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Also, what about metro areas? The San Francisco Bay Area is a perfect example. A business might be located in Palo Alto, but really be serving the whole Bay Area. If you set the distance to 45 miles and search San Francisco, you get results listed by proximity to city center, with those further away appearing further down on the list... This is legit for pizza, probably less so for web design. It's a complex issue that receives a fair amount of discussion in the Directory Forum. I suspect that now it will come up here as well.
I'm seeing the same thing for "restaurants local city" for several cities - the site that has the top spot on the regular SERPS is nowhere to be found on the local search.
Also is it the print versions or the electronic versions that the data is pulled from? Since there are free listings available for some of these yellow pages, is that data used or is only the paid listings, and if so, which paid listing? For example YellowPages.com has Premium, Enhanced, and Basic business electronic listings. They also have Banner Ads and Display Ads, not to mention the entire print directory. Whew....
Thanks for any guidance.
[edited by: Brett_Tabke at 11:38 am (utc) on Mar. 26, 2004]
[edit reason] please review the tos on urls [/edit]
I wonder how google expects local directories to survive long enough to keep feeding them information, if google is going out of its way to starve them and put them out of business. It's going to be very hard to sell advertising on a site after traffic and rankings begin to dry up.
Next they'll be offering advertising space on unused empty-content domains purchased in bulk by huge companies.
Oh heck - they're already doing that with domainpark :)
Er what next, maybe celebration of selective holidays, based on what Google regards as being of worldwide importance - Oh heck - they've done it with St Patrick's Day! (do they do Muslim Holidays also?)
O.K. here's another try, before you sort out your serps Google, what about 'Google Dating Services'?
There's something about GG, with his confusing and unfathomable announcements, that's not without its enigmatic appeal.
You could call it, 'Shagoogle' or something like that...
That's at least a pass to answer questions (the FAQ answers a few more). My parents are in town and I'm (gasp) taking a day off today, but I'll check WebmasterWorld again tonight. By that time, people will have noticed that Yahoo just added a graphical little bar to Yahoo's toolbar that shows a rank as you surf around the web and folks will be eagerly dissecting and debating it, I'm sure. :)
By that time, people will have noticed that Yahoo just added a graphical little bar to Yahoo's toolbar that shows a rank as you surf around the web and folks will be eagerly dissecting and debating it, I'm sure.
I love when GG talks about what the other guys are up to. :)
Remember, imitation is the sincerest form of flattery.
Looking forward to some statements from G about the sources of the yellow page-type information in Google Local.
SuperPages seems to offer a free business profile, but I'm not able to make it work right now. Switchboard looks like it's $15 per month. Anyone have any insight into other Yellow Page sources they're using, and cost?
I am a big fan of location search too. Someday, i hope, when i drive around the country (or do geo-caching), G would be able to show the nearest atm/bar, based on geo-positioning data. Would someone tell Mr.page a 'yes' vote about the hand-held google devices he is thinking abt. lol.
Data is the engine that drives local search. Most IYPs purchase data from Acxiom Corp or InfoUSA. This data serves as IYP result set backfill, so that they can serve positive and comprehensive result sets to searchers, regardless of the number of paying ads. The IYPs, in turn, sell different levels of enhanced placement above the alpha listed back fills. The backfill data tends to be average at best because quite frankly most people don't know much about these data monsters, and updates take months rather than days.
G's Local Search structure is unique in that data is derived by crawling the web, while utilizing an algo to model the data against proximity scores. This is accomplished in a pure search environment. Data is collected across the *entire web, including authoritative yp properties, directory structures. The algo has checks and balances that interpret and cross reference data in a manner that no IYP has even come close to.
From an optimization standpoint, G’s Local search is much less maniputable than a common search result set. Personalization thru Proximity and Preference measures is where we are going, and unless you can show up in multiple external web sources around the web with dummy data that puts you .7 miles from Jon Doe user, I would instead put my focus on *accurate and consistant external local data* for your business or for your client's business and think about adwords.
This move is good for the local search marketplace, and search in general. We are creating temporary reference points that define future models, trends, and relationships. In the process the small business and the user are benefiting.
Right now a small business is being pulled up for the first time by a local searcher on G. The difference between today and last tuesday is that this business *may not of done a single thing* to appear on top of this G serp. That is remarkable.
Your altruism continues to compell G…… and your ability to use it to naturally invite monetization is simply remarkable.
Is any of the current data from an actual site or just databases thus far. Most of the Local listings if you click on do not offer a link to a site. Is this desired currently or do you see future links to sites?
I realize that they've tried many new features and you can't count on anything being a sure thing, but this is very encouraging to me. I hope it means that they see more value in cooperating with the folks that give them their best information, rather than viewing us as competition to be crushed.
She wrote back, "I tried 'available babies' in our area and no kids' names came up."
This is why we don't discuss search engine stuff over dinner.
This is why I am a bit cynical about all of this new stuff that is being introduced. I am in the UK and I have never had any problems finding local services (using the Internet or otherwise.) Isn't this the WORLDWIDE Web we are talking about? If the Internet had been introduced as a local service, (let's call it the HTWW or Home Town Wide Web) it would never have taken off. People would have dismissed it as some sort of cable channel gimmick. It is it's international nature that is appealing.
In this community we all know a wee bit about computers and are capable of commenting on the new features but we are definitely not typical. The skills of the average Internet user are also increasing with time but my guess is that probably less than 1% of them will take the trouble to play around with the new stuff. I can't help feeling that the development time used on this would have been better spent on further improving the basic search results.
The original appeal of Google was that it had a lot of blank white space on it's home page with a box where you entered your search and generally found what you were looking for quite quickly. You were not pi&&ed of by adverts and did not really need to know anything about computers to use it.
I appreciate that the screen now does not look all that different to what it was originally but adding new options that most people will not use at the expense of better results may be a big mistake. I am computer savvy but I still wan't to be able to find everything from the home page. I don't want to have to set up personal preferences or try to remember where the local search is. Could be a move in the wrong direction.