Dec 6, 2007 115 reads by Navneet Kaushal

Local search is a real convergence of local targeting and mobile device usage. It covers the spectrum from the desktop shopper to the casual "get it now" cell phone user. This panel will look at some of the ground from the search engines perspective, the wireless perspective, and the SEO/SEM marketing perspective.


  • Detlev Johnson


Speaking first is Gregory Markel the owner of Infusecreative. He says Local Mobile Search is still in its early phase. Today, mobile search means:

  • mobile browser-based request for "pizza 93065'
  • Yahoo! Mobile local "send to phone" request
  • Google Maps "pizza" request on an iPhone
  • mobile carrier/device Ad Network that knows where you are and serves you appropriate ads and offersrequest on an iPhone
  • It's the upcoming Google Phone OS (Android)

Google Maps with location. Whether or not your phone is GPS-enabled they will be able to find you and help you in finding things that are close to you. Next, Greg puts up a Googel video about how it works.

Why did it take so long?

Advertisers and consumers in the US took long to accept local mobile search. The issue was that the download speed was slow, screens are very small, low volume of mobile advertisers etc.

Greg asks the audience how many of hem have used Local search in the last week and month? IN both the questions, very few hands are raised. Now, the question becomes how to improve quality.

What consumers should do:

  • GPS: Remove steps/work in typing/searching
  • WAP must come to an end
  • Data speed must increase: 3G/Wifi/imax
  • Screens should be bigger/True Web/Better visuals/integrated technology
  • Free phones & service (ad supported)
  • MID Adoption Intel Moorestown/Wimax

What advertisers must do:

  • Relax campaign inclusion/tracking
  • More granular targeting
  • Successful case studies

Outlook for Local Search

  • 900 million global users by 2011
  • Revenue of $920 million by 2011
  • By 2011, 55 million US-alone mobile search users
  • Massive ad migration
  • Physical retailers/bars/restaurants will have the capability to broadcast promotions to those opted
  • "Free"- ad supported mobile phone service

Marketers should stay fresh and become part of it. and involved. Present are early adopter chances based on keyword, category and advertisers. Stay watchful. With more iPhone-like events and in 2 years time, it's Gold Rush time.

The second speaker is Alex Porter, the VP of SearchAdNetwork who is here to talk about local search in terms of search engines.

Percentage of local search usage is increasing. Companies should take advantage of map listings to connect with customers who are looking for them.

Map Listings help in:

  • Power search engines
  • Internet yellow pages
  • Site reviews
  • Mobile searches
  • In-car navigation results

Local Search Statistics:

  • 63 % of of Internet users conducted local search online in July of 2006.
  • Many made 808 million local/Internet yellow page queries.
  • 82 % of IYP and local search users connect only after viewing a business local advertisement.
  • 47 % of local searchers visited a local merchant as a result of search behavior.

Alex shows some slides of local search examples. Results are not impressive. Next question is, where is all the data for Local map listings?

Currently, phone books are being sent overseas so that data is entered for each business location. After this, all the data is sent to the 3 main data providers.

How do you know if your data is accurate?

Yahoo's Map Listings:

Find information within 24 hours. This however, has to be done manually. This way, it lets you enter in all your basic information. Each location has to be updated manually. Nt the mopst practical thing if you have 5,000 locations.


Google offers 2 options – Postcard Option and Bulk Upload Option. For the Postcard option, send your details and within some weeks Google sends you your Pin. Enter it online and in a few weeks time your listing goes live. Bulk Option is the best option.


  • MSN too runs a Postcard system
  • Superpages too has a Bulk Upload option

How to calculate your ROI:

  • Use Call tracking
  • Use trackable URLs
  • Use Google's tracking coupons

The best thing about submitting to search engines is that it lets you receive multiple listing exposure via maps and organic SERPs.

Next up is Dan Perry, an SEO Producer with Mobile search has boosted the extension of his company's brand. It also helped in building an ad-channel for future growth.

Back in April, the company had a soft launch and it was promoted for long in their website till May. With it, even traffic rate has increased. They have some 1.5 million page views monthly. Dan's company presents stuff that users find most important to them. They do not feature drop-downs and users find it hard to navigate with them. It's better and easier for users to just thumb through.

2 categories of people searching:

  • On the lot. Late stage shoppers checking out car listings, used car values, dealer location and the payment calculator.
  • On the train. Early stage shoppers looking for reviews, their blog, photos, top ten lists, etc.

Dan's company presents a unified brand on all channels with frequently used URLs. Channels have been optimized for devices that have streamlined content.

Delivering on Local Search

Search based on zip code gives access to over 2 million local listings that include videos. Searchers can navigate through hundreds of products based on price, mileage etc. Manufacturers are craving to connect with shoppers in the mobile environment.

Final thoughts:

  • Use drop downs sparingly
  • Consider the different types of users
  • Consider different types of users and added sophistication
  • Continually tweak

The next speaker in line is Eswar Priyadarshan, Chief Technical Officer, Quattro Wireless.

Why Go Mobile?

  • 245 million mobile subscribers in the US alone.
  • 41 percent of mobile subscribers use mobile data services
  • Rich devices are on the march
  • Google, Apple, Verizon, AT&T, Vodafone all throwing tech & investing big money at smashing mobile content barriers. The time to get mobile is now!

What doesn't work with Mobile Search

  • Transforming Web site into a lowest common denominator experience.
  • Hoping that big wired page/site will work on a full-browser phone.
  • Building a mobile only URL.
  • Less content with a few headlines and stories
  • US-centric view of devices and network capabilities
  • Static sites

What works with mobile search?

  • Adapt and build content for the mobile audience.
  • Customize content to device capabilities. Take advantage of rich media where possible.
  • Keep content fresh.
  • Incorporate display and text ads above and below the fold.
  • Make sure ads are targeted by device and demographics
  • Use both carrier and portal SEO mechanisms

The GetMobile Solution: This is a self-service portal where mobile advertisers & publishers can build top mobile web presence. As soon as you submit your site, it gets spidered. Your logo, navigation, content location is all sorted out. Your site is now on display and you can now judge on whether you like it or not.

Can Blog's RSS Feed be mobilized?

  • Yes
  • Submit your blog URL
  • You'll get a site
  • Use their editor to make it look just the way you like
  • After this set your entries the way your readers like it
  • Also on offer is an ad landing page builder

Marketing Programs for your Mobile Site

  • Implement a Mobile Redirector
  • Implement Mobile SEO techniques
  • Implement text to WAP
  • Implement Web to WAP
  • Place your site across mobile SEM and Ad Networks

Last up is Brian Gil, Director of Product Management, Yahoo! Local. Gil says we are seeing a new trend in the mobile search industry. It has now become universal also it's provided more access to UGC content. It also lets data to be published by business owners. These are all spreading to local and mobile search.

Yahoo! aims to give users instant answers related to the specific point. Now, marketers can take advantage by giving correct business information. With that, Yahoo! can pass it along to other users.

Optimizing For Local Search

  • Encourage merchants to solicit customer feedback
  • This nurtures their online reputation
  • Include details on special services and products

Now, the Yahoo! Local site is on display and it shows 'Kryssa21.' When Yahoo! finds that the business is local, it will give it expanded data business and also give local business categories. These have a very high CTRs (Wonderful!).

Yahoo! Has so much faith in the mobile market that they think it'll even beat the PC market. However, people are only seeking maps and directions.

Fundamentals for Mobile local search:

  • Comprehensiveness
  • Depth
  • Accuracy
  • Relevance
Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal

Navneet Kaushal is the founder and CEO of PageTraffic, an SEO Agency in India with offices in Chicago, Mumbai and London. A leading search strategist, Navneet helps clients maintain an edge in search engines and the online media. Navneet's expertise has established PageTraffic as one of the most awarded and successful search marketing agencies.
Navneet Kaushal
Navneet Kaushal
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