Ads On Google Maps Now Show In New Scrolling List View, In-Map Ads Get A New Look

Ads On Google Maps Google has formally announced that it is surfacing and displaying ads on Google Maps and Google Maps for Mobile in the scrolling list view it debuted recently. The ads appear above the organic listings and can include location extensions and call extensions. Location extensions are what allow advertisers to include ratings, store hours and the Street View image of the business in their ads. Location extensions also enable businesses to be spotlighted with an in-map ad, or an ad marker. The in-map ad shows an offer or description and can be expanded to show more business information. [...]


YP’s “Mybook” Makes Local Search More Social

YP app demo Local search provider YP has been investing in its mobile app, doing brand advertising and generally seeking ways to better compete with rivals such as Google, Foursquare and Yelp. It doesn't have the reach of Google or the content of Yelp but with its mybook feature the company may have found a way. MyBook was soft-launched in 2013 and formally announced earlier this year. It's a cross-platform list-making and favorites tool. When signed in users can save business listings and make lists in different categories. That personalized content can be accessed from any device. Now it can [...]


Amazon Fire Phone: Bing For Search, Nokia For Maps

Amazon Maps logo The emerging consensus from the early "hands on" or "first look" reviews is that the Amazon Fire Phone has some novel and interesting features but that it doesn't measure up, overall, to the iPhone or "true Android" devices. I've argued that Amazon missed the boat with its high-end pricing. Interestingly, there has been almost no talk about search on the Fire. Gmail, Google Maps, Google Search and other Google apps are not present in the Amazon Store. Users can still get to Google services on a browser of course. But Amazon has erected barriers to using Google on its devices. Among them [...]


Founder: OpenStreetMap Already As Good Or Better Than Google Maps

phone-map-featured Steve Coast founded OpenStreetMap (OSM) in the UK in 2004. It's 10 years old this year. He was inspired by the Wikipedia model and compelled by a lack of available map and location data in the UK at that time. Coast now works for GPS navigation company Telenav, which owns location-based mobile ad network Thinknear. Not long ago Telenav also acquired Europe-based skobbler, which built a popular consumer-navigation app on top of OSM data. Telenav offers an equivalent, free consumer navigation/local search in Scout. The two apps are being merged later this year. Earlier this week Tele [...]


Foursquare To Move Check-ins Into “Swarm” App, To Focus Better On Local Discovery

fsq-swarm-app-600 Foursquare is doing something surprising, even radical. It's removing some of the legacy features (i.e., check-ins) from its app and moving them over to a new app called Swarm (available soon). Check-ins, sharing and friend finding will now reside in Swarm, and Foursquare will evolve in a bid for further mainstream adoption to challenge Yelp and Google in local. The company has been doing a lot of sophisticated work around personalization and local discovery, and is increasingly using a range of signals that are alternatives to check-ins. In other words the check-in has become expendable [...]


Recce’s Cool Animated 3D Maps Now Available Via SDK

Recce I'm a big fan of independent mapping platform Recce. The company has created a unique, animated UI that's very different from those offered by Apple, Google, Bing, Nokia/Here and Mapquest. That UI and all the company's data are available to third party developers through an SDK. The SDK is available for both iOS and Android and offers: Streams data in on demand Caching of data on the device The same immersive maps as in the Recce app The company is calling its SDK and third party tools the "eeGeo Map Platform." They were recently used to build maps in Japan by NTT DOCOMO. The [...]


Yelp and YP Enter Into “Strategic” Content, Distribution Partnership

YP + Yelp YP and Yelp have announced a strategic partnership that will in the near future provide YP advertisers with an enhanced presence on Yelp and effectively bring Yelp into the YP Local Ad Network. There is probably a revenue sharing deal in the background but the parties declined to discuss terms. Yelp has existing content deals with Yahoo, Bing, Apple and others. However, this YP deal is quite different than those, which are mainly about the inclusion of Yelp reviews content in local search results. Under the terms of this deal, as I understand them, YP advertisers will gain access to the [...]


Survey: Consumers Blame Brands For Bad Location Data

local-search-map-featured Today at SMX West local data and marketing platform provider Placeable released findings from two related surveys it recently conducted online. The company polled consumers (n=1,000 US adults) and marketers (n=228) to gather data on local search attitudes and behaviors. Marketers were asked to discuss their behavior when they acted as consumers. Overall the marketers (as consumers) were more mobile, more interested in personalization and more active in social sharing and content creation than their "ordinary consumer" peers. Below are some of the more interesting "regular consumer" find [...]


Better Data, Public Transit Coming To Apple Maps In iOS 8

apple-maps-featured According to unnamed sources cited by 9to5mac, Apple's forthcoming iOS 8 will see a number of improvements to its mapping product across platforms. The site says the next Apple mobile OS will offer: Better and more complete points of interest and business data Public transit information and directions (rolling out first to major US cities) Much of the discussion in the article is about subtle changes to the Apple Maps UI or functionality improvements coming with the new OS. Further out, says the report, are indoor maps and augmented reality:  "Apple has also begun work on augmented [...]


YP Wants To Compete Directly With Google And Yelp In Local

YP logo When one looks across the local digital landscape there are many companies and apps but few consumer “brands.” In specific verticals, like travel or automotive, there are companies such as TripAdvisor or Cars.com. But “horizontally” on a national level there are very few top-of-mind, major players. That list starts with Google and Yelp and could include Apple (re maps) and maybe Foursquare and Groupon. Mapquest has faded and Facebook’s local efforts are still what we might call embryonic. The various yellow pages and directory publishers, once dominant in local, have had great [...]


