This post is one of a series of liveblogs from the 2010 MIMA Summit.
When you think of geotagging, or checking in, what do you think of? Probably GPS, FourSquare, Facebook Places or letting a photo site like Flickr know where a photo was taken. But it can also be done for blog posts.
Geotagging in blog posts is still relatively new, but it well on its way.
WordPress.com already supports geotagging on profiles and posts so that you can let others know where you are posting from. They will also soon launch a Geo Search feature that will allow people to find posts based on their location.
If you have a WordPress hosted blog, this functionally isn’t built-in yet, but there are a few plugins that can enable it. GEOTag, OSM and Geolocation all claim to add geo information to blog posts and are worth checking out.
So how does this tie back into local search marketing? Easy. Local search is all about finding the right match for a user based on their location. So when I search for “Audi dealers in Minneapolis”, it filters out any results in Los Angeles, Seattle or New York.
Now imagine that same search in regular search. Search engines will still put local results at the top, but then list out what it believes are the best matches based on their algorithm. If you have geotagging setup, that can be another indicator to search engines that your post is targeting (or most relevant for) searchers the Minneapolis area, and it may then rank better for that specific search.
Search engines are all about giving the best search results to their searchers and location is increasingly important. Not all users know to search Google Maps for local results, so search engines have to interpret local intent and the location of the searcher into regular search results as well. If you are geotagging your blog posts, this can be one more indicator to search engines that your content is a good match for a geographically specific search query.
As geotagging continues to evolve, chances are that search engines will roll that into their algorithm as well as the other geolocation signals currently considered. It’s also very possible that location specific search engines will start popping up and show results based purely on geotagging. Getting geotagging setup now might help get your blog content ahead of the game.
This post idea was sparked by the I <3 WordPress discussion with Peter Fleck and Toby Cryns at the 2010 Mima Summit.