Tuesday, October 23, 2007

Google Mixes Search Results with User Contributed Content

Google Maps has started mixing official Local Search results with User Contributed content, in this case, KML files. KML (Keyhole Markup Language) is an emerging standard for encoding geo-spatial data. Google Maps now displays user provided KML files, mixed in with other Local Search results. This is particularly noticeable in the recent launches in Singapore, Ireland, and South Africa where the "official" Google results are somewhat sparse.

Overall, the effect is a good one for the user, providing more results on more obscure searches. This is a great opportunity for businesses in these three newly launched countries to get posted by generating KML files, in addition to using the Google Local Business Center (LBC).

Example: "museums, cape town, south africa"

For some common, very local queries, the user contributed KML results dominate.
Example: "chicken rice, Singapore"

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