The Internet of Things Is Already Here – and There’s Nothing You Can Do About It review
At this year’s Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las Vegas, it wasn’t wearables that shook the series, but the Internet of Thingsa world where all manner of devices, from tablets and smartphones to devices and thermostats, can share data freely among themselves via the Internet and offer us unparalleled control over our environment.
The Internet of Things concept
Technologists have been waxing lyrical about the Web of Things for years, but 2015 looks set to become the year the interconnected world we’ve been promised finally crosses over to the mainstream.
The Internet of Things has enormous potential to transform our own lives, but for search marketers and SEOs, the consequences are profound.
AtYourService: How the Web of Things Is Making Local Search Smarter
Aside from the obligatory gadgets at this year’s CES, the most interesting development on screen was AtYourService, a”commerce and participation offering” which will be integrated in certain versions of General Motors vehicles.
Essentially, AtYourService is an improvement on GM’s OnStar service, which offers users a subscription-based automobile communication service featuring GPS navigation, in-vehicle Wi-Fi, and security features similar to those provided by LoJack.
Web of Things GM OnStar AtYourService
Image via Search Engine Land
Though OnStar was popular because of its restricted user base as it rolled out from the mid-1990s, the support was prohibitively expensive, only accessible limited versions of luxury sedans and other high-end vehicles, and bound by the restrictions of the Web technologies which were common at that time. Howeverthe growth of 4G LTE networks has meant that OnStar is currently much more technologically feasible, and of course more attractive to today’s customers.
AtYourService essentially transforms your car into an advertisement platform. GM has partnered with several well-known brands and sites, including Dunkin Donuts and online coupon website RetailMeNot, to provide in-car incentives in real time according to an individual’s location. If you’re a regular Dunkin client, AtYourService may send promotional offers directly to your car long before another departure, or offer coupons for stores in the mall you are heading to.
Web of Things OnStar AtYourService Dunkin Donuts spouse
“By delivering relevant connections, interactions, offers and services according to our readers’ needs, we are laying the foundation for a really cohesive experience,” said Mark Lloyd, OnStar’s consumer online officer. “Our hope is that OnStar AtYourService will greatly alter how businesses and consumers interact with vehicles that are connected.”
Understandably, advertisers are fairly excited.
Paving the Way for Smarter Local Search
It’s no secret that Google is also eyeing transport as a potential area that is ripe for disruption. Besides Google X’s driverless vehicle initiative, Google Now has offered responsive real-time information to users on everything from local parking availability to traffic upgrades.
Sure, GM’s announcement at CES might not seem that exciting on the surface, but it is the initiative’s potential that should pique local research marketers’ attention. Location-based ad targeting is nothing new, however, the interconnectivity between devices that has been guaranteed to us could create a wealth of new opportunities for smart advertisers to receive their ads in front of the ideal people, at the ideal time, in the ideal location — even when prospects’ cellular device is (or should be) out of reach.
Internet of Things instore advertisements
Image via Swirl
Given GM’s commitment to using its OnStar service to provide extra value to its customers, it is only a matter of time before Google, Apple, and the remainder of the tech industry’s major players start refining their own offerings to reflect customers’ changing expectations.
The Web of Things Offers Excellent Opportunities for Local SEO
For SEOs, local has been one of the most potentially rewarding regions of search. The explosion in smartphone adoption — along with the accompanying tectonic shift in location- and device-dependent providers — has brought with it a wide selection of challenges for SEOs, but it has also been a significant boon for small businesses and customers alike.
But, SEOs are now fighting a war on two fronts; trying to accommodate Google’s near-constant algorithm updates, and staying abreast of new technologies which threaten to force them into obsolescence. Every few years, a technology evolves that naysayers claim will”end” the search engine optimization sector, but few improvements have the capacity to change the search engine optimization landscape as irrevocably as the Web of Things.
Even today, when headlines about how cellular search is poised to eclipse desktop in terms of quantity are still creating the news, optimizing sites for cellular is a major challenge for a number of businesses. Google has certainly made things simpler by introducing a ton of attributes from mobile click-to-call extensions and offline telephone tracking to hyperlocal space info and mobile advertising sitelinks, but far too many companies are trying to keep up with those attributes, less optimize their sites for responsive display across multiple devices or make sure they’re adhering to Google’s guidelines for Google My Business.
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