The next word in search is geolocation. If someone is using their mobile phone to search, they want something close by. Geolocation allows users to search for local goods and services without entering a zip code.
A important battleground for the big search engines will be location-based internet services.
So Yahoo bought Whereonearth whose database covers more than 90% of Europe, Asia and the Americas to compete better with Google.
Yahoo Searchblog says.
[A]dvertisers – they need to target users with more meaningful, relevant ads based on the user’s locality.
Whereonearth’s very talented team of software engineers and Geographic Information Systems (GIS) experts have worked hard to develop sophisticated technology that contains a unique combination of global data and software algorithms that make local search possible. Together, we’ll be able to provide the most geo-relevant information across all of Yahoo!’s products and services.