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New study shows boomers are riding the local-mobile train, too

We know that Gen Y and Gen X rarely leave the house without their mobile phones. It’s a tool they grew up with and can’t remember living without. On the other end of the seesaw are the baby boomers who remember the days when you had to drop a dime in a payphone to make a call from a public place. Can’t find the store you’re looking for? That same phone booth has a handy dandy telephone book on a chain that you can use to look it up. How archaic!

But a new survey conducted by Thrive Analytics and released today by the Local Search Association, shows that now older generations are climbing on board the local-mobile train, too.

Local Search Boomer Survey

Twitter and Foursquare Test Features That Keep Data Close to Home

washington-dc-on-the-map-1-369936-mMarketers have been using geotargeting on the web to serve up appropriate ads for a long while. We’re all used to it and not at all creeped out when we’re surfing the web and see an ad for a local retailer. But with mobile, it’s different. I don’t know why but we all get a little chill when there’s talk of using cell phone geolocation technology to deliver ads and other information.

Mobile feels more personal and more immediate. Someone can track me based on my IP address but that just gets them in the neighborhood not to my house. . . . right? (I hope.) If you’re tracking my cell phone, you know exactly where I am. Exactly. And that gets scary. Admittedly, in 99.9% of cases it’s not a security threat but it still feels like one.

Google Puts Reviews for Businesses in One Spot

Google is trying to help business owners get a grip on their reviews which can be the lifeblood of many SMBs.

On the Google and Your Business blog we get

Today, we’re introducing Reviews in Google Places for Business. Now you can learn what your customers are saying about your business on Google and across the web, in one place. If you have a verified business listing, you will now see your customer ratings and reviews in the easy-to-use review inbox.

Reviews from Google in One Place

It’s cool and it’s easy. But does the around the web review part include Yelp? Don’t hold your breath.

Infographic: The Definitve Local Review Site Chart

Local reviews are the lifeblood of many in the restaurant business and they are becoming increasingly important to businesses of all types who serve a local clientele.

This chart put together by LocalVisibilitySystem.com does a great job of helping show the ins and outs of a ecosystem that can be difficult to manage. (Click the image to enlarge)

Local Review Site Chart

What is your experience with local reviews as an SEO or a business owner? Good? Frustrating? Something else?

(Hat tip to MP’s own Andy Beal for this great piece of data)

Study Shows an Increase in Local Competition Encourages Negative Review Fraud on Yelp

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Yelp knows they have a problem with fake reviews. They say they have it under control thanks to a sophisticated filter system which removes around 25% of all incoming reviews. But a new university study called “Fake it Till You Make It” (a weird name for a University study but whatever. . . ) pretty much says that as long as Yelp exists there will be fraud – not because people are mean and unethical – but because the incentive to get a high rating is worth the risk.

In addition to a study of positive fake reviews, Boston University’s Georgios Zervas and Michael Luca of the Harvard Business School studied incidents of negative review posting against competitors.

eBay Solidifies eCommerce Position with a Local Mobile Push

ebay nowWhen eBay launched as a marketplace for one-offs and collectibles, people thought it would fizzle as fast as a dud firework. Eighteen years later, they site has grown to be a major force in the eCommerce world. Still, stocks fell 6% today after the company predicted a sluggish holiday season due in part to that nasty old government shutdown.

Fear not – eBay shall bounce back (and soon I hope because my eBay sales are suffering!) Check out these numbers from yesterday’s conference call:

  • 137 million active accounts globally
  • In Q3, eBay’s core Gross Merchandise Volume grew 12% over the prior year.
  • 2.4 million new users acquired through mobile in Q3.
  • Fixed-priced listings accounted for 71% of GMV globally and more than half of all U.S. transactions shipped free in Q3. (There’s that free shipping thing! Customers love it.)

Bing Launches Linked-Offers: Use Your Credit Card, Get a Deal

The downside to most coupons is that you have to have them to use them. Logical, I know, but at least a few times a month I end up at a store or restaurant when the coupon for the establishment is at home on my desk. It makes me crazy but Bing is here to help.

Bing is currently testing a new program called Card-Linked offers in Seattle, Washington. The consumer signs up for the program, lists their credit card and debit card numbers, then a deal is automatically applied when they meet the discount conditions.

bing offers linked cardsHere’s a deal for 10% off a meal at Blue Ginger Korean Grill & Sushi in Bellevue. To get this deal, you only have to show up at the restaurant, eat, then pay with your linked card.