Is There a Local Web?

March 31, 2008

I was intrigued by CenterNetworks’ reference to a Telegraph article on The UK’s Top 101 Most Useful Websites. A cursory non-scientific scan shows that maybe 17 of the 101 are UK-specific. The rest are equally useful on this side of the pond and elsewhere in the world (those Brits are fond of a site named ‘Google’, for example).

It’s not just a matter of the domain being a .com vs a .co.uk. Babycenter.co.uk differs very little from Babycenter.com, for example. And there are many US consumers of BBC content.

Sometimes location matters on the Web (craigslist), often it doesn’t (imdb.com).¬† Many sites live in-between those poles. If I’m using Google to find information about neck pain, location matters little. When I search for a physician to treat my neck pain, it becomes very important. I long for a search engine smart enough to know the difference.

Many have noted the difficulty of finding good local information on the Web. (Angie’s List has found a sweet niche filling that gap). As a bricks-and-mortar small business you can use this as competitive advantage. I know a veterinarian who has completely ditched his Yellow Pages listing in favor of search advertising.

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