Descriptive information about a company exists in social sites and apps, but pulling in the information to a database that serves up in local search queries on mobile and desktop will rely on technology rather than manual labor. Automation would make it far more cost-effective, according to Jeff Beard, president at Localeze, a Neustar service.
People put various values on social information. Tons of useful information comes from disparate resources, social sites, and mobile apps, but Localeze doesn't pull in data from brand pages on Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, Pinterest, and other social sites. Beard said the company focuses on getting the information from within the company. "I wouldn't rule that out, but we're really focused on getting to the source of the information," he said.
Today, Localeze focuses on making business descriptions across search engines and other sites consistent, but that doesn't mean in the future the focus will not include social, Beard said. Apparently, the challenge to reconcile information across platforms still exists. So, Localeze recently formed a partnership with Locationary, a local data management company, to share local business listings.
Meanwhile, a recent Local Search Usage Study from comScore, Localeze and agency 15 Miles found that the use of social network sites for local business searches rose 67% since 2010. The study found "61% of smartphone users surveyed reported conducting local searches from a device. They also indicated that the number one reason for using a mobile device for a local business search is the on-the-go necessity for fast information. Additionally, 49% of mobile and tablet users reported using apps for local business searches."
So, what if Localize went from building a repository with information to one that supports descriptive information from social sites as well? Local search directories could capitalize on products, such as Google's Project Class. Technology like this has already begun to impact business, Beard said. "Five years ago the geo-proximity of businesses wasn't that relevent," he said. "As long as you could place a business in a ZIP code, search was working, but that's not the case today."
Beard said an unnamed company recently patented mobile navigational technology that determines the direction and velocity the person is headed to serve up content on businesses in the physical path.
By now most marketers probably have taken a good look at Google's Project Glass, the augmented reality glasses from the Google[x] group. It's unknown whether the technology -- when realized -- will use glass from Corning or 3M, but this YouTube video from Corning tells us what's possible and what's not with glass both now and in the near future. Interactive touch tables from Microsoft exist today through Surface. 3M built 10-finger multitouch glass that will go into Lenovo computers running on Windows 8. Google wants to use voice rather than touch. The glasses will likely connect to the Internet through cellular service. And it's not clear whether the eyeglasses will become a practical application or something that morphs into another product.