A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
Facebook Is Testing a Feed Specifically for Local News and Events (Recode)
Called ‘Today In,’ the test is running in just six cities for now: New Orleans, La.; Little Rock, Ark.; Billings, Mont.; Peoria, Ill.; Olympia, Wash.; and Binghamton, N.Y. Facebook is using machine-learning software to surface content in the new section.
Local SEOs: Don’t Play These Google Games (Street Fight)
Ben Fisher: Trying to game Google today is not worth the risk. Yet every day I see examples online and talk to digital marketers, agencies and businesses who are still trying to trick Google. Whether you’re optimizing your client’s business or your own, here are a few local SEO games you should stop playing with Google.
Amazon Is Bringing Alexa to Your Toyota (Quartz)
Amazon announced that Toyota will be the latest and largest automaker to integrate Alexa into its cars. The Japanese brand will add the assistant to a few Toyota and Lexus models with special infotainment software this year and expand it to more models in 2019. Digiday: Google uses CES to chase Amazon’s Alexa
Facebook Brings Users to Local Sites — But the Rest Is Up to the Sites (Street Fight)
Tom Grubisich: The verdict is in: local news publishers do need Facebook, Google and other giant distribution platforms. But only to get the first part of the job done. Whether you’re a self-funded entrepreneurial pure-play publisher or a corporate chain of daily newspapers, you can’t, on your own, generate all the traffic that the platforms deliver to your site.
AI Troubles Marketers More Than Any Other Technology (eMarketer)
Of the 500 marketing executives worldwide surveyed by web presence management and SEO company Conductor in November 2017, 34% said they felt most unprepared to deal with AI in 2018—the highest rate of any technology mentioned.
Group Nine CEO’s Strategy: Diversify Brands and Revenue (AdExchanger)
Lerer is focused on reducing Group Nine’s reliance on advertising revenue through program sales. Group Nine has sold shows to Facebook Watch, and it just landed its first digital-to-TV deal: “Dodo Heroes,” a show on Animal Planet that will feature people who go to huge lengths to save animals.
4 Marketers Share How GDPR Will Shake Up Brands’ Data Strategies (AdWeek)
With data privacy top of mind, Adweek polled a handful of execs—including Google’s CMO and the president of UM—at CES about what the upcoming regulations mean for marketers.
InMobi Acquires AerServ for $90 Million (MediaPost)
InMobi announced the acquisition of AerServ on Wednesday. The $90 million cash-and-stock deal is set to create what company executives describe as a mediation platform with a programmatic auction for mobile in-app publishers.
Optimizely Launches New Tools to Help Companies Manage Web Experiments (TechCrunch)
Optimizely helps businesses test out different ways to make their websites or apps more effective — but, as vice president of Product Management Claire Vo put it, how do you go from “five experiments per week to hundreds and thousands of experiments per week”?