My 2017 Local Marketing Predictions: Part I, Search

BY YOURS TRULY
From my vantage point, 2017 has all the makings of a tipping point of sorts in local search. Google’s increased monetization and the decrease in available organic real estate — two of the primary themes you’ve seen me highlight in this newsletter each week — mean that savvier local businesses will start to realize that SEO might not be the silver bullet it once was for low-cost customer acquisition.

My 2017 Local Marketing Predictions: Part II, Beyond Search

BY YOURS TRULY
My thoughts on how Snap will fare in year one as a public company, the place of real-time messaging in the small business marketing stack, consolidation in the reputation management space, customer segmentation, and the prospects of email leader Litmus.

7 Easy Local Link Building Tactics You Should Be Using

BY DARREN SHAW
If you want to be one of the businesses left standing after the organic search contraction I’m predicting in the next three or four years, read this spectacular post by Whitespark founder Darren Shaw. It’s spot-on, thorough, and incredibly actionable.

What agencies are doing to crack ‘voice tech’ like Alexa, Siri

BY TANYA DUA
After largely missing the boat on the incredible wave of organic search, there are at least four traditional ad agencies that “get it” when it comes to voice. Some pretty neat prototyping and experimentation going on here–exactly the kind of thing that traditional organic search agencies should be doing ASAP.

Google Opens its Digital Assistant to Developers in Race Against Amazon’s Alexa

BY MARK BERGEN
You can bet Google is feeling the competitive pressure from the success of Amazon’s echo, just based on the amount of money they’re spending on traditional advertising for Google Home. And that platform is now open for “Skill”-like development of “Actions.”

Alexa and Google Home Record What You Say. But What Happens to That Data?

BY TIM MOYNIHAN
Privacy concerns are probably the only thing that can slow the coming voice search revolution. Unsurprisingly Apple is ahead of the competition when it comes to privacy, deleting your already-anonymized Siri interactions automatically after six months. Whether the average consumer cares enough about privacy to make this a competitive advantage or put pressure on Apple’s competition remains to be seen.

Slightly Off-Topic:
Introducing the Conversational Form

BY SPACE10
Those of you who build web forms for clients might find this interesting. For the right use cases, I can see this kind of interface really taking off.