Apple Hiring ‘Ground Truth’ Managers To Improve Maps

apple-maps-featured If job listings are any indication, Apple remains committed to improving its iOS Maps app. As the iDownload Blog spotted, Apple currently has seven job listings for what's called a "Maps Ground Truth Manager." The positions are based around the world -- U.S., Western Europe, Eastern Europe, Japan, Asia-Pacific, the Americas and Middle East/Africa. The job description explains that these Ground Truth Managers will be responsible for improving and ensuring the accuracy of Apple Maps. The Maps team is searching for a manager for the team responsible for regional map quality and ground trut [...]

Search On Smartphones Up 26 Percent, On Tablets Up 19 Percent In 2012 [Study]

smartphone-tablet-featured Search continues to shift away from the desktop toward mobile devices. That's one of the conclusions of the just-released Neustar Localeze/15miles/comScore Local Search Study, which is now in its sixth year. This year's study involves a sample of more than 3,000 U.S. adults that say they use the Internet to search for local businesses. Results aren't available online yet, but we'll add a link here when they are. The total number of U.S. searchers using mobile phones grew 26 percent between March 2012 and December 2012, from 90.1 million to 113.1 million searchers. Search on tablets was u [...]

Apple Buys Indoor Location Company, What’s It Up To?

apple-maps-featured This weekend the Wall Street Journal reported that Apple had paid roughly $20 million for a company called WifiSLAM. The company was an early stage startup that had raised roughly $1 million in angel investment. It appears to have had some ambitious plans, according to a company description on AngelList: We are building the next generation of location-based mobile apps that, for the first time, engage with users at the scale that personal interaction actually takes place. Applications range from step-by-step indoor navigation, to product-level retail customer engagement, to proximity-based [...]

Blind Study Finds YP Local Results Beat Google, Bing, Yahoo

yellow-pages-featured A "blind" study commissioned by directory publisher and local ad network YP, performed by Crowdflower, found that YP's local search results were better overall than those of search engines. This was measured as a function of user satisfaction rating. Thousands of queries were compared over a year-long period. I can hear the skepticism: "It's sponsored study" and "How can they be better than Google's local results?" Here's what the study says about the methodology: YP contracted CrowdFlower, an independent third-party, to employ an innovative and impartial methodology for the relevance meas [...]

YP: Our Mobile Ad Network Second Only To Google

YP logo When the dust settles US mobile ad revenue will probably come in somewhere between $3 and $3.5 billion for 2012. Google is the clear market leader. But which company is number two? Facebook? Millennial Media? Twitter? Not according to a statement released this morning by YP (the former AT&T Interactive). YP said that it had "over $350 million in advertising revenue [in 2012] attributable to mobile, making it the number two company in the US mobile advertising industry." Analyst firm IDC is cited as support for the assertion. Facebook probably would dispute the claim, with over $ [...]

Foursquare Improves Android App, Makes Search More Prominent

Foursquare logo 2 Foursquare has introduced a new version of its Android app. As the company says in its blog post there are three primary changes: More prominent "Explore" search box at the top of the screen A map at the top of the screen displays your network's most recent check-ins (which opens a  larger map). A left panel ("left-hand drawer") provides access to your profile/history, to-do list and other lists ("all lists") In addition, the check-in button has been moved to the lower left of the screen. In its blog post, Foursquare promises more changes and improvements to come: "[W]e we have [...]

Survey: Half Of Small Businesses Never Update Their Listings Online

local-search-featured ConstantContact's SinglePlatform division has released the results of a new survey of small businesses (SMBs). The "headline" finding is that nearly half (49 percent) say they've never updated their listings online. The survey polled "more than 350" SMBs. Most small businesses are overwhelmed and confused by even basic online marketing. This is reflected in some of the seemingly contradictory findings of the survey: 50 percent of SMBs have seen listings for their business that are not accurate 70 percent of SMBs say they don’t have the time to manage listings on all of the sites t [...]

Yext “Reinvents The Local Business Listing” With New Rich Content Options

Yext logo Location data platform and provider Yext has introduced a range of new data types and rich content into its PowerListing local data syndication product. The new offering is called PowerListings+ (Like Google+). Enhanced local data categories enable the inclusion of employee/staff bios, event calendars, product inventory and services (including prices).  Yext said that the new content types would be available at the same fee structure (no additional charge) under its PowerListings product. Yext syndicates data to 45 local search sites, including Yelp, Yahoo Local, Foursquare, WhitePages [...]

Foursquare Responds To Facebook Nearby By Tapping Facebook’s Friend Graph

foursquare-icon Foursquare has made a quick response to Monday's announcement of Facebook Nearby, with its own announcement today that Foursquare Explore is cranking up its personalization. The irony? It's going to use Foursquare activity from a user's Facebook friends to improve the recommendations in Explore. Think of it as Foursquare judo: It's using Facebook data to battle against Facebook itself. Touché! Here's Foursquare's explanation of how it's using Facebook to turn up the personalization dial: When your Facebook friends do public things on Foursquare, like write a tip, like a place, or ta [...]

YP: 30 Percent Of Search Queries Now Coming From Mobile

Click to call ratios Local search provider and online ad network YP has released its end of the year review report (.pdf). The data are drawn from a huge volume of queries on its PC destination site, its mobile site and apps, as well as its broader advertising network. YP says that 30 percent of its overall query volume and lookups now come from mobile devices. However 100 percent of queries on the YP network are going to be local in nature given the property and the brand. While the data are not necessarily entirely representative of market-wide local search activity on the PC and in mobile they're a pretty go [...]

