GOOGLE LOCAL: HERE COMES THE NEIGHBORHOODRay Litvak
You’ve got to hand it to Google. Not content to corner the market as the most popular search engine in the universe, they now offer another in a series of innovative and soon to be indispensable features. The latest idea is to now incorporate search queries via local area parameters that will make results pages region specific and thus, even more relevant.
This may not sound like much of an advancement, but in reality it is, and is yet another means by which Google continues to set the search bar higher.
By profiling and analyzing user queries, Google found that many searches are location specific. What they finally realized however, was that location specific results are only provided if the user searches using location in the search query; any Toronto Googler worth their salt knows that looking for a good sushi bar or auto repair shop in Toronto will only show local results if you include the word Toronto in the query.
Not the case anymore…
To address this issue, Google now includes regional specific information regardless of whether you specify your location in the search request.
In a nutshell, Google will now match search results by linking your IP (Internet Protocol) address with a general geographic region, and will offer local area results via Google maps even if you don’t identify your location in the request.
For example, entering the term Starbucks in www.google.ca brings up a list of local Starbucks locations in the (416), funny enough, where I happen to live.
As cool – some may say creepy – as that is, you can also use the ‘change location’ link above the map display to further refine your results. The whole idea is to make searching for information as intuitive and relevant as possible.
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