biweekly column.

Follow-Up Thoughts on the SMB Marketing/Operations Universe

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

Follow-Up Thoughts on the SMB Marketing/Operations Universe

“Regardless of the right package, the key for both agencies and small businesses is to choose best-of-breed components in each galaxy that integrate with each other so that you can add relevant and profitable services over time,” David Mihm says to Mike Blumenthal in their bi-weekly column.

Q&A: Does Google’s Latest Product Mean Death by a Thousand Cuts for Brands

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

Q&A: Does Google’s Latest Product Mean Death by a Thousand Cuts for Brands

Google really left businesses hanging with the Q&A release, Mike BLumenthal tells David Mihm in their biweekly column: “We had enough engineering cycles that we could “step into the breach” of what is obviously a big brand problem. Whether it is long term or not depends on what Google can parse from the questions in terms of improving results. “

Two Big Facebook Moves in the First Two Weeks of 2018

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

Two Big Facebook Moves in the First Two Weeks of 2018

“It will be interesting to watch how much SMBs’ costs go up with Facebook to achieve the same level of engagement that they have been enjoying,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their biweekly column. “As Google expands their many local offerings, this might just play into their hands by forcing businesses back to Google My Business.”

Google Websites — To Infinity and Beyond?

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

Google Websites — To Infinity and Beyond?

“In the developing world, Google has a simplified path to the GMB where if a business first creates a website they can get verified more easily,” Mike Blumenthal notes. “Thus the website becomes the hook into Google’s data funnel. In the US, and most other developed countries, I would speculate that it is typically the other way around”

On the Various Challenges Facing European Publishers (and Some Solutions)

David Mihm and Mike Blumenthal

On the Various Challenges Facing European Publishers (and Some Solutions)

“As audiences age out, the number of print subscribers will plummet, and as older small business owners retire, old ways of doing business … retire with them as well,” David Mihm writes to Mike Blumenthal. “Legacy media companies that don’t evolve rapidly are going to be left with no audience and no customers.”