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Msn's "near Me" Search Button
Posted 16 November 2004 - 07:34 AM
Posted 16 November 2004 - 07:57 AM
Do you talk about where you're located on your site at all? That may help. I'm really not sure what criteria MSN uses, however.
Posted 16 November 2004 - 08:42 AM
"By default, all searches include results based on the language of the search terms you enter. We use your MSN Search settings and the country you live in (or the domain you're searching from) when returning search results. "
( http://beta.search.m...deLanguages.htm )
Posted 16 November 2004 - 09:08 AM
More information can be found in the this entry of the MSN Search Blog.
Posted 17 November 2004 - 04:58 AM
Posted 17 November 2004 - 08:00 AM
Posted 17 November 2004 - 09:14 AM
I did read one article the other day (Wall Street Journal? I don't honestly remember) that said it wasn't working very well yet. But that may be because the tester didn't realize that the address really had to appear on the page.
Posted 17 November 2004 - 09:23 AM
Posted 17 November 2004 - 01:38 PM
What about websites hosted on non-local servers? I would think most instances of hosting are not in the local area of the website or business advertised online. For instance, a company like Verio is located in the San Jose, CA area(ish).. Their servers are in San Jose and Richmond, VA.. All businesses hosting with Verio are surely not located near these servers. What about businesses running Yahoo! Stores? They are all over the country and world.. But their IP address is wherever Yahoo! places them.
Posted 18 November 2004 - 10:05 AM
Posted 18 November 2004 - 11:54 AM
That is supposed to be true information after all. Even though often it's not.
Posted 22 November 2004 - 05:09 AM
"How does Google determine a searcher's location?
Location targeting is based on the IP (Internet Protocol) address of the searcher. This technique allows us to determine the searcher's country with close to 99% accuracy. "
Posted 22 November 2004 - 09:16 AM
Now when I searched from work for 'Car Insurance' it identified Washington DC and the number one result was a page entitled 'Minneapolis Auto/Car/Vehicle Insurance'.
There are a great many things not to like with their beta search.
Posted 22 November 2004 - 03:30 PM
The first one is: Where is the business that owns the web site located. And do they cater to the local market because they have have a brink-and-mortar store location.
The only way to solve that one that makes sense to me is to tie it somehow to both the WhoIs data and to data on the web site itself. MSN Beta has apparently chosen to tie this to data on the web site, which isn't very surprising since the processing power required to check the WhoIs info for several million(?) sites on an ongoing basis is quite significant.
Either or works to some degree. I know which I would prefer, but I'm a stickler for having correct WhoIs info on domains, because sooooooo many fake that data and it makes my life difficult on other fronts.
The second issue is finding the location of the searcher. That is much, much more difficult because of the national and sometimes global ISP's out there that report a single location and also the proxy servers that many use. In other words, it's hard to be anything close to 100% sure of where someone is actually logging on from based purely upon their IP number. It's just not very reliable.
However the trick for MSN/MS is that they have a potentially huge headstart on this most difficult side of things over any of their competitors. Everybody on a Windows machine has to enter Registration data after all, which includes at least basic location with city/state/zip-postal code and the like. And the majority of people around the world have some form of Windows on their personal computers.
Neither Google, Yahoo!, nor anybody else can compete with that massive amount of localization data if MSN/MS makes the effort to do it right. They can talk a good game, but...
The term Ace in the Hole comes to mind.
Posted 23 November 2004 - 03:38 PM
I did a quick check: pages are in their index but never show up when "near me" is clicked. Then ran searches for pages that do have my address included on them and they show up when the "near me" option is selected.
I see they the "near me" is defined by using radio buttons. You can add in many selections and choose the one you want at that time and is stored in a cookie on the serach options page.
IP address never works to resolve location - DHCP alone will defeat that. Same for ISP address since items are remoted.
Best method is to let people define what their local is.
ZIP+4 works well. Plain zip fails. My mailing address is Portland, but I live in Washington County, 6 miles from Portland, however the Portland PO happens to be the post office in charge of mail delviery where I live. So in my case ZIP says Portland, but I live two blocks from Beaverton city limits.
Google fails its local search for any business in this case every time when I say businesses near Beaverton since it thinks 97225 is Portland 6 miles away so firms 1/2 mile futher away from Beaverton than where I live are never shown in any SERP.
If local search takes off and people actually start doing it more than generic search (anyone seen stats on percentage of people doing searches for firms with city zip info in the query compared against those using the same terms but clicking the local search feature?) having your address on the footer of each page (like your © notice etc) will become necessary.
In my case it will take 30 seconds to put it on every page on my site - my footer is an include file so one change, upload, and every page now has my address on it.
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