It is fascinating to me to see the emergence of local search & local mobile to be appearing so prominently in the mainstream press. In today’s online edition of the NY Times, the following three headlines from the technology section were featured on the front page:
A Web Tour Will Show Stores From the Inside Out
The Web site EveryScape.com lets a viewer take a realistic tour like the one of Cambridge, Mass., above. Soon, it will go inside to show store interiors, like the Harvard Coop, below.
A new three-dimensional promotional tool will allow Web surfers to venture down streets and inside some local businesses.
Mobile Web: So Close Yet So Far
The wireless communications business smacks of a soap opera, with disaster lurking like your next dropped call.
Web Drives More Real-World Purchases
E-commerce purchases are expected to grow a healthy but unspectacular 17 to 20 percent this holiday season over last yearâ€™s. But the Webâ€™s influence over what people buy could be growing even faster.
Mozilla moving to mobile – a great post from Schrep at Mozilla on their plans in the mobile space (prioritizing mobile platforn, adding mobile developement staff & a version of “Mobile firefox”). Also of interest was this tidbit about why now & available hardware:
Getting a no-compromise web experience on devices requires significant memory (>=64MB) as well as significant CPU horsepower. High end devices today are just approaching these requirements and will be commonplace soon For example, the iPhone has 128MB of DRAM and somewhere between a 400 to 600 MHz processor. It is somewhere between 10x-100x slower on scripting benchmarks than a new MacBook Pro and somewhere between 3-5x slower than an old T40 laptop on the same wifi network. But rapid improvements in mobile processors will close this gap within a few years. There are chips out there today that are faster than the one in the iPhone and integrate graphics, cpu, and i/o (wifi/3g/wimax) on one die. Intel has recently re-entered this market which will keep things interesting. Most exciting of all ARM has announced that by 2010 devices will be shipping with a processor 8x faster than what’s in the iPhone!
CNet has an interesting piece about a partnership between Multivers and Google that:
“will allow anyone to create a new online interactive 3D environment with just about any model from Google’s online repository of 3D models, its 3D Warehouse, as well as terrain from Google Earth.”
The project, referred to as Architectural Wonders project, “will allow virtual-world designers to incorporate not just models and terrain from Google Earth, but also much of the metadata that makes it so powerful: the personal notations and photographs that millions of users have added to it.
While the article is mostly about multiplayer role playing the implications for local are interesting.
Greg Sterling has a good piece on the The Debate Over User Reviews
Matt has a winner on Dear Small Business Owners: Put Down Your Ranking Reports and it applies equally well to local search
And Bill Slowski has an interesting patent review: Would You Rent Your Rooftop to Google To Show Ads Upon? (Too bizarre)
And an older (but important) post from Ahmed at TechSoapbox on Local data – categories, tags, structure, and taxonomy. I meant to reference earlier, but still well worth a read
Google is expanding Local info gathering in East Africa as well!
Blogging From SMX Local And Mobile – Mike the Internet guy is reporting on sessions as they happen
Michael Jones (Google) Keynote at SMX Local-Mobile Earth and Maps have 250 million users daily around the world.
Yahoo in 15-Nation Deal for Search on Cellphones (NY Times) Under the deal, Yahoo will feature its search engine on mobile portals run by TelefÃ³nica of Spain in 15 countries in Europe and Latin America.
Nokia buys Navteq (NY times) â€œThis is not just about â€˜the Internet goes mobile,â€™â€ Richard A. Simonson, Nokiaâ€™s chief financial officer, said in an interview yesterday. â€œWeâ€™re not just trying to replicate the Google or Microsoft experience online. The consumer wonâ€™t come unless we give them something that is rich.â€ That includes using the Global Positioning System to help users find restaurants, theaters and shops. â€œThatâ€™s where we are headed,â€ Mr. Simonson said.
Information on traffic, updated in real time, would also help consumers reach their destinations more easily.
Unlike phones that access maps online â€” like the Apple iPhone, which accesses Google Maps via the Internet â€” Nokia cellphones could be integrated with Navteqâ€™s navigational software and technology. That could give Nokia an edge over competitors like Motorola and Samsung, analysts said.
Google’s recent foray into billboard advertising strikes me as much more than a fluke or a simple experiment. Read my thoughts in: Deconstrucing Google’s Billboard Experiment at Search Engine Land.
