Google, CitySearch Add Local-Social Search Features
December 10, 2009 | Contributed by: Stephanie Hobbs
Local-social search has been a popular topic in the news this week, with both Google and Citysearch, the local online search directory, announcing plans to integrate real-time Twitter updates and other social networking features into their platforms. Both moves are representative of the fundamental shift currently taking place in how local information is being searched and shared – something we’ve talked about frequently on this blog.
- Over the next few days, Google users will be granted access to live updates from Twitter, FriendFeed, Facebook, MySpace, Jaiku and Indenti.ca related to their search terms. For example, users searching for a local restaurant may come across the latest Twitter and Facebook updates about the establishment. These could include anything from a tweet by the restaurant owner with a promotional message, to a negative comment by a recent diner who wasn’t happy with their order.
- Citysearch is unveiling a new Twitter integration that will feature the latest tweets about a local business on its listing page. Businesses will have the option of integrating their Twitter presence into their Citysearch page and tweeting directly with visiting users. Like with Google, users will have instant access to online conversations taking place about the businesses they’re researching – whether that buzz is good or bad. Those conversations will be in addition to the existing online user reviews currently available on the site.
The opportunities – as well as the risks – to local businesses brought about by the growth of local-social search offerings are endless. If anything, it’s clear that local businesses can no longer ignore the online conversations taking place about their services. Those conversations, once limited to social media networks, are now expanding at rapid pace into the local search domain.
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