Mobile Local Search
How important is location for local search?

We often search for businesses of interest using our smartphones. The utility is that the search results are tailored to our current location; matches near us are shown more prominently than those that are far away. An interesting and useful way of searching for things local—aptly called a local search. But then, is it really necessary to reveal where we are to benefit from this exciting application?

The following web application allows you to search for places of interest near a given address. It returns the top ten businesses matching the search term (represented in green bubbles). Drag the big red marker to see how many of these results will not change if you were to fake your position as the location of the red marker. Red bubbles show which results will be missed, if any. You may observe that many of the same results are produced for a large area around your actual address!



Search and then drag red marker!

At true locationAt chosen location
Search results retrieved using the Google Places library in the Google Maps Javscript API.

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