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.