Tag Archives: Local

updated: microsoft street slide view better than google street view? [video]

2 Aug

back in a february post i said that i’d be switching to bing maps over google maps soon (back then for the flickr integration). well, this newly released video from microsoft research has reaffirmed that notion as street slide looks phenomenal – especially to a map geek like myself. 

update: i fixed the youtube video above and it should work again.

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history of location technology. [infographic]

6 Apr
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nice location technology evolution infographic / graph. now with so many location based technologies available and their intertwining with social media, will they really be the future?

forget google maps. i’ll be switching to bing maps soon.

12 Feb

awesome Flickr integration coming from bing maps soon. this will combine two of my favorite things: maps & flickr.

why google buzz will be “big in 2010”

12 Feb

Big in 2010

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While writing this blog post, I have the 1984 cult classic “Big in Japan” from Alphaville stuck in my head. So, I encourage you to hum the refrain from “Big in Japan” in your head as you read this blog post.

I have been thinking about this blog post and what will be “Big in 2010” for a while now, but the recent announcement of Google Buzz really validated my thinking.  The three big trends I’ve seen growing over the last 6 months or so are: Local, Mobile, and Real-Time.  Stick with me and you’ll see why Google Buzz is the manifestation of these three trends into one application and will be “Big in 2010”.

Local

I’ll start off by talking about “Local.”  Towards the end of last year, local really started becoming more and more prominent – from the Google caffeine update that incorporates more and more local results via maps to local social media apps such as foursquare.  Now, when you search for “pizza” you not only get the results of Papa John’s, Domino’s, and Pizza Hut, but also a map with local pizza place results.  In addition, when you think about the much talked about and discussed Google algorithm (there are actually three different algorithms): the standard result page algorithm, the Google Maps algorithm, and finally the algorithm for Maps included on the Google Results page. With Google Buzz I can tag my updates with a location so they become searchable via location and by looking at a map. Want to see what people around you are saying? No problem anymore thanks to Google Buzz

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Mobile

Next up is “Mobile.”  According to some estimates, by 2013 more people will access the Internet via a mobile device than via a desktop.  Beyond being portable and always in the pocket of your consumer, this trend is here to stay for good.  There are close to 5 billion mobile phones worldwide.  There are many different ways to market to mobile – from SMS and display ads to Apps.  However, the most important thing is to offer your potential customers a mobile optimized experience, which may be a mobile website or a mobile app via iTunes or the Android Marketplace. Enter Google Buzz on your mobile device and you are catering to the heavy social users.  No iPhone app for Google Buzz? No problem! Just like with Google Voice it runs via HTML 5 directly in the iPhone’s built in browser: Safari.

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Real-Time

The final of the trends I want to talk about is “Real-Time.”  Real-time search is here. It’s not the future anymore.  All search engines are pulling in real-time results from all over the place, including press releases and Twitter.  Most social media platforms offer real-time search, with Twitter being the most prominent.  Just go to search.twitter.com and type in your brand or company and watch the magic happen.  Real-time search can be scary. Real-time updates are what Google Buzz is all about, just like Twitter it offers a constant feed of what people are saying and sharing around you. It’s like having a constant conference call going on and listening in on what people are saying.

Below is the dissection of a typical search results page – notice the real-time results in purple.

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 Enter Google Buzz

How big are all of these three trends?  Big enough that Google introduced its newest invention, “Google Buzz,” which incorporates and excels at all three of these trends in one application.  So: are Local, Mobile and Real-Time here to stay?  If Google Buzz catches on, it will defiantly continue to grow and be the “it” thing in 2010 – Or, “Big in 2010”.

In a nutshell, Google Buzz is the newest social network and sharing product built by Google.  Buzz offers a stream of status updates, pictures, links, and videos from your friends.  You can “like” these items and you can comment on them.  Real-time updates from Flickr, Picasa, Google Reader, or Twitter can also be automatically imported into a Buzz stream.

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46% of Local Online Searchers Visit Brick and Mortar Businesses

24 Oct

46% of Local Searchers Visit Businesses In-Store

46% of local searchers make in-store visits, according to data released to eMarketer by TMP Directional Marketing and comScore. The number is up 12% over last year.

Meanwhile, for “general searches,” 34% visited stores, but this was only up 1% over last year. Internet yellow pages searchers also came in at 34%, up from 29% last year. The overall average of searchers ending up in-store was 37%.

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Don;t think online searches are important? Think again. SEO will make or break your business over the next few years.

Notes from Day One of #SMX East 2009

6 Oct

 

37 pages. That’s how pages of notes I took today at SMX East. Given they were small pages, but nevertheless that’s still la lot of notes – but, also a reflection upon the vast amount of knowledge that you learn at SMX. Don’t fool yourself, you better be ready to learn, A LOT, at SMX because the learning is something that never stops at SMX.

I learned about the rel=canonical tag from the search engines, local vs. organic SEO, and all about Maps. How local search and maps are evolving. And finally, I had the pleasure of sitting in a keynote by Ben Huh.

