THINGS move quick on the internet, so if you promote your holiday home website or business on the internet two recent developments may be worth thinking about.
As the popularity of smartphones increase, location is becomming one of the most keenly fought over features of the internet, and both Facebook and Google have stepped up their presence in the area.
Yesterday, Facebook announced it was enabling businesses to promote deals through the site, so that when people check-in they get notifications of special offers.
At present this service is only available to businesses in the United States, but Facebook say it will soon be available in other countries.
I'm sure you can begin to see how this could be used if you have a holiday home and let us say you have space or a recent cancellation.
Make this known through Facebook and when people are travelling and are within your local area, when they check-in they learn about your deal and are able to contact you direct.
Next up is Google's Place Search which makes use of the popular Google Maps, as well as Google Places.
Announced last week, the new service gathers together results around locations with the well-known push pins featuring on a Google Map to one side of the page of results.
You can match up the push pins to the descriptions in the search listings to narrow down the area and get a good idea of the places available to you.
One thing that Google is making heavy use of in this service is its Places tool, which is a simple webpage that enables you to register your business and complete details such as address, services available and lets people write reviews about the business.
If this page sounds suspiciously like a directory listing then you'd be right - so if your only real online presence is such a site then you might begin to see a dip in enquiries.
It looks as though Google is squeezing out such websites, one reason could be that it believes the reviews posted are no longer useful to readers.
The likely reason is that they see such sites as competition when it comes to online advertising.
Google is keen to see more businesses, especially smaller ones, begin to use the internet to advertise their services, and Places whilst free to register enables people to offer digital vouchers and offers.
As well as providing Google with a directory of business types so it can target them with methods, techniques and deals on online advertising.
Which brings us back to Facebook, as the challenge Google faces is that people trust their friends and peers more than a search algorithm.
With Facebook check-ins and deals people are able to ask their friends for recommendations, as well as tell them about special offers they've just discovered, without having left Facebook or even touched a search engine.
So what can you do to try and ensure your own holiday home website is visible online? Here are some steps you can take:
1. If you are not already on Facebook then now is the time, register an account, provide details of your holiday home location and write a few short messages about places local to you.
2. If you are already on Facebook then double-check location details, and maybe spend some time understanding how the deals service can be used.
3. Regsiter your Google Place page and provide as much information as possible.
4. Ensure your own website features your address and postcode prominently, in the footer of every page would be a start.
5. Provide pages on your website with information about places to visit local to you, again feature full address details.
What are your thoughts about these changes, will you be stepping up the work on your online presence?