The Price of Free Listings

When the Yellow Pages directory came out once a year, if your business’ phone number was printed incorrectly, you were in trouble. It was the same with local business listings on the internet, except that instead of one or two books, there were thousands of websites carrying your bad data. This added up to a serious headache for multi-location brands and a serious opportunity for solutions providers that could bring order to the free business listings chaos. Here’s a look at how listings management has evolved.

UBL and Advice Interactive to Merge, Signaling Potential Consolidation Among Local Marketing Firms

The deal will bring together UBL’s global listings syndication network with Advice Interactive’s reputation management, SEO and analytics products. Doyal Bryant, chief executive at UBL, said that the combined companies would become the second-biggest player in the industry, after Yext…

Street Fight Daily: Square Kills Order, Facebook Buys The Find

A roundup of today’s big stories in hyperlocal publishing, marketing, commerce, and technology…… .Square Kills Square Order, the Food Pickup App That Was Square Wallet 2.0 (Recode)… Facebook Acquires Shopping Search Engine, TheFind (Marketing Land)… Snapchat Launches Local Channel for New Yorkers (AdWeek)…

#LDS15 Why Payments Data Is the Next Goldmine for Retailers

What we buy often tells a lot about who we are. That’s why payments data – information about what consumers buy, when they buy it, where they are coming from and every other detail imaginable – has become a goldmine for some retailers. But many retailers either don’t collect it, or are not using it to its full potential…

Survey Highlights the Challenges of Marketing to Smaller SMBs

The evidence suggests that marketers who can tell a simple and compelling story tying ROI to hard evidence will stand the greatest chance of winning SMB confidence. The trick is doing this at sufficient scale to be profitable…

Getting Down to the Basics of Local Search Marketing

Small businesses can sometimes find out at their peril just how important it is to take control of how they are represented online. As professionals, we want to make sure businesses understand that our expertise has value, but not at the expense of scaring or confusing them. Instead we would do well to promote the idea that local search is accessible to all…

Openings and New Hires at Belly, UBL, WorldNow, and FreshLime

Every two weeks, Kelly Benish — who knows practically everyone in hyperlocal — covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. In this week’s edition, new jobs and hires at Fathom Voice, Hearst, PlaceIQ, Sonata and more…

The Power of Visual Appeal in Local Search

Images are more compelling to the average user than any other medium of communication. Though users may visit local search sites and apps with the conscious intent of seeking out text-based information such as phone numbers, hours, and addresses, visual content encountered along the way may have a greater influence than textual information on deciding which businesses to visit…

How to Maintain a Rational Social Marketing Strategy in a Confusing Landscape

Small business owners may find themselves perplexed by the variety of opportunities to engage socially with consumers. Of course, it would be premature to suggest that any SMB needs an Ello marketing strategy. But there’s an advantage to be gained in keeping your marketing strategy attuned to the groups actively pursuing interests relevant to your business…

Openings and New Hires at Placeable, SIM Partners, UBL and Surefire Social

Every two weeks, Search Influence’s Kelly Benish — who knows practically everyone in hyperlocal — covers some of the latest job changes taking place in this dynamic industry. In this week’s edition, new jobs and hires at Balihoo, Colony Logic, Hibu, PlaceIQ and more…

The Impact of Google’s Local Update Is Still a Developing Story

Google seems to be experimenting with driving more traffic to its local competition, meaning that it’s more important than ever for a business to secure its presence across a broad base of directories. The value proposition of local SEO does not change in a fundamental way, given that Google has long used citation consistency as a prominent local ranking signal…

Let’s Simplify and Strengthen Business Listing Verification

Verification is a great idea in theory and, once you navigate the tangled process, it even works well for most business owners in practice. However, there is very little consistency across publishers as to how the process should work or what the result should be, and there is plenty of evidence that the supposed lockdown of business data via owner verification doesn’t always operate as it should…

Openings & New Hires at Groupon, Street Fight, PaperG, AOL & more

More folks on the move: PaperG hires Brooke Frederick away from Bizo; Weather Channel poaches from Digital Broadcasting Group; SoundCloud brings on a Nokia executive and the job openings abound, including a plum sales position at Street Fight. Also: good opportunities for product managers and sales execs at Groupon, AOL, Oracle, Signpost and more. Plus: juicy insider tips on who’s looking to make the jump!…

Social Isn’t Search: Why Apple Should Think Twice About Foursquare

Though the cachet of the Foursquare name might make this idea sound appealing, my sense is that it could only be executed successfully if handled very carefully by Apple. With the prominence already given to socially driven results from Yelp, Apple would risk becoming a search service dominated by social content…

Street Fight Staff and Friends Predict 2013’s Top Stories

Last week, some top hyperlocal luminaries weighed in with their predictions for what we can expect to see in the coming year. Today we’ve asked Street Fight staffers and a few friends who regularly contribute to the site to submit their prognostications for what is to come in the realm of location-based services, local search, daily deals, and hyperlocal content…

Information Wants to Be Free, but Local Data Is Currency

The sizable overlap between consumer-generated information and enterprise control is experienced every day in the world of local search.Though few local search companies could exist without licensed data, once that data gets inside their walls, it becomes a foundation upon which consumer-generated data adds value to a service…

Openings & New Hires at Patch, MapQuest, Local.com, and More

At JiWire, another departure; Patch brings on a few new department heads; UBL and Delivery.com continue to add to their teams. Plus, longtime Borrell Associates executive Peter Conti makes the jump to Local Media Association, and JT Batson becomes chief revenue officer at Cumulus Media. Looking for a new gig? Openings at Local.com, Patch, Microsoft, Google and more…

Google’s Local Offerings Have Gotten Too Complicated

The extended Google+ Local rollout has been more troublesome than most. Usually when Google has experimented with social services in the past, such as Google Buzz and Google Wave, it has done so in a tangential way that does not threaten core functionality. With Google+, the gamble is to make social the center of all search activity, and yet the full realization of a social context for Google’s local search tools has yet to appear…

Openings and New Hires at JiWire, UBL, Groupon, Booker, Telenav & More

JiWire gets a new CEO in a year of big executive changes; Groupon tries for third-time’s-a-charm COO; UBL staffs up; Living Social loses an exec; and LocalResponse brings on a new vice president of technology. And that’s just what’s highlighted in industry moves from this week. Plus, openings at LocalVox, Booker, Apple, Google, Twitter, Facebook, Telenav and more…

SMBs on Mobile: Questions of Analytics and Performance

The proliferation of mobile apps for local continues, with all major local search players maintaining their own apps, and Apple’s App Store currently returning 347 results for the phrase “local search.” With all of this attention, the time is not far away when businesses will begin to get concerned about the presence, accuracy, and effectiveness of their listings on mobile apps. I’d love to see a service that aims at comprehensive analysis of SMB presence across the “app space” for Android and Apple…