Adjustments to the method that Google Maps uses to select localized search results – coupled with the introduction of the Place Pages feature – has catapulted Wikipedia into one of the top search engine optimization (SEO) spots in local search, according to Chris Silver Smith at Search Engine Land.

Silver Smith writes that Google’s intent with Place Pages was to provide local search information about non-businesses. While a plethora of local content exists for businesses, local parks and other points of interest are frequently bereft of geographic search data.

Analysts say that it is hardly surprising that Wikipedia would become Google’s primary source for non-business-related content. Silver Smith writes that the search giant has always seemed to have a preference for Wikipedia pages, due to their broad topicality and Creative Commons licensing.

The advent of increased mobile internet access – via tablets, netbooks, and smartphones – should provide the impetus for further innovation in local search, experts say. Search engine optimization (SEO) efforts targeted at on-the-go web users will have to provide location-specific content to succeed.

Katherine Griwert is Brafton's Marketing Director. She's practiced content marketing, SEO and social marketing for over five years, and her enthusiasm for new media has even deeper roots. Katherine holds a degree in American Studies from Boston College, and her writing is featured in a number of web publications.