Usability test: Does iPhone match the hype? -Users try out the iPhone, HTC Touch and the Nokia N95
It’s also important to remember that the tests focused on how easy it was to pick up the device and use it right out of the box.
“People can eventually learn to use any device,” Ballew said. “But that’s not true usability. We wanted to see how long it took to figure out how to use the phones. That’s the difference between learnability and usability.”
Let’s cut to the bottom line: In terms of usability, iPhone blew away its two competitors. Its overall score in the usability tests was 4.6 out of 5. The HTC Touch was a distant second at 3.4, and the Nokia N95 scored 3.2.
“Testers were [typically] about twice as fast doing specific tasks on the iPhone, which is pretty remarkable,” Thornton said.
Ultimately, it is this usability that will drive Local traffic and the broad adoption of mobile search.
Retailerâ€™s Shortcut From Desktop to Store (NY Times Free Reg. req’d) – Offline retailers are increasingly offering a way for consumers to shop online but pick up the goods in stores.
Getting Free Cellphone Calls for Ads (NY Times Free Reg. req’d) British cellphone users will get their first look at a new mobile service called Blyk, which will offer subscribers some free calls and text messages in return for their agreeing to accept advertising on their phones.
Want to get there fast? Use Yahoo Maps! A comparison of the same route on the different mapping services from SearchEngineTigers.com.
Google announces AdSense for Mobile – As part of our ongoing efforts to develop new ways for users to find the information they need anytime and anywhere, Google announced today the availability of AdSenseâ„¢ for Mobile, a program that contextually targets ads to mobile website content. AdSense for Mobile also allows AdSense publishing partners the ability to earn revenue from their mobile websites through the targeted placement of mobile text ads. With this program, advertisers can connect with the growing number of mobile publishers, ultimately providing users with an enhanced mobile experience that helps them find what they are looking for more quickly and efficiently on the go.
AdSense for Mobile is intended for AdSense partners who have created websites specifically for mobile browsers, and who want to monetize their mobile content via contextual advertising. Like Google’s other AdSense products, mobile text ads run on an auction model. The system automatically reviews the content of publishersâ€™ mobile websites and delivers text ads that are relevant to the websitesâ€™ audience and content. Publishers earn money whenever mobile users click on the ads.
With this new program, the unmatched reach of the Google content network is extended to the mobile platform. AdSense for Mobile provides a valuable way to connect mobile users with the right ad at the right time as they seek information on the go. AdSense for Mobile is now available to all mobile publishers in 13 countries worldwide.
Interview with Chris Sherman of Third Door Media
Yahoo buys Zimbra – It automatically turns street addresses into a link to the appropriate Yahoo Maps page, and can dial phone numbers inside a message with a single click.
Nokia Adds Local Search Capability to Phones
Nokia to acquire Enpocket to create a global mobile advertising leader
iPhone continues to drive Google Maps Usage – (Marissa Mayer) said that Google Maps usage shot up sharply after the release of Appleâ€™s (AAPL) iPhone back in July. â€œMaps usage hasnâ€™t stopped rising,â€ she said during our conversation.. according to Om Malik at the techcrunch 40 conference.
Where Am I? The Challenge of Geo-Targeting from LocalPoint
Google Coupons On The Way? from Search Engine Journal
GPhone Update: â€œNot in the Worksâ€ From Local Mobile Search: Like the rest of us, Google knows that the biggest opportunities for e-commerce and Web 2.0 lie in mobile computing and mobile applications. Overcoming the shortcomings of low-end wireless phones, less than optimal wireless data speeds and strictures applied by a community mobile network operators who are reticent to innovate and share the wealth are its challenge.
Verizon Takes on FCC Auction Rules in Court a good summary from Local Mibile Search of the battle between BIG SEARCH AND CONTENT companies and BIG CARRIERS. Thereâ€™s more bluster than legal basis in Verizonâ€™s petition.
Google’s plan for world domination by Robert Cringely has some iintersting speculation about Google, the coming federal bandwidth auction, the coming battle of titans over the local space. For those who canâ€™t think past search, imagine this also as Googleâ€™s key to dominating local- and location-based search.
Real World Trumps Online in Local Search, Search Engine Watch