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EP 76 - Shopify invests in email, End of location intelligence, E-commerce not eating retail, it is retail
Shopify invests in Klaviyo for increased enterprise appeal, The golden era of hyper detailed location data intelligence is coming to an end, At Covid start E-commerce was eating retail, turns out it is retail and retail is ecommerce
Ep 75: Instagram evolves (?), Google turns off reviews for women’s clinics , Google Commerce SERP Trends
Instagram evolves (?) to target Gen Z but leaves others behind, Google prevents reviews on listings that offer reproductive services, Local Packs show for 77% on Google commerce query SERP results
Ep 74: Amazon & Google pander to the FTC, American Privacy Act: Opt-In/Out Battle, Instagram goes local
Amazon & Google pander to the FTC on reviews, American Privacy Act might become law but Opt-In/Out battle remains, Instagram (& Facebook) finally goes local with discovery search
Ep 73: Indie Bookstores Rebound, Privacy abuses both public & private, Ages 18-25 shun Google for Tik-Tok
Part 1 Video start 0:13 - Indie bookstores have rebounded strongly, why? Part 2 Video start 8:54 - Amidst broad privacy abuses the FTC is looking to target data brokers around location & health info Part 3 Video start 20:46 - What does it mean for search when
Ep 72: Europe’s DMA and DSA to limit gatekeepers , create an even playing field for business online
Part 1 Video start 0:13 - Digital Markets Act attempts to limit gatekeepers & create an even playing field for business online Part 2 Video start 15:23 - The Digital Services Act attempts to create a safe and open environment for consumers. Reference Articles: * US, EU Diverge on Antitrust
Ep 71: Entities not keywords are key to search, Google Offers shows playbook, Data privacy even more important
Entities, not keywords, are the key to SEO so embrace the messy middle, Google Offers shows Google’s playbook for combatting Amazon and dominating transactions, Data privacy has become even more important in light of the Supreme Court decisions
Ep 70: Google Search Quality Declining?, Google Local Test & Self-preferencing, Shifting search behaviors
Part 1 Video start 0:13 - Is Google Full of ‘SEO Chum’ and Less Useful? Part 2 Video start 4:18 - A Look at Google Local Results without ‘Self-Preferencing’ Part 3 Video start 24:59 - Are people now searching less on Google? Reference Articles: The Open Secret
Ep 69: The power of great CX, What % of searches are local? Antitrust laws & how marketing might change
Chewy’s provides great CX and it goes viral, A look at the top 1000 queries on the desktop and what it says about local, John Oliver & Rand Fishkin look at the two antitrust bills that might pass this summer & how that might affect marketing.
Ep 68: Amazon doing Local Ads, Yep it, Apple BNPL & Search developments, Auto created Google Ads showing up
mazon getting into Local Ad space, Yep It search engine looks to deliver creator benefits, Apple delivers Buy Now, Pay Later Solution that is consumer friendly, Apple Spotlight search is moving front & center
Ep 67: Apple search engine, GBP product kerfuffle, Walmart stores to be used for 3rd party local delivery
Apple search engine coming to a browser near you? Google Business Profile product kerfuffle when ability to add products disappeared. Walmart to use stores for 3rd party local delivery.
Ep 66: Walmart does drones, GML: AI, automation & images are future, Local inventory ad unit mimics 3-pack
Part 1 Video start 0:13 - Walmart does drones deliveries ahead of Amazon while gig deliveries are failing Part 2 Video start 7:18 - Google Marketing Live & I/O events point to AI, automation, ads & images as Google’s near future Part 3 Video start 15:53 -
Ep 65: Mourning Bill Slawski, Will people use My Ad Center? Baby formula shortage shows CTR impacts rank
Saying goodbye to Bill Slawsk, a discussion around Goolge’s promised Ad Center and how click throughs really do drive rank on Google.
Ep 64: SMB more successful with content, Google I/O dreams big but puts in stake around Local, Multisearch & Lens + Near Me
SMB more successful with content, typical looks at SMBS often undercounts total ad spend, Google I/O dreams big for hardware but puts in stake around Local, Multisearch & Lens + Near Me
Ep 63: Earth Day promos damage reputation, CX - more than a #, SMBs need an integrated digital approach
Amazon’s Earth Day promotions damage their reputation, Customer feedback & reviews can be so much more than just a number, With in store being up & e-commerce driving expectations, SMBs need an integrated digital approach.
Ep 62: Ratings vs Review Text, Can G Ad automation replace agencies?, Will Musk torpedo Twitter ads?
