Posts Tagged ‘local search’

Google Deploys Recommendation Engine With Hotpot

Tuesday, November 16th, 2010

Yesterday evening, Google announced their new service, Hotpot, a mashup that combines social media with local info and check-in services. This marks yet another surge forward in the local arena that Google has made recently, along with the deployment of Google Place Search, launch of Google Tags and Boost ads, and more.

I haven’t kicked the tires yet on Hotpot via mobile, but I can see the services it offers via web:

Google Hotpot

Hotpot encourages you to rate businesses, and connect with your friends to get recommendations for places to try out.

While the service appears fairly robust and graphically well-designed, it’s unclear to me so far just how much traction it may get. (more…)

Local Search’s Lacuna

Wednesday, May 12th, 2010

Tyler Bell wrote a very interesting post today, over at O’Reilly Radar: “Why check-ins and like buttons will change the local landscape“. In it, he talks about how a lack of common locality conventions is perhaps the main stumbling block of advancing local search technology, and he points to Gary Gale’s Geo Tower of Babel concept wherein different systems refer to places and placenames in different ways, meaning different things. Essentially, every different local info system out there refers to common places with variations on names and differing geocoordinates, and this lack of accurate specificity across systems causes many problems.

Local Business Profile

Tyler states that “developers are left holding the buck” in this issue, and he cites three top reasons for it. His top three reasons are the most interesting part of the piece, because I think he really describes many of the basic challenges of the local search industry beautifully. His first reason, “Focus on listings data as end rather than means” is described like this:

“Local search as we know it today is the parthenogenous child of the Yellow Pages industry. Many local search sites, and the data vendors they rely on, remain grounded in YP-era thinking, where the value was found in owning the listing data, making them discoverable in alphabetical order, and advertising against these listings. Local search for ages focused on being an electronic version of the Yellow Pages. Few organizations have looked above the horizon and considered carefully what value could be realized if listings were viewed as a means to connect users to businesses, rather than only advertise against their search.”

His other two reasons, “Attempts at distinction with common data” and “Over-fascination with pins on maps” are good, too.

However, I think his ideas on resolving the issues are unrealistic. (more…)

My Interview At Nifty Marketing

Wednesday, April 7th, 2010

Mike Ramsey interviewed me over at Nifty Marketing: “Local Search Talk Series Part 4: Chris Silver Smith Interview“.

Previous interviews in the series include Matt McGee, Dev Basu, and Miriam Ellis.

I’m not at all sure that our group should be spilling all the local search ranking secrets to Mike in this way! Way, way, way too openly!

For myself, I cite the excuse that I was high on dental anesthetics at the time, which are the equivalent of being given truth serum. I was drugged, dammit! ;-)

Introducing Local SEO 101

Wednesday, March 31st, 2010

I’m contemplating doing a series of posts on here of “Local SEO 101” tips. Each post would outline a specific tactic for ranking in local search results, including local searches under blended/Universal Search as well as with Google Maps and other local search engines.

Main St. Diagram

Local Search Ranking Factors include a lot of pieces including citations from internet yellow pages, newspapers, vertical directories, community guides, business review sites, and more.

(more…)