Fwix – Local Content Curator
Warning! Website described in this article is discontinued and no longer in service. Content is moved to ‘Discontinued Websites‘.
Web site owners have always been sensitive to how and where they appear in the search engines. Not getting found as relevant to search enquiries directly related to the web site’s business niche can be fatal to the business’s survival, and at the very least threatening to its viability and profitability. When google first arrived on the scene, it took the world by storm because it was singularly able to index the entire web site based on relevance to the key words used in the search box. Other prevailing search engines at the time used only rudimentary and primitive methods to assess relevance, and so their search results were cluttered and practically useless. Indeed many users new to the Internet in the late 1990s were put off by the rubbish they always found in search results and many older people just walked away in disgust and confusion about why people were excited by it.
One of the key parts to Google’s success was that its algorithm placed great faith and value on the number of web sites connecting it a web site. The engineers had the view that id a web site had a large number of links coming into it, then these other web site properties must value it highly as being relevant, important and so Google gave the site a high “page rank” for being relevant so so highly thought of.
The SEO (Search Engine Optimization) industry was born and it quickly developed into an art form, where web site owners would go to great lengths to get their web site ranked highly in page one of the search results for all their target key word terms and phrases. One or two times a year, Google would modify their algorithm so as to shake things up and to get rid of all the pesky high ranking internet marketing web sites in favor of the raw, yet most of all relevant web sites that were not manipulating results. Social Media Optimization (SMO) was a similar but less intense side industry, because SMO is to some extent still in its infancy. Businesses optimizing their social network will have many more iterations to go through yet.
Even the founding owners of Google have always been concerned that one day, some new venture could improve upon their definition of how to find the most relevant search results for users; which would explain why Brin and Page every month cash in a set number of their shares; because they know there will always be a better mouse trap; always a better search engine technology that can put them out of business.
Fwix is About Connecting Local Business and Content with Local Customers
If a web site is selling digital products, then the location of a business is not relevant. And certainly the Internet has lent itself to the first waves of ecommerce being about the sales of software, eBooks, music and booking online for services like travel. But as the Internet continues to mature, we are seeing a swing to location being extremely relevant to buyers and consumers, and they are very focused on being able to use their Internet enabled mobile phones. Smart phones and iPhones have GPS capability. And now with Fwix, web sites can be seen as relevant to search queries by means of their location. Fwix is still being rolled out, but since it received nearly three million dollars in venture capital funding, it has spread to sixty one thousand cities in seven countries, and now has broken the United States down to eighty seven thousand neighborhoods.
Every web site incorporating LSO (Location Search Optimization) has its coordinates in latitude and longitude known; which is what GPS enabled smart phones need to interrogate for the nearest search results to the user’s search term. The uptake of Internet enabled smart phones and other devices have yet to reach anything like a peak. Within a few years, all phones will be smart. In a few years, all restaurants and location based service and product vendors will need to have their web site LSO compliant, or users will not be able to find them. Google maps will not be enough.
Fwix Helps Mobile Users Find Local Content
It is projected that by 2014, more people will be accessing the Internet by means of mobile devices than they will be by using traditional computers and laptops. And so LSO is going to be critical for news providers wanting to reach their local audience, just as much as it will be vital for all businesses that only service their local populations. Certainly it will not be as critical to the vendors of software, eBooks and music; SEO will continue to be of core interest to these web site owners. But the new wave of consumerism on the Internet is most certainly going to be about localizing information, so that people nearby can find your content quickly, easily and from a small screened device.
Even google reports that more than forty per cent of searches currently done by mobile devices are searches that involve some local condition criteria. Location, location, location; the old adage about choosing the best real estate to invest in. now that cliché is coming to the Internet at a fast rate of knots. And equally true is that the small business owners who feel they have been forgotten in the Internet world of globalization can now look forward to being able to reach their customers by the rapidly increasing deployment and take up rate of Internet enabled mobile devices.