As a result of a huge growth in local targeting and mobile device usage, local search is coming up fast and this provides a good avenue to all Internet Marketers. The session was meant to discuss the various perspectives on local search engines with regard to Search Engines, Wireless Audiences and SEO/SEM marketeers.
- Andy Beal
- Shailesh Bhat, Senior Product Manager of Yahoo! Local, Yahoo
- Alex Porter, Vice President of Location3 Media
- Bill Mongovan, VP SearchCenter of OmnitureGregory Markel and Owner of InfuseCreative
The session was initiated by Shailesh Bhatt. Shailesh stressed how Yahoo! is trying its best to cater to the needs of the local search audience. The important thing is to monitor listing information in a proactive fashion, in order to prevent them from getting inaccurate. When getting vendor description to feature on result, the information criteria should be more than just name and address.
Local searches are increasing phenomenally every single day and searches are now educated enough to add locality in their search queries. As a result, search strings are also getting longer. Vendors need to adapt their profiles accordingly.
Local search is evolving as much as web search. And in accordance with the trend Yahoo! has come up with Search Monkey, that allows a publisher to structure the presented information, enabling a more relevant search experience.
From the year 2007 to the year 2008, the demand of local information and maps on mobile devices grew up by 80%. One has to understand that mobile searchers are looking for quick answers and not redundant web links. Mobile search features a high degree of intent and provide a good opportunity to marketeers.
The next speaker of the session was Alex Porter. He stressed how crucial it is for companies to take advantage of map listings. As per statistics, about 50% of the searchers who are able to find local vendors, will reach out to interact with them. Map listings is an important factor that can distinguish your local search website.
Accuracy is a must in the listing data and for that it is imperative that one should be proactive. Make your updates right from the sources. It is important to keep in mind that the main search engines often pull information from local search engines, such as CitySearch, and this can substantially help with your organic listings.
Some features, such as call tracking, coupon tracking, in-store surveys and video views can help you greatly in getting your business in local searches. Implementing a KML sitemap may also be a good idea.
The penultimate of the session was Bill Mongovan, who heavily recommended creating individual landing URLs for your local search results. He pointed out that mobile search is evolving at an unprecedented rate and more and more number of people are buying with their devices. More so in the case of iPhone users. Sooner or later, one would have to start creating application for the mobile market.
The session was conclude by Gregory Markel who stressed on the relevance of the industry presently and how is it likely to increase in future. The 3G generation of mobile phones is changing the whole face of mobile search. Applications such as GPS are furthering local search options like never before. iPhone uses three different methods to come up with the location of the user.
The fact that search engines have started treating these devices differently does not come as much of a surprise. Mobile Search is also witnessing a growth in the PPC factor. It is very much possible that mobile search will not feature the same traditional SEO keywords method. Smart applications and location detectors are likely to be more crucial factors.Local and Mobile Search: PubCon Las Vegas 2008, Day 2 ,