Google Finally Adds Check-Ins To Latitude, With A Couple Twists

Google has finally added full check-in capabilities to its Latitude product, following in the footsteps of Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Facebook, and others that have been doing check-ins for some time now. Latitude has been a tool that lets one user share his/her location with friends, but now it goes further and allows users to check-in to specific businesses and locations. But Google's check-in system comes with a few twists compared to similar services: Latitude can send reminders to check-in at locations when you arrive. Latitude supports automated check-ins at places you choos [...]


Local Search: Fish Where The Other Fishermen Aren’t

Most businesses tend to focus on the big channels when it comes to local SEO efforts. While it makes sense to optimize your Google Place Page and pay attention to your presence on other big local search services (e.g. Bing Local, CityGrid, DexKnows, Insider pages, Local.com, Merchant circle, Superpages, Yahoo Local, Yellow book, Yelp, YP.com, etc.), because of the fragmented nature of local search, there are plenty of other services that generate great local traffic and can provide you with SEO benefits. Here's a brief overview of some "off the grid" opportunities. Facebook Places. So Fa [...]


Yelp Targets Foursquare, Facebook With Check-In Offers

Yelp continues to play catch-up with some of its competition in the local search landscape. The company's latest move is the announcement of "Check-in Offers." If you're familiar with the premise behind Foursquare's business users rewarding "mayors" and others who check-in to local businesses, you'll be familiar with Yelp's product. The idea is the same: Local businesses using Yelp's business tools can reward customers when they check-in via Yelp's mobile apps. Check-in offers is available now in the countries where Yelp offers a business dashboard, namely the US, Canada, UK, and Ireland. W [...]


Report: 7 Percent Of Mobile Internet Users Have Checked Out Location-Based Services

The Pew Internet Project published findings from a recent survey about usage of "location-based services" (LBS). According to the Pew data, 7 percent of mobile Internet users are on location-based services and 4 percent of all internet-using adults "use a service such as Foursquare or Gowalla that allows them to share their location with friends and to find others who are nearby." These findings appear to track and validate an earlier Forrester Research survey that found 4 percent of online adults had used location-based mobile apps such as Foursquare or Gowalla. Other surveys have found [...]


Yelp Plans To Go Public

Local search powerhouse Yelp is planning to go public at some point in the future. That's something that Yelp COO Geoff Donaker confirmed during his keynote conversation today at our SMX East conference in New York City. "We don’t see any reason not to be an independent company for years to come. Will we go public at some point? Certainly that’s the intention," Donaker told Search Engine Land Executive Editor Chris Sherman. Donaker explained that Yelp's fund raising event earlier this year -- an investment of up to $100 million from Elevation Partners -- will allow the company to re [...]


Live Blog: SMX Keynote Conversation With Yelp COO, Geoff Donaker

Good morning! It's almost time for day two of SMX East to begin and the plan is to live blog this morning's keynote conversation between Yelp COO Geoff Donaker and Search Engine Land Executive Editor, Chris Sherman. But first, I'm the master of ceremonies and so I need to run up to the stage and do some introductions. Back in a moment! Okay, that was quick and painless. So here we go! Nice to have a keynote on local search, which is a subject near and dear to my heart. Chris asks first for some background on Yelp and the focus on local search. Geoff Donaker: Yelp is the place you go w [...]


Report: Local Search Users Better Prospects, But Market Complex And Fragmented

Anyone who cares about "local search" should pay attention. Yesterday at SMX East Agency TMP Directional Marketing/15Miles and comScore released their fourth annual Local Search Usage Study. A veritable cornucopia of data, the study continues to document the migration of local business lookups from traditional media to online. But the data also show the growing importance of social media and the rise of mobile, as well as the continuing fragmentation of audiences in the local space. There's a great deal of information in the report, more than I'm able to present in this brief post. However [...]


Yelp Unlikely To Come Back To Google Places

Earlier today it was reported that Yelp's content had been removed from Google Places -- though not from Google.com results. What's going on exactly? Here's Google's  public statement about it: "Place pages organize relevant information about a wide range of places and locations, and they surface great sources of information like reviews and photos about 'places' ranging from restaurants to parks to landmarks to cities. Regarding the presentation of Yelp review snippets, neither of us was happy with the data as it appeared, so we reclassified results from Yelp while we reviewed our [...]


Google And Yelp Express “Complicated” Relationship In Conference Interview

There's nothing that jaded and weary conference goers love more than to see some "red meat" conflict between panelists during a session. And that's what TechCrunch's Erick Schonfeld repeatedly tried to elicit in an on-stage interview of Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman and Google's John Hanke during the Social Currency CrunchUp event yesterday in Palo Alto California. Schonfeld baited Stoppelman and Hanke a number of times with questions about the aborted Google acquisition of Yelp, Apple CEO Steve Jobs' remark that "Search is not where it’s at [in mobile]," as well as Google's crawling and us [...]


Live Blog: Right Time, Right Place – Location Services & Marketing

I'm at TWTRCON today, where the "Right Time, Right Place" panel will look at location services and marketing. We've got both Foursquare and Gowalla taking part. Who's talking in all: Moderator: Adam Ostrow, Editor in Chief, Mashable Matt Galligan, CEO, SimpleGeo Brad Nelson, Product Manager, Online Strategy, Starbucks Dennis Crowley, Co-Founder, Foursquare Josh Williams, CEO, Gowalla I'll be curious to hear Starbucks explain how they apparently have purchased ads to show up next to virtually every place I seem to check into these days. And we're off. First question to Brad [...]


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