Gib Olander currently serves as Director of Business Development for Localeze and frequent speaker at search marketing conferences. Localeze is a leading provider of merchant content management services, which includes; collection, organization, validation and distribution of merchant content. This content is widely used in the local ecosystems and the data is the foundation of place information at a large number of sites including Bing, Facebook and Twitter amongst others.
From this vantage point, Gib sees the industry dynamics from the inside out, providing useful insights to many in the industry.
2010 was a transformative year, I struggle with calling it a year of convergence or a year of fragmentation. Convergence because everywhere we looked a local component was added, we’ve had: social local, mobile local, local search, local commerce, mobile Local search, social mobile search, ETC. Or was it a year for fragmentation with traffic being driven to businesses from a wider variety of sources than ever before, I don’t think 2010 answered many questions but it certainly built the infrastructure for where the space is going in the future, it’s never been a better time to be involved in the Local search ecosystem.
This early in the year article set the tone for the change taking place in the internet space in general. In February you heard major Local publishers declare that Facebook was the leading source for traffic to their site over Google with Facebook growing at an incredible rate it was only natural that they launch a local initiative.
By 2011 it’s expected that 80% of mobile devices are going to be GPS enabled which changes everything. This location based service patent by Apple is an example of the innovation going on in mobile. There are now more than 6000 Location based or at least location aware apps for the iPhone alone. 2010 was the year of Mobile & Local with great innovation from companies like Foodspotting and in the advertising world of Local & Mobile new initiatives like Where Ads were launched creating a new revenue models to fuel the growth.
With foursquare usage continuing to grow and dozens of services, games, applications, networks adding check in functionality it is a trend to watch. One of the most impactful presentation’s I witnessed this year was from Michael Metcalf from Yahoo, he really gave me an understanding of how important our personal Location History and our Spatial Network are, it’s about so much more than the next badge you are going to win, it’s just a matter of time before the value gets unlocked to its fullest.
Local as an important layer of context really emerged, Twitter embraced that concept with their places announcement showing that the context of a clearly defined place is a powerful tool.
Google as friend or foe became a hot topic again in 2010 first with Yelp then with TripAdvisor, resulting in Google launching its own service/platform to create the content it wants.
Google continued to amaze with the amount of innovation they rolled out during the year with the most notable being the self-described search refinement of Google Place Search resulting in the ever increasing importance of establishing, monitoring and managing your business identity with a standard and consistent Name, Address and Phone Number (NAP)
From the Localeze perspective I felt like we had an amazing year of progress Here is a list of our press releases in 2010
Thanks for a great year, I can’t wait to see how things emerge in 2011!