Ever go to a search engine to find out more about a specific place, such as a street or park or business? Want to see what the area around a historic monument is like? These types of searches are often referred to as location searches because the intent behind them is to find information about a specific location.
You can perform a location search in map-oriented search engines such as Google Maps or Yahoo Local or Bing Maps, but the search engines may also provide map type results in their Web search results as well. Before Universal Search was part of Google, maps had started showing up in Google’s web search results. If you searched for a business name or category with some geographic information included in your query, you may have been shown a map in your web search results alongside a listing relevant to your search.
A Google patent granted this week explores some of the challenges that a search engine may face when performing a location search. The way that search engines respond to those challenges shows off some of technical abilities of search engines, and the methods that they use.
For instance, in location searches, some of the issues that search engines may have to resolve can include: