Street Fight Daily: Google to Further Penalize Mobile-Unfriendly Websites, More Layoffs at LivingSocial

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

Google’s Latest Mobile Search Algorithm Update Makes Having a Mobile-Friendly Site Even More Important (TechCrunch)
If your site isn’t easy to use on mobile, Google penalizes it by ranking it lower on its mobile search results pages. To give publishers even more of an incentive to offer mobile-friendly pages, Google has announced that, in May, it will increase the importance of having a mobile page, and sites that are not mobile-friendly will rank even lower than before.

Brands, Meet the Data Amplifiers (Street Fight)
Gib Olander, SIM Partners: For months the marketplace has been talking about micro-moments, instances when people use their mobile devices to search for places to go and things to buy. During micro-moments, consumers not only search — they also purchase, either in the moment or shortly thereafter at an offline location. To be visible during micro-moments, brands need help. They need data amplifiers.

LivingSocial Is Laying Off More Than 50 Percent of Its Staff (Recode)
LivingSocial, one-time ecommerce darling and Groupon foe, is laying off about 280 employees. The layoffs account for between 50 and 60 percent of the current staff. CEO Gautam Thakar said the company has gotten its legacy voucher-deals business to break even, and wants to allot all future investments to its new, so-called “card-linking” discount business.

Retailers Shift Focus to Offline Affiliate Marketing (Street Fight)
Grace Chan, Wanderful Media: Location analytics represent the new battleground in retail, but imagine if you could apply the same analytics for online attribution to offline purchases. Offline affiliate marketing does just that, giving retailers the tools to analyze data from in-store purchases similar to what they can do for online purchases.

Uber Debuts Family Profiles to Let You Pay for Others’ Rides (TechCrunch)
Uber has announced a new feature designed to make it easier for its customers to pay for rides for their friends and family. “Family Profiles” can include up to 10 riders who share payment information.

Drawbridge CEO: ‘Programmatic Has Led the Charge for Cross-Device’ (Street Fight)
Drawbridge sits at the confluence of location, mobile, and programmatic, providing cross-device solutions. Kamakshi Sivaramakrishnan, who founded Drawbridge in 2010, spoke to Street Fight about the company’s solutions, the ever-changing nature of mobile targeting, and the constant misinterpretation of the word “programmatic.”

Omnichannel Has a Problem: New Retail Report Says Try Customer-Centric Approach (New York Business Journal)
It may be a simple matter of semantics, but brick-and-mortar retail’s fixation on omnichannel is lulling those companies into a dangerous sense of complacency because it’s often misinterpreted to mean multiple channels doing their own thing. “Stop thinking about omnichannel, and think about circular commerce,” said consultant Andrea Weiss, referencing the idea that each channel should feed into one another versus operate as separate silos.

A Day of Reckoning for Digital Display Advertising? (Marketing Land)
Wayne St. Amand, Brand Networks: Facebook recently announced that its efforts to build a demand-side platform had not gone exactly as planned, and that it would no longer focus on trying to programmatically sell digital display ad inventory. We know Facebook had been testing this route to market for some time, so why this significant about-face? Quality is at the heart of the matter.

Waze Update Will Predict Traffic Conditions Before You Leave (Mashable)
Google-owned navigation app Waze is adding a new feature, called planned drives, to make it easier to plan trips based on the traffic conditions you’re likely to encounter. The update will also help automatically plan routes based on your schedule.

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