image courtesy of apple.com
Last week, Apple announced that their new iOS 6 will no longer use Google Maps as its standard maps application. Rather, they’ve introduced their own maps program. This new program, called Apple Maps, will be on the new iPhone 5 and will be part of a software update for existing iPhone 4, 4S, and iPad operating systems.
Google has been in the map business for a long time, and most businesses have been optimized to appear correctly on Google Maps when a user searches for a local business. So what does that mean for Apple Maps? Will small businesses have to start all over again on a new platform? More importantly, how will this affect your business?
Apple Maps will be pulling information from the same data providers that Google Maps uses, including Localeze and Acxiom. If you are currently a Roadside Marketing client, you can rest assured that we have already claimed and optimized your listing on these major data providers. We have long made it a practice to keep your business name, address, and phone number consistent across these data providers, which avoids duplicate listings that might result from inconsistencies. These major data providers are often the source of information for other directories, including Google+ Local and now, Apple Maps. These directories, however, do not feature user reviews. So, the question arises: Where will Apple Maps pull reviews from?
Apple has announced that Apple Maps will be using Yelp’s system for reviews. Any reviews that a business receives on Yelp will now appear in the Apple Maps system. We are a little surprised by this move. There have been many complaints across the industry about how Yelp handles reviews, and even allegations that they “bully” small businesses into buying premium service. In any case, we have already claimed and optimized Yelp listings for our current clients, and we’ve coached our clients who choose to maintain their own Yelp accounts. Over the coming months, we will be putting a little extra attention to Yelp listings, to verify information is current, optimized, and accurate.
Apple has a lot of catching up to do to reach the level of depth that Google has put into their maps, but it looks like they have a good start. They will be using TomTom for navigation, and some map data from Waze, which is a popular GPS and traffic app. It will be interesting to see how this plays out in the next few months as users transition to getting used to using a new platform.
Rest assured that Roadside’s marketing team has already taken the steps to make sure our clients are ready for the change and will appear correctly on the map! If you have any questions about Apple Maps, please feel free to contact your Account Manager today!