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Path to purchase typically involves multiple site categories and several devices.

What we widely call “local search” is only partly about search engines. Finding local content and making offline purchase decisions is a multifaceted process that involves several categories of information and devices. That’s according a new survey and report from IDC and YP.

The report is called “Local Search Unleashing Opportunities for National Advertisers” and based on a survey of 750 US adults (between 18 to 44). Roughly 80 percent said they own smartphones, matching overall US smartphone penetration of just under 80 percent according to comScore.

source: Search Engine Land

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Local search is going to be huge in 2016.

We saw last year how Google decreased its Local Pack (the group of featured business pages that show up in the SERPS). The switch from 7 local results to the new Google 3 Pack made serious waves in the SEO industry and small businesses everywhere. And that’s just the beginning.

Things are heating up, and they’re all set to boil over this year. A number of rising factors suggests that local search in 2016 should deserve your complete attention. Because now more than ever before, you have to meet the increasing demands of mobile users.

Trust us—this is something you do not want to miss.

Source: business2community.com

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Unannounced desktop only feature gives people the ability to find the highest rated businesses in a given area.

Search Engine Land has learned about a new “Facebook Professional Services” area on Facebook, where the company appears to be taking direct aim at local search companies like Yelp and Google by offering listings of local businesses and services, complete with user reviews.

Source: Search Engine Land

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EU negotiators wrapped up talks on a major data protection reform last night (15 December) that will tighten privacy laws and determine how companies handle consumers' personal data.

The data protection regulation was hit with thousands of amendments and branded one of the top lobbied draft bills during its four-year stint in the legislative pipeline.

Following the October European Court of Justice decision that knocked down the Safe Harbour data transfer agreement between the EU and US, Europe's tough privacy rules have been under the spotlight.

Technology companies and privacy lawyers are saying the new regulation will make Europe's data protection rules a lot stricter. Current EU privacy legislation stems from the 1995 data protection directive.

Source: Euractiv

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Not too long ago, Mark Zuckerberg hinted that Facebook could eventually replace Web search, at least to some degree. A step in that direction came when Facebook announced a couple of weeks ago that it is vastly expanding its search capabilities by providing search results from all two trillion public posts within its social media platform.

Although Facebook previously had a large search volume of 1.5 billion searches a day, those searches did not include results from posts outside of friends’ posts or Pages liked, even if a post was otherwise publicly visible.

The biggest impact seems to be in real-time news, where hot topics and trending stories that normally come up in a News Feed can be searched. Results will display stories from publishers and media outlets, public posts and any links to stories in those posts, as well as conversations from your friends about the story.

So, what about local search? Right now, the search component does not search the web. While Facebook did previously partner with Bing to bring web results to searches, that is no longer part of the current search function on the Facebook app.

Source: Search Engine Land

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