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Why Latitude matters for your business

Why Latitude matters for your business

I’ve given a lot of coverage the last week or so to Google’s Latitude. Why? What makes Google Latitude matter to small businesses? Simple. Many small businesses are service businesses – plumbers, doctors, restaurants and hotels – that will depend upon local, mobile and social search engines to drive their business. Latitude matters, because, for the first time, many consumers will be aware of location-based services.

Consider this: Google’s most likely competitors right now are OnStar and Garmin. Why? Because these “search engines” – though few consumers think of them that way – represent frequently used alternatives for consumers to locate businesses and services they need. Sure, other location-based services exist, such as BrightKite.

But look at BrightKite’s traffic over the last year:

Sure, it’s grown tremendously.

Except when you graph it against Google:

See what I mean? Which location-based service do you think your customers are going to hear about?

Hell, Latitude may be the best thing ever to happen to BirghtKite. Seriously. It’s much better in business to do something you don’t have to explain to your customer.

Small businesses that rely on search – which is to say most of them – can benefit from growth in any of these services.

Are you getting enough value out of your small business website? Want to make sure your business makes the most of the local, mobile, social web? thinks helps you understand how to grow your business via the web, every day. Get more than just news. Get understanding. Add thinks to your feed reader today. Or subscribe via email.

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Tim Peter is the founder and president of Tim Peter & Associates. You can learn more about our company's strategy and digital marketing consulting services here or about Tim here.

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