Local Search is the “Last Mile” of Web Search

I was inspired this morning by a “tweet” from Simon Baptist, a product manager at [praized subtype=”small” pid=”1f65a14804f64b04e4179c640c5de86b1d” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”], who was “pondering the business value for Publishers to deploy a local search strategy”. It’s also something I spend a lot of time thinking these days within the context of this blog and as co-founder of Praized Media.

I now sincerely believe local search will permeate everything we do on the Web, in the same way we live our life “locally” as well (that famous statement that most of us buy products & services from a fifty miles radius around our home and workplace). Browsers (powered by Mozilla’s Geode, Google’s Gears Geolocation API or [praized subtype=”small” pid=”1a373df80cc2da9bb3d31743fd8be5e719″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”]’ Loki) will all be location-aware, smart mobile devices (like the iPhone or the Blackberry Bold) will make our local lives much easier. And all this local commerce will have an important social component, with the ability to “ping” your extended social graph for advice and feedback.

Local search will be the online equivalent of product placements in the movies. The way you easily monetize content in a relevant, contextual and subtle local way, by allowing your readers to find the place where they can buy a product or service they’ve read (heard, seen) about in an online magazine, newspaper, TV/video site, blog, social network, etc.).

Local search is the “Last Mile” of Web search and enabling companies like [praized subtype=”small” pid=”e0ed1f26245cb054822081ab116d8471″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”], [praized subtype=”small” pid=”c0208bbf51b03f3b31eb8972697cce1e” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”], FAST, [praized subtype=”small” pid=”1a4d80ac5edf63f4545420c318a607f315″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”], Localeze, Navteq and Praized Media (amongst others) are building the “pipes” to connect the online world to real world commerce.

Local Search is the "Last Mile" of Web Search

I was inspired this morning by a “tweet” from Simon Baptist, a product manager at [praized subtype=”small” pid=”1f65a14804f64b04e4179c640c5de86b1d” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”], who was “pondering the business value for Publishers to deploy a local search strategy”. It’s also something I spend a lot of time thinking these days within the context of this blog and as co-founder of Praized Media.

I now sincerely believe local search will permeate everything we do on the Web, in the same way we live our life “locally” as well (that famous statement that most of us buy products & services from a fifty miles radius around our home and workplace). Browsers (powered by Mozilla’s Geode, Google’s Gears Geolocation API or [praized subtype=”small” pid=”1a373df80cc2da9bb3d31743fd8be5e719″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”]’ Loki) will all be location-aware, smart mobile devices (like the iPhone or the Blackberry Bold) will make our local lives much easier. And all this local commerce will have an important social component, with the ability to “ping” your extended social graph for advice and feedback.

Local search will be the online equivalent of product placements in the movies. The way you easily monetize content in a relevant, contextual and subtle local way, by allowing your readers to find the place where they can buy a product or service they’ve read (heard, seen) about in an online magazine, newspaper, TV/video site, blog, social network, etc.).

Local search is the “Last Mile” of Web search and enabling companies like [praized subtype=”small” pid=”e0ed1f26245cb054822081ab116d8471″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”], [praized subtype=”small” pid=”c0208bbf51b03f3b31eb8972697cce1e” type=”badge” dynamic=”true”], FAST, [praized subtype=”small” pid=”1a4d80ac5edf63f4545420c318a607f315″ type=”badge” dynamic=”true”], Localeze, Navteq and Praized Media (amongst others) are building the “pipes” to connect the online world to real world commerce.

Krillion: A New Local Product Inventory Platform

Krillion is a search engine that lets you find consumer appliances in stores near you. (…) Krillion lists the specific makes of fridges and other appliances carried at the stores near you, and that are in stock, thus giving you more direct help in your quest to find them. Eventually, Krillion wants to expand coverage to other categories, including consumer electronics, lawn and garden and seasonal appliances.”

“Interestingly, Krillion does not consider itself primarily a consumer destination. It strives to offer a highly usable consumer experience but Toledano (Krillion’s CEO) sees it largely as an advertising solution. (…) it solves “the last mile” problem for regional/national advertisers and manufacturers by directing consumers to where they can buy products in over 40,000 local markets. Accordingly, the business model is retailer and manufacturer advertising. (Krillion) aim to push out the content in SEO and through partner relationships to gain maximum distribution rather than relying heavily on building a consumer brand or destination. ”

(via VentureBeat and Search Engine Land)

What it means: This new company seems strangely similar to Stepup.com (who was recently acquired by Intuit). StepUp’s connection with Intuit is already a strong barrier to entry for new Local Shopping competition and the market is already pretty crowded (In addition to StepUp, Search Engine Land lists ShopLocal, NearbyNow, Yokel, CNET, Froogle, Become.com and data provider Channel Intelligence). Most experts (including me) agree that local inventory is the next Holy Grail in local search but it’s going to be a tough nut to crack.