A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Stop Bullying Yelp, Analysts Say (MarketWatch)
Wall Street analysts rushed to the defense of Yelp on Friday after shares of the review site fell as word spread that a documentary that was highly critical of the company’s practices was in production. The documentary claims Yelp is guilty of extortion, review manipulation and review fabrication.
How Multi-Location Brands Can Dominate Local SEO (Street Fight)
Rob Reed: The challenge for brands like Starbucks boils down to two things: search and discovery. Not only does it mitigate lost traffic and sales that would otherwise go to competitors, but if you do this right, it will generate incremental sales by owning premium real estate on the mobile devices of today’s consumer.
Former Twitter Programmatic Head Gelb, 3 Others Join xAd (MediaPost)
Mobile ad platform xAd on Friday announced four major executive hires, including Paul Gelb, former head of programmatic and marketplace development at Twitter. Gelb joins xAd as VP of global brands and agencies and was formerly chief of strategy at MoPub before it was acquired by Twitter.
Study: Legacy and Pure-Play News Sites Vie Millennial Readers (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: David Arabov says he co-founded the millennial-aimed Elite Daily because he got tired of the “dull, one-dimensional” way traditional media. But it turns out that the millennials who feel most informed are those who get their news from newspapers — both print and digital versions — according to a new survey.
Amazon Can Now Start Testing Out a Drone Delivery System in the U.S. (Quartz)
Amazon has won a license from the US Federal Aviation Administration to start testing a drone program. The “experimental airworthiness certificate” was awarded to Amazon logistics, the shipping arm of Amazon. Test flights must be operated during the daytime, and all data about the flights must be shared monthly with the FAA.
[Sponsored] Ad Phrasing: Wording a PPC Ad for Best Performance (Street Fight)
As pay-per-call demand steadily increases, strategic marketers are continuing to look for new ways to improve the performance of their campaigns. What they’re finding is that even slight adjustments to the wording in a PPC ad can increase the selection rate among mobile searchers.
Report: Mobile Display Ads Outperformed Search in Delivering New Customer Calls (MarketingLand)
A fascinating new report from Marchex analyzed 1.8 million calls to compare the performance of different mobile ad channels in driving new sales prospects in two key categories. The ad channels examined were directories, search engines, Marchex’s “voice search” network and mobile display ads.
How Facebook’s Custom Audiences Won Over Adland (AdAge)
Facebook first rolled out Custom Audiences in 2012 as a way for brands to target existing customers by uploading their customer email or phone lists, which are then matched to people’s Facebook account. Over the years, Custom Audiences has evolved into what 360i president Jared Belsky called “an easy button for relevance.”
Groupon Is Not a Success (Fortune)
Erin Griffith: Groupon is worth more than it was ever valued as a private company. But barely. Groupon’s last round of private funding valued it at $4.75 billion. A 3% increase is not much of a return for investors in five years, especially for a high-growth startup. But the kicker: Groupon could have been worth more.
The Next Generation Of Online Recommendation Engines Is Less Obvious, But More Pervasive. (MIT Technology Review)
Traditional versions of the technology are simple. Tell Netflix your feelings about a few movies and it suggests more. But new technologies and much bigger arrays of available data are taking recommendation engines like the to a new place, making them less obvious to the user but more important to website operations.
Minibar Liquor Delivery Startup Acquires Competitor Booze Carriage (TechCrunch)
Minibar, an on-demand liquor-delivery platform operational in 13 cities, has announced the acquisition of one of its biggest competitors, Booze Carriage. The on-demand space is chock full of liquor-delivery startups looking to grab a piece of the boozy pie.
Map Moves: Uber Buys deCarta, Maponics Grabs UMI, Google Ends Maps Engine (SearchEngineLand)
Greg Sterling: Over the past several weeks there have been a number of map-related announcements. Two of them were acquisitions: Uber buying deCarta and Maponics acquiring most of the assets and name from Urban Mapping.