Amazon Opens Up Maps API To Kindle Developers, Google Street View Covers The Frozen North

Amazon Maps logo After a several year lull the mapping segment is really hot again. Google, Apple, Microsoft, Nokia and Amazon are now competing fiercely in a newly reinvigorated mapping arena. Yesterday, Amazon announced that its Maps API is now generaly available to developers who want to integrate maps into their Kindle Fire apps. Google Maps isn't available for Kindle devices. Like the Google Play marketplace, which isn't on Kindle Fire, Amazon doesn't allow Google Maps on the popular devices (though you can get to it via the mobile web). The Amazon Maps API was first released in beta earlier this [...]

Nokia’s HERE Maps For iOS A Disappointment

Nokia HERE logo Nokia has many fans around the world who believe that its mapping service is the best one out there. And in selected ways it might be. Nokia offered "offline" maps well before Google. The company is also the go-to mapping provider for third parties, such as Yahoo and Yandex. In addition, Nokia plays an increasingly important role on the back end for Bing Maps both on Windows Phone 8 devices and on the PC. Nokia subsidiary Navteq was once one of the primary data providers for Google Maps until Nokia acquired the company for roughly $8 billion in 2007. All this suggests that Nokia's spl [...]

Trying To Get There From Here: Nokia And Mapquest Launch New Maps Products

Nokia here Globally there are arguably four main digital mapping competitors: Google, Apple, Microsoft and Nokia. Google is the clear leader. However Nokia is making a renewed bid to challenge Google's mapping supremacy with a rebranded platform "Here," new APIs, a Google Street View-like offering, augmented reality and new apps for third party smartphone operating systems. Apple is busy trying to fix its recently launched maps and seems to be making some progress. Bing, after aggressively investing in maps for several years, now seems to be outsourcing key parts of its mapping infrastructure to Nokia [...]

Study: Consumers Who Own Smartphones And Tablets Do Average Of 21 Local Searches Per Week

local-search-map We know from multiple data sources that more than 90 percent of smartphone owners use maps and local search. We also know from Google that up to 50 percent of mobile search carries a local intent. Now, a new local search study from YP and Street Fight takes a closer look at local search behavior and tries to segment the audience based on the intensity of local search frequency and usage. Got Mobile Devices? You're Likely An "Avid" Local Searcher Based on a survey of 1,100 US adults, the study found that 40 percent of survey respondents used local search daily and that 70 percent of smartphon [...]

After Sting Operation, Yelp Outs 8 Businesses That It Caught Trying To Buy Reviews

yelp-logo-featured Yelp is now showing "Consumer Alert" warning messages on the profile pages of eight businesses that it says it caught in a sting operation trying to buy reviews. As the New York Times reports, Yelp conducted a sting operation in which one of its employees pretended to be an "Elite" reviewer and responded to review solicitations on Craigslist. As the article explains: A pest control company offered $5 to anyone who would post a review that the business itself had written. The moving company was willing to pay $50 but wanted original copy. An appliance repair shop provided a start: "I really [...]

Map Search On PCs “Eroding,” Shifting To Mobile — comScore

Apple Maps iPhone It all makes sense. According to comScore, map-based search on the PC has now peaked and is starting to erode. By contrast mobile usage of mapping applications is growing and will continue to do so for the foreseeable future. Apple Maps' problems notwithstanding, smartphone mapping apps offer a better overall experience than online maps. Because they're in your pocket they're available when they're most needed: on the go. And they offer location-aware/search nearby capabilities that online maps do not. Here's what comScore recently said about the decline of PC mapping and the rise of sma [...]

Foursquare Takes On Yelp With New Homepage Search Box

foursquare-map-featured Perhaps it was always inevitable that Foursquare would shift its emphasis from location-based social networking to local search. Indeed, the site has been moving in this direction for quite some time, and very self-consciously for the better part of the past year. This afternoon the company is rolling out a new PC homepage for users who aren't logged in: it prominently features a search box. In doing so Foursquare takes aim at Yelp as its chief rival in the local space. And in some ways the move completes Foursquare's evolution from a more narrow and novelty oriented friend finder, game and [...]

Report: Highest Mobile CTRs Where User 1-2 Miles From Business

mobile-ipad-click-featured Local search provider and ad network YP (formerly the advertising and directory services division of AT&T) released search and activity data collected from consumers and advertisers on its network in a Q3 Local Insights Report. The report contains findings drawn from its online, mobile and IPTV properties. The YP Local Ad Network represents "573 million searches and 10 billion impressions." The following are the top 10 overall local search categories: Restaurants Financial Services Beauty Services Auto Repair and Services Real estate Physicians & Surgeons Auto Par [...]

Pew: 50 Percent Have Cleared Smartphone Search History

Screen Shot 2012-09-05 at 10.32.58 AM There's a cat and mouse game going on between developers, publishers and mobile users. The former group is often trying to "connect the dots" and gather as much data and information on user behavior and, in some cases, individual activity as possible. By contrast, mobile phone owners (especially smartphone owners) are often trying to thwart or very selectively allow that data collection. The Pew Internet Project just released survey data revealing that mobile users may be a great deal more sensitive to privacy issues than most developers and publishers think. The survey was conducted in Mar [...]

US Yellow Pages Publishers Merge To Form Entity Focused On Local-Digital Advertising

Screen-Shot-2012-08-21-at-8.49.23-AM Two of the major US yellow pages publishers and local search providers, DexOne and SuperMedia are merging in an all-stock transaction. After the merger closes, pending a shareholder vote, the combined entity will have 700,000 advertisers, 3,100 salespeople and revenues of roughly $3 billion. The merger was partly dictated by the need to accelerate the transition from traditional print directory advertising to digital, which is growing but still lags print revenue for both companies. The two entities also anticipate significant cost savings through the combination of their operations. [...]

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