Local Search vs Local

5 Aug

I’ve changed my tune before – particularly that reviews are overrated and recommendations are the future.

But even more importantly – I’m realizing that the problem is that we are focusing too much on local ‘search’ and too little on ‘local’ itself.

A while ago I was at the GeoDomain Expo 2009 in San Diego. It was pretty amazing how far geodomain owners (in this case – explicitly CITY.com – eg NewOrleans.com or SanDiego.com) had come from when I first met many of them (two years ago). Many of them had morphed from simple travel destinations into complex businesses that covered news, events, and a lot more.

What was most telling is that many of these websites were gaining immense growth while focusing on local – but completely skipping ‘search’ One of my favorite examples was of a city of ~150,000. The #1 website in that city had an awful awful domain name. Local search was non-existent. The site had its own news staff, classifieds, forum, and so forth. It was doing roughly 30,000,000 pageviews a month – for a city of 150,000! And most telling – it was making millions and millions of dollars a year.

In itself that doesn’t seem like a seismic shift – but my thought process is starting to evolve to ‘everyone associates search to Google and a handful of other brands’ – and what may be the correct way on monetizing and profiting from local is to focus on the specifics of each location.

With that I’ve focused more on programmatically figuring out how to collect and make sense of different ‘local oriented’ streams of data and putting them together. I’ll post about that next.

1 Response to Local Search vs Local


RSS is your friend you damn fools - Tech Soapbox

August 9th, 2009 at 10:09 pm

[...] been talking about shifting away from local search to local – and it boggles my mind how wasteful local [...]