Oct 15, 2005

Geolocation : The new tool in Internet Marketing

If you thought that you were anonymous on the Internet, think again. Your IP address (the unique ID of any device connected to the Net) and your browser (Firefox, Opera, Internet Explorer, etc.) gives the server or anyone interested, enough information about your geographic location, timezone, operating system on your PC, browser configuration, etc. that can be used to identify you as a unique visitor with specific preferences and characteristics. This can be used to target you with specific marketing tools on the Web.

Using geolocation (also known as geotargeting), advertisements can be delivered for users who visit the page from a specific geographic location. For example, a New York computer store can display ads to users from New York alone, thereby filtering out prospects who are more likely to become customers, and thereby incur a lower rate on ads displayed. The users also will get locale-specific advertisements, which is basically information on purchases he is potentially interested in.

Geolocation can also help in redirecting visitors to sites with localcontent automatically, as Google does in its homepage, for instance. A visitor from India typing in 'google.com' will first be taken to 'google.co.in' automatically.

Geolocation services basically work by looking up the country against which the IP address of the visiting user is registered and uses this information for providing localised content or delivering locale-specific advertisements or whatever. The possibilities of using technologies like geolocation and IP mapping to Internet marketing are endless.

However, technical measures to ensure anonymity such as proxy servers can be used to circumvent restrictions imposed by geolocation/geotargeting software.

Refer Geolocation by IP address for more technical information about the subject.

P.S: The script used in this page to identify your location is provided by Geobytes. (I am sorry if your location was not detected correctly by the script; it was alright when I checked from a few places.)

P.P.S: I have removed the script that 'geolocates' your location since my current blog post has changed. There are a lot of GeoLocation services like Geobytes.com and ip2location.com that provides these services. Most of them are paid, and some are free.

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