Monday, March 26, 2007

What if I do not want to drive to Houston?

Local: The Undiscovered Country

John Gartner on MarketingShift blog discusses local search and how it is being all but ignored by Google. He has several good suggestions for implementing local search. He also speculates on the monetary rewards of the first search engine to do so:
My blood boils when I think about the money that will be made when someone eventually gets this right. What the heck is taking so long?
I would have to agree with John Gartner. Back in October of 2005, I explored some of the uses of geolocation, just one use being local search:
Determining geographic locations using Internet Protocol (IP) addresses offers improved capabilities to web users. When you search, your IP address may be read so that local stores are returned first, after the paid ads, that is.
It is now March 2007. If I type in a search term that is a material item that I can handle and that is sold through stores, the search results should return that item in local stores first. If I type the search term, rv air conditioner, the first search result should be the store closest to where I live that sells rv air conditioners; not, first, Houston (150 miles) or, second, Celina, Ohio (1244 miles). The third result, CampingWorld, is a better match, but I still have to go to the website, find the item and then locate the nearest store (15 miles).

Now, I am not complaining, much, because the search process is much quicker than trying to find the RV air conditioner using the Yellow Pages. However, think about how it could be if local search became a reality. By now, I could be looking at types of RV air conditioners at the nearest store instead of finding the nearest store.

Someone is missing the market, BIG TIME.

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