We all get that local is important. The fact that it is so important since for the first 20 or so year of the commercial Internet we have preached that you can see the whole world on the Internet only to find that local is where we actually “do life”.
Google has recognized this push back to the local scene in a huge way with Google Places, its emphasis on local search and the development of its recommendation engine which is now integrated into Google Places.
Last Friday the Google Mobile blog announced that their mobile version of Google News will have a feature called “News Near You” so that you can get the latest local information from your mobile device no matter where you are.
Google News for mobile lets you keep up with the latest news, wherever you are. Today we’re excited to announce a new feature in the U.S. English edition called “News near you” that surfaces news relevant to the city you’re in and surrounding areas.
Location-based news first became available in Google News in 2008, and today there’s a local section for just about any city, state or country in the world with coverage from thousands of sources. We do local news a bit differently, analyzing every word in every story to understand what location the news is about and where the source is located.
Now you can find local news on your smartphone.
Here’s a look at what happened in Topeka, KS recently in case you are not up on the latest from that thriving metropolis.
So while the idea of local news isn’t new to Google the application of it in the mobile space is. As Google continues to fine tune its mobile offering there will be less and less services that just reside on the desktop version of Google anything.
The world is a mobile place and Google is planning to be there every step of the way regardless of whether you use an Android device or not (although they would prefer you do).
My question is whether Google feels it has a real chance of owning the edge in both platform and services that any mobile user is going to desire as we get more and more involved in the age of the handheld?
What’s your take?