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The Acquisition of TaskRabbit and the death of the ‘Gig Economy’

Tweet A number of people sent me articles this last week on TaskRabbit being acquired by Ikea. The amount of the acquisition was not disclosed; its investors are likely to be both relieved and disappointed. This is almost identical to HomeDepot acquiring Redbeacon. RedBeacon was dying under HomeDepot but has now been reinvented as Pro […]

Why We Should Treat Most Commercial-Intent Search Queries As ‘Local’

Tweet Google admits it doesn’t really know how many local-intent queries come through its search box. That’s because there’s often ambiguity in the string. Long ago now Google said that about 20% of its desktop searches carried a local intent. In the past couple of years, at different points, Google speakers at conferences have said […]

Google: Mobile Searches Eclipse Desktop Volumes Across the Globe

Tweet Earlier today Google’s Amit Singhal told a conference audience that there were now more searches happening on mobile devices than on PCs and laptops around the world. Google made a more limited version of this announcement in May when it said, “more Google searches take place on mobile devices than on computers in 10 […]

Thumbtack Defies Conventional Wisdom, Scores $125 Million — More

Tweet Local home services marketplace Thumbtack is now a so-called “unicorn.” I hate that term. But it means the company is worth at least $1 billion. With a new $125 million round of funding, announced yesterday, Thumbtack is valued at $1.25 billion. Last August the company announced a $100 million round. That means within essentially […]

Directories Must Radically Embrace Mobile

Tweet For several years internet yellow pages and other “horizontal” directories have been losing traffic. It’s partly result of Google’s unpredictable algorithm changes and the degree to which the company is obscuring or pushing organic results “down the page” with its various SERP redesigns and experiments (e.g., the local carousel). Yet the loss of “IYP” […]

Is a ‘Google Store’ Now Inevitable?

Tweet ComScore and others are making bold predictions about e-commerce sales over the Black Friday/Cyber Monday weekend. The projection is that e-commerce growth will outpace offline retail spending. That’s probably true (on a percentage basis) but the online numbers will be a small fraction of offline, in-store spending — more than 10:1 in favor of […]

Speaking at ICMA (Classifieds) and Local Social Summit Events in Europe

Tweet This week I’m in Prague speaking at the ICMA conference on “The New Classifieds Marketplace.” My opening thesis is that publishers need to throw away the term “classifieds” because it means very little to younger audiences and limits their thinking about new markets and new opportunities. I’ll be talking about social networks, mobile apps […]

Survey: 67% of SMBs Don’t Think Mobile Will Impact Them This Holiday Season

Tweet SMB directory and portal Manta puts out roughly quarterly surveys of its members (for PR purposes). Accordingly one of these surveys has just been released about holiday shopping, perceptions of the economy and consumer spending. The survey “polled 1,003 small business owners between Sept. 26, 2013 – Oct. 7, 2013 and 1,051 small business […]

Survey: Smartphone Users Prefer Print Ads for Back to School Shopping

Tweet Placed recently released data on back to school shopping. They were derived from a combination of actual store visits and smartphone user survey information. In the report there were two things of greatest interest to me. The first was that these smartphone owners preferred to receive back-to-school promotions in print vs electronic form. Print […]

Here Comes a New Google Maps UI

Tweet Barry Schwartz at Search Engine Land reports (based on Alex Chitu’s report) that Google is testing a new Google Maps UI, which looks something like this: Apparently the new UI will allow search results to be filtered by your Google+ network as well. For fun compare . . . Apple Maps: Foursquare:  Mapquest:  Yahoo Maps (Nokia):  Bing […]