I’m out in Las Vegas at CES giving a couple talks on social media for AMEX OPEN and one of the big topics is Google’s new Nexus One phone. While it is a bit interesting that they’ve jumped into yet another market, I think the message that’s getting lost in a great deal of their recent moves is the way they are setting up to take over local advertising, marketing and search.
I’m working on a series of posts on this topic (small business better get good at local search or prepare to disappear.) and the recent holiday visit from my college and just out of college age kids reinforced what’s going on with local search and Google. By the way, when I say local search I mean when someone is trying to find a business online in their town.
When twenty somethings want to find something they often go to one of two sources – in this order 1) They fire up a mobile browser, plug in “dentist” and call the closest pin drop or 2) they ask a close friend. Understand that neither of these methods involves advertising, marketing or even search for that matter. No Yellow book, no print ad, no SEO – it’s becoming very much about showing up on the local search map. (I understand that this is a new form of SEO, but you better get your arms around it if you are either an SEO provider or small business.)
Case in point – Google announce yesterday another feature making local search even easier (only on new iPhones and Android phones for now) The feature is called “near me now” – you can read Google’s near me now announcement here.
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If you’ve given Google permission to use your phone’s current location (under settings link) when you use your mobile browser you will see a new link under the Google search button that says: current city Near me now. If you click that you will get a menu of common places such as coffee and bars and the ability to click on one and find all the places in Google local nearest you now. Pretty darn easy way to drive business isn’t it?
Well, if anyone thinks Google put the Yellow book directories out of business just for sport, think again. This is the total domination of local search for ad money coming soon storm. Get in the storm shelter while it’s cheap! More to come on this.
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