At the Google Digital News Initiative in Berlin today Google engineers confirmed that they are at long last looking at how to recognise user geotags in search results. In a mobile world it’s crazy that a publisher can’t tell the web where their stories are located – which place they relate to. When I turn on my phone in a strange place it’s local information I want, the webpages should have geotags in them to declare the places they relate to. But the google search algorithm ignores geotags in the HTML, largely because the engineers judged that they couldn’t trust geotags (ie people would spoof them to get bogus relevance). I wrote about this in the Guardian over three years ago. David Besbris, VP engineering confirmed on stage that this was a missed opportunity for Google and they would be working on this in coming months.
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