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Yelp Wordmap Helps Find Hot Spots In Local Scenes

Yelp has come up with an interesting way to identify patterns in reviews in 14 cities world wide.

It’s called Wordmap. You can look for words like noodles, pricey, pbr, kosher and more (it is a static list so don’t get too excited about the options here). A heat map is rendered based on density of the keywords in reviews in the city.

We thought we would give it spin. Our choice was looking at the word ‘bacon’ in Washington DC. Interestingly enough there is a concentration for the word around the White House and the Capitol building so it looks like this works pretty well. (Just think about it for a minute. Bacon… pork … DC).

Yelp Wordmap DC Bacon

Interesting? Useful? Gimmick? What’s your take?

The Ultimate in Local: NYC To Be One of First Cities With Own Top Level Domain

Leave it to New York City to do something bigger and better than the rest (at least in their minds so we’ll all just play along like usual).

This time it’s the announcement by Mayor Michael Bloomberg via his Twitter account (while sipping a 32 oz. Coke) that NYC will be offering its residents and businesses a chance to get a .NYC domain

The website that gives more information about the program points out

How Are SMB’s Using the Digital Space?

The main reason this post has been put together is based on an experience I had literally this morning while talking to a small business owner. While we (as in the online marketing industry) talk about all the advancements and opportunities that await SMB’s in the online space we often forget to integrate the human factor into the equation. In other words, we can talk until we are blue in the face about the right things to do regarding Internet marketing and the right options for SMB’s to invest in but unless we can magically add hours to the day these sermons may be falling on ears that are not deaf but simply overwhelmed.

A recent study from Vocus and Inc Magazine revealed what tactics SMB’s are turning to the most and the results show that the vast majority are getting by with the bare minimum.

SMB's Digital Marketing Choices

Everyone would agree that a well thought out website with clear calls to action is the foundation of any strong Internet or online marketing strategy. What happens quite a bit, however, is that the business owner is also the marketing department and can be the customer service department and the list goes on. As a result, this is often all they can handle.

Did You Move? Yahoo’s LocalWorks will Correct Your Address All Over the Web

yext missing listingAccording to a 2012 study by Yext, $10.3 billion in annual offline sales are potentially lost from missing or incorrect information online.

In my own travels I’ve seen profiles with old addresses, wrong phone numbers and dozens of mentions with the wrong hours. If your Google listing says you’re open until 5 on Sunday and I come at 4 and you’re closed, I’m not coming back.

The upside of the internet is that information spreads quickly. The downside of the internet is that information spreads quickly. If you move to a new location, updating every company mention on the web is impossible. But now, thanks to Yahoo, you can make a dent in the bad data.

Google’s Local Search Carousel Comes to Desktop

Local search, especially for restaurants, is getting much more interesting as Google rolls out its local search ‘carousel’ to desktop search. It is available in English in the US only for now.

Basically, how one ranks in the carousel will be the new ‘victory’ for local search. The post on Google+ announcing the update tells us

Starting today, when you search Google for restaurants, bars or other local places on your desktop, you’ll see an interactive “carousel” of local results at the top of the page.

Give it a go—type or say “mexican restaurants,” or try any similar search for restaurants, bars or hotels. Click on one of the places in the carousel to get more details on it, including its overall review-based score, address and photos. If you want to see more places, click the arrow at the right of the carousel. And you can zoom in on the map that appears below the carousel to restrict your search to only places in a specific area.

While some iPad and Nexus tablet users have seen this new look since December, we’re excited to expand to desktop. The interactive “carousel” is rolling out in English in the U.S.—we’ll add more features and languages over time.

Take a look for a search I did in Raleigh.

Google Local Search Carousel for Restaurants

Google Says ‘Yes Waze’ and Spends Over $1B for Traffic Reporting Service

Waze ScreenshotGoogle is getting even more serious about mapping lately, if that is even possible. So serious in fact, that they have reportedly shelled out somewhere just north of $1 billion to acquire Waze, a company that is relatively unknown (compared to other $1 billion purchases like Tumblr by Yahoo!). Even TechCrunch reports on the purchase with the following headline

WTF Is Waze And Why Did Google Just Pay A Billion+ For It?”

Good question. The reports have been swirling for about a week and Waze was being courted by all the big boys including Apple and Facebook. Google, however, won out with money and this from its CEO Noam Bardin which was posted on the Waze blog after the big win.

Virginia Politician Says House Unlikely to Pass Marketplace Fairness Act

The bill that is making its way through Washington DC that would require Internet companies to collect sales tax like brick and mortars businesses do is not likely to get through the House of Representatives according to Congressman Bob Goodlatte (R-Va).

Here is the report from WSLS

WSLS 10 NBC in Roanoke/Lynchburg Va

This is important to Internet retailers but it is not likely that it is simply going away any time soon. Representative Goodlatte’s statement about Internet retailers being treated fairly is likely to stir some resentment from the brick and mortar community since they feel like they are the ones getting screwed with the current state of affairs regarding taxation.