Video: Last Week in Local Nov. 6, 2017
Mike Blumenthal

Last week in local 11/06/2017

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 Nov. 6th. This week features Mary Bowling & Mike Blumenthal.

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 out and send us the topic and your availability. If you are interested in sponsoring this weekly show also please let us know.


Last Week in Local 11/6

Amazon is shutting down its Fresh grocery delivery service in parts of five states

Long in development, a bit of a surprise that they would shut this down except in a few markets. Perhpas with Whole Foods they are figuring on entering this market in a different way.

These Hot Restaurants Aren’t on Maps, Only in Apps – The Wall Street Journal

Tucked inside industrial parks, commissary kitchens and refitted basements in cities like New York, Chicago and San Jose, these restaurants have no dining room, no wait staff, no takeout window and no signage. (They still have to pass inspections from health boards, though.) Many don’t take orders over the phone and are accessible only through online services like Grubhub, DoorDash or Postmates.

Virtual restaurants, with their low overhead, are allowing restaurateurs to shift away from the capital-intensive model that kills 60% of new restaurants in their first five years

There might be up to 10 different “restaurants” In a single kitchen. Though they appear on Grubhub as separate establishments, each with a distinct cuisine, all the food might be prepared in the same kitchen by the same staff.

How to scale local events

A more efficient way to search for events is to use seasonality to your advantage; search for events with a seasonal focus, for a “season” that’s a few months into the future. For example, we reached out to more than 1,600 fall fests and Halloween parades during July and August of 2017.

Do Google Posts impact ranking? A case study

The 2 Biggest Optimizations To Grow Your Online Reviews

Timeliness and personal ask make all the difference particularly in automated programs

Yext Unveils the Next Generation of Digital Knowledge Management to Power Intelligent Transformation – Yext

The events feature is very useful for multilocation businesses to manage event information for all locations from one central place. The knowledge assistant makes managing and updating accounts smoother and We Chat signals a big play to expand into China, as WeChat is transactional and informational, as well as social.

•Yext for Events: Businesses can now manage the public knowledge about their events across the marketing team with a single source of truth‚ and get their events discovered by publishing to top event-discovery sites like Google, Facebook, Eventbrite, Eventful and more, and through their own intelligent events calendar.

•Yext Knowledge Assistant: A breakthrough conversational UI designed to help companies manage all the public data about their businesses. Now they can text or message updates directly to the Yext Knowledge Manager — without having to log in or download an app.

•WeChat Mini-Programs integration: Businesses can now use Yext to reach consumers in China on their platform of choice.

Introducing ‘Local Search Audit’ – Your Cleaner, Meaner Local Search Check Up Tool – BrightLocal

Bright Local has updated it’s Local Search Audit Tool

Adding many features that are likely being pulled via Google tool apis: mobile page load speed, schema analysis and critical crawl errors Making it more

of a complete SEO tool, not just a local SEO tool.

Google home services ads program rebrands, expanding to 30 cities by end of 2017

Now known as Google Local Services, Google announced Tuesday that the program has expanded to 17 US cities with plans to be in 30 cities by year-end.

This could be a scary sign that local businesses may have to go through some kind of advanced verification in the future.

Instead of the the typical bidding auction, leads are priced by Google for each job type in each area. Businesses can see the price of a lead when they sign up in the app. Product Director for Small and Medium Business Ads Kim Spalding said in a phone interview Monday that the pricing is based on “balancing what we know about cost of jobs and overall demand.”

Advertisers set a weekly budget determined by the number of leads they want to receive. Google won’t say specifically what factors go into the rankings in the ad unit, but Spalding said there’s a focus on quality (ratings and reviews), the ability to connect right away, location and a number of other factors.”

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