Google Maps: The Under-Appreciated Discovery Channel

Blumenthal: Google Maps is/has become the primary discovery tool in many categories. That is a significant shift of which agencies and owners need to be aware.

Mihm: Yep. I’m not sure I would even have had our ThriveHive data science team look for this data point specifically had you not tipped me off. But sure enough, across our dataset of nearly 20,000 GMB Profiles, we found that Maps impressions outweigh Search impressions by nearly 3:1 (72% to 28% over the last 18 months).

Is Visual Mapping the Next Google-Apple Battleground?

As Google and Apple lead the way, we are getting closer to ubiquitous visual mapping. If that happens, there will be significant implications for entities that currently use search and mapping for marketing or online presence. They’ll need to make sure they are optimized in this new format.

This could lead to an extension of SEO to cultivate presence in visual experiences. Just like in search, correct business location and details will need to be optimized to show up in the right places. You don’t want the AR overlay for your restaurant floating above the salon next door.

Letter From the Editor: Mapping the Future of Local Commerce

Of all of the technologies and consumer touchpoints to local commerce, mapping is perhaps the most relevant. This centuries-old technology has gone into hyperdrive over the past 15 years since the launch of Google Maps, and it continues to be a primary tool for local search and discovery.

But what’s the state of the art and how is it evolving? This will be Street Fight’s focus in the month of September. This follows last month’s connected car theme and past months’ reporting and commnetary on privacy, retail transformation and the “beyond the screen” evolution of voice and visual search.

What Retail Has Learned About AR Since Pokémon Go

Retailers are only beginning to realize the potential of AR. As a new generation of shoppers steeped in AR grows up, their expectations will exceed the novelty acts the industry has put out to date. AR features won’t just be a one-off promo or tied to a game release; they will become the basis of the in-store customer experience, one that looks nothing like the retail of today. 

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.

LBMA Podcast: Facebook Files New Patents, Google Maps ‘For You’

On this week’s LBMA podcast: Facebook files new patents, JoAnn taps Teemo, Favendo at Frankfurt airport, Google Map’s “For You,” Domino’s hotspots, Mariott + PepsiCo go virtual reality art. Special guest: Gabriel Bedoya – The Insights Company.

Google’s Backdoor Shift to a Social Network

Mike Blumenthal and David Mihm: In the case of Q&A, reviews, and the coming sports commenting feature, Google is looking to gain a better understanding of the entity, and in the case of the sharing buttons and the new ability to follow a business, Google is looking to better understand the individual so that it can improve the search experience now and in the future. That would be a very Googly social network.

Street Fight Daily: Facebook Releases Slew of Local Features, Here Challenges Google Maps

TODAY IN LOCAL & DIGITAL MARKETING… Facebook Announces Slew of Changes to Boost Local Businesses… Here Attacks Google Maps with New Freemium Website Plan… Alexa Users Are Reportedly Not Buying Anything with Their Voice…

Google Maps Is Becoming More Personal and Useful, and Businesses Can Reap the Benefits

In recent months, Google has launched a number of changes to Maps. Users will win with the more personalized and intuitive future of the app. Businesses will win, too—so long as you manage your location data, content, and reputation.

Street Fight Daily: How Google Maps Changes Will Affect Businesses, Mobile Retail’s Future

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Google Maps Is Becoming More Personal and Useful, and Businesses Can Reap the Benefits… Forrester Estimates E-Commerce on Smartphones Will Hit $209 Billion in 2022… Amazon Go Expands to San Francisco and Chicago…

Street Fight Daily: Google Revamps Maps, Echo’s Market Share Slides as Speaker War Heats Up

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Google Maps Platform Arrives, Changing the Game for Developers… Amazon Echo Losing Market Share as Smart Speaker Rivalry Intensifies… Square’s Loss Widens As Spending Picks Up…

With Data and Local Guides, Google Maps Stays Ahead of the Rest

Justin O’Beirne marvels that, with the AOI initiative, Google has figured out how to “create data out of data,” meaning that AOIs are a mashup of 3D modeling and data extraction from images. Looked at more broadly, this is not the only example where Google has built features on top of features within the Maps universe.

The Current State of Google Maps — Fake News, Fake Reviews

“It’s incredible to me that given all of Google’s focus on new local products that they are still getting some of the basics wrong,” Mike Blumenthal tells David Mihm. “People who rely on Google more and more to find local businesses need to know that the fundamental metric of the business quality, reviews, is fair and well policed.”

Street Fight Daily: Facebook Recommends Local Businesses, Google Maps Supercharges Location Sharing

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Facebook Tests an Enhanced Local Search and Discovery Feature Offering Business Suggestions… Google Maps Supercharges Location Sharing, Begins Drooling Over Your Data… AT&T, Verizon Pull Ads from Google Over ‘Hate’ Videos…

Street Fight Daily: How Brands Fare on Snapchat, Facebook Reaches Out to Local Newsrooms

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… New Report from Snaplytics Breaks Down How Brands Fare on Snapchat… Facebook is Beginning to Reach Out to Local Newsrooms… Google Maps Adds Feature Allowing Users to Plan and Share Itineraries…

Google Maps Holiday Controversy Reflects Deeper Issues in Local Search

In cases where community values are not unanimous, public companies are faced with an ethical question, and their answers can help to shape perceptions among users. For many, the removal of a Confederate holidays from Google Maps signals that it is truly a thing of the past.

Street Fight Daily: Social Platforms Bring Pubs Limited Cash, GM Enables In-Car Data with New SDK

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Deals with Facebook and Snapchat Are Popular, But They’re Not Big Money-Makers… GM’s New SDK for In-Car Infotainment Apps Offers Access to Nearly 400 Data Points… For Retail, the Next Big Tech-Driven Shakeup is Organizational…

Street Fight Daily: Retailers Try Google’s Promoted Places, GrubHub’s Social Strategy

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Retailers Test Out Google Maps Promoted Places Ads… 65% of Connected Device Owners Are Open To IoT Advertising… With Digital Revolution, Expectations for Marketers Shift Toward Revenue Generation…

Street Fight Daily: Lyft and Uber Deploy Targeted Ads in Cars, Marketers Eager as Spectacles Hit NYC

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology… Lyft and Uber Deploy Targeted Advertising on Screens in Back Seats of Rideshare Cars… As Snapchat Spectacles Hit East Coast in NYC, Marketers Like What They See… How Frequently Do Millenials Transact Via Mobile?…