- Jun 28, 2012
Damian Rollison from Universal Business Listing just penned a thought provoking piece over at StreetFight about the dilemma trying to represent service area businesses on a map presents. It's a bigger picture overview of the issue.
What do you think?
He makes some good points about the new Google Maps and how it will affect things.The Local Search Shadow Economy | Street Fight
The situation is about to get worse for service-oriented businesses, as Chris Silver Smith has recently discussed in detail. Google?s new Maps interface appears as though it will do away entirely with the directory-type list that has always been one of its hallmarks, focusing instead on an improved user experience within the map itself. The new Google Maps is purported to give you a personalized search experience, one that learns over time to offer results based on your preferences and the preferences of friends in your social network. It?s too early to say whether this move by Google is a bold and worthwhile experiment or, as Evgeny Morozov has suggested, the end of ?public space as we know it.? It?s a significant move regardless, and the emphasis on personalized maps does tend to suggest an even greater orientation toward popular brick-and-mortar locations. Furthermore, it exacerbates the problem that mapping interfaces as they are currently conceived are a poor fit for service providers. Along with this move away from directory listings in Maps, Google has quietly gotten rid of its Places page and has thus far been unwilling to provide a strong local search experience within Google+. It seems inevitable then that the brick-and-mortar orientation of local search will be further solidified.
It?s interesting to consider that the way Google has chosen to pursue its core mission has arguably given service providers short shrift, excluding them by definition from the company?s axiomatic view of how the physical world gets translated into searchable data.
What do you think?