Google Hotpot And Local Search Directories Will Become Repository For Daily Deal Coupons
Texas Roadhouse has experienced a 40% increase in Web site traffic directly from online listings found on local search, mobile and social platforms such as Google, Yahoo, Bing, YP.com and Facebook. The 45 locations make a conscious effort to collectively drive traffic from online to each of the casual dining restaurants in 46 states with help from Localeze, a company supporting business listings for local search.
Previously, individual Texas Roadhouse locations had manually submitted local search business listings, but did not actively manage and verify anchor name, address, and phone number details, or continually improve listings. Campaigns supported by Localeze since 2010 identify a significant increase in online activity leading to foot traffic in the physical locations.
Data warehouses or local search directories that house thousands of local company names will become the well from which search engines, directories and sites like Citysearch will pull information for location-based mobile ad targeting. Coupons have become the first in a long line of opt-in campaign services that consumers and ad agencies will see this year based on GPS and triangulation technologies.
The advertising industry needs to catch up with technology that is now available. Citysearch today introduced a daily deal service for mobile that targets coupons to consumers on Android and iPhones based on location. An opt-in service pushes the coupons to the smartphone depending on the consumer's location.
Push the coupon to the mobile phone and allow consumers to bring it up and present it to the merchant in the store. Advertisers hope this spontaneous act, triggered by a daily deal, will bridge the gap between location-based services and physical locations. Another directory will announce a similar service later today.
The space is heating up to the point that JPMorgan Chase will start a new fund to invest in a variety of Internet and new media companies such as Twitter and Groupon.
The fund was no doubt sparked by interest from Google and others. Google has the ability, technology and databases of local merchant information to launch its own daily deal service without paying $6 billion for Groupon, which raised $950 million in financing from several big investment firms following the proposed deal. I will be very surprised if we don't see a location-based mobile daily deals service from Google within the next six months.
On Google, 20% of queries have a local intent. Google Places allows local stores to list their business and update information to be found on Google's search engine. Google Hotpot, a new local recommendation engine powered by the user and friends, allows Google to personalize search results by rating places on Google Maps or an Android-powered phone or in the Hotpot tool.
Using Google's database of more than 50 million places, Hotpot relies on an algorithm to aggregate ratings and recommend places similar to those the person likes. So if one pizza place is rated with five stars, a similar one will be too.
The tool aims to improve search results -- but what Google really needs is a daily deals service that can connect the dots and serve up coupons to the user when they come within feet or yards of the location.