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Citysearch and AT&T

AT&T Interactive and Citysearch have expanded their relationship, so that sponsored listings on YP.com (the rebranded yellowpages.com), can be displayed across CityGrid, Citysearch’s local content and advertising network the company told us about in March.

Google Expands Tag Advertising for Local Businesses
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Last week Google changed the Local Business Center to Google Places, and along with that change came some new features for local businesses. We looked at those here.

Yahoo Whips Up Clever Food Finder

It must be rare for a person to crave a certain restaurant ("ooh, those straight-backed chairs would hit the spot right now"); instead, most hankerings relate to food.  Yahoo seems to have introduced a very helpful feature, then, as it’s started allowing users to search for exact menu items instead of eateries.

The iPad Debut Of UrbanSpoon

According to Techcrunch, app store veteran, UrbanSpoon, has officially launched their iPad app. I agree with them in that the iPad app will not be useful for quick dinner solutions (like it is when firing up the app on an iPhone), however the iPad app will be useful for longer, more thoughtful decisions. Details of the UrbanSpoon iPad app below:

AT&T: Buzz the “Best Way” to Get Your Business in Front of Facebook Users
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Update: AT&T Announced today that Buzz.com is now available to the pubic. To read more about the service, read our exclusive interview with AT&T about the services below.

MerchantCircle, Demand Media Provide New Local Search Opportunities
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MerchantCircle, a social network for local businesses, which boasts over a million businesses, announced an expanded partnership with Demand Media. I spoke with Darren Waddell, VP of marketing for MerchantCircle and Sean Pate, the company’s Director of PR about this and some other news.

YellowPages.com Rebranded as YP.com
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In local search news, AT&T Interactive has rebranding its popular YellowPages.com to YP.com. AT&T’s Jamie Carracher tells WebProNews, "YP.com will replace YellowPages.com as its flagship web property and brand."

This was actually revealed last summer, but is now being implemented.

Citysearch Has New Way for Local Businesses to Advertise
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Citysearch recently announced a set of APIs to make all of Citysearch’s local listings content and advertising available to other Websites and mobile apps. It’s called CityGrid. Today, the company announced an online advertising solution called CityGrid Complete, as an extension of that.

Bing Talks Local Business Listings
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In case you missed it, Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer spoke at SMX West in Santa Clara yesterday, addressing the search marketing industry for the first time (you can watch that at our new site live.webpronews.com). Obviously, much of the conversation was centered around Bing.

AlikeList Points Customers to Local Businesses Their Friends Like
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As we’ve written about a lot lately, local search is continuing to evolve, and that evolution is not just coming from the biggest names in search. We recently had a discussion with RateItAll President Lawrence Coburn about user location-sharing as  new kind of query that can yield local business results. ChaCha is bringing in Q&A to local search.

Local Business Search as Q&A

Human-driven Q&A search service ChaCha launched some new functionality this week for local businesses. Now users can access information about over 15 million businesses in the U.S., courtesy of partner Localeze.ChaCha spoke with WebProNews about why the company considers itself a legitimate contender in the ever-growing local search space.

Why Even Local Search is Becoming More Real-Time

As the web quickly becomes more mobile and social than ever, we see apps filling voids that were mostly left empty throughout the history of search and social media. People are increasingly sharing their locations with their friends, certain apps, certain sites, and even the world.

Google Suggests Competitors for Local Business Searches
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Google is offering suggestions for "nearby places you might like" on Google Maps when you look up a place that you do like. So if you like a particular bakery, you might be presented with other places within the same vicinity that Google thinks you might also be interested in trying.

Businesses Benefit as Customers Share Current Locations
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Is the world really ready for geo-location? That’s a question that a lot of companies are answering with a resounding "yes." The rise of smartphones has led to a variety of businesses looking to cash in on your whereabouts. Smartphone users have their devices on them all day long, wherever they go. Naturally, these companies can find ways to capitalize on this.

Twitter Launches Local Trends for Everyone
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For a week or so, some Twitter users have been seeing a new feature called Local Trends. This feature shows users things that are being heavily talked about at the city and state levels. Twitter has now announced that the feature is live for all users.

Google Makes it Harder to Hide from a Bad Reputation
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Google is now including reviews from more sources on its Place Pages for businesses. They’re no longer coming from just review sites. They’re coming from news sites, blogs, and more.

Google Ditches Local Listings for SEOs and Designers
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As 2009 came to a close, Google managed to get SEOs riled up for one last controversial topic. For some time, SEOs and web designers have been noticing that Google has not been showing local listings in search results for queries related to their businesses – even location-specific ones.

Should SEOs and designers be worried about local listings?
Comment here.

Google Tailors Mobile Search Suggestions to Location
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Google has launched search suggestions based on geographical location for iPhone and Android devices. This is currently only available in the United States.

"Typing a query into the search box on a phone can often be slow and difficult," says Google’s Mobile Engineering Team. "For this reason, relevant search suggestions that match your intended query can meaningfully reduce the time and effort it takes to submit a search."

Google’s Place Pages Just Got More Useful
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Google has introduced some new features for its recently launched Place Pages for local businesses. Most notably, businesses can now instantly (close anyway) post data to their Place Pages from Google’s Local Business Center dashboard. If you log in, you can post updates, coupons, announcements, etc. that will go live in minutes.

Google Simplifies Finding Nearby Businesses from Your Phone
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Google has released what is called the "Near me Now" feature for the iPhone and Android browser. The feature shows nearby businesses by category based on the user’s location.

Bing Gets a Bunch of New Search Features
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Update: According to Bing, all of the features that were announced are now live. However, they do not appear to be live yet for me. I am guessing they will be soon at least.