Location-based search can be understood as searching for something based on yours and its relative physical locations. Location-based searches help us to see that anything can be within our reach, no matter our location. The searches might be general or specific since search engines are capable of pinpointing what we are looking for with different options.
Evolution of Features of Location-Based Search: Google Maps
The research frontiers of the location-based search are the Ericsson-Metropolitan GSM LBS in 1995 by Jorgen Johansson, the infrared Active Badge Location System in 1993, and a Master’s Thesis written by Timo Rantalainen, a Nokia employee, in 1995. TeliaSonera launched the first location-based service in Sweden and EMT in Estonia based on the MPS (Ericson positioning system).
In 2002, AT&T Mobility and Go2 launched a mobile local search feature that used ALI (Automatic Location Identification Technologies). Users were in a position to confine their search to results near their location and to get locations ranked by AT&T’s wireless network.
Location-based features changed completely with the launch of Google Maps.
When a person searches Google Maps for the location of a cafe, restaurant, museum, or anything in a local area, Google provides a list of nearby options that the user might want to try. In 2010, this feature was created to remember different areas in your local area that you visited before and give recommendations of location-aware options for you to try. Google provided personal location-based and tailored recommendations in web search results and recorded user details like location and demographic that are useful for the companies being searched.
Number of Searches, Visits, Reviews (Stats)
The biggest goal of Google is to provide the user with relevant search results. Currently, 1 in 5 Google search results are related to location; therefore, focusing on locally relevant search results should be a priority. The customer’s interest in the ‘near me’ feature has always been growing:
Benefits of Location-Based Search
You can easily discover what could be happening at the moment by conducting a social media search based on a particular location. You can also identify hot topics and trends by listening to social conversations and posts in a specific area, which will allow an organization to identify trends and topics that occur and can affect its marketing tactics and strategy.
Google has recommended that businesses need to maintain their profiles on GOOGLE MY BUSINESS to make sure that their location is going to appear in the search results. A good way of thinking about the online presence of a business is to see it as a single entity. (An entity is simply the collection of the local information Google will report on in a search result.)
What is more interesting is the fact that a patent filed by Google at the beginning of this year reveals that Google might be moving away from using longitude/latitude for tracking the location of a person but instead relying on the nearby locations of various entities to establish relative position.
Google shall give personalized location results based on path Interactions of a person with an entity—like the number of times an individual might have visited a location of social media that Google uses to build business profiles.
How to Do Location-Based Search
Google currently relies on the longitude/latitude coordinates and paths of access around them when taking the location of a user. The users of Google’s software and devices may disable the ability of Google to track their location, but Google claims that it is important to allow their tracking.
GPS Coordinates have several limitations. For instance, the data that is latitude/longitude based does not effectively map business existing in multi-storied buildings (like when calculating travel time or giving directions). Also, accessing, storing, and normalizing data based on longitudes and latitudes that are reported by Google users is intensive compared to using data that is tied to the entity profiles of locations.
Google has changed how local searches work to make it more adaptable to a user’s real location. Consider a site’s ccTLD (Country Code Top-level Domain Name). For instance, in the United Kingdom, ‘’google.co.uk’’
Google determines the country and local searches based on one’s real location. If you are in the United Kingdom, even by typing manually ‘’google.com’ and searching for something of your choice, your result will not be fetched in the USA.
Instead, it is going to reveal results based on your exact location. If your service country fails to change per location, you are free to update it manually in your phone’s region settings.
Some SEO marketers claim that over the last few years, Google has carried out many changes to its algorithm, making it hard for the tracking of SEO. The subdividing of results by location can make it hard to track a site’s actual rankings. If you search a keyword, you won’t see how your site ranks nationally or in a region outside your local area.
There exist some ways of tricking Chrome into spoofing a different location, but it is good to ensure the AdWords preview tools instead of setting the geo-coordinates in the console window. Such will allow you to find results for any city (or anywhere in the world) and view if you are able to rank on first the search page in Google. This is the place you should hit the limiter. You will not be able to click on the next result page or other links you see on the page—it is just a preview, but a correct and live one.
For most people, it will not matter if it does not show past the first page since the past the first page, you will know you still have work to do. Another benefit is that you do not have to worry about logging in or registering anywhere—you just have to hit the link, and you are done.
You also can set the device type, changing the local result as it would be seen on a tablet or mobile device.
In summation, businesses should closely monitor the evolving practices for Google’s location tracking and should adapt to the actions of Google so that when individuals make “near me” searches, the likelihood of those businesses appearing in the results will improve.
Author Name: Jasmeet Singh
Jasmeet Singh is an Entrepreneur, Digital Marketing Strategist, and an active blogger. He is the
founder of The Sharp Brain, a Digital Marketing Training Institute located in India. He is an active Quoran and an avid reader.
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