SP411: Real Twitter Local Search

A version of local search has existed on Twitter for some time: asking your followers for local recommendations about places to stay, things to do and so on. One can also use Twitter search itself, though it’s very hit and miss in terms of the quality of results. And there are also the third party search engines that use the Twitter API. Yet those typically produce the same uneven results.

But in what is a first (to my knowledge) Idearc’s Superpages has brought true local search to Twitter through Twitter.com/sp411. Twitter users can now conduct searches of the Superpages database and get results as direct messages on  Twitter to their local queries. (They can also retweet and share them, which makes it that much more interesting.)

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The rest of this post is at Search Engine Land.

14 Responses to “SP411: Real Twitter Local Search”

  1. dkhare Says:

    Greg,
    I’m not so sure that this will be widely adopted. There is a parallel here to what 4Info tried with SMS where you could SMS-in search terms and get back results. It’s tough to get users used to this approach as there are various substitutes today on:
    1) the web: entering search terms into Google or Bing; entering search terms into Google Maps, Y! Maps etc.
    2) mobile: entering search terms for POI search into Google Maps Mobile or other navigation software offerings

    IMO, the potential for this messaging-based query interface to be adopted is much higher in emerging markets on mobile devices.

    Related to this, I find approaches such as http://twitter.com/SanFranPicks interesting where people can subscribe to feeds for specific location-related categories that they’re interested in (e.g. restaurants).

  2. NewSunNetworks — Blog — SP411: Real Twitter Local Search Says:

    […] original post here: SP411: Real Twitter Local Search  SHARETHIS.addEntry({ title: "SP411: Real Twitter Local Search", url: […]

  3. Greg Sterling Says:

    I agree its not a substitute for search. But in certain contexts it could prove very useful. I also like following recommendations for a location or interest area. But if I’m on twitter and I need a phone number or address this pretty effective.

    You post does raise a fair point re the culture of twitter usage and how it might ir might not evolve.

  4. NRI Yellow Pages Says:

    I agree with this and so does the Twitter industry FINALLY. Our strategy has always been local search with over 73 Local Metros, Local business must be brought online and in large numbers.

  5. AhmedF Says:

    Seems like a hassle more than anything else.

  6. Dave Hucker Says:

    There is another IYP that has incorporated a Twitter user API into their site.

    So every time a local search user of the IYP site would like to comment on “that great new Pizza place” (or whatever business) it updates on the IYP’s Twitter account.

    Challenge:: how to stop people from posting spam links (notably porn links)🙂

    ps… I let the IYP admins know what was transpiring, but they haven’t corrected the “challenge”. not sure, but I don’t think its a great way to create “brand”…

  7. Dan Hobin Says:

    I just tried this for “storage oakland, ca”

    these were my results:

    # sp411J D Mini Storage. 4180 Gross Road Extension Capitola CA 95010 (60.7mi). (831)462-1910 http://spag.es/sFkwd5 minutes ago

    #
    Superpages.com 411
    sp411D H Storage Systems. 453 Coloma Street Sausalito CA 94965 (16.4mi). (415)331-5515 http://spag.es/9Q1yH

    it seems about as accurate as superpages ad targeting.. waste of time

  8. Greg Sterling Says:

    Dan:

    The issue then is the underlying Superpages data. But the functionality that is represented by sp411 I think is pretty interesting and useful.

  9. earlpearl Says:

    I tried it after seeing your tweet, Greg. Felt cool, that I was one of the earlier followers.

    Here it is a couple of days later and I forget exactly how to use it. Its a bit clunky as Ahmed says, though, if I used it a couple of times I’m sure it would become natural.

    The information was good though. Hey its a quick piece of information on local businesses.

    I suppose they have to advertise/market/push it to gain acceptance.

    I suspect if this or any similar effort gained traction it would be a great sales tool to push the IYP’s sales.

  10. Scott Says:

    I agree with the first post on this. I think it is an interesting use of twitter and glad to see SuperPages doing something innovative; however, if I am using Twitter on a mobile device I probably have a smart phone and would just search Google or use a mobile app. If I am using Twitter via the Web, I would just go to Google or another directory site. Don’t see this getting much traction at all….

  11. Greg Sterling Says:

    Scott:

    I think that you’re right in the sense that existing behaviors may trump new behaviors but if the culture and usage of Twitter change then we might see usage of something like this. It’s not going to take usage from Google but it might grow some traffic for Superpages.

    I think the most likely use case is name and number (or weather or movie showtime) lookups.

  12. veezy Says:

    There’s an app for that. But seriously, it is an interesting use of twitter. Which reminds me, what’s happening with the aardvark and twitter integration?

  13. Aardvark and SP411 « Screenwerk Says:

    […] to an earlier post, I don’t know how Aardvark is doing via Twitter. Many of the responses to my SP411 posts are skeptical about whether users will adopt […]

  14. Genel amacımız kişileri bilgilendirmek ve tüm konular üzerinde durmaktır. Hergün güncel konular üzerinde durulacaktır. İsteklerinizi göz önünde bulundurulacaktır. Says:

    Genel amacımız kişileri bilgilendirmek ve tüm konular üzerinde durmaktır. Hergün güncel konular üzerinde durulacaktır. İsteklerinizi göz önünde bulundurulacaktır….

    […]SP411: Real Twitter Local Search « Screenwerk[…]…

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