Tag Archive | "Helping"

Virtual Restaurants Helping Power Uber Eats Growth

“Virtual restaurants is a very interesting initiative,” says Uber Eats EMEA head Rodrigo Arevalo. “Basically by leveraging the data on our platform, we can partner with other restaurants in order to cuisine types that only exist on food delivery platforms. If there is not a restaurant in a certain neighborhood we will partner with restaurants to make that happen. In the UK we are already doing 200 virtual restaurants and we are expanding throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa.”

Rodrigo Arevalo, head of EMEA at Uber Eats, discusses how virtual restaurants are helping power Uber Eats Growth in an interview on Bloomberg:

Virtual Restaurants Helping Power Uber Eats Growth

Virtual restaurants is a very interesting initiative. Basically, by leveraging the data on our platform we can partner with other restaurants in order to cuisine types that only exist on food delivery platforms. That has two benefits. The first one is that it helps restaurants utilize their kitchens a lot more. The second one is that it increases their revenue on their top line. It’s a very interesting initiative to provide more choice and to increase business for restaurants. 

If there is not a restaurant in a certain neighborhood we will partner with restaurants to make that happen. In the UK we are already doing 200 virtual restaurants and we are expanding throughout Europe, the Middle East, and Africa. It’s a type of local exercise that we are trying to tack on. It’s going really well and we’re excited about that.

Uber East Demonstrates the Potential of Uber’s Logistics Platform

Uber Eats fits into Uber’s overall strategy and portfolio in the way that it demonstrates the potential of Uber’s logistics platform. Just in three and a half years, we’ve been able to build a multi-billion dollar business and today we are already the biggest food delivery app outside of China. It’s all about the logistics network that we have built and how we can leverage the potential of that platform. 

It’s about focus for us. We want to make sure that we deliver on the plan, deliver on the vision that (Uber CEO) Dara Khosrowshahi has set for the company. Focus is basically three pillars for Uber Eats. The first one is restaurant selection, providing consumers choice. The second one is customer experience for eaters, for restaurants, and for delivery partners. The third one is underpinning that with great technology and a great product that people would love to use every single day. 

Uber Eats Partners With 220,000 Restaurants Globally

We partner today with 220,000 restaurants globally and there is a vast variety of selection from every kind of meal that you would like; comfort food to the healthiest options such as vegan, salads, etc. We believe selection. We believe in consumer choice. We want to make sure that we provide all of those options to them. We very much focus on providing that information, providing those options, and making sure that consumers make an informed choice.

When it comes to packaging we already partner with several companies that provide sustainable packaging. Given our platform, particularly in the UK, we already look for ways to facilitate sustainable packaging for restaurant partners, making sure we do our part in that sense.

Virtual Restaurants Helping Power Uber Eats Growth – Uber Eats EMEA head Rodrigo Arevalo

The post Virtual Restaurants Helping Power Uber Eats Growth appeared first on WebProNews.


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John Mueller Helping Webmasters On Christmas Eve Year After Year

It is like a Christmas tradition for John Mueller, a Google webmaster trends analyst, where he comes in on Christmas, sometimes Christmas eve, sometimes Christmas day and sometimes both…

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How Local Content is Helping SMBs Keep Big Brands at Bay

Posted by ronell-smith


Darren Shaw of Whitespark speaking at Mozcon Local

The gentleman sitting across the table from me at a crowded lunch spot has what he sees as a workable business idea for a local business, a sound plan to get it off the ground, enough funds to weather the ups and downs of the current business climate in his area, and the determination to stick around long enough to be successful.

However, what he doesn’t have are the answers to three questions pertaining to content marketing for his small business:

  • “What should I write about?”
  • “How do I [rank higher in local SERPs?]“
  • “Do I need to use social media? Will it help my brand?”

My heart breaks a little as he looks down to pick at his salad. Not because I don’t like questions, or because the questions are difficult to answer. They aren’t.

In fact, the answer I gave comes from a slogan i learned of in college and have used repeatedly when attempting to get small brands to see the shortest path to success: “Think globally, act locally.”

The SERPs won’t save you

Every brand wants to be No. 1 in the SERPs, or so they think.

What they really want, however, is to be the No. 1 most-chosen brand.

What ultimately matters in the earliest stages of your relationship with prospects is that they see you in the SERPs, recognize your brand for its quality of service and/or excellent products(s), and reward you with a click.

