A9 and Local

Search landscape is rapidly changing — particularly with respect to its geographic nature. A major driver in this change is the emergence of the mobile phones. Some interesting announcements in recent press are related to improved photograpic-maps by A9.com, more emphasis on local search by Yahoo and Ask Jeeve’s integration with IAC’s Citysearch.

As gadgets and technology evolves along the trajectory that it is currently, it will be important to see how local search evolves. Much of the local search is influenced by yellow pages currently. Will it still be the same or will local search get disconnected from yellow pages and will become more connected to communities? I believe that soon we will see liberation of local search from yellow pages and we will see some new approaches to creating content that will be useful for local searches. Such content will be more created by local communities and by some new companies. I believe companies like EVDB will contribute to events. A new company — Seraja presented at Where2.0 (disclosure: I am involved in Seraja) — will also contribute to bringing general event-based information including the local information.

A9’s efforts are definitely intriguing. By attaching photographs to maps and bringing that to people, it is starting a very interesting trend. Combine that with Google, Yahoo, and soon Microsoft providing maps as underlying basis for tagging geo-centered information, and you start thinking about an exciting way of searching and presenting information. This could become very popular and could bring some new approaches to creation and consumption of information.

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