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Bing Launches Destination Pages for Cities

Bing has launched “Destination Pages” for city searches. If you go to a city’s page, you will find information about events, weather, flights, news, etc. related to that city.  You can find them by simply searching on Bing for a city and clicking the "Destinations" tab. 

Why 2011 Will Be a Huge Year for SMBs
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I am declaring 2011 the Year of the Online SMB.

For the uninitiated, SMBs are small and medium businesses. They are the Holy Grail for business service providers because there are so darn many of them. They account for around 95% of the businesses in the US. (Either that or they supply 95% of the jobs but either way, it’s pretty impressive.) I like the definition of an SMB being under 100 employees, but up to 500 employees can be deemed an SMB also. There are no hard and fast criteria for determining SMB status but we all know one when we see one.

Groupon: We’re the Savior for Small Businesses
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Legend has it that Groupon turned down a $6 billion offer from Google, which if accepted would have been Google’s biggest acquisition to date. Time will tell if this was a smart move or not, but Andrew Mason, Groupon’s CEO seems fairly confident in the company’s future.

The Daily Deals Industry in 2011

The daily deals industry is an exciting space to watch right now, as evidenced by Google’s recent $6 Billion offer to buy Groupon, Amazon’s $175 million investment in LivingSoical, Facebook’s recent launch of Facebook Deals, and all of the other competitors looking for a pie

Yahoo Tests New Local Site for Mobile Users
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Yahoo has launched the new Yahoo Local for Mobile experience in beta. 

Did Groupon Make the Right Decision? What’s Google’s Next Move?
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As you probably know, Groupon recently turned down Google’s $6 billion acquisition offer. CEO Andrew Mason was reportedly concerned about the direction Google may have taken it in, as well as what would happen to its employees. 

Google SVP Labels Local Ad Market Her “Biggest Focus”

Susan Wojcicki is often credited with creating AdSense, and for years, she’s been in charge of all Google’s advertising products.  A significant shift may be occurring within the company, then, as Wojcicki recently said that the local advertising market now receives most of her attention.

Bing Adds Shopping Mall Maps to Local Results
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Bing is now including Bing shopping mall directory maps in Bing Maps. 

Google Talks Local Search Relevance Factors
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Google is placing a great deal of emphasis on local in its search results these days. In fact in many cases, it would appear to significantly reduce the importance of ranking in the regular organic results

What Google Acquiring Groupon Would Mean For Both Companies
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Update:  Groupon has reportedly rejected Google’s offer.

Groupon Dominates LivingSocial In Market Share, But Now Amazon’s In The Equation
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Update:  Groupon has reportedly rejected Google’s offer.

Groupon Adds Big Features for Businesses, Would Fit Nicely with Google

Update:  Groupon has reportedly rejected Google’s offer.

Search and Social Media: Who Can You Trust?
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The New York Times published a very interesting (and very long) article over the holiday break that raises a lot of questions about Google and search in general. I’ll let you read the 8-page story yourself if you want all the details, but what it boils down to is that Google doesn’t always point you to the best possible results. 

Groupon Responds to Acquisition Rumors
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Update 4:  Groupon has reportedly rejected Google’s offer.

Update 3: Kara Swisher is now reporting that Google has offered $5.3 billion for Groupon, citing "sources close to the situation."

Mobile Users Are Using Their Devices in Your Store. Are You Taking Advantage?
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9 out of 10 mobile Internet users have accessed the mobile web while at a store, according to a new study from Yahoo and Nielsen. Furthermore, 51% of those users indicate that they make a purchase after doing research on their mobile device. 

Businesses Can Offer Customers Deals for Checking In with Yelp

Yelp has announced check-in offers for businesses, meaning that businesses can offer Yelp users special deals for checking in at their place of business. Check-ins are tied to Twitter and Faecbook (for Android and iPhone users), so when a user checks in, they are potentially sharing it with a lot of their friends. 

The feature is part of the business owner dashboard on Yelp, and the company says it gives businesses a measurable way to reward their loyal customers while attracting new ones. 

Is Ranking Number One in Google Losing Its Significance?
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As you may have noticed, Google has been putting a great deal more emphasis on local these days than in years past. That includes everything from the introduction of Google Places and Place Pages to automatically showing more local results for certain searches, as well as various other solutions offered to businesses at the local level, such as product inventory or tag advertising.

Yahoo Partners With Groupon On Local Deals
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Daily deal shopping website Groupon has reached a distribution partnership with Yahoo to bring local deals to users.

Yahoo Aims to Be THE Place for Local Deals
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It’s quite a day for local search. Not only has Google launched a new social recommendation engine to tie into its local results, Yahoo has made a handful of announcements having to do with local and social features. 

Google Brings New Level of Relevancy to Local
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Google has combined local search with personalized search, and social search to make a potentially powerful new kind of Google result that should benefit both users and businesses. These results come from a new Google product called "Hotpot", a recommendation engine designed for integration with Google Places. 

Check-In Apps Add Key Relevancy Factor to Your Marketing
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Are check-in apps just a fad or are they the future of local business marketing? It may still be too early to tell, but I’m starting to lean toward the latter, because this space is only picking up more and more steam, and businesses and marketers are getting excited about it as more apps continue to flood the mobile app markets. 

Are check-in apps just a fad? Tell us what you think.