Local Search Roundup: Relaunches, Twitter Debuts New Self-Serve Advertising Platform; Google Introduces Offers with Rewards Program Launches Redesigned Site and New Blog

Canada’s Yellow Pages Group is debuting a redesigned website for the company’s popular public application programming interface (API), which has enrolled more than 1,700 software developers since its launch in late 2010. The tool, which features YPG’s business database of 1.5 million business listings, has sparked the creation of 35 innovative web and mobile applications. One great example is Yellow Pages TV, a new application that allows viewers to access, share and map business listings on their television. Additionally, YPG is starting a new API Fanboy blog focused on fostering stronger relationships with the developer community to help developers reach their innovation potential.

Twitter Announces Self-Serve Advertising for Small Businesses

Twitter announced that a select group of small businesses can begin using its self-service advertising platform to share promoted tweets and create promoted accounts. The self-service platform, which Twitter developed with American Express, will initially include a $100 credit offering for free advertising to the first 10,000 businesses that are either American Express merchants or cardholders. Promoted accounts suggest a brand’s Twitter account to users who it believes might be interested in the brand, while promoted tweets leverage tweets that generate significant activity and highlights them in search results. Small businesses pay a fee when users follow their account or engage with their promoted tweet.

Google Introduces Offer Rewards Program

Google is testing an extension of its Google Offers program, called “Google Offers with Rewards,” which enables consumers who register their credit card and then use it during their purchase to receive automatic rewards at participating local businesses. The program is designed to provide a more comprehensive approach to offline purchase tracking as a means of helping connect the dots between online ads and offline transactions. Google Offers with Rewards will initially be available to customers who previously purchased Google Offers from a list of Bay Area businesses.

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