Ratings vs Review Text - Which is more important for buyer conversions? Performance Max - Is Google’s newly updated automated ad product good enough to replace agencies? What is the future of advertising on Twitter under a Musk regime?
Ep 61: Amazon’s Buy with Prime; AI content & the future of the internet, What content drives SMB research?
Amazon’s new Buy Prime looking to push Prime across much of e-commerce, What is the future on-online content? Will it be AI generated? What content works best for SMB research when buying SAAS products?
Ep 60: Google: Ad Domination, Self-Updating Maps reflects failure to engage, Mobile SERP are Image Serps
Google Search Dominates Digital Advertising, Google’s AI based Self-Updating Maps reflects failure to engage SMBs, Mobile SERP are Image Serps
Ep 59: Live Inventory Improves 3-Pack Rank, LocalU-Spam Study, Review takedowns & Vicinity Update, GA4 Sucks-what’s next?
Google claims Local, Real-time Inventory Improves Rank in the 3 Pack, Joy Hawkins offers LocalU Advanced highlights on Spam impact, review takedowns & and update to the Vicinity Update, GA4 Sucks, can Data Studio & analytic alternatives fill the void?
Ep 58: Antitrust Laws Closer, Google partners with CVS on appts, Consumer review trust down but usage is up
Antitrust Laws against self preferencing closer to passage in US & Europe, Google partners with CVS Minute Clinic on appointments in the Google Business Profile, Consumer review trust down since 2017 but usage is up in the past 2 years
Ep 57: Featured Snippets & Ranking, Consumer Expectations: Chat vs SMS, Google Product Images in Local Packs
Featured Snippets & Ranking- Jumping the Queue; Consumer Expectations for Business Responses: Chat vs SMS; Google Increasingly Showing Product Images in Local Packs to Gain Edge in Product Search Battle
Ep 56: Google goes local w/ product search; FTC: HomeAdvisor cheated SMBs; SMBs dislike direct sales model
Google goes local w/ product search and smaller stores filter, HomeAdvisor accused of cheating service businesses for years by the FTC, How do small businesses prefer to work with Sales people?
Ep 55: Google Sued Over GBP Order CTA, Publishers Sue Ad Providers, Yelp’s 2021 Traffic Declines
Google Sued in class action by restaurants for adding Order buttons through 3rd parties to their Business Profile, Publishers argue ad providers are scraping too much content to deliver contextual ads, Yelp’s 2021 showed solid financials but user and review acquisition headwinds
Ep 54: Review reliance up but trust is down; Amazon kills bookstores for Grocery Business, Nextdoor’s #s
Review reliance up but trust is down, where will it lead? Amazon kills bookstores for Grocery Business, Nextdoor’s 1st earning report surprises with small $, big losses & limited user base.
Ep 53: For sale: Yelp reviews, Core Web Vitals & Local Rank, Google’s SEO training, Google in 10 years
Yelp Elite reviews for sale; Core Web Vitals: No impact on Local ranking, Google offering SEO training, What will Google be in 10 years?
Ep 52: Will Google make SEO superfluous? Is Android Sandbox Real or PR? Wix’s Q4 #s & how big is the SMB market?
Will Google’s new AI summary tool give SEO’s a better understanding of their content? Will it someday make SEO superfluous? Is Google’s Android Privacy Sandbox Real or Performative? What do Wix’s #’s say about how big the SMB market is?
Ep 51: Google spams Congress w/ SMB emails, Amazon hits $31B in Ad sales, Apple Tap to Pay available soon
Google takes astroturf SMB emails to the next level & spams congress for support in their anti antitrust fight; Amazon, breaking out advertising for the first time, did $31B in ads; Apple’s Tap to Pay turns every recent iPhone into a credit card terminal
Ep 50: Meta Takes a Dive, Yelp, Google take review high ground & FTC warns review Platforms
Meta Messes Up But Blames Others; Yelp & Google claim they maintain review quality, & The FTC warns 10 review platforms to stop deceiving customers
Ep 49: GMB PWND by spammer, Google moves toward contextual advertising & The FTC updates review guidelines
Part 1 Video Starts 0:13 - GMB Pwnd; Google abandons FLOCK and moves toward contextual advertising standard with Topics Part 2 Video- Starts 11:06 - The FTC fines Fashion Nova and establishes new review guidelines Part 3 Video- Starts 21:01 - The practical implications of the new
Ep 48: Bill to end surveillance ads, SMB use of SAAS tools low but growing, Niantic’s path to the metavearth
Radical bill to ban the use of personal data proposed in response to surveillance capitalism, Interesting survey of new SMBs indicate low but growing use of SAAS tools, Niantic is making AR interesting, profitable and more useful now enroute to the metavearth
Ep 47: Vendasta buys MatchCraft, Business required vax shows path, TLDR bill requires TOS simplification
Vendasta buys MatchCraft and adds PPC to their mix, Despite Supreme Court decision the path forward for business is clear, TLDR bill attempts to make TOS clear, will it matter?
