Video: Last Week in Local May 22, 2017
Mike Blumenthal

Last Week in Local 5/22/17

Join Local U for the latest public episode of Last Week in Local, a weekly conversation about the articles that attracted our attention during the past week ending May 22nd, 2017. This week featuring Mary Bowling and Mike Blumenthal.

This year we will be publishing our Last Week in Local video directly to the Local U blog. It will be published every Monday and will include discussions about the events in the last week — strategic and tactical — that affect Local SEO & marketing.

If you have a special topic you would like us to discuss for our other weekly feature, the Deep Dive in Local, or if you would like to be on one or the other of our segments, reach outand send us the topic and your availability. If you are interested in sponsoring this weekly show also please let us know.

Let us know what you think. Welcome to Last Week in Local!

Our weekly discussions are also now available as a podcast as well.
Mary’s Links

Google’s Chatbase Analytics — Good For Developers? Definitely Good For Google

Adoption of this free tool will provide chatbot engagement data for businesses. More importantly to Google, it will unlock data which it cannot now gather about chatbot use and engagement. Google has a long history of offering free tools as a way to gain information. I’m pretty sure Facebook is tracking what’s going on with the chatbots being used on it’s site and in it’s apps.

Facebook rolls out a new “Order Food” option in its main navigation

The Facebook app now enables some users to order food directly from its app. “Order Food” is now in the main navigation of the app, allowing users to make a purchase without leaving Facebook. This is quite Google-like and gives Facebook an advantage in this area, at least temporarily.

Google Actions are now available to smartphone app developers

Google Actions will soon be live in apps, bringing Google Assistant, Google Home and Google Actions together.

7 unannounced updates to Google My Business we’ve seen in 2017

Among the changes, I find #5 the most interesting: “Google rolls out the Snack Pack to more industries in the USA (to Jewelers, sporting goods and pest control.” These snack packs have images instead of website links. This is old news, but I question why there’s this difference in layouts and why these shouldn’t still have a website link.

Mike’s Links

Exploring Local » Blog Archive » Addresses, Technology and the Map Wars

Geek out on the fundamentals of map making with deep insights into the problems of geolocation

Google-blessed Android infotainment system comes to the car

Android Automotive (vs current Android Auto) is fully integrated with the computer systems and is a real coup for Google. It can be “pure” or “skinned” and will initially be used in Volvo and Audi

Lyft and Waymo Reach Deal to Collaborate on Self-Driving Cars

it sure looks like Uber has made a powerful enemy.

Forget rainbow vomit, Google Lens is AR you can actually use

AR is much more likely than VR as a tool we can all use AND image analysis via AI may make more sense as an interface than voice

Google has bigger challenges with Home than just recognizing different voices

But Google didn’t make its push into hardware until late in 2016, when it released the Home and the Pixel phone. Both devices are going up against Amazon’s Echo and Apple’s iPhone. Apple has sold roughly one billion iPhones, which also means Siri runs on more devices than any other AI assistant. Amazon, meanwhile, has sold 6.3 million Alexa-powered Echos and Dots, according to estimates from research firm Strategy Analytics.

Google, not to be easily outdone, is expected to reach one million sales of Home devices by the middle of the year, according to the same research firm. Google was also on track to sell an estimated three million to five million Pixel phones in the fourth quarter, according to Morgan Stanley.

Amazon is hiring people to break into the multibillion-dollar pharmacy market

If we aren’t going to get a government negotiated reduction in drug pricing we might be able to get more transparency if Amazon enters this mkt where  $300 billion is spent on prescription drugs annually.

Long Term CSS Javascript Hidden Text Experiment

The experiment clearly demonstrates Google’s preference for visible text. The experiment showed Google algorithms clearly gives less weight to text hidden via CSS and JavaScript.

Update on Google’s SMB Website Builder

The program has grown and moved to a new, stand alone domain. Simple, mobile ready Web building will soon be available via the GMB to a business near you.

Should You Add City to Your Business Name at Google My Business?

Given Google’s lack of enforcement of their naming guidelines, how should respond to the push to add geo terms to the business name?

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