Thursday, September 29, 2011

Improved coverage of Sweden

Our roaming team of iPhone-wielding data collectors drove down the west coast of Sweden over the past few days, dramatically improving our coverage of Göteborg and Helsingborg. Helsingborg in particular is important to Nelso as it's right across the water from Helsingør, Denmark and is a popular destination for users of, our most popular site.

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

The "Starbucks" of Norway

While translating some text from Norwegian to English, I was surprised to find the word "Starbucks" in the English translated text, because Norway doesn't have any Starbucks locations. What was triggering the Starbucks connection was a reference to the Kaffebrenneriet chain of cafes in Norway, which are ubiquitious in the Oslo metro area. However, despite the obvious similarities to the US-based Starbucks, Kaffebrenneriet is not Starbucks and it's confusing for Google to translate it as such. It would be equally confusing to translate every reference to "Milka" in a German-language text as "Hershey's" in English.

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Covering a city in less than a week

Using our proprietary iPhone app to collect data, a team of four has completed data collection for the center of Oslo, Norway in less than a week. Each user added on average 250 places a day. We now have more verified listings (business data checked by our staff in the street) in Oslo than we have in Copenhagen, our current #1 market.

Monday, September 5, 2011

Is the GoogleBot finally paying attention to microformats?

While checking our ranking on various Google local sites, specifically "supermarkets in Copenhagen" ( Supermarkeder i København), we came across this page in the results (see screenshot if the page has changed since I posted this). Below the main link to the site, it says "10+ records" and then goes on to list some of the records in a way that leads me to believe that they are finally showing end users the results of parsing hCard microformats. I'm sure the GoogleBot has been collecting microformat data for a long time, but this is the first time I've ever seen our listings actually improved by the fact that we are providing this data.