Live From SMX East: 'Location Services: The New Local Search?'

By Evan Levy | Oct 4, 2010
More Articles by Evan


The last session I’ll be at today is one highlighting the differences and advantages of location services vs. local search.  This session should compliment some of the information heard earlier in the day about the changing landscape of mobile search.  Speakers included: Gib OlanderWill ScottDylan Swift, and Chris Travers.

Foursquare advertiser survey a few months later -

More advertisers believe foursquare helps grow their business than not.

Most are tracking check-ins, and most have claimed Google places pages, and now a significant number of people are claiming their Facebook places page.

Only 10% of businesses surveyed said they would pay for use of foursquare.  Many of those polled feel tracking check-ins is daunting.

Mobile search is starting to be linked to buying behavior; 70% of mobile and social users say they’re likely to make a purchase.

People and their opinions have now been injected into location based searched.  Gone from identification, to reputation.  No longer what’s there, but also who’s there, what’s their reputation, etc.

Every data field accepted by a publisher represents traffic and revenue opportunities.  Businesses overlook simple ones that are vital, like hours of operation.

Video is the future, even it is is a simple slideshow hosted on YouTube.  New enhanced data fields are coming to deliver much more information to the search engines, and the data aggregators  will be pushing all of this to the engines as well.

Start with presence awareness, know what it out there and where it is.  Reputation scoring is also important, monitor what people are saying about your business.

Categories are not keywords.  They are important for getting the correct listings for your business ranking where you want them.

Yelp! mobile application is on five platforms.  Millions of people use the software, and 1/3 of searches on the site are coming from the mobile application.

Case Study: NY optometrist saw, on average, 25% of Park Slope Eye’s customers a day are influenced by Yelp.

First started search with finding what we wanted.  Next, we’re looking for what and where.  Now, we’re looking for what, where, and with context of who.

Companies can use time to determine what people are looking for.  Use Google real-time search to help people find the best content quickly.  If it’s 8:00 in the morning, hot coffee would be a good message to distribute.  If it’s 11:00, maybe snack food.

People expect to buy within an hour on a mobile vs. within a week on a desktop.

By 2011, 80% of mobile devices will have GPS, you can talk to customers when they’re actually there.

Each location should create and maintain a local search content cloud organizing content for recovery and discovery search.

Having established identities enables discovery.

Key point: own and mange your identity to impact consumers at the point of buying decision.

Questions/Final Comments

Why would a business value a foursquare customer over any other? — Potentially because if you show this person more value when you’re in the shop, they’re going to show you more value when they comment on  your business on that service.

Facebook will be a significant part of everyone’s marketing for a long time.  Yelp! will either be acquired by Facebook or continue to thrive on its own.

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