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.

Skyhook: Helping Apple’s Devices Know Where You Are Without GPS

Skyhook‘s technology uses signals from WiFi hot spots to triangulate and find a person’s location, instead of using a chip that lets a mobile device communicate with the satellite-based Global Positioning System.Skyhook, founded in 2003 by Ted Morgan and Michael Shean, has gathered and catalogued the WiFi fingerprint of streets in thousands of US cities and towns by driving along roads and collecting the unique signatures of 23 million WiFi signals that flow out of houses, businesses, and public access points. The company uses that data to let WiFi-enabled devices know where they are. (…)The software upgrade that includes the new location feature – it’s available free on an iPhone and for $19.99 on an iPod Touch – allows people to simply press a button to see where they are.

A map displays a bull’s-eye that’s centered on the user’s location; Morgan said Skyhook’s technology typically is accurate up to about 165 feet. The technology builds in the likely margin of error and draws a circle on the map, taking into account the likely error of the location technology, so that the user will be within the radius 95 percent of the time.

(via Boston.com)

ipod touch

(flickr photo by tibopoix)

What it means: I believe Apple is betting that location-based services represent the future growth for their iPod line of product. During Apple’s Q1 2008 conference call, their execs called it potentially the “first mainstream Wi-Fi mobile platform, running all kinds of mobile applications”. With the upcoming release of the iPhone SDK, we should be monitoring the growing installed base of these devices.