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.

Nokia N810: One Mean Local Search Machine

Nokia used the Web 2.0 Summit to launch their new Nokia N810 Internet tablet (specs here). Anssi Vanjoki, Executive Vice President & General Manager, Multimedia, took the stage to explain to us why it was a great device. I managed to capture in video the portion of his speech related specifically to local search.

Anssi Vanjoki Nokia N810 Web2Summit

What it means: portable computer + GPS + Linux-based open platform (built on Maemo) + Mozilla-based browser + wi-fi + potential integration of NavTEQ data = one mean local search machine… I’m really excited about that one! In related news, the New York Times has an article about GPS-enabled cell phones.

Nokia Bets on Local, Acquires NAVTEQ

(via eWeek and Reuters)

Nokia said on Oct. 1 it will offer $8.1 billion for U.S.-based digital map supplier Navteq in one of its largest takeovers ever, but its shares fell as analysts dubbed the deal “expensive.” The acquisition would give the world’s top cellphone maker—which is looking for new revenue sources as the cellphone industry matures—a stronghold in the navigation business, one of the fastest-growing segments in the technology industry.

What it means: in a deal that underlines the importance of mobile in the local space (and vice-versa!), Nokia makes its biggest bet so far and buys an important piece of the local search ecosystem. I think it confirms some of the things I was writing about last week in my When will Mobile Become the Next Big Thing? post.