In my “Locals Only” column this month, I discuss the impact of recent announcements by major tech, online, and mobile companies regarding their plans for local search:
- In mid-January, Google’s Mobile division announced that it is upgrading its search engine on Android-powered devices and the iPhone to present results reflective of the current or last locations of it users, while Twitter began testing a local trends tool which allows users to see trends in their local countries and cities in addition to those for the entire site.
- According to a recent patent submission, Yahoo is in the process of developing a mobile local search application that will take into account a user’s location, the time of day, information in the user’s calendar, past behaviors, weather, social networking data, information about the proximity of a social contact, and other data when providing results.
- AT&T told Forbes about its plans to launch buzz.com, a new local social search site that will reportedly let users poll their friends and ask experts for advice about different nearby businesses.
- And Apple announced its new iPad tablet, which incorporates iPhone apps, Google Maps, a built-in compass, WiFi, and wireless data capabilities – allowing users to access location-based information from wherever they are.
With so much change, I think it’s important to reflect on how these new technologies and services will affect our industry— and what our small business clients will need to do to keep up.
There’s no doubt that as media continues to fragment, and marketing tools become more complicated and sophisticated, many opportunities and challenges lies ahead for the small business owner.
For my thoughts, check out my Search Engine Land column here.