Report: Location Targeting Ecosystem Suffers from Inaccuracy

Location Sciences analyzed 500 million digital location-targeted impressions in the US and UK in the first half of 2019. It concluded that for every $100,000 spent on location targeting, $29,000 fuels targeting outside the desired geographic range, and $36,000 in targeting does not produce strong enough signals to ensure accuracy. 

4 Major Takeaways About Consumer Privacy Concerns

Location data firm Factual commissioned a study conducted by the University of Southern California applied psychology master’s program to take the pulse of consumers on data privacy. Unsurprisingly, not all consumers demographic groups share the same levels and types of concern. Here are four major takeaways from the survey of 1,002 smartphone users aged 18 to 65.

Fake Reviews Are Silicon Valley’s Next Fake News Problem

Local businesses are struggling to adapt to a world where online reputation drives offline sales, and fake reviews are making the transition harder. What’s more, the fake review problem is getting worse. A Harvard study found that fake reviews on Yelp grew from 5% to 20% over several years.

There are lots of reasons for this trend, but this is an area where big data can be used to the benefit of consumers and businesses to increase trust. This means it’s on the tech community—not small businesses—to fix fake reviews. Just as media platforms have a moral obligation to avoid the spread of fake news, review sites have a responsibility to their users and businesses to ensure their content is as accurate as possible.

How Long Will Google’s “Calculative PR” Playbook Work in Local Search?

Mihm: The engineering mindset that millions of spammy listings in a corpus of hundreds of millions of legitimate listings worldwide, or a (hundred million?) spam reviews in a corpus of billions of legitimate reviews worldwide, are simply “edge cases” that are beneath Google to prioritize reflects a profound lack of empathy for how their technology impacts fellow human beings — both consumers and especially small business owners and their employees.

Blumenthal: Absolutely agree. And a related problem is that they see customer service in the same context: as an engineering/cost-benefit problem to solve, not as a way to improve their product. As such they see the last 5, 10 or 15% errors in their big data solutions as just a cost of doing business that they have no responsibility to solve. 

In the Wake of Spam Reports, Google Focuses on Brand and Small Business Engagement

Google’s calculated risk in creating a low bar for verification works out fine in a world where most business owners simply want to gain legitimate access to their own listings, and most businesses do operate within those ethical boundaries. But as we’ve seen elsewhere at this stage in the evolution of social networks, fraud and deceptive manipulation have become a kind of ghost in the machine, dominating darker sectors of the local marketplace and creating an atmosphere of distrust that may eventually prove more broadly contagious. 

All of this is only possible when lots of activity is consolidated on a few platforms. Just as fake accounts attempting to engineer the 2016 election thrived in the vast and complex Facebook ecosystem, so too has Google’s dominance in local attracted its own horde of opportunists, drawn like moths to its flame. Indeed, fraud in local listings is just the latest in a long history of attempts, from link farms to keyword spam, to manipulate loopholes in Google’s regulations and algorithms.

Google’s Fake Listings Problem Gets More Attention—and May Spur Regulation

Blumenthal to Mihm: It seems to me that Google could take the fake listings issue off the table by seriously investing in cleaning up the fake listing and fake review issue. I just don’t think that they think that way.

At a minimum, as the company that has the monopoly in the local space, Google faces the expectation and responsibility to provide a service that truly serves the public and businesses. And they seem to forget that.

Report: Fake Google Maps Listings Ensnare Consumers, Harm Legitimate Businesses

“Chronic” local listings fraud on Google Maps, where con artists pose as handymen and other local service providers, sometimes stealing the names of legitimate operations, is endangering consumers and sucking business away from viable local businesses, the Wall Street Journal reported.

As Google seeks to prop up its lucrative but “cresting” search business and consolidate its lead in local, the tech giant is struggling to address the fraud issue and perhaps even to care about it. 

TRUSTX Takes Aim at Opaque Programmatic Trading Practices

The lack of transparency in the programmatic space has finally reached a tipping point. According to a survey on the state of programmatic media buying, conducted by Digiday, 27% of media buyers say the greatest concern they have with programmatic advertising is the lack of transparency. While many players in the space are claiming that their hands are tied, and agencies continue to push back against audits, upstart technology firms are carving out niches as leaders in the push to bring trust into programmatic advertising.

