Yext begins to verticalize local business listings syndication with ‘Yext for Food’

Business listings with more content see more engagement, tend to rank higher and perform better overall. And as more searches take place on mobile devices (and eventually smart speakers and virtual assistants), marketers will need to expose more local business attributes and enhanced data for discovery and competitive advantage.
According to previous Google research, 50 percent of smartphone users conducting local-intent searches visit business locations within 24 hours. These numbers are even higher and more immediate for restaurants, which often see searches translate into visits within a few hours or less.
TripAdvisor found that “Restaurants with hours of operation on their TripAdvisor listing see 36 percent more engagement than those without them.” Yelp reports, “Businesses who complete their profiles see, on average, 5x the customer leads each month.”
Both sites also point out the importance of images on profiles. TripAdvisor said restaurants with between 11 and 20 photos see “double the amount of diner interaction over others with no photos at all,”

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Twiggle offers plug-and-play semantic search to online retailers

Twiggle is a company founded by two former Google employees. It promises to bring “semantic search” to e-commerce sites with minimal technical integration. Udi Manber, formerly head of search at Google and Amazon’s A9, is a board member.
Last week, the company released a “Semantic API,” which “gives retailers the ability to add a semantic layer to their existing search engines and interact with their online customers in a more personal and natural way.” The idea is that Twiggle will bring state-of-the-art search sophistication to companies that can’t develop the technology on their own.
I spoke with Amir Konigsberg, CEO of Twiggle. He told me that his company spent three years building out an ontology that allows Twiggle to process and deeply understand billions of products and associated attributes. Twiggle also does data structuring and normalization and enhances products with additional metadata.

Konigsberg critiques current e-commerce search capabilities as being very basic and not delivering an optimal user experience. Clicks

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Android launcher and search engine Evie “reimagines” the mobile homescreen

Evie CEO and former Amazon engineer David Zhao insists that his company isn’t trying to replace or compete directly with Google. What Zhao and his team say is that they want to re-imagine the Android homescreen.
As a practical matter this means overcoming the current fragmentation in the mobile ecosystem between apps and the mobile web and among apps. The company wants to speed content discovery and task completion (i.e., reservations, tickets), whether on the mobile web or in apps.
In some ways Evie tries to emulate Apple Spotlight Search as an app launching tool for Android. Zhao explains the company’s philosohy in a blog post:
We believe the core solution to this app proliferation and fragmentation problem lies in understanding the relationships between apps, services, and content on mobile. We want to provide people with a direct path to what they want, when and where they want it — without toggling between multiple apps.
In development for about 18 months, Evie indexes

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DuckDuckGo Is The Default Search Engine In New Adblock Browser

Today, privacy search engine DuckDuckGo announced it is the default search engine in Adblock Browser for iOS and Android devices.
In addition to being the default for the Adblock Browser, DuckDuckGo says it is working with the Electronic Frontier Foundation (EFF) on a new “Do Not Track” standard, and also has agreed to sign the “Acceptable Ads Manifesto” – an effort to promote non-intrusive ads – along with Reddit, Stack Exchange and Adblock Plus.
All three of these initiatives are in effort to reduce tracking across the Internet, which will reduce the ads following you around and more questionable issues like charging different prices to different people based on profiling.DuckDuckGo Blog
While ad-blocking has been available on Android phones for some time now, the issue has taken center stage with the release of Apple’s iOS 9 and its new content-blocking capabilities that make it easier to block cookies, images, resources and pop-ups on mobile devices.
You can read more on the

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Apple Renews Maps Agreement With TomTom, Will It Buy The Company?

Reuters reported this afternoon that publicly traded TomTom is up on news that its mapping-data contract with Apple has been renewed. Rival HERE (Nokia) is currently for sale and may fetch as much as $4 billion dollars.
There aren’t many global mapping data vendors available; and there’s a great deal of interest if not competitive bidding for Nokia’s HERE. Identified and rumored bidders include Uber, Baidu, Microsoft, German automakers, private equity and others. Any of these players could turn around, if unsuccessful with HERE, and try to buy TomTom.
The company offers a range of mobile and in-car navigation and mapping products.

Yesterday TomTom was worth less than $2 billion. Today on news of the Apple renewal the company’s value has risen to $2.1 billion. Still that’s half of what HERE will probably bring in for Nokia.
This weekend Apple confirmed acquisition of a company called Coherent Navigation, which offers more precise GPS location by combining signals from higher and lower orbit satellites. If

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