Every week we bring you a brief 15 minute video and the links of the best articles in Local Search. OK. It's not always 15 minutes but we are never off by more than 10 minutes or so.
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Mike: March 25th in Atlanta! The LocalU Advanced Google Master Class has pre agenda pricing until Jan 6th of $599.
Mike: Since 2014, U.S. e-commerce has increased by 84%, creating a massive opportunity for the delivery industry. But despite the growing opportunity, FedEx has lost $25 billion in value since Amazon launched its delivery service.
Amazon enters high-friction, low-margin businesses as a means of differentiating low-friction, high-margin businesses (AWS and AMG). In doing so they effectively turn whole industries like delivery into a feature for Amazon Prime.
In a related Business Insider article. Galloway says that while a likely acquirer of FedEx would be Walmart — making Walmart go more vertical — a bolder move would be an acquisition from Shopify. It could create an actually viable alternative to Amazon
Mike: Rather than trying to compete with Amazon in its domain (e-commerce), Walmart will reportedly use its existing stores to provide customers with rapid deliveries and access to goods, as well as experiences they can’t order online. Among other things, the company reportedly wants to turn its stores into ‘edge computing’ centers, transform warehouses into processing and shipping centers for third-party products, and more.
Mike: EVERY MINUTE OF EVERY DAY, everywhere on the planet, dozens of companies — largely unregulated, little scrutinized — are logging the movements of tens of millions of people with mobile phones and storing the information in gigantic data files. The Times Privacy Project obtained one such file, by far the largest and most sensitive ever to be reviewed by journalists.
Amazing how much specific information is available on everyday citizens. But the NY Times was even able to de-anonymize location data and track the whereabouts of President Trump in very little time in a related article: How to Track President Trump.
Our collective unwillingness to regulate this industry leads to not just privacy issues but national security issues as well.
Mike: If you are in any of the home service industries or even in real estate or the legal industry you should read this article that details all of the ifs, ands or buts of the Google’s Local Service Ads.
Mike: Very cool new feature that shows your (review, Posts, Q & A, product) content for your business in response to local product and service queries.
Mary: Last week, I noticed a new format on mobile browsers for service areas. It shows a truck icon and mentions a city the business serves. When you click on it, it lists the other areas the business has put in their service areas in Google My Business. @TomW made us realize this might be dynamic...
Mary: Moz's @ Miriam_Ellis_ shows us how easy it can be to fight back against spammers to benefit your own business and those of your clients.
Good guides gone bad: How Google’s ‘Local Guides’ program fails businesses and consumers - Search Engine Land
Carrie: Calling out Google's "gamification" of spam. I'm not a fan of this program - it encourages crap reviews, short, unhelpful Q&A answers and in many cases unhelpful images. These Product Experts seem to agree.
Carrie: Neat conversation with David and Mike recapping the last decade in Local Search. Oh how far we have come. Google+ was a total bust - but this got me a bit nostalgic:
"Ten years ago, fewer than 50% of local businesses had a website. And the ones that did provided such an awful experience, particularly on phones, that Google was loath to feature many of them in search results." ~David Mihm
What's Popping? 4 Types of Pop-ups You Should Have On Your Website
Carrie: Not local - but a reminder that there are good and bad popups - what kind do you have? Stop annoying your customers.
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