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Feeling Heat, Google Maps Makes Panoramic Business Interior Views More Prevalent

Google Maps knows that they are in for a fight. Even with the early reviews of Apple’s new Maps app being somewhat disappointing. Here is what All Things Digital’s Walt Mossberg had to say about the Apple Maps functionality in an otherwise glowing review of the new iPhone 5

The biggest drawback I found is the new Maps app…….the app is in other ways a step backward from the familiar Google app. For instance, while Apple’s maps feature a 3-D “Flyover” view of some central cities, they lack Google’s very useful ground-level photographic street views. And they also lack public-transit routing. Apple will instead link you to third-party transit apps.

Yelp Offers Local Merchants Gift Certificate Option

Yelp, a leading local review site has added to their offering for local businesses by allowing business owners to offer gift certificates through the site. Now in addition to promoting offers small, local players can give a full cash equivalent gift certificate option to customers.

Google Maps Updates Public Transit Data Worldwide

Google Maps continues to evolve with the latest update adding some 1 million stops for public transportation systems around the world.

So why is this big news? Because starting in September when Apple’s iOS 6 is reportedly going to ship, Google Maps will no longer be the backend of the maps app for Apple’s products. Apple has put together its own maps offerings through the purchase and combining of three different maps related companies, further separating themselves from Google. As a result any time that Google Maps updates it will need to be immediately held up against the Apple Maps service to do the age old comparison game.

So back to Google which is the known entity for now. The Official Google Blog tells us about this update to Maps

Does Mayer’s Exit Signify Real Trouble With Google’s Local Efforts?

This is total conjecture here so you can choose to read on or not. Yesterday’s rather abrupt move by former head of Google’s local efforts and long time Googler, Marissa Mayer, to become CEO of the troubled former Internet icon Yahoo, was a surprise to say the least.

It was a surprise in the abrupt nature of the news as well as the where Mayer landed. Let’s just say that Yahoo hasn’t exactly been the home of the best and the brightest in the tech industry with regard to leadership in recent years. Carol Bartz’s reign was not a success. Scott Thompson’s time at the helm was short and ended in a bizarre fashion. Now, we have one of the Internet industry’s darlings taking over a reported mess in what seems a rather quick (possibly hasty?) move.

BIA/Kelsey Sees Local Online Ad Revenue Up 13% for 2012

I will be real honest here. I get confused as to who predicted what and when they predicted it regarding things like digital ad revenues for local media. These predictions seem to roll out all the time and it can be difficult to keep track.

The most recent offering comes from the BIA/Kelsey group who garners a fair amount of credibility in this increasingly complicated space. Halfway through 2012 the research firm is predicting a healthy uptick in overall ad revenues for 2012.

In its newly released U.S. Local Media Forecast (2011-2016): Full Edition, BIA/Kelsey forecasts local online/interactive/digital advertising revenues to grow 13.1 percent in 2012. According to the forecast, several local media segments are on target to exceed this overall growth rate, such as mobile search, which will grow 77.2 percent. Online video will grow 51.6 percent and social will grow 26.3 percent. For some media, like newspapers, digital ad revenues will be the only source of growth.

Offline Mapping and More Coming to Google Maps

Get ready for the local Internet wars to heat up significantly as Apple prepares to move away from Google Maps and go to their own ‘in house’ maps creation that is the result of a combining of several recent map related acquisitions.

Rather than being viewed as just sitting on their hands while this significant piece of business walks, Google announced today some changes to the Google Maps offering.

As reported by Mashable

Offline mapping for Android phones, Street View for nature trails and 3D Google Earth maps are all improvements coming to Google Maps in the near future.

The three new features were unveiled by company executives at a press event at the company’s San Francisco offices.

Google’s Hunt for the Elusive SMB Market Continues

Ahhh yes the SMB. That wild beast that roams the business landscape often looking very hungry and wondering where its next meal will come from if it comes at all. It has moments of brilliance when things click and there is plenty of attention showered upon it but when reality sets back in it returns to its survival mode which means it stays lean and mean just to get to its next kill.

Exaggerated? Maybe. But the idea of the SMB being an elusive entity especially for the likes of Google is simple truth. Maybe it’s because the definition of the SMB is something that needs to be changed. As was pointed out by Greg Sterling of Search Engine Land