Keep It Simple, Sergey – Mobile Local Search

    January 22, 2007

As we have suggested before, Mobile Local Search will be the biggest Internet application in use and in cash spin-offs.

However surprisingly it’s turning out to be much tougher to find a local pizza restaurant than it is to search the globe. There’s a lot of effort going into Local Search and it’s tough to stay on top of it and see the wood for the trees.

I watch with keen interest the writings of two observers of this scene, William Slawski and Mike Blumenthal. For example, Bill had an interesting post recently on a Google patent on an Approach to Improving Location Information Accuracy. Part of this covered the following:

Creating a Location Repository

The focus of this document involves creating a location repository, where it would try to match up location information favorable to computers, such as latitude/longitude or GPS coordinates, with information more likely to be used by human searchers. This system would allow for retrieving location identifiers for a variety of applications, so it can be used for many purposes with minimal effort.

It really is most impressive how Google has created this global computing facility that can attempt to catalogue all the information that exists. My mental picture is of SuperGoogleWoman wandering the universe seeing where she can apply her universal multi-purpose super-tools to solve problems. Nevertheless I’m surprised if the search for a local pizza restaurant needs such incredible computing power. This isn’t rocket science.

So how can we Keep It Simple, Sergey. Well we want something that is very easy to use for both seekers and their targets. It should be a minimal approach and it should give street addresses since our virtual search is just a precursor to a physical search as we often may wish to visit. One approach would be the LURI (Location Uniform Resource Identifier). This minimal HTML file gives the location coordinates for a corresponding website. This includes the physical address and can include a telephone number.

If any service provider we’re interested in has a LURI, then it’s very straightforward. If we as a searcher identify where we are by say a zip code or its equivalent, then the search engine just serves up those service providers whose LURIs indicate that they’re close.

The complete LURI details then can be what are shown on the cell phone. Just dial up the number and you’re in business. What could be simpler?


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Barry Welford, President of SMM Strategic Marketing Montreal works with business owners and senior management on Internet Marketing strategy and action plans to grow their companies. He is a moderator at the Cre8asite Forums and writes on current issues on the Internet and on the Mobile Web in three blogs, BPWrap, StayGoLinks and The Other Bloke’s Blog.