Tag Archives: iPad

Local Search Marketing Threat: Apple Maps

Well! Apple Shot Themselves in the Foot!

(We still think it’s worth signing up for Yelp. See below)

It seems that Apple Maps has delivered the company a bunch of problems they could do without! Places on their new maps that no longer exist, businesses in the wrong place, cloud-covered towns and who knows what other daft problems?

This picture of the Clifton Suspension Bridge appeared yesterday in the Western Daily Press and many other newspapers.

Clifton Suspension Bridge as it appears on Apple MapsNeedless to say, Apple promised to fix all the problems soon.

No threat to Google then! At least, not this week.

This update was added 21/9/2012. Read the original post below.

New Apple Maps

From now on, all new iPhones and iPads will ship with Apple’s new operating system, iOS6. Its new mapping system will displace Google maps on these devices. The change will also affect existing devices when they upgrade to iOS6.

Apple’s new offering, “May just be the most beautiful, powerful mapping service ever,” or so they claim.

Whilst the system uses Apple’s own mapping software, its map data is licensed from TomTom.  It uses the business directory, Yelp, to respond to local searches.

Apple Maps

Naturally, Apple Maps has some superb features. These include interactive, 3D, highly-detailed, vector graphics maps, turn-by-turn directions, and real time traffic information.

great detail in Apple's Maps

Great Detail in Apple's Maps

It’s all fully integrated with Apple’s unique Siri, the intelligent speech recognition / activation system. Now it actually works in the UK!

There’s more information here.

Google’s Answer

Google has responded by announcing its “Ground Truth” project.

google example annotated with local data

Google example, with local data e.g. traffic restrictions and road names

Instead of relying on licensed maps, around 2008 Google started to build a whole new system – from the ground up. This combines its original map data with a huge amount of local data collected from Street View – still the best way to take a virtual tour of your destination.

Google claims that owning all the data is key, and without control of its licensed map and local data, Apple Maps will find it hard to compete. Some pundits predict Apple will return to Google Maps within two years.

So what?

With 40% of local searches performed on mobile devices, and 55% of those on Apple, this is likely to hit Google’s search market share.

Your Google Places page impressions could drop by up to a quarter, damaging your local lead generation activities.

So, with Apple Maps business data coming from Yelp, now’s the time to claim your business in Yelp’s directory. It won’t take long. And even if most iOS6 users switch back to Google Maps, it’s not a wast of time.

NB: We still recommend claiming your Yelp business listing, despite Apple’s gaff.

Don’t use exactly the same words in your Yelp entry as you do in Google Plus Local, use it to support your Plus Local page. Make it similar, perhaps with some different or extra business facts or differentiators.

Don’t have a Google Plus Local page? It’s easy. Find out how.


Help Google Find Your Business

Local Internet Search

Rapid growth means Portishead is filling up with business people. With young families and demanding jobs, they tend to be cash rich and time poor.

local search result pointer "A" on unfolded mapWhen such people want something, Google is probably their first port of call.

They may well search using a mobile phone or tablet. Tablets are becoming more popular with businesses. These devices announce their location to search engines, which list local results higher, when appropriate.

Google Places

With Google Places you can promote your business using a free web page. It doesn’t take very long and it’s easy to make your business stand out from the crowd.

On your Google Places page you can,

  • describe your business and your unique selling proposition (USP);
  • display up to ten photos of your products, people, shop, anything really;
  • state your opening hours and payment options.

More important, you can choose the categories in which your business will be listed. Google will list your business whenever someone searches for them around your location.

Get Started

It’s dead easy: go to the Google Places home page and log in using any Google account. If you don’t have one, we’ve more advice here.