In episode 2 of the Localogy podcast “This Week in Local” we feature a lively conversation on Google Search and ghost kitchens. In this episode, the analysts take on Google’s efforts to make desktop search more like mobile search via the addition of continuous scrolling. They also kick around the seeming demise of ghost kitchens, specifically looking at recent developments at Wonder, a foodtech startup we covered earlier in the year.
The two analysts regularly cover these topics at Localogy’s online publication Localogy Insider.
Mike began with a rundown on Google’s addition of continuous scrolling to the desktop search experience. He explores what it means to the local search ecosystem.
Page Two’s Demise?
Mike invokes an old joke in search circles in his recent Localogy Insider article on the topic. “They say that the best place to hide a body is on page 2 of Google search results. Now, that hiding spot may be going away…”
Mike leaned a little harder into the shopworn joke on the podcast (after some prodding from Charlie), saying, “I guess Google is cracking down on body hiding and other nefarious and illegal activity on page two. Because yes, that page two is sort of going away.”
Mike noted that the changes to the desktop Google search experience are consistent with Google’s past behavior of taking what works in one realm, in this case, mobile, and applying it across the board (to desktop in this case).
“Google…continues to try to future proof itself, and improve search so that people keep using it,” Mike says on the episode.
You can listen to Episode 2 of This Week in Local on Apple Podcasts here.
Or listen on Spotify here.
Charlie then took the conversation in a very different direction. He brought up a recent post discussing some setbacks at the ghost-kitchen-on-wheels startup Wonder. This is a startup that attracted a boatload of venture capital (about $850 million) but not much love from Charlie. Quick note, we incorrectly cited Wonder’s venture funding amount on the pod at a mere $450 million.
Too Clever by Half?
In Episode 2, Charlie doesn’t hold back. He describes Wonder as ”a dumb idea” and “too clever by half.”
Wonder was launched by A-list entrepreneur Marc Lore, owner of the NBA’s Minnesota Timberwolves. Recently, Wonder (per The Information) has reportedly laid off staff and sought to unload some of its vans.
Charlie cites Wonder as an example of a name brand entrepreneur, which Lore certainly is, being able to raise crazy amounts of money for a debatable idea. At least until recently.
“I mean, I could have that idea. But I’m not going to raise dollar one,” Charlie said on the episode.
Mike and Charlie landed the episode by riffing more broadly on ghost kitchens as a business concept. Both analysts have written on and off about ghost kitchens. The two wondered aloud why the admittedly clever idea hasn’t been more successful.
“It hasn’t really panned out to the degree we thought,” Mike says on the episode. “We were really all about this idea a few years ago. It looked so good on paper.”
Finally, you can find this Google search and ghost kitchen episodes of This Week in Local on Localogy’s YouTube channel.
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