A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
“Google My Business” App Now Lets Business Owners Respond To Customer Reviews From Their Smartphone (TechCrunch)
Google is rolling out an update to its “Google My Business” mobile application designed to make it easier for business owners to view and respond to customer reviews. Now, business owners will be able to see reviews posted on the web in real time and respond immediately from their smartphones.
At GrubHub, a Delicate Balance Between Search and Commerce (Street Fight)
Next Tuesday, Grubhub’s president Jonathan Zabusky will join us for a fireside chat at Street Fight Summit in New York. We caught up with Zabusky, who served as chief executive at Seamless prior to the merger, to talk about the state of the company and the evolving local commerce opportunity.
Mobile Internet Investment Hits Record $19.2b — Up 232% In Last 12 Months (VentureBeat)
Mobile Internet companies raked in a total of $19.2 billion in new investment over the last year, more than double the previous period. The good news is that not only are mobile entrepreneurs pulling in serious capital pre-exit, investors in post-IPO mobile internet companies are achieving an average 28 percent return on investment.
6 Tools SMBs Can Use to Target Mobile Ads (Street Fight)
By streamlining the creative and logistical components typically associated with mobile marketing campaigns, vendors are giving small businesses a way to expand their reach and modernize their advertising practices without increasing costs. Here are six solutions SMBs can use to push ads to mobile users
Maker of Apple Pay Competitor Has Already Been Hacked (Recode)
MCX, the retailer consortium behind Apple Pay competitor CurrentC, has already been hacked, according to an email sent out to those people who have signed up for, or downloaded, the CurrentC app. It has already been a bad week for MCX, after member companies banned Apple’s new Apple Pay payment technology from their stores, infuriating a vocal group of iPhone lovers.
Uber Drivers Speak Out: We’re Making A Lot Less Money Than Uber Is Telling People (Business Insider)
We spoke with more than a dozen Uber drivers to see how much money they were making, and none of the numbers they gave were even close to $90,000. In fact, a few drivers said they were struggling to even earn the minimum wage.
Unmasking Yelp Users Would Hurt Free Speech, Warn Google and Facebook (Wall Street Journal)
Google, Facebook and Twitter are warning that giving companies the power to unmask anonymous Yelp reviewers would strike a blow to Internet free speech. The closely watched dispute before Virginia’s highest court centers on a complaint brought by a business owner who claims his suburban business was besieged by a rash of harsh Yelp reviews in 2012. (Subscription required)
When Big Brands Fail With Local SEO (Search Engine Land)
Jared Del Prete: By now, big brands and franchises recognize the importance of local search and the impact it has in the consumer journey. It turns out that there are two core issues that many retail enterprises struggle with: mismanaged data and inaccurate profiles and listings.
Ex-Google Executive Bedier Unveils Poynt Payment Terminals (Bloomberg)
Osama Bedier, the former head of Google Wallet, has started a payment company that will compete with VeriFone and a bevy of payment startups. Poynt is the latest entry looking to cash in as many larger merchants seek to replace machines to accept new chip-based plastic cards by October of 2015, a deadline set by credit-card networks.
Groupon Pages Part Of Company Evolution Into Local Search Site (Search Engine Land)
Greg Sterling: Groupon’s new Pages offering is either a helpful new tool for local business owners or a bid by the company for more search exposure and a new way to gain sales leads. Indeed, it probably qualifies as both. But the challenge for business owners is that this represents yet another page-presence for them to manage in a very noisy local marketplace.