Local Search, You’re Upsetting My Wife

Today is my wedding anniversary. Don’t worry, I planned ahead this year – at this moment there’s jewelry hidden in my basement, wrapped and everything.

I just hope my 3 year old hasn’t already found it and claimed it for her own.

But it’s a good thing I sometimes think ahead and I’ll tell you why. I decided to search for an anniversary gift this year using local search. It seemed like the logical search choice since I prefer to buy locally. But that’s when things started get ugly.

My problem? Not knowing exactly what I wanted to buy my lovely wife.

My search engine? Google Local (or Maps, whatever you want to call it).

My keywords? Anniversary Gifts

I like to start my searches a bit broad and then get specific when I see something that catches my eye. But in this case, I went blind.

Out of numerous pages of search results, not one listing caught my attention. Obviously, this is when I try a new search phrase. But let’s think about this for a moment.

The first 3 pages of local search results for anniversary gifts contained nothing more than florists, golf courses, Sears and a church. All 4 of these make some sense, specifically the florists. But are you telling me that not one of the um-teen thousand retail stores in my area has made an effort to list themselves under the keyword anniversary gifts???!!!

In particular, there’s more than a shiny handful of jewelry stores in the area. But not even one of these businesses, which supposedly specialize in helping wild-eyed husbands running home late on anniversary night find a gift, showed up in my search results.

So here’s my question: How long is it going to take for local businesses to catch on?

Some, such as those busy florists, have realized that people like me no longer pick up the yellow pages, or have time to window shop. But I still buy gifts, and I want to spend my money locally.

I’m begging local businesses, please start using the advertising channels that are available to every consumer with internet access. Because I don’t ever want to see the look on my wife’s face when I come home empty-handed on August 28th.