 

Here a few of the highlights of things that stood out to me today:

 

Mobile Search Ads –

  • Always send Mobile PPC ads to Mobile sites or Mobile Landing Pages.
  • Geo-target with your Mobile PPC ads
  • But, you don’t need a mobile site as you can send mobile ads to: Google Maps, Apple Appstore, Android Marketplace or YouTube.
  • The Mobile Relevance Formula has a lower relevance on Quality Score and a higher relevance on Click Through Rate
  • Click To Call Converts 10x more than Clicks
  • Test if users prefer a limited mobile or a full site

 

 

Duplicate Content Issues: The Search Engine Edition –

  • The biggest news here was that during the Q&A session Google announced that the rel=canonical tag will work across different domains
  • This means that by year’s end Yahoo and bing will use the canonical tag and Google will be ahead once again by accepting the tag across domains

 

 

Ranking Tactics for Local Search –

For a local search Connoisseur like me that was probably the most insightful panel of the day.

  • The most intriguing thing to me was the discussion of the difference between Organic and Local SEO. Without getting into this: Yes, there are major differences here
  • One thing to keep in mind is that services such as Localeze, Axiom, and infoUSA feed the search engines and feed secondary search directories. These secondary directories in turn passively feed Google.
  • There are differences across the three major search engines 

 

 

Maps, Maps, Maps! –

This was nice run-through of the three maps (Google, bing, Yahoo!) by the representatives of the actual search engines

  • Yahoo demoed their new features (very impressive!)
  • Yahoo uses localeze, USAlocal,etc to pull in data
  • bing showed off their advancements as well. The “1-click” directions stood out the most as the pre-populate directions from North, South, West, and East
  • Google reminded the audience to not keyword stuff the listings (e.g. Categories, etc.)
  • The importance of Reviews were driven home by Steve Espinosa from Cherrp: a minimum of 4 reviews are required to be in Google’s top 3

 

 

Keynote by Ben Huh, the CEO of ICANHASCHEEZBURGER network –

This keynote really made the day and was stuffed full of great quotes and insights. Among these were:

  • “To succeed you must turn other people’s dreams into reality”
  • ” It is Human Nature to admire complexity but to reward simplicity”
  • Don’t waste your time developing things created by others: spend 10% on off-the-shelf and 90% on your core
  • This means use products others have developed, such as: YouTube to host videos, JS-Kit for reviews, Google Docs, and Word press for blogging

Everything’s Local in Mobile Search

18 Sep

Looking for local online advertising? Consider mobile advertising. In a short period of time mobile advertising has gone from an experimental media to a proven one. According to comScore, Inc. the number of local searches on a mobile device grew 51% from March 2008 to March 2009, and the preferred method of search is by using a mobile browser.

Due to the increase in browsing patterns, more and more online advertising is moving to wireless devices such as the Blackberry, the iPhone, or the Palm Pre. In 2006, U.S. advertisers spent $4.8 billion, or about 3 percent of total ad spending, on mobile ads. That’s expected to increase to 12 percent by 2011, according to eMarketer.

 Mobile local search is still in the development stages, but it is catching up quickly in many business categories and it will very soon be an essential channel for companies looking to get business from local searches.

According to CTIA, over 70 percent of the US population has a mobile phone. In general, there are two choices for local searches using a mobile device: SMS or browser based searches. Each is great at serving a different kind of search need.

SMS & Mobile Browsers: Tools Tailored to Search Requirements

SMS ads have hit the mainstream, with about 15 percent of mobile phones receiving at least one SMS ad according to M-Metrics.  SMS are great at fulfilling a quick information need, such as a sports scores, weather, or stock quotes.

On the other hand, consumers typically perform mobile browser searches when they want more subjective information. For example, a mobile browser based search can help find a restaurant with reviews at Yahoo or Google.

Local Marketing Choices

Where should you look to make take advantage of this rapidly growing trend of mobile local search? On the one hand, SMS has some advantages over Web-based browser searches.  But, users have to opt in to receive sponsored SMS messages. Mobile Search Browsing on the other hand is as simple as putting a PPC ad on a search engine.  However, instead of seeing them on a monitor, customers are seeing them on the screen of their mobile device.  This has many advantages including the possibility of prompting consumers to call a certain number or map a route to your location.

Pizza is already onboard – Others are catching on (quickly)

A large percentage of mobile searches are for local businesses. A majority of those are for restaurants and pizza places in particular. Next in popularity is a group that includes taxis, banks, and searches for specific brands, such as Starbucks, Wal-Mart, Target, Blockbuster, Costco, etc.

Online directories, with an increase of 73%, have seen the largest increase during the past year among the various local content categories, followed by restaurants (70%), maps (63%), and movies (60%).

Other categories are quickly becoming more widespread as two things start to occur: consumers become more aware of the capability and the companies that compile listings for local merchants expand their databases of dentists, doctors, florists, and other businesses.

Some businesses can generate a return more quickly from mobile local search. If your business is in a category that benefits heavily from impulse buying, you are trying to expand your company’s footprint, or you want to take your brand to where consumers are going, mobile is a great fit.

From a branding perspective mobile advertising can be invaluable. But it’s important to remember that people won’t make large purchases based on mobile searches, but it will help with your company’s branding and can help develop a sale down the road. Keep in mind that the majority uses their mobile devices to find the nearest oil-change center, gas station, florist, ATM, or particular restaurant.

What’s Next?

Before you can participate in this brave new world it’s important to ask yourself a few questions: Do you have a website that shows up correctly on mobile browsers? Are you tapping into the local searches coming from mobile devices? Is your Google Map Listing Correct? Let Bayshore help you assess our mobile strategy and develop mobile tactics with you.

 

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