A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…
The Bifurcation of the Local SEO Services Market (Street Fight)
“The changing nature of search and the increasing localization are making “traditional SEO” harder, more expensive, and less productive of ROI, and that should lead every agency to assess what they are delivering and to whom,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm in their latest biweekly column.
Amazon Is Finally Cashing in on Alexa (Quartz)
A series of new features announced last week pivot Alexa from a personal virtual assistant to a more capable salesperson for brands looking to sell services and products via voice.
Facebook Weighs Ad-Free Subscription Model (Bloomberg)
Facebook has been conducting market research in recent weeks to determine whether an ad-free version paid by subscriptions would spur more people to join the social network, according to people familiar with the matter. AdWeek: Could an ad-free Facebook be a viable option
Your Voice-First Future is Here (Street Fight)
Annette Tonti: Digital giants are forging a path to every consumer, looking to win a home automation arms race. You, too, should be considering how to connect in new ways with your customers because voice and speech recognition are ready for prime time.
SMB Index: Local Stocks See Solid Gains in April (Street Fight)
April marked another volatile month in the public markets. But it was a relatively strong month for local stocks, as the SurePath SMB Index was up 2.8% in April, topping all major indices.
Google’s GDPR Consent Tool Will Limit Publishers to 12 Ad Tech Vendors (AdExchanger)
Google disclosed how it will help publishers obtain tracking consent from users during a call last week with the IAB Europe GDPR Transparency and Consent steering committee, and its approach could spell trouble for media and ad tech companies.
Mobile Fuels Online Traffic, But Consumers Spend Less Time on Online Sites Once There (MediaPost)
Websites are gaining more traffic from devices, from voice-activated hubs to smartphones and personal computers, but consumers are spending less time once they are there.
How Did Thumbtack Win the On-Demand Services Market? (TechCrunch)
It looks like Marco Zappacosta and his company are now running what may be their victory lap in their tenth year as a private company. Thumbtack will be profitable by 2019 and has rolled out a host of new products in the last six months.
Spooked by Brand-Safety Concerns, Marketers Turn to Mobile Gaming Apps (Digiday)
An executive at a large consumer packaged goods company said the advertiser in February cut its YouTube spending by about 25%, concerned that the platform wasn’t policing its content well enough. Looking for an alternative, the company landed on gaming apps.