Fwix CEO: Readying Content for Location and Mobile

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Darian Shirazi, CEO of the geo-tagging startup Fwix, dubbed a new acronym during his keynote speech during the first day of the Street Fight Summit in New York. Shirazi said that “LSO,” or Location Search Optimization, will be the next step in an ongoing process of web optimization — which began with SEO to boost search rankings, and SMO to make content more sharable. LSO, he said, is about making content accessible and sharable around place.

So why should publishers care about optimizing for location? Mostly, because the demand already exists, Shirazi explained. According to Google, 40 percent of searches are related to location. And yet, only 5 percent of content sites are actually optimized to leverage location-based search.

“The new query is location,” Shirazi said. The opportunity for publishers is in marrying together location data in content with mobile devices, which, of course, will keep playing a bigger role in how people search for information online.

Optimizing content for local search is not as hard as it sounds. Shirazi noted that publishers can begin by adding tags, through services like schema.org, as well as attribute or open graph tags for location. Fwix’s geotagger platform automatically extracts location data in content, like the address of local business profiled or the neighborhood of restaurant reviewed.  Shirazi, who spoke to Street Fight in June, says that media companies like NBC are already using their product.

Content categories, from news and reviews to daily deals and job postings, are all embedded with valuable location data that is not being leveraged, Shirazi said. Publishers, therefore, can benefit from LSO in several ways, he said. Not only can LSO boost traffic from now-old-school channels (search and social), but it will also build up mobile traffic. Shirazi also said it could open up new doors for location-based content, like overlaying content on a map.

“It’s about making your content location aware,” he said. “It’s something every publisher should do because it’s so easy to do.”

Photo credit: Shana Wittenwyler