Far too often, however, local brands think too broadly (often as a result of poor keyword selection) and attempt to rank for terms and/or categories they’ll never be able to consistently rank for. All the while, they ignore low-hanging fruit, such as ensuring their Google My Places is up-to-date, their citations are accurate, and prioritizing reviews on third-party sites.

Worse still, even brands that do commit to these efforts too often ignore creating local-specific pages, which can be a tremendous asset for capturing traffic, leads, and driving conversions for local brands.

Individually, not capitalizing on these areas is bad for brand health; collectively, they amount to leaving the door open to the competition.


Image source

And if you’re a small or midsize business (SMB) owner, your focus must be on closing doors to the competition. To do that you’ll need to use your size and the knowledge of your local service area to your advantage.

As I’m wont to say, it’s simple, but it won’t be easy.

Local SEO to the rescue

A few months, I had the distinct pleasure of getting to work with Local SEO expert Mary Bowling as she prepared for Mozcon Local. During a phone conversation, I shared with her my frustration at seeing local brands get pwned by big brands, in large part because the former has all but given up on the quest to be competitive, even when they have wood to throw on the fire.

She agreed that there some holes SMBs are refusing to expose.

“Big brands do have the resources to dominate in local search, but to a large degree they often won’t spent the money needed to be successful, specifically as it regards local-specific content,” says Bowling, owner of Ignitor Digital, which provides online marketing and Local Search marketing solutions to SMBs. “Often small brands don’t create good content because they don’t think they have the time. But it’s not as complicated as they believe. Also, being that they are the local experts, local-specific content is easier to create than they think and can provide the [perfect vehicle to ward off bigger brands].”

That conversation was the wellspring for discussions I’d later have at Mozcon Local with speakers Mike Ramsey of Nifty Marketing and Darren Shaw of Whitespark. I also had the privilege of interviewing each of them, in addition to Local SEO whiz Phil Rozek of Local Visibility Systems, after the event.

What follows is a post based on the entirety of those conversations, with the goal of answering one question: How can local SMBs better compete with big brands in their respective areas?

Local content is David’s slingshot to Goliath’s plate of armor


One of the toughest parts of working with SMB owners is getting them to realize the vast world around them is actually much smaller than they assume, in at least two key ways:

  • Big brands with local or regional offices/locations are always a threat for stealing local customers.
  • Their reach is as limited as their resources, in that while their service area is small, so too is their ability to rank in the SERPs.

That is, unless SMBs use the biggest and best weapon available to them: Local-focused content that makes a priority of using people, personalization and events to help them stave off the typically much stronger competition.

Full disclosure: Nothing related to business pisses me off more than seeing big brands dominate local search queries, when I know smaller brands that provide better service are all around.

Equally frustrating is seeing these small brands try to compete outside their league by relying too heavily on paid search and ignore how effective content marketing can be for their business’s long-term success.

If this sounds like your brand, I implore you to own your local turf by following the three steps outlined below.

#1 — Think quality > quantity

As a business strategist, two questions comes up over and over from SMB owners:

  1. “What should I write about?”
  2. “How often should I post blogs?”

A better question is, “What topics are my prospects most interested in, and how can I write about those topics with the quality necessary to gain and retain their attention?”

The process begins with you thinking less about how often you write and more about how well you write on the topics your prospects and customers care most about.

“If you want to get local content, and get ranking but also customers, think quality over quantity,” says Phil Rozek. “Get your sea legs. Can you create a page that gets rankings but also customers?”

The last point, which I discussed extensively with Rozek via phone, is a very important one.

The key to success for any brand’s content goes well beyond the SERPs, and that applies doubly so for local SMBs, where butts in the door or phone calls are the lifeblood of the business.

The focus, he says, must be on producing content of sufficient quality and relevancy to move the needle, not simply attain eyeballs.

“The goal is to get the phone to ring,” adds Rozek. “You want it to rank and continue to get the phone to ring. But you also want it to be good enough that you get customers who become brand advocates. If you can’t do that, you need to go back to the drawing board.”

Ramsey says well-performing local content should hit at least one of the following points perfectly:

  • “It’s unifying. Think of sporting events — it’s one thing in a local place that brings everyone together across different walks of life and puts everyone on the same page. Good local content that gets shared and loved does the same.”
  • “It’s educational. Local is confusing. Whether explaining history, directions, or tips, people crave good information about places.”
  • “It’s insider. There is nothing worse than someone talking about a place that they don’t understand. It’s why content ‘only’ locals perform so well.”

As an example, Ramsey uses Movoto, a service provides tools and information for the real estate, as a great example. You can see from the example below that localized pages they create go way beyond what we typically see for city-specific pages, as the content is compelling visually and topically, creating a rich experience visitors are likely to read, share, and link to.


Adds Ramsey, “SMBs should ask every customer where they spend their time online. When they know that, they can start to create content that will appeal to them. The problem that most SMBs have is they get ‘sold’ on products that will update feeds with garbage or create content that doesn’t really relate to their audience.

“Then they give up. I think they have to step back and realize that you can’t outsource strategy. They need to be a part of it. They know their customer and need to be involved in determining how best to reach them.”

  • What this tells us: Content quality goes beyond good grammar and solid images. Creating a content experience is the optimal goal.
  • How to make it for your brand: Focus on creating content that is uniquely better than anything you’ve seen or that could be easily created by the competition, no matter how large. Think of the elements that make your area unique and interesting, then work to create content that provides a sensory experience worthy of being talked about and shared.
  • Recommended reading/viewing: How to Create 10x Content – Whiteboard Friday

#2 — Relish the role of local expert


Mary Bowling speaking at Mozcon Local

Each time I do a search for a local service provider and see a large national or regional brand show up, a little of the strategist in me dies insides. Yes, I get that larger brands have the deep pockets to spend on Google Adwords and the domain authority to wreak havoc in the organic search. But come on… A lot of small brands aren’t even trying to compete, and that’s a shame.

“Too often, with small brands, they think they’ll have to hire someone else to create it,” says Bowling. “They don’t realize they are the local authorities, and simply writing what they know can go a long way. Most sales are taken at the location level, but small brands often don’t do enough location-specific content to help their business. Often, with a simple phone call and a fifteen minute interview, we can create a post that’s able to move the needle for their brand.”

Bowling further added: “The goal for the content these small brands create is localized excellence.”

Rob Robillard, aka A Concord Carpenter, provides an excellent example of how local brands can use the expert mantle to own their space. A general contractor, carpenter, and woodworker, Robillard has parlayed his expert and local knowledge into a correspondence gig for the Boston Globe.


Image courtesy of A Concord Carpenter

Says Rozek, “Robillard doesn’t write ‘local’ content as much as he’s a local business owner whose business has benefitted from his having become a noted local authority. Not only does he write for the Boston Globe, he also has a cable show” and a popular video series.

Also, stresses Rozek, different types of businesses will have different goals for their content.

A plumber, for example, is likely less concerned with having a piece of content that draws and engagement and get links; she needs the phone to ring. So having strong city-specific pages that have the ability to rank and get the phone to ring would likely be a more desirable option.

However, if a small brand can do both, they’re better positioned to enjoy success.

“If you have a small site that has good authority and some good links, they’re in the bully pulpit because any page they create is a little more likely to rank,” says Rozek. “The name of the game, then, is to use the other pages of the site to help the city pages rank, since even if they are done well doesn’t guarantee that they rank by themselves. But if you build links to other related pages on the site, those city pages are [likely to see a lift as well in organic reach], which is significant for building authority and engagement, even if the pages the links are pointing to don’t get the phone to ring.”

What this tells us: Don’t focus solely on creating content that gets the phone to ring. Devote some resources to attaining links on other parts of the site.

How to make it for your brand: Spend time building your reputation as an expert of note in your area, then create and share content on your site and other sites you’re able to partner with. Also, while city pages get people in the door, effective outreach can help you build links to other parts of the site that, in turn, provide a boost to the other pages on the site, including the city-specific pages.

Recommended reading: Top-3 Local SEO “Content” Wins for People Who Hate to Write

#3 — Get personal

One of the toughest sells to SMBs is getting them to see the value of making the content they share personal in nature. Makes zero sense when you consider that unique-to-only-you content is the one thing the competition cannot effectively copy.

“Small companies can create more unifying, educational, and insider content, but to do so they have to find the time and money to do it,” says Ramsey, adding, if they do, “Small businesses can blow away competition.”


Mike Ramsey speaking at Mozcon Local

An impressive example of a small brand outpacing all comers is Danburry Barbershop in Provo, Utah. The site has a welcoming, old-school feel and contains images of customers before, during, and after they receive service.


Danburry is getting right to the heart of personalized content by making local folks celebrities of sorts for, well, simply sitting in a chair and getting a trim or a wash. Let’s be honest: Who doesn’t want to show off their new ‘do? You know the customers are sharing the experience with friends and family members while providing the barber shop with ready-made personalized content.


Also, the brand posts images to social media, including Facebook and Twitter, creating a web of personalized content even large brands must envy.

“The Danburry Barbershop is killing it with a subdomain on a .blogspot site simply because he uses his site to showcase his customers,” says Ramsey. “His Facebook feed is also filled with his customer stories and what they do. He is creating a loyal community of unified, educated, and insider Provo people.”

My question to small business owners is, “What’s stopping you from doing the same?” And for those who work with SMBs, either as strategists, SEOs, or content people, we mustn’t shy away from making recommendations of this sort, especially when a brand has the bandwidth and the clientele to make it work.

What this tells us: Look for ways to get personal with your clientele, particularly as it regards the sharing of information involving them.

How to make it for your brand: Think of the people who’ve talked or written about how much they enjoy your product or service. Why not reach out to them for a quick interview, which could take the form of a short video that could posted to Instagram or YouTube or hosted directly on your site?

All you’d need is a few questions to ask them — don’t make it about your brand. Make it about the audience: getting to know them, who they are, etc.

Recommended reading: The Power of the Personal: Personal Brands for Company Brands

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Why the Links You’ve Built Aren’t Helping Your Page Rank Higher – Whiteboard Friday

Posted by randfish

Link building can be incredibly effective, but sometimes a lot of effort can go into earning links with absolutely no improvement in rankings. Why? In today’s Whiteboard Friday, Rand shows us four things we should look at in these cases, help us hone our link building skills and make the process more effective.

For reference, here’s a still of this week’s whiteboard. Click on it to open a high resolution image in a new tab!

Why the Links You've Built to That Page Aren't Helping it Move up the Rankings Whiteboard

Video transcription

Howdy, Moz fans, and welcome to another edition of Whiteboard Friday. This week we’re chatting about why link building sometimes fails.

So I’ve got an example here. I’m going to do a search for artificial sweeteners. Let’s say I’m working for these guys, ScienceMag.org. Well, this is actually in position 10. I put it in position 3 here, but I see that I’m position 10. I think to myself, “Man, if I could get higher up on this page, that would be excellent. I’ve already produced the content. It’s on my domain. Like, Google seems to have indexed it fine. It’s performing well enough to perform on page one, granted at the bottom of page one, for this competitive query. Now I want to move my rankings up.”

So a lot of SEOs, naturally and historically, for a long time have thought, “I need to build more links to that page. If I can get more links pointing to this page, I can move up the rankings.” Granted, there are some other ways to do that too, and we’ve discussed those in previous Whiteboard Fridays. But links are one of the big ones that people use.

I think one of the challenges that we encounter is sometimes we invest that effort. We go through the process of that outreach campaign, talking to bloggers and other news sites and looking at where our link sources are coming from and trying to get some more of those. It just doesn’t seem to do anything. The link building appears to fail. It’s like, man, I’ve got all these nice links and no new results. I didn’t move up at all. I am basically staying where I am, or maybe I’m even falling down. Why is that? Why does link building sometimes work so well and so clearly and obviously, and sometimes it seems to do nothing at all?

What are some possible reasons link acquisition efforts may not be effective?

Oftentimes if you get a fresh set of eyes on it, an outside SEO perspective, they can do this audit, and they’ll walk through a lot of this stuff and help you realize, “Oh yeah, that’s probably why.” These are things that you might need to change strategically or tactically as you approach this problem. But you can do this yourself as well by looking at why a link building campaign, why a link building effort, for a particular page, might not be working.

1) Not the right links

First one, it’s not the right links. Not the right links, I mean a wide range of things, even broader than what I’ve listed here. But a lot of times that could mean low domain diversity. Yeah, you’re getting new links, but they’re coming from all the same places that you always get links from. Google, potentially, maybe views that as not particularly worthy of moving you up the rankings, especially around competitive queries.

It might be trustworthiness of source. So maybe they’re saying “Yeah, you got some links, but they’re not from particularly trustworthy places.” Tied into that maybe we don’t think or we’re sure that they’re not editorial. Maybe we think they’re paid, or we think they’re promotional in some way rather than being truly editorially given by this independent resource.

They might not come from a site or from a page that has the authority that’s necessary to move you up. Again, particularly for competitive queries, sometimes low-value links are just that. They’re not going to move the needle, especially not like they used to three, four, five or six years ago, where really just a large quantity of links, even from diverse domains, even if they were crappy links on crappy pages on relatively crappy or unknown websites would move the needle, not so much anymore. Google is seeing a lot more about these things.

Where else does the source link to? Is that source pointing to other stuff that is potentially looking manipulative to Google and so they discounted the outgoing links from that particular domain or those sites or those pages on those sites?

They might look at the relevance and say, “Hey, you know what? Yeah, you got linked to by some technology press articles. That doesn’t really have anything to do with artificial sweeteners, this topic, this realm, or this region.” So you’re not getting the same result. Now we’ve shown that off-topic links can oftentimes move the rankings, but in particular areas and in health, in fact, may be one of those Google might be more topically sensitive to where the links are coming from than other places.

Location on page. So I’ve got a page here and maybe all of my links are coming from a bunch of different domains, but it’s always in the right sidebar and it’s always in this little feed section. So Google’s saying, “Hey, that’s not really an editorial endorsement. That’s just them showing all the links that come through your particular blog feed or a subscription that they’ve got to your content or whatever it is promotionally pushing out. So we’re not going to count it that way.” Same thing a lot of times with footer links. Doesn’t work quite as well. If you’re being honest with yourself, you really want those in content links. Generally speaking, those tend to perform the best.

Or uniqueness. So they might look and they might say, “Yeah, you’ve got a ton of links from people who are republishing your same article and then just linking back to it. That doesn’t feel to us like an editorial endorsement, and so we’re just going to treat those copies as if those links didn’t exist at all.” But the links themselves may not actually be the problem. I think this can be a really important topic if you’re doing link acquisition auditing, because sometimes people get too focused on, “Oh, it must be something about the links that we’re getting.” That’s not always the case actually.

2) Not the right content

Sometimes it’s not the right content. So that could mean things like it’s temporally focused versus evergreen. So for different kinds of queries, Google interprets the intent of the searchers to be different. So it could be that when they see a search like “artificial sweeteners,” they say, “Yeah, it’s great that you wrote this piece about this recent research that came out. But you know what, we’re actually thinking that searchers are going to want in the top few results something that’s evergreen, that contains all the broad information that a searcher might need around this particular topic.”

That speaks to it might not answer the searchers questions. You might think, “Well, I’m answering a great question here.” The problem is, yeah you’re answering one. Searchers may have many questions that they’re asking around a topic, and Google is looking for something comprehensive, something that doesn’t mean a searcher clicks your result and then says, “Well, that was interesting, but I need more from a different result.” They’re looking for the one true result, the one true answer that tells them, “Hey, this person is very happy with these types of results.”

It could be poor user experience causing people to bounce back. That could be speed things, UI things, layout things, browser support things, multi-device support things. It might not use language formatting or text that people or engines can interpret as on the topic. Perhaps this is way over people’s heads, far too scientifically focused, most searchers can’t understand the language, or the other way around. It’s a highly scientific search query and a very advanced search query and your language is way dumbed down. Google isn’t interpreting that as on-topic. All the Hummingbird and topic modeling kind of things that they have say this isn’t for them.

Or it might not match expectations of searchers. This is distinct and different from searchers’ questions. So searchers’ questions is, “I want to know how artificial sweeteners might affect me.” Expectations might be, “I expect to learn this kind of information. I expect to find out these things.” For example, if you go down a rabbit hole of artificial sweeteners will make your skin shiny, they’re like, “Well, that doesn’t meet with my expectation. I don’t think that’s right.” Even if you have some data around that, that’s not what they were expecting to find. They might bounce back. Engines might not interpret you as on-topic, etc. So lots of content kinds of things.

3) Not the right domain

Then there are also domain issues. You might not have the right domain. Your domain might not be associated with the topic or content that Google and searchers are expecting. So they see Mayo Clinic, they see MedicineNet, and they go, “ScienceMag? Do they do health information? I don’t think they do. I’m not sure if that’s an appropriate one.” It might be perceived, even if you aren’t, as spammy or manipulative by Google, more probably than by searchers. Or searchers just won’t click your brand for that content. This is a very frustrating one, because we have seen a ton of times when search behavior is biased by the brand itself, by what’s in this green text here, the domain name or the brand name that Google might show there. That’s very frustrating, but it means that you need to build brand affinity between that topic, that keyword, and what’s in searchers’ heads.

4) Accessibility or technical issues

Then finally, there could be some accessibility or technical issues. Usually when that’s the case, you will notice pretty easily because the page will have an error. It won’t show the content properly. The cache will be an issue. That’s a rare one, but you might want to check for it as well.

But hopefully, using this kind of an audit system, you can figure out why a link building campaign, a link building effort isn’t working to move the needle on your rankings.

With that, we will see you again next week for another edition of Whiteboard Friday. Take care.

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John Mueller Helping With Google Webmaster Questions On Christmas Eve

Excuse the horrible job photoshopping the Santa hat onto John Mueller but he was up at 1:30am his local time, last night, Christmas eve, responding to Webmasters in the Google Help forums…

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Apple Announcements Not Helping The “Google Is A Monopoly” Argument

With all the talk about Google being a monopoly, the company is probably glad (at least partially) to see Apple make some search-related announcements during its WWDC keynote, which could help the argument in Google’s favor (even if hurting its market share).

For one, Apple’s web browser, Safari, is getting Chrome-like search functionality, while also adding Baidu as a search option.

Last year, Apple made a huge impression on society with Siri. Now, they’ve made some improvements to it. With iOS 6, Apple’s forthcoming operating system due out this fall, Siri will likely take a significant chunk of search market share for things like sports, restaurants and movies, even while Google is improving itself in both sports and local search.

And did we mention Siri is coming to the iPad?

“Ask Siri about sports scores and stats, where to eat, what movies to see — even ask to make Facebook posts,” Apple says on its website. “Siri understands more languages and works in more countries. So you can get more things done in more places around the world. And most exciting of all, with Siri on the new iPad, on more devices, too.”

On sports, Apple says, “Siri knows baseball, basketball, football, soccer, and hockey. Ask Siri for game schedules, scores from the current season’s games, or up-to-the minute scores from live games. Tell Siri to show you player stats and compare them against other players’ stats. Siri tracks team records, too, so you’ll always know how well your team is doing (or not doing). Siri is even smart enough to know whether you’re asking about the New York Giants or the San Francisco Giants, based on where you are.”

Siri on sports

On movies, Apple says, “Siri can help you find the latest flicks by location or showtimes. Can’t decide? Ask Siri to show you a movie trailer or a Rotten Tomatoes review. Siri is also quite the film buff: Find out when a film premiered, who directed it, and what awards it won. Or ask Siri which movies your favorite actors star in, so you won’t miss any of their past or future blockbusters.”

Siri on movies

Finally, on restaurants, Apple says, “With Siri you now have a personal restaurant concierge. Ask to find restaurants by cuisine, price, location, outdoor seating, or a combination of choices. Siri will show you a restaurant’s photos, Yelp stars, price range, and reviews. When you find a place you like, ask Siri to make a reservation through the OpenTable app.”

Siri on restaurants

I wonder how many iOS users will be turning to Siri before Google for a lot of this stuff. Apple says it has sold 365 million iOS devices sold as of March.

With new Facebook integration mentioned above, Siri is only giving users more reasons to use it. The more people use it, the more they’ll likely use it for more things. Speaking of using it for more things, iOS 6 users will also be able to ask Siri to open apps. Apple is even working with car manufacturers on integrating Siri into voice control systems, with voice command buttons on steering wheels. I wonder if Google’s self-driving cars will come with voice search.

As expected, Apple dumped Google Maps with the new operating system, as it has stepped up its game in the online search space. As Drew Bowling wrote in a previous WPN article, “The new iOS mapping service will come with a host of features that have become commonplace with geo-location services, such as real-time traffic updates and any upcoming traffic delays on your route. Beyond the standard array of features, Apple added 100 million different Yelp listings for businesses as well as a slick turn-bu-turn navigation not unlike what MapQuest has been offering with its direction service. The biggest Oooh-and-Aaah feature with Apple’s new Maps feature is by far the 3D renderings that are fully navigable and offer up insanely detailed pictures (dangerously detailed, some would say).”

