Street Fight Daily: Report Slams Google Search, Airbnb Raises $1.5 Billion

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

Study Suggests Google Harms Consumers by Skewing Search Results (Wall Street Journal)
New research sponsored by Yelp suggests that Google is harming Internet users and violating competition laws by skewing search results to favor its own services. According to the study, “by leveraging dominance in search to promote its internal content, Google is reducing social welfare — leaving consumers with lower quality results and worse matches.” (Subscription required.)

Airbnb Worth $25.5 Billion After Raising a Massive $1.5 Billion Round (Business Insider)
Airbnb pulled in such a large round because of its high revenue projections: It sees itself making $10 billion in revenue by 2020, with profits of $3 billion. This year, it expects $850 million in revenue and an operating loss of about $150 million as it pushes to expand its services and fights regulators.

Is the On-Demand Economy a Local Media Growth Engine or Its Death Knell? (Street Fight)
Local on-demand services continue to dominate press and investor attention. But the elephant in the room is the degree to which on-demand could displace local marketing as we know it.

Lyft Acqui-Hires The Team From Messaging App Leo To Improve Location And Other Features (TechCrunch)
Lyft hopes to improve a number of features within its app around the customer experience, particularly with helping drivers find passengers. Uber can already pull a user’s exact location with built-in GPS-tracking technology, but that’s still a clunky process with Lyft.

Report: What Local Merchants Are Missing With Social Media (Street Fight)
Two-thirds of small local businesses are using social media for marketing. Yet despite this broad adoption, and an overall good perception of digital marketing effectiveness, results with social have been disappointing.

New Day for Gannett Newspapers — They’re On Their Own (Poynter)
The 19,600 employees of Gannett newspapers coming to work Monday will be working for a new company untethered from growing and prosperous television stations and digital ventures. Retaining the Gannett name, the spin-off has well defined plans for digital transformation and expansion by acquisition.

6 Strategies for Forging Strategic Partnerships (Street Fight)
We asked a few industry veterans to tell us everything they know about forming successful partnerships — from locating and reaching out to potential partners, to evaluating the benefits and ensuring that partnerships align for everyone involved.

Agency Taps Mapping Technology to Curb Rail Crossing Accidents (New York Times)
The Federal Railroad Administration plans to announce a partnership with Google on Monday to pinpoint every U.S. rail crossing in Google Maps. Google will also add audio and visual alerts to the app for when drivers use the turn-by-turn navigation feature.

Onefinestay, a Luxury Airbnb Rival, Just Raised $40 Million (CNBC)
Onefinestay, which lets you rent out private luxury homes, announced a $40 million funding round on Monday. The money, which the British start-up said would be spent on training, technology and global expansion, takes its total funding to $80 million.

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