Street Fight Daily: FTC Considered Google Suit, Sears Bets on Inventory Ads

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A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…

FTC Staff Wanted to Sue Google for Ripping Off TripAdvisor and Yelp (Skift)
The Federal Trade Commission’s bureau of competition staff advised the commission to sue Google and agreed with TripAdvisor’s and Yelp’s charges in 2011 that Google was illegally ripping off their user reviews, but the FTC decided not to challenge Google in court.

7 Online Booking Platforms for Independent Businesses (Street Fight)
The majority of independent businesses can’t afford to build their own mobile apps with integrated scheduling features but online booking platforms offer a cost effective solution for businesses that want to cater to customer demand without spending a fortune in the process.

Has Google Perfected the Retail Search Ad With Its Local Inventory Offering? (AdWeek)
Sears Hometown and Outlet Stores, a retailer fighting for every sale, has evidently found a weapon in Google’s Local Inventory Ads that it says works to drive consumers to its stores. The product holds the promise of finally helping brick-and-mortar brands take advantage of the online world rather than always getting beaten by it.

4 Musts for Making Mobile Click-to-Call Work (Street Fight)
The growth of mobile search has reignited interested in lead generation, but local businesses sometimes have trouble connecting mobile data to customer purchases. In a Street Fight webinar Thursday, experts addressed how companies are moving closer to tracking customer purchase behavior from an online impression to offline action.

45% Of Offline Retail Sales Will Be Web-Influenced By 2020 (Forrester)
A new report shows why the majority of non-grocery offline retail sales will be influenced by the Internet as early as 2017; why this influence is dependent on country, category, and consumer age and gender; and why a consistent consumer experience across all multichannel touchpoints is critical for retailer success.

Yelp Shares Fall 4.7% After Claim in Film Trailer (New York Times)
Shares of Yelp fell more than 4.7 percent on Thursday after the trailer of an unfinished documentary posted on the fund-raising website Kickstarter made the claim that Yelp, the consumer review website operator, was extorting money from small businesses. Yelp said the film’s director, Kaylie Milliken, had a history of trying to mislead consumers about Yelp.

Local Experts Say “Relevance” Of Citations More Important Than “Authority” (Search Engine Land)
Myles Anderson: The Pigeon update shifted the power in Google’s local algorithm from pure local towards organic factors. Six months since that update, the results of this survey show that citations are still important; however, their “growth in importance” has dropped since the 2013 survey.

Advertisers Mature Beacons Efforts To Sharpen Precision Marketing (The Drum)
Beacons were the standout technology at this year’s SXSW, dominating numerous sessions and sparking debates online over its future use. From shelves being able to talk to phones to SoundCloud playlists based on zones in the home, the most popular demos centred on removing friction from a customer experience.

Microsoft, PayPal Ring Up Surface-Based POS for Small Retailers (eWeek)
Making good on their promise earlier this year to deliver a mobile POS solution for small and midsize businesses, Microsoft and PayPal have officially launched PayPal Here for Surface. Microsoft said the same attributes that make the Surface Pro 3 a good laptop replacement can help stores streamline their POS and desktop computing environments.

LBMA Podcast: RetailLoco at SXSW (Street Fight)
This episode was recorded after RetailLoco at SXSW in Austin. Asif and Rob highlight some of the key points that emerged from the conference as well as offer their take on what this means to businesses – both retail and technology.

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