Leading up to 2010 everyone said it would be the year of location-based services. The blogs were all saying location, location, location as the next big thing and apps such as Foursquare, Gowalla, Yelp, Whrrl and TriOut were all trying to capitalized on the opportunity. While most location-based services are mobile applications for the iPhone and Android with the steady momentum in the location space what does it mean for the search, especially Google. For most part of the year Google Latitude, Google’s most popular location-based application was only available via a web application for the iPhone and as in opt-in feature on Android powered devices. But Google Latitude provides very little features outside of updating your location in real-time and/or “stalking” following your friends.
Then there were the failed acquisitions for Google. Earlier this year Yelp turned down a half billion dollars buy out and recently Groupon declined Google’s 6 billion dollar deal. Before trying to acquire Groupon Google promoted their vice president of search products, Marissa Mayer, to a new role focused on location and local services. Regardless of being turned down from both Yelp and Groupon and with Marissa in charge Google has a list of location-based related products for the enterprise, small business and location-based fanboys to choose from. Here’s the list of Google location related products.
See where your friends are right now.
Google Latitude lets you stay close with your friends from your phone, computer, or both
Local recommendations powered by you and your friends
Rate places and get personalized recommendations.
(for web and mobile devices)
Google Tags are yellow markers that allow business owners to promote important aspects of their businesses in Google Search results. Scroll over tags on Google or click on the sponsored link to view offers, photos, or other select features.
Google Boost Ads
Boost ads are eligible to appear in the “Sponsored Links” section of Google.com and Google Maps search result pages.
Google Goggles lets you use pictures taken with your mobile phone to search the web. It’s ideal for things that aren’t easy to describe in words. There’s no need to type or speak your query – all you have to do is open the app, snap a picture, and wait for your search results.
Google NFC with mobile devices
Google.com Search location filters
aka Google.me future social networking layer.
Google Ventures Investments:
Google clearly has a plan to dominate the location-based industry in 2011 with all nine of their products and when Google +1 launches I’m sure location will be a key element linking all the data points. If not Google will probably make another attempt to acquire a location-based platform and this time not make the same mistake as when Google purchased Dodgeball in 2005.
Will Google dominate location in 2011 or will Google look to acquire another location-based service? How many Google location platforms do you use?