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local businesses Articles

The State of the Yellow Pages Print Industry
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I have been pretty harsh on the Yellow Pages in the past. Most of my trouble comes from the fact that the medium just isn’t as effective across all verticals as it once was. That’s not to say that it’s not effective at all, because that is untrue. In some areas, it can work well–like plumbing, HVAC and other emergency situations. Of course, by the time you locate the book you probably could have done the search on your computer or smart phone just as quickly, but who’s counting?

If You’re Not Local, How Can You Compete in an Increasingly Local Google?
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Update: Looks like there is likely to be a lot more local action coming Google’s way soon. 

CEO Dennis Crowley “Bullish” on Foursquare for Local Merchants
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"Whenever I hear SMB, I think of Super Mario Bros," Foursquare co-Founder and CEO Dennis Crowley said today. But in all seriousness, he has tremendous pride in his service and its future use for local businesses (among other things). 

Speaking here at ad:tech New York, he compared Foursquare to a Google Analytics for people who walk in your door. "These are your best customers," he said. "The check-in is kind of a commodity."

Google Focusing On Check-In Services with Google Places API
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Google is placing a great deal of emphasis on check-in services, with regards to Google Places. This could mean some interesting things for businesses.

Google Comes to Brick and Mortar Store Windows
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In a recent article, we discussed ways the local search landscape is changing. Add another one to the list, because now Google is sending brick and mortar businesses decals to put on their windows, with barcodes that people can scan with their phones to bring up business listings on Google.

Google Launches Analytics Dashboard For Local Businesses
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Google is launching a new dashboard feature today that allows business owners to see how customers find their website.

The new dashboard is called Local Business Center (LBC) and is a free tool that allows business owners to also control the content of their business listings as they appear in Google Search and Google Maps.

Business owners can take advantage of the new tool by claiming their listing in the LBC and going through a brief verification process. Once a listing is claimed, business owners will have access to the following data:

What the Most Popular Brands on Twitter Are Doing Right
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Digital brand management agency Electric Artists is tracking the most popular brands, celebrities, media outfits, and television networks based on category, handle, latest tweet, and number of followers. They also include short notes about how each is using Twitter.

The brand category is host to a pretty diverse group. The top ten based on number of followers consists of:

1. Zappos
2. Whole Foods
3. Jetblue
4. Starbucks
5. NBA
6. MTV
7. Southwest
8. Comcast