Telenav Thinks Scout Can Take On Google Maps

Skobbler app Last week Telenav acquired Skobbler for roughly $24 million in cash and stock. Skobbler is based in Berlin, Germany and is to OpenStreetMap (OSM) what Red Hat is to Linux according to Ryan Peterson of Telenav. For those not aware, OSM is the Wikipedia of digital mapping. It relies on a global force of over 1.5 million volunteer editors or contributors. Telenav, which got its start in white label navigation and enterprise fleet tracking, is the creator of Scout, a consumer navigation app that Telenav believes is capable of taking on Google Maps. According to Peterson, the Skobbler acquis [...]


5 Tips To Kill The Competition In Local Search

local-search-map-featured If your business has a local presence -- anywhere -- you must take advantage of Google+ Local. Creating and optimizing Google+ Local profiles is a critical marketing practice for local small businesses, multi-location enterprises, national franchises and companies with a single physical location. It will help you reach the 97% of consumers who search for local businesses online. Google+ Local not only helps web searchers find and share local business information, it can also help your business get displayed near the top of Google SERPs. When a search is made with local intent, Google typi [...]


4 Go-Tos To Make Online Reviews Work For Your Business

Yelp profile By now, everyone knows that online reviews can have a tremendous impact on consumers' purchasing decisions. Ultimately, a single review -- positive or negative -- can tip the scale in favor of one company over another. No doubt, the power of reviews on Google+, Yelp, Angie's List and other local search directories continues to mount. Review prominence in search results is also rising, as they often appear for a business just below their company website and make up the majority of the corresponding top 10 search results. Major search and review sites weight online reviews very highly, and [...]


Local SEOs Sound Off On Google+ Local Hijackings

google-plus-local Earlier this week, Danny Sullivan reported on the hijacking of thousands of local hotel listings within Google+ Local. Those listings had been replaced by third-party hotel booking services. And while it's unclear how long those third-party links were in place, several knowledgeable people have surmised it may have been at least a month, if not longer. Without offering any substantive comments about the situation, Google appears to have cleaned up the problem and mostly, if not entirely, restored the proper links. There's been no explanation forthcoming about how this might have happened f [...]


Yelp Turns Up The Heat: 285 Consumer Alerts Issued Over Fake Reviews

yelp-alerts-featured It's been almost a year and a half since Yelp began issuing Consumer Alerts when a business on its site has been caught trying to get fake reviews; but after a cautious start, that program appears to be turning up the heat. According to an interview with CEO Jeremy Stoppelman in The Telegraph, Yelp has now slapped 285 businesses on its website with Consumer Alerts. When Yelp issued its first set of Consumer Alerts in October 2012, only eight local businesses were hit. Then last August, Yelp revealed that it had issued its second round of alerts. No specific numbers were shared, but the c [...]


Bing Ads Express Available To Agencies, Resellers

bing-ads-new-240px As of this week, agencies and resellers can begin offering access to the Bing Ads Express beta to their clients. Launched in early October, Bing Ads Express is an automated platform for small businesses to have a basic presence on Bing Ads. Ads are tied to Bing Places for Business listings, and companies without websites can opt to link the ad to their Facebook page. Agencies and resellers will be able to manage client listings in Bing Places and on the Yahoo Bing Network in bulk with a spreadsheet that can then be uploaded to a Bing Ads Express account. The platform will automatically cla [...]


Maps Roundup: Google Avoids Waze Antitrust Fight, Scout Social Mapping, deCarta Route Patent

google-maps-iphone-icon Google spent just over $1 billion to take Waze away from Facebook, Apple or Nokia and Microsoft. It equally sought the real-time driver feedback that Waze crowd-sourcing provides. Given the size of the transaction the US FTC got immediately involved to bring antitrust scrutiny to the acquisition. Now Bloomberg reports that the FTC is unlikely to block the deal: The Federal Trade Commission hasn’t raised concerns that the transaction might hurt competition, said the people, who asked not to be named because they weren’t authorized to speak publicly about the matter. Google said June 21 [...]


Bing To Include Local Product Inventory In Search Results

bing-shopping-featured Yesterday Microsoft and Local Corporation announced a deal in which the latter's Krillion local product database will be provided to Bing for display in search results. Local Corp. will supply in-stock product data from a range of mostly national-local retailers. The list of participating retailers includes BestBuy, Costco, Express, Fry's, Home Depot, Kmart, Lowe's, Nordstrom, Orchard Supply, Office Depot, Radio Shack, Rite Aid, Sears, Staples, Target, True Value and Wal-Mart. All of the indexed products from these stores -- it's not clear if this includes all in-store inventory -- will be [...]


Yelp Outs More Businesses With Another Batch Of Paid Review Alerts

yelp-alerts-featured Yelp's battle against phony reviews and unacceptable tactics to earn reviews continues today with the company posting another batch of "Consumer Alert" messages on business profile pages. This is the second time Yelp has announced that some businesses will be outed for trying to game its system. Back in October, Yelp put a message on eight business profile pages saying that those companies were "caught ... red-handed trying to buy fake reviews." The alert being posted today is slightly different. It tells consumers that Yelp "caught someone offering up cash, discounts, gift certificates [...]


New CityMaps Hopes To Compete With Social And Editorial Content

Citymaps screen Mobile mapping provider CityMaps recently redesigned its iOS app. It impressively includes home-grown vector maps, built from the ground up. Beyond this CityMaps is trying to offer deeper editorial and social content to differentiate from other mapping and local-search apps. CityMaps also invokes the language of "personal assistant" in its promotional video (below). These concepts are worthy but the execution to support them is, so far, lacking. The original CityMaps app was a kind of crazy quilt of colorful corporate logos that signified business locations. Below are screenshots of the [...]


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