Ep 46: NFTs as a funding model? Can Google compete in product search? Distrust of tech companies is high.
A proposed golf course raised $10 mil with NFTs as the funding model. Can Google ever compete in product search with Amazon? What would it take? American’s distrust of big tech is off the charts but continue to use them
Ep 45: Google rolls out new Local Packs; Yelp Survey: text reviews are best; Local Guides dominate Google reviews
Part 1 Video Starts 0:13 - Google Rolls out bigger, brighter Local Pack with more visuals Part 2 Video- Starts 8:14 - Yelp Survey says consumers prefer text reviews Part 3 Video- Starts 13:43 - SOCI Report: Local Guides dominate Google review landscape but leave shorter reviews
EP 44: Local Search Ranking Factors Interview with Darren Shaw
In this interview with Darren Shaw we take a deep dive into the Local Search Ranking Factors. We look at the key take aways, the strengths and weaknesses of the survey and areas that Local SEO’s should focus on.
Ep 43: Apple Maps goes from goat to great, Twitter needs new model, Fired Xooglers sue over Don’t be evil
Apple Maps gets real about navigation & discovery; Twitter’s underperformance & CEO change point to a need for a new business model, Fired Xooglers claim “Don’t be evil” is an employment contract
Ep 42: Consumer survey indicates that 50% of searches are local, Apple Maps makes discovery push, Apple positions themselves for AR via Maps
67% of Consumers Trust ‘Local Businesses’ More than Internet-Only Brands and over 50% of their search are local; Apple Maps makes discovery push and position themselves for AR
Ep 41: Vista rebrand elegance, Opportunities for new search engines, Google expands SMB propaganda campaign
Vista deftly rebranded & their success demonstrates the strength of SMB market, Can new search engines like You & Never make a go of it in the face of Google?Google has expanded their SMB propaganda campaign into Adwords and other business products to gain SMB against anti-trust regulation
Ep 40: Google My Business Rebrand - Is it a chance to fix GMB or an opportunity to nuke part of the stack?
This week we discuss just one topic, the rebranding of the Google My Business tools to the Business Profile. With enhanced in-search and in Maps editing, Google is trying (once again) to lure small businesses to edit their listings via new features. The GMB API will become the Business Profile
Ep 39: Amazon goes local BOPIS, Impact of images in Google Local search, Google Local driving the most leads
Amazon dips toes in local buy online and pickup in store, The arc of the impact of images in Google Local search, Google Local driving the bulk of leads in most industries
Ep 38: FTC: mobile ISPs abuse privacy, Snap blames Apple for shortfall, Performance ads an analytics scam?
FTC details broad spread mobile ISPs privacy abuse practices amongst major carriers, Snap misses qt. estimates and blames Apple for shortfall, Rand Fishkin asks what if performance ads an analytics scam?
Episode 37: FTC lays review fine groundwork; Amazon creates offline Xmas catalog; Google Lens surfaces Local Packs
FTC lays groundwork for review fines with 700 companies IF they violate rules; Amazon creates a stealth XMAS toy offline catalog that is barely branded; Google Lens surfacing Local Packs with product shots
Ep 36: Squarespace’s “Everything to Sell Anything,” Google vs. Lowe, and Has the Local Pack Outlived Its Usefulness?
Part 1 Video Starts 0:13 - Squarespace’s “Everything to Sell Anything,” Part 2 Video- Starts 9:58 - Google vs. Lowe Part 3 Video- Starts 16:18 - Has the Local Pack Outlived Its Usefulness? Transcript: Ep 36Greg: Welcome to the Near Memo, a weekly conversation about search,
Episode 35: Google enhances Lens for image-based commerce, Yelp’s restaurant SaaS, Amazon and Facebook stymied by consumer privacy
Part 1 Video Starts 0:13 - Google enhances Lens for image based commerce and shows the way for new image search paradigms Part 2 Video- Starts 7:28 - Yelp targets restaurant front of house operations with saas product: Yelp Guest Manager Part 3 Video- Starts 14:35 -
Ep 34: New retail formats offer hope; How many real customers does Wix have?Will the FTC require ad tracking privacy opt-in?
