restaurant

In the coming era of voice search, VSEO will be critical – i.e. don’t name your restaurant Skool


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Friday, December 7th, 2012 news No Comments

Mobile Apps Are Challenging TV In A Way The Web Never Did

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/mobile-apps-television-time-spent-2012-12

TV and tablet

A new study by Flurry, a mobile-analytics company, shows that usage of mobile apps is rapidly catching up with television.

Flurry CEO Simon Khalaf reports that the company has tracked a total of a trillion “events”—actions inside apps like finishing a game level or making a restaurant reservation. Those numbers have grown exponentially in the past two years.

All those taps and swipes translate to a significant amount of usage. 

In the US, time spent on the Web has stagnated at 70 minutes per day. Television watching has grown slightly, from 162 minutes to 168 minutes. But app usage has almost doubled from 66 minutes to 127 minutes a day. At current growth rates, it should catch up with television within a year.

Flurry Web vs. app time spent

This isn’t necessarily bad for television content producers, Khalaf notes, who are increasingly adapting their shows to be watched alongside a tablet or smartphone—the “second screen” phenomenon.

“We believe that, with the introduction of connected TVs, TV shows will behave like apps,” he writes.

Flurry’s results match what other observers are saying, like Kleiner Perkins Internet expert Mary Meeker.

But as Peter Kafka of AllThingsD points out, the explosion of mobile usage doe! sn’t nec essarily mean a mobile-ad bonanza.

And since we’re not getting more hours in the day, it’s pretty clear that the increased usage of apps must be happening simultaneously with other activities—like, yes, watching television.

SEE ALSO: Mary Meeker’s Latest Must-Read Presentation On The State Of The Web

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Wednesday, December 5th, 2012 news No Comments

Source: http://gizmodo.com/5940032/how-yelp-scores-make-or-break-restaurants

How Yelp Scores Make or Break RestaurantsSmart diners rely on restaurant reviews to find good food. But a new study investigates for the first time the complex relationships between online ratings and real-world success—and reveals that losing just half a star can leave a restaurant in ruin.

The Guardian reports that a team of economists from the University of California, Berkeley, has investigated how 300 restaurants in San Francisco perform, and cross-referenced the results with star ratings from Yelp.com to understand how reviews affect success.

They found that an extra half-star caused a restaurant’s 7pm bookings to fill up 20 percent more often. Interestingly, they also managed to disentangle those changes in trade from price differences, food quality and service, suggesting that it was the reviews alone that brought in custom. Writing in the Economic Journal, the economists explain:

“The findings of this study demonstrate that – although social media sites and forums may not generate the financial returns for which investors yearn – they play an increasingly important role in how consumers judge the quality of goods and services.”

The research does, however, suggest that some restauranteurs shouldn’t be too happy with Yelp’s calculations. The researchers point out that when Yelp.com computes a star rating for a business, it it rounds off to the nearest half-star. That means that a restaurant with a 3.74 rating shows up as a 3.5-star venue, while an establishment with an almost-identical 3.76 score appears to have a 4-star rating.

Given the financial impact such ratings have, according to the economists, there’s never been more incentive for restaurants to rig reviews. In the meantime, though, the research also suggests that star ratings might not the best predictor of how great your plate of food turns out—so it might be best to take them with a pinch of salt. [The Economic Journal via The Guardian]

Image by Olly/Shutterstock

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Monday, September 3rd, 2012 Uncategorized No Comments

Google+ Local sees reviews from friends, Zagat invade your restaurant hunts (video)

Source: http://www.engadget.com/2012/05/30/google-local-sees-reviews-from-friends-and-zagat/

Image

We’d been wondering what Google would do following its acquisition of Zagat, and now we know: it’s part of Google+ Local, a boost to Maps, general search, and Google+ itself. Zagat’s point system now automatically shows up in search results for restaurants that have been given the extra scrutiny. Those of us who don’t trust The Man for reviews will also now see Google+ friends’ picks surface at the same time. The addition is considered important enough that Google is even adding a Local tab on Google+ just to show recommendations, so you won’t have to abandon your constant updating (you’re always posting on Google+, right?) to find a well-rated sushi place. Local should be live soon, if not now, and will make search plus Your World that much more omnipresent.

Continue reading Google+ Local sees reviews from friends, Zagat invade your restaurant hunts (video)

Google+ Local sees reviews from friends, Zagat invade your restaurant hunts (video) originally appeared on Engadget on Wed, 30 May 2012 09:22:00 EDT. Please see our terms for use of feeds.

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Wednesday, May 30th, 2012 news No Comments

Um, Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” Sucks So Far

Google’s “Search, Plus Your World” launched with some fanfare and with jilted partner, Twitter, crying foul.  But the real proof is in the “pudding” and so far, from my own taste testing, the “puddin’s not all that good.” In fact, it’s downright spoiled.

In theory, returning results based on my own activities, photos, shares, etc. plus the social sharing activities of my circles of friends seems to make sense. After all, my friends should share similar interests, etc. However, in reality, this appears to be far from the truth.

