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Wednesday, June 20, 2007

Google Maps Puts Local Search Industry On Notice

Local search is something I've been thinking about for a while, more specifically the lack of dominance by a company in this space. That is until today.

Google Lat Long blog, just announced they added reviews to Google Maps and subsequently putting the rest of the the local space on notice. To me, the biggest barrier to entry in the local search space is attracting local users across the country to your product. Instead each region of the US has its own service that is a little more popular than their competition. For example Yelp! in San Francisco is pretty widely known and used but in Raleigh, NC (where I am) I would bet less than .01% of the people have heard of Yelp! instead I think Yellow Pages or Yellow Book are the sites of choice.

Enter in Google Maps. Google has been pretty quiet in the local search space but their sheer popularity and name recognition makes them a danger for any sector. With the addition of Google Maps, Mapquest, and Yahoo Maps were a probably a little worried, well, its time for the rest of the local search space to be a little worried.

Google's addition of reviews to businesses on their maps is a book out of local.yahoo.com but it has a deeper purpose. Think universal search. Google has the potential to make the local search space irrelevant. If a user is able to go to Google.com and search for a local pizza place, find maps, pictures, address information and now user reviews of places nearby what need is there for a Yellow Pages? People want convenience and this is what they will get.

To test my theory, I've entered a review for a pizza place in my hometown (Randy's Pizza) which I suspect I will see in the SERPs as Universal Search gets rolled out more widely.

Am I overestimating the impact of the new Google Reviews?

By Matt O'Hern at 07:10 AM | Comments (5)

(5) Thoughts on Google Maps Puts Local Search Industry On Notice

I believe you are overestimating the impact of the new Google reviews. I believe that Google is still not a trusted source for local information. And the reviews....well I don't know about you but I am always suspect about the source of the review.

Don't count the yellow pages publishers out just yet. I compete with them and I am not a fan, however, they have an army with feet on the ground and they are the one of the best trained marketing forces around.

Comments by Barry Byers : Wednesday, June 20, 2007 at 11:47 AM

Google Maps has had reviews for a long time. The only new thing is that you can now enter new reviews directly on Google Maps.

You are making a big mistake if you think that Google is behind in local search. Their traffic numbers speak a very different language.

Comments by brad : Saturday, June 23, 2007 at 11:58 PM

Google needs to be on notice.
I still Advertise in the print Yellow pages for the consumers who don't know better. Personally All I use it is for is a doorstop. For search, and a lot more I use Google.

I talked to a YellowPages.com. salesman In Florida. They have reviews and maps. And every business that has a print Ad is being pitched to buy an Online Ad.

The salesman tells you that IYP is much different than local search. They say that people that use the IYP buy more. They also tell you that for the first quarter of this year they had more searches than Google Local. Figures don't lie but liars figure.

Now that they have teamed up with AT&T who just aquired Bell South. They are going to sign a lot of new advertisers.

These Advertisers are going to be encouraged to get their customers to go online and give a review on their service. This will be like multi-level marketing.

I hope IYP does not win the Local search buisness.

Comments by skywalker : Thursday, August 02, 2007 at 10:06 PM

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Comments by find cell phone numbers free : Saturday, December 15, 2007 at 12:38 AM

Because of my frequent travelling around europe and Canada, I am a big user of local search, I am amazed and incredibly impressed with google maps. I can be in an unknown town in Europe and find hotels, restaurants, shopping and much more within meters of my location. I use google maps directly on my Blackberry.

I d not get such results with Yahoo and live search:

Comments by Daniel Abitbol : Sunday, February 08, 2009 at 02:18 AM

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