Local Web Search Made Easy
D. Graham Tweedy, DGT Internet Marketing
Great strides are being made in the online search world to
improve local search, the ability to find local services,
on the Web. Yahoo introduced SmartView
the first week of March 2004 and a week plus later Google
graduated their local search from beta to launch Google
SmartView by Yahoo
SmartView creates more choice than you previously
received from Yahoo maps. Further, the concept will allow
for more specific local advertising. Obviously the big players
will participate but it looks like there will be opportunities
for the smaller local advertiser as well. Yahoo draws most
of its local search information from BellSouth yellow pages
and InfoUSA. Currently the search works for the US but give
Yahoo time and they will include Canada and the rest of the
Here is how it works. You have a problem! You plan
a visit to relatives in St Louis and you wish to find a local
restaurant near the residence but do not wish to alert your
visitors that you plan to treat them.
- Go to Yahoo, select maps and you are ready to experience
the new SmartView.
- Put your relatives address in the appropriate fields and
up will come the local map.
- In the column to the right will be choices such as Shopping,
- Select “Food and Dining” and then
- Select the type of food you prefer and voila, the locations
of appropriate restaurants come up on the map.
- You can check each one out by clicking on the location.
You will learn as much as you wish, even testimonials from
happy customers. You can even check out their website, if
they have one, for more detail.
- You may wish to check out a couple of night spots to visit
after dinner and then the local golf course to visit the
next day to work off the big night on the town.
Google Local by Google
Google Local uses their own search results plus Yellow
Pages to deliver local information. Visit the site using the
address above. You may prefer the way Google presents its
data over SmartView. It looks more “telephone book like”.
If you want to add your business listing to the Yellow Pages
you can send an Email
What should we do?
As web marketers what do we learn from this?
- Make sure you have a website which would add immeasurably
to the information that a searcher would learn about you.
- If you already have a website make sure you have local
references in your text.
- Make sure you are listed in the source documents that
both Yahoo and Google use.
You may not be the type of enterprise that would appear in
a local search as discussed above as these searches focus
primarily on retail services. Maybe you are a local supplier
of paint or you are an attorney or CPA. Take a look at your
- Does it include local information to make clear where
you are located and what you are about?
- This information must be presented on the homepage.
- Now, of course you have worked on keywords, developed
Meta tags plus the rest of essential internet marketing
Now, go to Google, not local Google, just regular Google,
and place in the search box the best key phrase that describes
your site and then place +Stockton at the end. Please
do not include the italics. Can you find your site?
Try this. Go to Google as described above. Place in
the search box the following:
- Internet marketing+Stockton. Please do not include
the italics. Guess what site comes up close to the top!
For a more complete discussion of how the emphasis on local
search by the search engines is changing and how you might
take advantage of this, give us a call.