Apple Maps: What It Means For Local Search


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Are we gearing up for another format war (does anybody still remember Betamax vs. VHS?) or is Apple just telling Google that they can’t play in their sandbox anymore? When iOS was unveiled earlier this week, probably the biggest hubbub came from Google Maps and YouTube getting the boot. With Google out and Apple in, it makes you wonder what the future of local search will be and how that will impact your business
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See it on Scoop.it, via Google Places Optimization & Local SEO News

What do you guys think???
Please add comments and questions below.
 
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Hi Linda,
Has anyone yet figured out a direct way to get inclusion in Apple Maps? I've not seen this. I understand that they are pulling data from a variety of sources (like Yelp) but is it possible to get direct inclusion (as with Places/+)
 

Linda Buquet

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That's a great question Miriam and I think I've scanned some headlines about it BACK before Apple Maps was a reality and that was during a time when I had my hands so full with Google stuff I could not focus on Apple.

If I get a chance this weekend I'll dig back in Reader and see if I can find anything.
 

djbaxter

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At this point, Apple Maps in iOS6 is such a mess that I'd be inclined not to worry about it a whole lot. Perhaps Apple will fix it quickly but most observers are anticipating (a) a long wait until Apple Maps is even usable and (b) a rapid migration by users back to Google Maps in whatever format they can get it (e.g., will Apple allow a Google Maps app in iStore? Currently it's only available as an add-on to the browser.).

See Users: Apple iOS 6 maps are a mess - CNN.com
 

djbaxter

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Apple's new Maps in iOS 6 draw ire from users around the world

There has been speculation that Google could also release a Google Maps application in the App Store to compete with Apple's own built-in Maps solution. But so far, the search company has yet to indicate that it will do so.

"We believe Google Maps are the most comprehensive, accurate and easy-to-use maps in the world," the company said in a statement to Search Engine Land this week. "Our goal is to make Google Maps available to everyone who wants to use it, regardless of device, browser, or operating system."
 

Jason Kamara

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I'm an Android user, but from what I understand, IOS6 Maps is such a mess right now that Apple redirects many of its links to Google Maps locations. Apple has some serious development to worry about before they will compete with Google.

Google's new offline mapping application (available in 150+ countries) and interior mapping capability further serve to differentiate itself from its new rival. If a war is coming, Google has adequate time to prepare for battle.
 

djbaxter

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If a war is coming, Google has adequate time to prepare for battle.
They've already had 6-7 years.

But it's really more of a difference of opinion regarding future development. Apple wants a full voice-activated and voice-responsive GPS mapping system and Google doesn't have that as a priority in the foreseeable future. That's why Apple partnered with TomTom.

And I wouldn't count Apple out. They have a LOT of money and a fiercely loyal customer base.
 

m_j_gregory

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Hey all,

Great thread! Just thought I'd chime in with what we've been seeing on the situation.

When Apple released their maps platform on iOS6, we updated the iPads and got into it... and it's no different than what the chatter is about here.

Our big takeaways were that the user interface is great. However, the search results, not so much. We found that if duplicate listings on Yelp are an issue, make sure to correct them. In our specific situation, we searched on a business (with duplicate Yelp listing issues) and it only returned 1 result, without having the option to "see all 'business name' results".

As a side note, we were utilizing Yext for this business and Apple Maps did not pull this one.

We have not verified this yet but, we believe if a business' Yelp listing and performance is steady than such is true with there performance on the Apple Maps platform.

I'm sure I'm telling you something you already know but thought I'd provide our results. Please let me know if you're seeing any difference!

Thanks,
Matt
 

djbaxter

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But with all those data sources, the Maps are still mediocre at best and downright embarrassing at the other end of the scale.

I saw an article the other day musing as to whether Steve Jobs would have allowed iOS6 to be released with that app the way it is... seems doubtful. All new point zero OSs have bugs but the Apple Maps app isn't even a decent beta.
 
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A client of mine was very pushy about getting on Apple/Siri search results. We got them listed in Acxiom and made sure their Yelp page was business verified and complete. It looks like Siri organizes data based on location of search, then by Yelp reviews. So... say I search for a term like "furniture washington dc" I will get results which are first sorted by closest to the center of DC, then when a tie it goes by star ranking of reviews.

And yes, I based the decision to do that off of David Mihm's reporting. Having a strong presence and great quantity and quality of reviews in Yelp will help quite a bit. The results on Siri are almost identical to the results you get in the Yelp desktop version.

Those were just some observations that I've seen when working on this.
 

Linda Buquet

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Thought this was interesting. (Although I don't keep up with iPhone/Apple Maps news as much as I should.)

Survey: iPhone Owners Generally ?Not Affected? By Maps Issue

Hyperbole is the stock in trade of many tech bloggers and journalists. Yet beyond simply trying to grab eyeballs with exaggerated headlines, people in the tech press often get very worked up about issues that have little impact on ?ordinary people.? That may be the case with the so-called ?Apple Maps debacle.?

Mike Blumenthal used the Google Consumer Survey tool
last week to ask iPhone owners whether they?ve been affected by the documented problems with Apple Maps. The survey received 168 responses.
 

djbaxter

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That survey is from the US, where the fewest problems are reported. Even there, you can see that large urban centers have the fewest problems; reports of inaccurate or missing information increase as you go out to the suburbs or to rural or remote areas.

And outside the US, problems reports increase significantly. So what Mike is reporting on is the best case scenario for Apple Maps - and even at that it doesn't look terrific.
 

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