Can new retail formats save department stores? How many real customers does Wix have? Will we see opt-in privacy options and what does it mean for marketers?
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Ep 33: Shopify benchmarks SMB CAC; Reviews tell the story of Walmarts inventory woes; Twitter & WhatsApp now offering local business pages
Shopify CAC, Marketing Benchmarks for SMBs; Is Your Customer Acquisition Cost Sustainable? Benchmarks for Every Industry;What Reviews Tell Us About How Walmart’s Supply Chain Issues; Twitter’s GMB Profile
Ep 32: How B2B sales have changed forever, ApplePay growth stalled, Can we trust FB smart glasses?
B2B sales have changed forever with self-serve playing an ever larger role. Why is leading digital wallet Apple Pay uptake still so low? Will Facebook’s SmartGlasses make it out of the gate?
Episode 31: MailChimp selling for $10b?, 1-800-Contacts sues Warby Parker over Adwords, Will Yahoo rise again?
MailChimp priced at $10b for Intuit proves value of SMB SAAS, 1-800-Contacts sues Warby Parker over trade name use in Adwords, Will Yahoo have a new life after Verizon sale?
Episode 30: Walmart Deliveries for SMBs, SMB Social Media Disconnect, Apple Maps Reviews
Part 1 Video Starts 00:13 - GoLocal: Walmart’s Last-Mile Delivery Service for SMBs Part 2 Video- Starts 8:28 - The SMB social media disconnect: what SMBs THINK consumers want is not what they want Part 3 Video- Starts 15:25 - With recent roll out of Apple Map
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Ep 29: FTC takes big swing at FB, Survey: What SMBs really need, Can a Local food delivery co-op compete?
FTC says Facebook Resorted to Illegal Buy-or-Bury Scheme to Crush Competition After Failed Attempts to Innovate, Clients tell all: What small businesses need from marketing agencies today, How to Start a Local Restaurant Delivery Service: An Interview with Clay Seaman of Omaha LoCo
Ep 28: Google devastates local food delivery, The boom in pet adoption leaves Vets overwhelmed, Amazon sellers paying to delete negative reviews
The unintended consequences of Google ramping up Local Food ordering; local delivery devastated, a surprising outcome of Covid includes Veterinary burnout and a shortage of animal Vets, In the strange world of review abuse merchants pay (or abuse) for negative review takedowns
Ep 27: Yelp’s Positive Q2 Reports, When do SMBs Hire Key Roles & How to Create Content When AI Writes Well
Yelp recovers from pandemic lows, SMBs hire key staff later than thought and how to create content when AI writes it all
Ep 26: FB profits on way to metaverse, Apple & Snapchat up their SMB Maps play & Privacy seems less likely
We discuss the Facebook Metaverse, the non impact of Apple’s actions, Apple & Snapchats improved local mapping, and how privacy seems ever further away.
Ep 25: Google makes reviewing easy by adding attributes to restaurant reviews, Fake reviews are costly to SMBS but Google seems incapable of squashing them, Square’s new bank is a threat to traditional SMB banking relationships
Google makes reviewing easy by adding attributes to restaurant reviews, Fake reviews are costly to SMBS but Google seems incapable of squashing them, Square’s new bank is a threat to traditional SMB banking relationships
EP 24: Biden encourages departments to go all in on increasing competition, Will Craigslist decline create opportunity for NextDoor? Will public notification of facial recognition deter shoppers?
Biden Executive order sets stage for Executive branch cooperation to increase competitiveness in US, Does a declining Craiglist create an opening for NextDoor in classifieds? Will facial recognition notices slow down shoppers?
