Another nice post from Chris Silver Smith on Local Business SEO for Geo titled Should You Geotag Pages For Local SEO? As Silver Smith points out, geocoding web pages is acheived through semantic markup formats such as Geo microformat, ICBM meta tag (GeoURL), RDF tags, and the Geo tag meta data format. These various approaches are nicely summed up at the following Geotagging wikipedia page.
Which format to use? Here’s what Silver Smith has to say on the matter:
If you were only going to add one set of geotags, I’d suggest adding either the Geo microformat or RDF, because they’re supported in some ways by Yahoo! and Google (”supported” in the sense that both deliver up local content with microformats, and both have used microformats and RDF for purposes of special results listing treatments). Also, providing the coordinates on the page visibly can enhance usefulness as people are able to copy them directly into their GPS devices.
This past week, Google formally launched its Near me Now Search functionality, which enables one to discover places and things of interest that are nearby ones current location. Here’s a video of the Near me Now capability in action:
Here’s the video:
Yet another piece of Google’s over-arching Local strategy.
It’s pretty awesome (in a borg-like sort of way).
Google and HyperLocal – Jeff Jarvis opines
In typical fashion, Jeff Jarvis has a couple of great blog posts on recent announcments by Google, and what it foreshadows for the future of Hyperlocal.
In the first of these posts – Google’s synchronicity – Jarvis describes a coherent emerging Local/Mobile strategy from Google that leverages geo-location, place profiles, real-time search, image recognition, entity-based content aggregation, social search, and recent acquisitions/interest in AdMob, Yelp, and Trulia.
In the second post – The annotated world, Jarvis further explores Google’s Hyperlocal/Mobile strategy, and embeds some videos highlighting some of these capabilities. (For additional Google-related topics/videos, see my previous blog posts here, here, here, here, and here).
Web meets World – the pace accelerates
The above initiatives by Google, while very cool, are really concrete examples of a deeper trend identified earlier this year by Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle as Web Squared, or as it was originally termed “Web meets World“. Web Meets World, as I understand it, is the notion that the Web will extend its reach into the world of things (through real-time device-based sensors), will feed that data into the Cloud, whereupon intelligence derived from that data (contextual to our identity, interests, activities, location, social graph, etc.) will inform our real-time actions and decisions.
Anyway, powerful trends that in time will change the way we experience and relate to our physical and social surroundings.
Place Profiles – The convergence of Listings & Reviews, HyperLocal, Local Search, Maps, and Mobile platforms
Very interesting to see how the emerging “Places” technology space is unfolding. With Google’s recent launch of Places Pages, I believe we’re witnessing the intersection of Listings and Reviews, HyperLocal, Local Search, Maps, and Mobile platforms into an integrated product offering.
Google’s powerful Location-based Search platform
First there was the announcement from Google on September 29th 2009 of Place Pages for Google Maps. Mashup’s analysis re: the implications for Yelp is here: Place Pages: Google Launches Rival to Yelp.
The very next day, Google launches an improved mobile search service. Again, here’s what Mashup had to say on the matter: Google Launches Mobile Local Search: More Bad News for Yelp.
The combination of Google’s Maps, Places, and mobile Local Search services are a powerful trio. Throw in Google’s efforts in Semantic Web technology – of which Google Snippets is an example – and you’ve got quite a platform.
So what are “Place Pages” exactly?
Well, imagine that places – historical sites, monuments, your city, your community, your business, your residence, the mall, etc – were on Facebook. To my way of seeing it Place Pages is like Facebook for Places. Here’s an example of a place page for the Tartine Bakery in San Francisco. Note the map, reviews, products and pricing, pictures, etc. on this page. Here’s another place page for the city of Tokyo, Japan.
I tell you, there’s some serious semantic technology at work here. Welcome to the Web of Things (see also Tim O’Reilly and John Battelle’s Web meets World – aka Web Squared – presentation, which I blogged about here).
Here comes Microsoft
Not sitting still, Microsoft also has some powerful technology and products to bring to bear. First, in 2008 Microsoft acquires Semantic Search engine Powerset to integrate into their Bing Search platform.
Then, just days ago, Microsoft announced a significant upgrade to their Bing Maps platform.
Meanwhile Microsoft continues to invest in Local Search technology, and the Semantic technology experitise they acquired with PowerSet should position them well moving forward.
So where does this leave Yelp?
Well, we’ll have to see. Certainly Yelp’s new augmented reality iPhone app is mighty cool. And they’ve got a solid strategic position. But look out for the big boyz!
Location Technology – beyond Maps
Stumbled across the Where 2.0 conference – a conference held by O’Reilly Media for all things location-enabled. Here’s are links to videos from the Where 09 conference. Following are 2 presentations I found particular interesting.
Innovation Through Open Location – Tyler Bell, Yahoo Geo Technologies
A very interesting presentation on Yahoo’s view of a “locatation aware” Internet, and their Open Location initiative. Here’s the video:
Yahoo’s vision of a pervasive “location aware” Internet, is nicely summed up by the simple slide below:
Yahoo! has a very strong Geo Technologies team – their blog can be found here.
Where does Journalism Go? – Dan Gillmor
Dan Gillmor is the author of We the Media: Grass Roots Journalism for the People, by the People. Here’s his presentation:
Dan opens saying he’s “going to talk about how Journalists are using [location-based services], but we’re not sure who the Journalists are anymore.” He professes that “the traditional media have not in general done that well with the new location-based technology”.
He then explore some interesting uses for how Journalists can use hyperlocal sources of data to do informative data-driven journalism – including the use of maps and other data visualization techniques.
Gillmor pays kudos to the efforts of Adrian Holovaty, the founder of Everyblock, but lamets the fact that Holovaty couldn’t establish Everyblock inside a traditional news organization, but had to leave to do it himself.
Lots of other videos from the Where 2.0 conference, but these were my 2 favorites.