5 Questions Brands Must Ask Their Agency About Location Data

Advertisers are unknowingly wasting 30 to 50%, and as much as 80%, of their location-based targeting spend on inaccurate, poor-quality data, some of which is fraudulent. They are being told by their partners that “everything is fine,” but the answers to a few questions could reveal a very different story.

Here are five questions brand managers should be asking their agency partners about location data. The answers will help vet the quality of the data you are purchasing.

Location Data Confidence in an Exploding Data Universe

Location intelligence, sourced securely and used in the right way, is an extremely powerful tool to craft precise targeting, predictive modeling, and creative media that drive meaningful marketing moments, massive ROI, and brand growth. Unfortunately, the location intelligence sector has also become a jungle of data fraught with fraudulence and insecurity.

Location intelligence is powerful, but in today’s highly scrutinized world, you have to challenge every resource you engage to ensure confidence in its quality. There are three critical questions you should ask data partners before you engage them.

Lead Gen Spam: Bad for the Consumer, Bad for Business, and Bad for the Local Ecosystem

Blumenthal to Mihm, on lead gen spam: The real issue for me is that Google Maps is really like a public utility, and Google is not doing enough to protect the consumers of that product. There is significant harm in the deception of the consumer, the blocking out of legitimate businesses, and the possibility that the consumer public will lose trust in the whole, creaky house of cards.

Google Reviews Hit with Massive Spam Attempt

Google reviews, increasingly essential to the online search presence of brand and SMB brick-and-mortars alike, were hit by a massive spam attempt last week. At least 2 million fraudulent reviews were posted, according to ReviewFraud.org.

Street Fight Daily: A Test for Voice Search Readiness, Putting the Video Ad Boom into Numbers

TODAY IN LOCAL & DIGITAL MARKETING AND MEDIA… Synup Test Measures Voice Search Readiness for Brands… Video Swells to 25% of Digital US Ad Spend… TripAdvisor Debuts API with MomentFeed Partnership, Helping Brands Reach Hungry Travelers…

Now That We’ve Improved Media Transparency, Let’s Do the Same With Data

In order to be effective, marketers need to know how various segment options stack up and measure up in terms of accuracy. Just like with increasing viewability, the first step toward a fix in data quality is realizing and acknowledging the problem.

Street Fight Daily: Accuracy is King for Data Buyers, Google’s Earnings Make a $5 Billion Fine Look Silly

DATA, DOLLARS, DISASTER… Study: Accuracy is the Most Important Factor for Marketers Buying or Using Audience Data… Surprise? Google Beats Expectations, Driven by Mobile and Cloud Services… Black Monday: Tronc Axes Half the New York Daily News Staff…

TripleLift Partners with White Ops to Fight Ad Fraud

Native advertising platform TripleLift announced last week that it is partnering with White Ops to prevent fraudulent traffic on its platform. The move marks the first time a native exchange has offered pre-bid fraud prevention across its entire inventory.

Report: CMOs Overwhelmed By Cost of Mobile Ad Fraud

According to a new, mobile ad fraud has become an accepted part of doing business, with 69% of marketers citing that at least 20% of their budgets are being exposed to fraud on the mobile web.

Street Fight Daily: Apple Plans iBeacon Expansion, Airbnb Tests Conceirge

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technologyApple’s Latest Offering Explores the Great Indoors (Wall Street Journal)… Airbnb Testing In-App Concierge Feature That Connects You With Real People at Your Destination (TheNextWeb)… Nokia Here Buys Desti to Build Personalized, Contextual Maps (GigaOm)…

Street Fight Daily: Square Reportedly Postpones IPO, Apple Brings iOS to the Car

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technologySquare IPO Postponed Indefinitely (Fox Business)… Apple to Bring iPhone Software to Cars (Wall Street Journal)… Google ‘Map Jacking’ is Rampant, a Threat to Public Safety (Komo News)…