EP 23: Google Play store antitrust suit futile?, Good Local content makes the difference, Yext Search Data hub provides GMB Insights at scale
Google Play store antitrust suit futile? Case Study: Good Local content succeeds against Google algo updates! Yext Search Data Hub provides interesting GMB Insights Data across 600,000 listings
Ep 22: FB Bulletin = newsletter + social, Shopify creating Ad Network?, Supreme Court ruling re-opens scraping question
Facebook releases Bulletin, a subscription newsletter that integrates FB comments; Is Shopify creating a cross website Ad network to assist their SMB’s ad efforts?; The Supreme Court orders a review of the HiQ-LinkedIn dispute that could endanger scraping & Martech stacks
FLoC is flailing, Privacy Success of DuckDuckGo, Businesses need employee vaccination policies
FLoC is flailing, Privacy Successes of DuckDuckGo & Businesses need employee vaccination policies
The Near Memo, Ep 20 - The local arc from inventory to ordering to monopoly and consolidation
An exciting week in local. We explore the local arc from inventory to ordering to monopoly and consolidation
The Near Memo, Episode 19
Apple killed email? Google’s crazy Local business names; In person conferences are wonderful & weird
The Near Memo, Episode 18
Is there a solution to fake review?; Google’s Grand Vision for search is nothing if not ambitious; How a local bookstore is fighting for his business and his community in his fight against Amazon.
The Near Memo, Episode 17
Why Local Guides are Bad for Your Business; Google’s Push for Privacy to Regain Consumer Trust and SMB Products to Compete with Amazon. SMB platforms are converging on a suite of sophisticated tools for marketing & ops automation
The Near Memo, Episode 16
Are Yelp’s problems self-inflicted?; Google I/O: they flex their AI muscles and move further into local products with the Shopping Graph; Google going into Retail, really?
The Near Memo, Episode 15
Shopify makes the case for local ecommerce with some great stats; Why do consumers desire to buy local but still buy at Amazon?; How did Google win the review wars vs Yelp?
The Near Memo, Episode 14
Referenced Articles * Flurry Analytics iOS 14.5 Opt-in Rate [https://www.flurry.com/blog/ios-14-5-opt-in-rate-att-restricted-app-tracking-transparency-worldwide-us-daily-latest-update/] * How Shopify’s Network Can Take on Amazon [https://www.theverge.com/22417825/shopify-harley-finkelstein-interview-online-shopping-amazon-apple…
The Near Memo, Episode 13
Is Apple being paternalistic to not allow advertisers to provide ATT incentives? Can Yelp make their way with transactions? Amazon, amazing profits, amazing (& ruthless) efficiencies
The Near Memo, Episode 12
Zagat reviews, but shorter and more visual, rise from the Google ashes; The FTC ability to levy fines as a deterrent is knee capped by SCOTUS; Apple privacy changes AND review capability coming this week.
The Near Memo, Episode 11
FB Survey: increased SMB e-commerce & struggles What will consumers do when the economy opens? SubStack creates program to develop local news
The Near Memo, Episode 10
SWYFT Opens New Avenues for SMBs to compete with Prime. Is the FTC getting serious about review enforcement? So long Yahoo Answers, can Google Local Guides get this product category right?
The Near Memo, Episode 9
Website Builder SquareSpace acquires restaurant backend system Tock; Google My Business shoots themselves in the Messaging foot by showing competitors when a consumer attempts to message a specific business; GroundTruth bets on the SMB market with acquisition of Addy.
The Near Memo, Episode 8
Episode 8: Google fights with Rand Fishkin over “zero-click” searches. Can a rating only review ever be defamatory? Will Yahoo’s brand rise from the ashes as a Verizon subscription service?
The Near Memo, Episode 7
The impact of COVID-19 one year into the pandemic: consumers prefer rigorous mask enforcement by businesses, eCommerce has become table stakes, the trends in advertising and privacy favor the triopoly.
The Near Memo, Episode 6
How the advertising duopoly has created alternative income models, Tock and the restaurant friendly delivery model, deconstructing Google’s recent announcements about Local Guides and photo updates in Google Maps.
The Near Memo, Episode 5
Google’s first privacy stance benefits...Google, Measuring the Public’s Trust in Tech, and Volvo’s Direct-to-Consumer Model Portends Radical Shifts for Car Dealers.
The Near Memo, Episode 4
The Near Memo is a weekly conversation about Search, Social, and Commerce: Whathappened, why it matters, and the implications for local businesses and nationalbrands.Greg: Okay, welcome to the nearer memo. Episode 4, I believe. This is our weeklyconversation with me, Greg Sterling, Mike Blumenth…
The Near Memo, Episode 3
The Near Memo is a weekly conversation about Search, Social, and Commerce: What happened, why it matters, and the implications for local businesses and national brands.
The Near Memo, Episode 2
Welcome to the Near Memo. Our conversation about the important developments of the week and beyond.
The Near Memo, Episode I
Mike Blumenthal and David Mihm join Greg Sterling for the first episode of The Near Memo podcast, where they discuss Amazon’s recent PR stunt, the recent activity and interest around newsletters, the arrival of Clubhouse, and privacy.