The ever-growing local search universe
Columnist Adam Dorfman discusses the current local search ecosystem and emphasizes the need to regularly optimize your data and content so that your business can be found where people are searching.
For those who missed it, Whitespark’s overhaul of the US Local Search Ecosystem interactive tool was recently released, and it does a fantastic job of showing how vast and complex the search industry has become. The ecosystem visualizes the web of search engines, data providers, publishers, directories and other businesses that use local data about businesses to power one simple action that people do every day: search online.
For example, the infographic identifies Infogroup, Acxiom, Neustar/Localeze and Factual as the primary data aggregators, which collect and validate location data from businesses and share that data with publishers such as Apple, Bing, Foursquare and Google. (I refer to data aggregators and large publishers collectively as data amplifiers because they share a business’s location data not just directly with searchers, but also with other apps, tools, websites and businesses that, in turn, reshare that data to people across the digital world.)
In Whitespark’s words, the ecosystem “shows how business information is distributed online, who the primary data providers are, how search engines use the data, and how it flows.” The interactive tool helps you understand the importance of sharing accurate location data and the consequences of maintaining inaccurate data.
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