Thursday, February 7, 2008

ZIP to local on GoogleNews

Google released a new "experiment" yesterday. So far, it's only available in English. If you go to Google News and scroll down you'll find a search box where you can enter your ZIP code. When I tried it just now for 85224, it brought up four Arizona Republic items with links to azcentral. I would love to see it access many more sources, including very small publications -- and maybe it does and I just haven't seen them yet; I should try more ZIP codes. And, of course, many very small publications don't even have a shovelware presence online yet. Much as I know news sites like to decry Google, I think there's revenue opportunity here. More and more people from outside the geographical region are likely to pull up azcentral -- or wherever -- stories. It allows for topical ads. While the popular wisdom is that mom-and-pops will suffer from this, there are some who could take advantage of different sorts of advertising, something that plays up something distinctive about what they have to offer. I am so tired of one-size-fits-all chain merchandising and branding that it would seem like a relief to me. But I digress. There's an excellent post on Google local at Journalistopia where Danny Sanchez talks about the growing importance of geocoding stories. More about that anon.

No comments: