Google Maps Of The Past
For the time being, observing street views from the past in Google Maps is limited mostly to notable places and only available on desktop versions across 55 countries. This feature will get more exciting as years pass and can progress into an interesting content platform where the visual past plays a role for the present and future of a business.
As of today, April 23, 2014, the new features released globally from Google Maps, allow users to travel back in time and see what certain spots looked like through the past 7 years. It is a street view time capsule. This feature was an idea that many people have already requested and Google has made it a reality.
When documenting some spots, Google has images for the same roads taken from every summer for the past eight years. Since users can see streets of the past now, this will no doubt be something a lot of people will be spending a good amount of time on Google Maps exploring.
Future Content Ideas For Google Maps of the Past
Google is most likely testing to see how people interact with these new map features. Positive results, which seem likely, may present many ways to leverage local search elements for some companies. If your store front eventually shows up on Google Maps with the “view the past” feature, you may want to boost your inbound marketing traffic by adding some content features within local search, Google maps and your brick and mortar store front for years to follow.
Four Content Ideas for Maps of the past:
1) Put something outside your brick and mortar company that is visible and can be picked up when Google films your street. Make an artistic expression which is relevant to your business, company and customers. Change it each year around the same time. Involve people and let them add any ideas or input. Only allow the final artistic expression to be seen when visiting your location on Google Maps or when they are actually in person at your locale. As time passes, people can see what designs were juxtaposed on your store, building or company through the years and look back on past expressions or look forward to what will be next.
2) A time capsule street view option is great for watching the construction of buildings of all sorts. People can watch from the comfort of their own home the building stages many edifices goes through until completion. This is good if you are a real estate developer and want potential renters or buyers to see the building they may want to live in for the future.
3) Brands offer customers a link to their past with historical stories and now a physical story can be told of the actual edifice and all the changes which took place with time line, to be viewed one year at a time. This will take years to accomplish but planning from here on to let your audience know of any additions to your company’s building can be referenced historically. This can spark interest from potential and current clients who will visit your listing on a Google map and at the same time, piqued interest can follow by additional traffic to your website.
4) Show that you are a going concern. Your company has been at the same spot for x amount of years and Google maps will be the visual proof. The longer you have been there, the longer you will be literally on the map. Let everyone know by telling them that they can look back 20 or 30 years and see that your company has been at the same location serving its loyal customers, which can be documented with visual proof in Google maps. Well, in 20 or 30 years from now and onward.
The new Google time machine in street view feature offers an interesting element of dynamic content and will no doubt be available for mobile users shortly. It is a safe bet that many more streets and views of the past will be added in time as it picks up. Most of us will spend a good amount of time exploring through the years of street views available and desire more. Businesses can benefit from increased users on Google Maps who will kill their time and simultaneously research local commercial spots. This is yet another bonus for the ever increasing need to optimize for local search, for now and years to come.