Either my friends all suck at what they are sharing OR what I search for has very little to do with (or very little overlap with) what I and my friends are sharing. And I think the latter is more likely the case, because my friends are all awesome and I usually find what they share to be super informative and I always learn something new from them and the insightful curation they do.

So what is wrong with Google’s new personalized search, flavored with +1? And will it ever get better with time and more usage?

My current hypothesis is NO .. it won’t get better with time.  Here are a few reasons why I think so:

– what I search for (what I need at this moment) is not necessarily what I share (what I think my followers would be interested in)

– news items and other cool information that is shared are things I “discover” through the curation of my circles of friends and I like to browse these things to learn; this contrasts with things that I search for at any moment in time, which could include things that I need now, gifts for other people, research for clients in other industries that I am not in. What this means is that those search terms and the sites that I visit don’t necessarily have any bearing on any future searches and what I am interested in.

– finally, among all my friends, I would probably only ask 1 or 2 of them for restaurant recommendations (in New York) because they live here and are known for their expertise in food; I would ask different friends for advice on digital cameras (@designerguy), keyword research platforms (@glenngabe), ad networks (@jonathanmendez), etc. you get the idea. So canvassing my entire social graph for keyword based ways to personalize search results is actually making the results worse (see examples below).

Search ( photos )

[Redacted] – I don’t need to see my own photos from my own Picasa, which I already know is there.

Search  ( italian restaurants in New York  – no quotes )

 

 

Search ( spend polarization – no quotes )

spend polarization search results

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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Wednesday, January 11th, 2012 SEM, SEO, social networks No Comments

The Pants You’re Buying At Big Retailers Are Actually WAY Larger Than The Size Advertised

Source: http://www.businessinsider.com/pants-size-advertised-2011-12


Your pant size is probably lying to you to make you feel better about yourself, reports Abram Sauer at Esquire.

It’s called “vanity sizing,” and it’s the reason why you find out your size is different at the various stores in the mall. It’s an infamous way marketers use to influence women buyers, but they do it for men as well.

The folks at Esquire’s Style blog put together this nifty graphic on the real size of pants, compared with what the brands advertise (for men’s pants):

esquire pants sizes

Apparently marketers think that the vanity factor outweighs the confusion the sizes create for customers.

One solution out there for consumers is a body scanner called MyBestFit, which can tell you your size in various brands. It’s kind of creepy and airport-like, but it works.

What do you think of this practice? Do you want brands to make you feel better about yourself, or do you think they’re just lying to you?

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drag2share – drag and drop RSS news items on your email contacts to share (click SEE DEMO)

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Wednesday, December 28th, 2011 news No Comments

no, twitter will NOT be the next google

Every year around SXSW, there’s a surge in interest about twitter. This time around people have even gone as far as to proclaim twitter to be “the next google” or “the future of search” etc.  Bullocks!

Here’s why:

1) distant from other social networks – While we are seeing a massive surge in interest and usage of twitter, it is still a long way off from the number of users of other social networks; it will take a long time to get to critical mass; and this is a prerequisite for twitter to assail the established habit of the majority of consumers to “google it.” — Google’s already a verb.

2) no business model – It remains to be seen whether Twitter can come up with a business model to survive for the long haul. Ads with search are proven. Ads on social networks are not. And given the 140-character limit, there’s hardly any space to add ads.

3) lead adopters’ perspective is skewed – Twitter is still mostly lead adopters and techies so far; so the perspectives on its potential may be skewed too positively. As more mainstream users start to use it, we’re likely to see more tweets about nose picking, waking up, making coffee, being bored, etc….  This will quickly make the collective mass of content far less specialized and useful (as it is now).

4) too few friends to matter – Most people have too few friends. Not everyone is a Scott Monty ( @scottmonty ) with nearly 15,000 followers. So while a user’s own circle of friends would be useful for real-time searches like “what restaurant should I go to right now?” the circle is too small to know everything about everything they want to search on. And even if you take it out to a few concentric circles from the original user who asked, that depends on people retweeting your question to their followers and ultimately someone notifying you when the network has arrived at an answer — not likely to happen.

5) topics only interesting to small circle of followers – Most topics tweeted are interesting to only a very small circle of followers, most likely not even to all the followers of a particular person. A great way to see this phenomenon is with twitt(url)y. It measures twitter intensity of a particular story and lists the most tweeted and retweeted stories.  Out of the millions of users and billions of tweets, the top most tweeted stories range in the 100 – 500 tweet range and recently these included March 18 – Apple’s iPhone OS 3.0 preview event; #skittles; and the shutdown of Denver’s Rocky Mountain News.  Most other tweets are simply not important enough to enough people for them to retweet.

6) single purpose apps or social networks go away when other sites come along with more functionality or when big players simply add their functionality to their suite of services.

twitter

twitturly

Am I missing something here, people?  Agree with me or tell me I’m stupid @acfou 🙂

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Wednesday, March 18th, 2009 digital, social networks No Comments

Dr. Augustine Fou is Digital Consigliere to marketing executives, advising them on digital strategy and Unified Marketing(tm). Dr Fou has over 17 years of in-the-trenches, hands-on experience, which enables him to provide objective, in-depth assessments of their current marketing programs and recommendations for improving business impact and ROI using digital insights.

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