Street Fight Daily: Fake Yelp Reviews Rise, Yahoo Gives Maps A Facelift

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal content, commerce, and technology

yelp-stickerA Whopping 20% Of Yelp Reviews Are Fake (MarketWatch)
The number of fake reviews on Yelp rose to 20% in 2013 from only 5% in 2006, according to a new report out of Harvard Business School. Analyzing an additional 316,415 Yelp reviews of Boston restaurants, 16% were filtered and identified as fake. Fraudulent reviews are growing as more businesses become aware of the importance of social media and compete with rivals for public affection.

Too Many Local Journalists Are Missing The Big Story: Revenue (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: In the new digital era, which requires journalists to widen their lens far beyond the next big story, they are beginning to channel their passion into how to engage users, embrace technology and examine the limitations of their traditional “Fourth Estate” role is in the community. All good. But there’s one area where local journalists have yet to bring the full measure of their passion — revenue.

Surprise: Yahoo Maps Gets A Facelift, New Features (SearchEngineLand)
Shortly after she became Yahoo CEO Marissa Mayer declared (disappointingly) that she wasn’t going to invest in Local. In turns out that what she meant was she wasn’t going to go head to head with Google in Maps. Today Yahoo made something of a surprise announcement that it had refreshed Yahoo Maps and added a few new features including Pedestrian and public transit routing.

Case Study: Blimpie Closes the Loop With New Mobile Gaming App (Street Fight)
“For a restaurant company like ours, millenials are hugely important,” says Steve Evans, vice president of marketing at Blimpie, the quick-serve restaurant with nearly 1,000 franchise locations. “They tend to be a huge customer base for years to come, and all the research that we’ve seen shows consumers make their brand choices — and their brand loyalty — early on in life. If you get people in their earlier years, they’re still open to change.”

Hyperlocal Power: Urban Compass Raises $20M At A $150M Valuation; Adds Advance Publications And Marc Benioff As Investors (TechCrunch)
Urban Compass, the young New York startup that emerged from stealth mode in May with a home rentals platform and accompanying hyperlocal social network, has closed a Series A round of funding totaling $20 million. Right now, Urban Compass’ platform effectively acts as a one-stop shop for those living in New York looking for an apartment, helping users search, schedule appointments, and get a tour of those places, and the surrounding area, with Urban Compass’ “neighborhood specialists.”

Google Brings Retail Delivery Service to San Francisco Bay Area (AllThingsD)
Google announced on Wednesday that it will expand its same-day retail delivery service, Google Shopping Express, to cover all residents of San Francisco and the southern Peninsula part of the Bay Area. The service allows users to shop from a number of large chain stores, including Target, Staples and Whole Foods, as well as some regional and local retailers, the company said.

Why Local Search Needs Real-Time Data (MediaPost)
Detours around a dead end are common. So go ahead. Optimize your mobile search strategy, but forgetting to update information in Bing and Google engines or Citysearch directories, navigation apps and maps, review sites, daily deals and GPS-enabled marketing solutions only frustrates consumers. According to a new study, it turns out the quality of information in local business listings isn’t keeping up with consumer demand and expectations.

iBeacons, Device Targeting, and Big Data Will Play Important Roles in Hyperlocal Targeting (iMedia Connection)
Joe Lichtenberg: The most important feature that marketers should consider integrating into their campaigns is iBeacons – Apple’s low-cost transmitters that it claims will be highly efficient at calculating exact location, including indoor mapping. Advanced location-based technology, such as iBeacons, provides advertisers with greater targeting capabilities to reach the right consumers at the right time – when they are physically in a retail location or near a sale item.

Belo Said to Have 70% Shareholder Support for Gannett Offer (Bloomberg)
Belo, the TV station owner that is the target of a $1.5 billion takeover bid by Gannett, has support from more than 70 percent of its shareholders for the deal, a person with knowledge of the matter said. Belo hasn’t received any superior offers and can’t accept a new bid once the Gannett deal is approved, said the person, who asked not to be named because the process is private.

CardSpring Connect Lets Merchants “Switch On” Card-Linked Offers On Foursquare & Elsewhere With Just A Click (TechCrunch)
A new service called CardSpring Connect, launching today, offers a self-serve online dashboard that allows merchants to easily create campaigns, connect apps like Foursquare, Trialpay, Thanx, MOGL, OnStripe and others, then sit back and watch as the analytics update in real-time with each swipe of a customer’s card at checkout. CardSpring Connect is the latest from CardSpring, a payments infrastructure startup founded by former Netscape engineers as a means of connecting online and mobile applications to payment cards via APIs.

IndoorAtlas Uses Geomagnetism To Map Buildings GPS Can’tReach (GigaOm)
IndoorAtlas has entered the increasingly crowded indoor mapping and navigation space, definitely has a trick up its sleeve that sets it apart from other location-based technology companies. Instead of using Wi-Fi or Bluetooth signals to triangulate a device’s location within a building, it’s using the Earth’s geomagnetic field.

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