Google Tells What is “Near You Now”

What’s with Google and their constant upgrades and innovations? What is it with these guys? You would think that they are trying to improve and stuff. The latest, and personally I think one of the coolest, service introductions is the “Near You Now” feature on Google.com for mobile.

It’s pretty simple. Your location is known by Google (if you allow it of course) so it simply tells you what is “near you now” with regard to restaurants, local services (i.e. animal hospitals, dentists, drugstores, gyms, parking lots etc), coffee shops, lodging, shopping and a lot more.

Google’s blog tells us a bit more:

“Near me now” was designed to address two user problems. First, we wanted to make it fast and easy to find out more about a place in your immediate vicinity, whether you’re standing right in front of a business or if it’s just a short walk away.

Bing Needs to Say Something Different

If you are easily the number 3 horse in a three horse race does it do you any good to start saying negative things about how you race? Probably not. In fact, it’s probably better for you to act a little more confident, train a little harder and do something that will move you out of the basement.

This horse I am referring to is Microsoft’s Bing. One of the ways that they have decided to move up in the race is to ingest the number 2 horse (Yahoo), which is a decent play but the final product is still very far off. In the meantime it’s best not be saying the following in a Bing forums thread as reported by Search Engine Roundtable, especially if you are Program Manager at Bing Webmaster Center, Brett Yount

For Google Maps It’s Not the Problem but How You Handle It

How many times have you heard it said in business (or anywhere for that matter) that how you respond to a problem is more important than the problem itself? It’s said over and over again because it’s simply good advice. Well, Google had a chance to practice that principle last night when it began sending out e-mails to those with listings in the Local Business Center.

Search Engine Land’s Barry Schwartz reports of the issues that occurred.

Starting last night, Google began sending out the monthly (or so) Google Local Business Center updates. The updates go out via email and contain analytical information about how many times a listing was viewed, clicked on, and other miscellaneous analytics. The analytics are a summary of what they would see in their Google LBC analytics dashboard.

Social Media and the Future of Sports

In an attempt to give our readers some real world application of all this social media theory swirling about we will be occasionally speaking with some real people who do the real work. How about that? Today we look at social media and the sports world.

Regular readers of this blog know that I am a bit of a sports fan. I say a bit because I am no longer playing any fantasy leagues etc so I am not a sports fanatic. I am primarily a New York area sports fan but not the usual kind (Giants, Mets, Devils. I could care less about the NBA). People in that area are pretty passionate about their sports and that’s how I learned to be a fan.

US Holiday E-Commerce Spend Up 4% Year Over Year

The numbers are in according to one tracking firm, comScore, which tell us just how good, bad or indifferent this past holiday season was from an online perspective. With a 4 % increase over last year I wouldn’t say good or bad and maybe not even indifferent. How about we’ll just take it because let’s face it, the economy still sucks.

The data covers the entire November through December time frame. There were some contributing factors that lent to the overall numbers being in the black. Here are some comScore observations.

AOL Looking to Buy Mashable?

AOL’s solo act may be getting off to an interesting start if this current rumor has any validity. Now, of course, this is a rumor so it will be handled as such. But, hey, if it’s good enough for Gawker and the news remains slow like it is, why not join in, right?

According to Gawker’s Valleywag AOL is courting Pete Cashmore’s project in order to help move along their ‘content is king’ search initiative.

AOL is interested in buying the world’s largest tech blog, Mashable, we hear from a source at the internet conglomerate. And in fact the two sides have been talking, people outside AOL have whispered to one another, and to us.

A sale to the content-obsessed internet company would mean Mashable’s founder Pete Cashmore really would have everything.

Hyperlocal Being Targeted by M&A and VC Crowd

Search marketers are always interested in local marketing and search. It’s where the rubber meets the road for many businesses including the enterprise (i.e. big box stores) whose real representation of their brand is the local store that someone goes into to buy products. If the local experience is bad then the brand is bad in many consumers’ eyes. So getting down to the local level is critical for marketers especially in the age of continuing social media adoption and influence.

Now there is local and there is hyperlocal. Hyperlocal is just as it implies it is getting down to the street level for reporting of local news and events. Noted hyperlocal blogger Matt McGee of hyperlocalblogger.com says this