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Yelp Launches Windows Phone 7 App
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Now that Windows Phone 7 devices are available in the U.S. we can expect that apps to start flooding in. Yelp announced its new Windows Phone 7 app today, available in Europe and the U.S. 

The app lets users use location-aware technology to find restaurants, shops, bars, etc. and read reviews for businesses, browse photos, map business locations, and get directions. 

Considering Check-In App Strategies for Business

It’s been an interesting day for location-based services. Facebook of course made its announcements. Yelp announced it will soon introduce check-in offers

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."

Milo Launches Useful Local Product Search Android App
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Milo.com announced a new Android app today for local shopping. The company claims this is the only app available in the Android Market that will search the inventory systems of local stores in real-time and tell shoppers (while they’re on the go) what’s currently in stock , where, and which local stores have the best prices. 

Facebook Places “Deals” Rumor, Facebook Makes Deal with Yandex

Nick O’Neill at AllFacebook has an interesting story, claiming Facebook is testing a new "Facebook Deals" service, which would let businesses provide deals when users check-in to their brick and mortar locations. 

Google Maps For Android Gets New Features
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Google announced the launch of a new version of Google Maps for Android that has a new design for Place page reviews, more options to filter search results, and an option for Google Latitude real-time updating.

Place Pages On Android will look pretty much like they do on the desktop. Users can see reviews from around the web and from Google users (for those posted directly to Google Maps). 

Users can filter by distance and ratings, as well as by "open now", "neighborhood", or "related searches". 

Google Intros Place Search to Deliver Local Results More Efficiently
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Google announced a new kind of search result called Place Search today. These results can be accessed from the new "Places" option in the left panel on Google search results pages, but unlike many of the other search options available in the panel, Google will actually return you these results for queries automatically, when it thinks you are looking for local information. 

Place Search results are marked with red pins, much like you’re used to seeing on Google Maps. 

Testimonials From Your Site Can Appear on Google Place Pages
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Last month, Google announced that it is now using Rich Snippets for local search. Webmasters with pages that in some way pertain to real world places, can utilize these to reference those places and optimize for local search results. 

A New Option for Businesses to Levarage Facebook Places

Social app developer Fan Appz has just announced that it has integrated its platform with Facebook Places. The company says this gives businesses "a powerful and easy way to create highly relevant offers based on a customer’s offline activities."

That doesn’t sound bad. 

Yahoo Expands Local Listing Partnership with Dex One
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Yahoo announced today that it has expanded its partnership with Dex One to allow listings on Yahoo Local. "This broadens the reach of Dex One’s local advertiser network, providing their clients with greater exposure in local communities and more consumers with detailed information on local businesses," a spokesperson for Yahoo tells WebProNews.

Facebook Places, the Competition (Including Google) & Your Business
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A great deal of attention has been put on what Facebook Places means for the future of other check-in apps. This discussion has been around as long as the rumors of Facebook launching a location feature, which have been swirling for quite some time.

Will you check in with Facebook Places?
 Let us know.

Yelp Wins: Less Search Visibility

It looks like Yelp may have gotten its wish – for Google not to use its data for Place Pages. It is still unclear to me how less search engine visibility is a good thing, but, Google Place Pages appear to have eliminated Yelp.

Using and Attracting Customers with Facebook Places
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Facebook Places is going to be huge for businesses. It already is. You’ve probably been hearing about all of the opportunities that come with check-in apps like Foursquare, Gowalla, etc. Facebook has half a billion users. This takes things to a whole new level.

Google Makes Reputation Management Easier for Local Businesses
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Google is now letting businesses respond to reviews posted on their Place Pages in Google Maps. This should be huge for reputation management, particularly as Google continues to place increased emphasis on these pages.

Do you monitor your Place Page for negative reviews? Let us know.

When Did Search Engine Visibility Become a Bad Thing?
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Google and Yelp have had some issues for sometime, following a failed acquisition attempt, but it’s rare that the tensions between the two companies are aired for an audience. That is just what happened at TechCrunch’s Social Currency Crunchup event.

Microsoft Launches Online Circular Ads for MSN Local

Microsoft Advertising has unveiled new localized deals through interactive online circulars (like those ads that fall out of your newspaper, the company notes) as part of MSN Local Edition.

The site is geo-targeted, so only location-relevant circulars will be shown to consumers.

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.

Booyah Launches Check-Ins for Products in MyTown

Booyah, one of the companies gaining buzz in the check-in service space, has announced a new product check-in feature for its MyTown game/service.

Local Merchants Utilizing Social Media More as Confidence Remains Flat
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This week, MerchantCircle shared the results of its "Merchant Confidence Index," in which about 10,000 local merchants shared their confidence levels in the current economy. While confidence has remained generally flat, the index also found that many of these merchants are more prominently using social media as a free online marketing tool to increase their customer base and revenue.

Google Announces Partnerships with Ford and General Motors
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Google announced that it has extended its Google Maps Send-to-Car service to Ford and GM vehicles. This applies to Ford, Lincoln and Mercury vehicles in the US that are enabled with Ford SYNC, as well as OnStar equipped GM vehicles, which include models from Buick, Cadillac, Chevrolet, GMC, Hummer, Pontiac, Saab and Saturn.

Groupon and McClatchy Team Up on Deals at Newspaper Sites
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Groupon has signed a national agreement with The McClatchy Company to distribute exclusive content to McClatchy’s sites in 28 U.S. markets.

Visitors to McClatchy sites will get deals from Groupon that aren’t even available at Groupon.com. These will initially launch in Sacramento and Kansas City, with other regions following over the coming months.