Street Fight Daily: Verizon Buys AOL, Facebook Tests Search

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

Verizon to Buy AOL for $4.4 Billion (New York Times)
Verizon said Tuesday that it would buy AOL at $50 a share in a deal with an estimated value of $4.4 billion in a move aimed to expand Verizon’s digital and video offerings. Tim Armstrong, AOL’s chairman and chief executive, will continue to lead AOL after the close of the deal, which Verizon said it expected this summer.

Pinterest SMB Chief: 2 of 3 Businesses on Site Have a Physical Store (Street Fight)
Late last week, Pinterest completed a massive, half of a billion dollar round of funding that values the social media site at a $11 billion. We caught up with the company’s head of small business to talk about why he thinks ecommerce is the next big growth area for small businesses on social media.

In Hint of Ambition, Facebook Tests Search Engine to Share Links (Wall Street Journal)
Facebook is testing a search engine inside its mobile app, in a hint at a potential strategic direction for the social network. Searching posts on its network gives Facebook access to data that rival Google doesn’t have, and gives Facebook more information about users’ interests and habits.

Why is the Local Market So Elusive for Tech Companies? (Street Fight)
Nick Hughes: The constraints of cost, critical mass, and time spawn a vicious cycle that hinders innovative new technology adoption in the local market. The promise of hyperlocal technology is alive and well, but any new startup aiming to crack the hyperlocal code needs to keep these things in mind.

After Several Public Google Maps Hacks, Google Forced to Suspend Map Maker to Prevent More Fake Edits (Search Engine Land)
Google has temporarily suspended Google Map Maker, a service to allow the community to make edits to Google Maps similar to how Wikipedia edits work. The reason the service was suspended was because of the recent public edits made to show how easy it is to make fraudulent edits to businesses.

Auto Expected to Spend $1.5 Billion on Local (NewNewsCheck)
In a report released today, BIA/Kelsey estimates the automotive industry will spend more than $1.5 billion on local advertising this year, 77% of which would go to traditional media. However, digital media is expected to garner one-third of automotive’s local ad spend by 2019.

Data Suggest Local-Intent Queries Nearly Half of All US Search Volume (Screenwerk)
Greg Sterling: Last week Google disclosed that “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 countries including the US and Japan.” It goes without saying this is a watershed moment for marketers and local search marketers in particular.

Marc Andreessen’s Plan to Win the Future (New Yorker)
Marc Andreessen believes that Silicon Valley is mission control for mankind, which is therefore on a steep trajectory toward perfection. And when he so argues, fire-hosing you with syllogisms and data points and pre-refuting every potential rebuttal, he’s very persuasive.

Why Uber Wants Here (MIT Technology Review)
Uber possibly just wants to lessen its dependence on Google Maps, which it currently uses to show the location and movements of cars and passengers through its app. But Uber’s bid for Here may also reflect how ambitious the company is about eventually getting into automated driving.

Alfred Purchases WunWun Tech, Employees in Fire Sale (TechCrunch)
After nearly three years delivering anything you want on-demand (in the greater New York City area), WunWun is shuttering. As part of the close, Alfred is purchasing assets, including key WunWun technology and parts of the WunWun team.

How to Acquire a New Location & Avoid Screwing Up the Local SEO (Search Engine Land)
Acquisition of competitor locations is a common growth strategy for multi-location businesses, providing quick entry into a market. Typically, you’ll know exactly how much you can pay for a location — unless, of course, you don’t have good understanding of how easy it is to screw up its local rankings.

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