We’ve written recently how Twitter and other real-time feed based communication tools have potential integrations with local search. We’re also hearing a lot about how Twitter can be used for a new kind of search — used to comb through a real-time index of conversations happening now (the statusphere).
This is potentially threatening for Google and other search leaders that have based their models on a more static (albeit gigantic) index of Web content. Or it’s something for Google and other vertical search engines to embrace and use to augment what they’re already doing (hence recent chatter around Twitter acquisition).
For vertical or niche oriented search, such as local, this applies. Indeed it is quite fitting for local, argues Praized Cofounder and VP Sebastien Provencher. Using the above philosophy, the idea is: Why not combine traditional local search (listings, events, classifieds, etc.) with the stream of current discussions happening around these items?
“In a [IYP] search for ‘New York florist,’ listings can be shown along with the last five activities related to florists in New York,” says Provencher. “It could be editorial content, a video ad, a user review, classified or coupons.”
The Praized platform so far has been used by sites and blogs that want to infuse social features and local search. This includes modules for local ratings and reviews, editorial content, classifieds and basically anything else that can be geocoded.
But the latest development to “twitterize” this content into real-time feeds has driven the company to target IYPs as partners, in addition to other local media like newspapers. This comes with the assertion that IYPs need to evolve to current standards of social media.
“There have been many recent IYP redesigns that have been drastic improvements but I’ve started to wonder if they aren’t fighting yesterday’s battle,” says Provencher. “All IYPs are innovating on an incremental fashion but there is no game changing innovation going on.”
Now could be the right time for more social feed based features that are gaining popularity, he adds. It could help IYPs boost flattening user growth and reinvent themselves as better local discovery engines.
“Traffic used to grow by 20 percent per year for many IYPs and now many of them are flattening,” he says. “Their sites, technology, and ways their using content is becoming stale as people expect much more vibrant content in terms of what they’re getting on Twitter and Facebook.”