Apple says, “iOS 6 includes an all new Maps app with vector-based map elements that make graphics and text smooth, and panning, tilting and zooming incredibly fluid. New turn-by-turn navigation guides you to your destination with spoken directions, and the amazing Flyover feature has photo-realistic interactive 3D views. Real-time traffic information keeps you updated on how long it will take to get to your destination and offers alternate time-saving routes if traffic conditions change significantly. Additionally, local search includes information for over 100 million businesses with info cards that offer Yelp ratings, reviews, available deals and photos.”

Siri seems to be chipping away at various search verticals. How long until it just becomes a full-on search engine, and the default search option on Apple products, at that?

Back to that Facebook integration. That extends well beyond Siri. iOS 6 comes with deep Facebook integration in numerous capacities, in addition to the Twitter integration iOS 5 brought to the table. iOS is heavily integrated with two of the world’s most popular social services, while Google is still trying to get enough people to care about Google+, which the company has deemed its “social spine”.

Facebook, as you may know, is already a huge competitor to Google in the social and online identity spaces. More on all of the Facebook integration here.

Google stock fell on Apple’s announcements.


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How Scott Valdez Bootstrapped His Way To A 6-Figure Income Helping People Outsource Their Love Life

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class="alignright" src="http://www.entrepreneurs-journey.com/images/scott-valdez.jpeg" border="0" alt="Scott Valdez" align="right" />This was a really fun interview for me.

Why? Because Scott Valdez, my guest entrepreneur on today’s podcast, started a business called href="http://www.virtualdatingassistants.com/">Virtual Dating Assistants. Scott’s business is all about outsourcing your online dating so you only have to show up to go on the dates.

Online Dating

I have a confession to make: I have done online dating.

Back when I did it the first time in the early 2000s (I call this online dating 1.0) there was major stigma surrounding the whole concept. You wouldn’t talk about it to other people – it wasn’t something considered “normal”. I gave up after a few months and some not-so-fun experiences.

Today online dating is an accepted way to meet people, with all kinds of regular guys and girls using dating sites every day (online dating 2.0 – it has become mainstream).

I gave online dating a second shot in the last couple of years and had much better experiences, however, like all forms of dating, it still requires work.

Finding people, approaching them, getting to know them and seeing if there is chemistry between both parties is a laborious, but hopefully enjoyable process. When it comes to online dating, much like Internet marketing, you have to figure out what you want, then start searching for people, initiate contact, make sure you have a good profile (sales page) to “market” yourself so they respond (this is like an opt-in to an email list – an indication of interest), and then you hope that it leads to a date, which you can call a conversion in direct marketing speak.

That might not sound romantic, but as processes, online dating and information marketing are very similar.

Scott Valdez certainly agrees. He trained himself to become an online dating expert simply because he found it his preferred method to meet people. He realized, as most people who use online dating eventually discover, it might take a few dates to find someone you click with, which takes time and effort.

Automating The Online Dating Process

Scott came to understand that he could free up his time and go on many more dates if he could find a way to speed up the online communication process. In short, he outsourced his online dating to other people, who he paid to help set up dates.

This might sound simple, but there is an art to it, and it needs to be heavily integrated – you can’t simply tell someone to go find you potential matches, you still need to pick who you like and stay aware of whom you will go on dates with. That doesn’t mean that much of the process, including profile writing and email writing can’t be automated.

Consider too that most people don’t know what goes into a good profile or how best to set up dates quickly. There is a science, something when applied that can drastically improve how many dates you have coming your way each month.

Selling The Service

Needless to say, helping people to get more dates from online sites is an in-demand service, and Scott was smart enough to see the need and launch a business around it. In particular those in busy careers, such as doctors, lawyers, pilots and yes – entrepreneurs – tend to use the service and have the money to pay a premium price.

I won’t spoil the details, you will have to listen to the interview to learn how Scott went from quitting his job while living in Argentina and only a couple of weeks later having to put new clients on to a waiting list because he couldn’t service the demand (and the service costs as much as $ 1440 a month!).

Today Scott has a six figure online business, which he manages living in Argentina, coordinating his team who help people to meet other people using the world wide web.

You can find out more about Scott’s business here:


Here is the MP3 download. Enjoy the interview…

Mp3 Download

href="http://yaro.s3.amazonaws.com/scott-valdez.mp3">Download the MP3 [ 60 Minutes - 57 MB ]

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Entrepreneurs-Journey.com by Yaro Starak

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