The one thing you will find is that there are no shortage of opinions, ideas, and theories on-line, regarding the search engines and on-line marketing.  One reason, there really is not any industry standard or “manual” on how to do things.

One of the things I do is web design and that definitely is an area that has no set standard. I have my ideas on what a good web design company should provide but there are many web design companies out there that think differently. This makes it hard on the consumer when they are trying to compare services, prices, and companies.

Well, I was talking with a client the other day, trying to explain local search marketing and quickly realized I needed to get them up to speed on all the terms. Greg Sterling, recently posted at Search Engine Land,  “Is ‘Local Search’ A Vertical Or A Verb?”  He believes it to be a verb; “an activity or intention that cuts broadly across most online categories and is ultimately about the relationship of the Internet to the real world.”  I agree.

I have sat down and put together my definitions to try and explain things to my small business clients. The various types of searches are  “verbs”, a particular action we are do on-line.  I would break down searches as follows:

General search-the process of simply looking for something online, be it information, a product, service, etc.
Local search– the process of looking for something on-line but now it is narrowed down with a certain location(s) in mind (i.e. used cars dealer, Augusta GA)
Mobile search – a subset of local search,  searching for items, normally local, via a mobile device.
Social search – the process of searching but using on-line reviews, commentaries, input provided and put on-line from the community  (i.e. reviews of the Acer LW2216 monitor,  how many stars does this restaurant have?)

I created a rough diagram to show how these searches interact. (The size of the circles do not represent  their current market share.)  The point is , each search can be a separate entity but can and will overlap with the other searches at times.

This is what small businesses that are competing on-line need to remember; the way folks search for things on-line can vary, (there is more than one way to skin a cat).  Right now local search is growing, so this type of search needs to be taken into account for on-line marketing.

The center of the diagram (yellow) is the “sweet spot” where all searches overlap; this is where your search engine marketing campaign(s) needs to be for maximum visibility. For small business to do well on-line, visibility is the name of the game. The more avenues you use to promote your business, the better off you will be.

In the end, my client understood what I was trying to say and was ready to start putting together a plan for her site.