I don’t think too many people will dispute the fact that location is buzz topic of 2010 so far within the online marketing industry. Big players in this space include Foursquare, Gowalla, Twitter, Facebook (soon), and of course Google.
As reported earlier this week, Google noted that a third of its searches via the mobile web pertain to some aspect of the searcher’s local environment, and that they think of location as a "hugely important signal".
As smartphone usage continues to increase rapidly, users are finding more and more options to find what they are looking for from their devices, with regard to their locations. As RateitAll President Lawrence Coburn recently discussed with WebProNews, consumer location-sharing has become a new kind of query.
We’re seeing this becoming a much bigger part of local search and mobile map apps. Yesterday, Microsoft announced a Foursquare app for Bing Maps. At SXSW, MapQuest launched some location-sharing (via Facebook) features (as discussed in the following clip):
Last month, we discussed driving traffic with MapQuest and its new search engine. While MapQuest doesn’t receive as much media attention these days as some of its competitors, the AOL-owned property is showing some ways that it is staying relevant, and as a result of mobile, that relevance may be on the way up.
As MapQuest’s David Cole tells WebProNews, "We’re one of the most downloaded applications on the iPhone, despite the fact that other options are built in."
If businesses aren’t considering MapQuest as a factor in their local search marketing, there are reasons to reconsider.