Hyperlocal tech company Fwix has rolled out a tool for publishers to use to tie ads closer to local content. The beta test has begun with existing partner NBC (NSDQ: CMCSA) Local, which is launching Fwix’s Geotagger on its 10 TV station sites. In explaining the relevance of Geotagger, the company says that “LatLong” — latitude and longitude — is going to replace keywords as the standard for online ad buys, as daily deals and mobile usage become a greater part of publishers’ traffic and revenue streams.
San Francisco-based Fwix began over two years ago as a hyperlocal newswire, aggregating local content and distributing it across larger publishers’ sites, like the New York Times’ regional properties. But the primary focus of Darian Shirazi, the company’s founder and CEO, was to start indexing local information. As Shirazi told us a year ago, “”We think of it along the lines of what Google (NSDQ: GOOG) does, except they index information according to keywords, we index information according to latitude and longitude.””
The company is promoting its Geotagger product as a way to deliver a different layer of location-based advertising and information to their sites. The service itself is free, but once it starts running ads — as more publishers start using the index, ads will follow — Fwix will take a cut of that.
The way Geotagger works is that the system identifies places mentioned on a site, and publishers can then access the location data provided by Fwix, which claims about 50 million users across its content network. Fwix is also encouraging publishers to syndicate its tagged content through the Fwix API, a widget which claims to receive more than 8 million calls a day.
NBC Local’s participation comes about five months after it relaunched its 10 station-related sites. In an e-mail, Greg Scholl, president of Integrated Media at NBC Local, said that Geotagger “builds on what we’ve been doing to date and offers another important context to the news and information we produce. Over time, we also hope that the Fwix network will serve as a distribution platform for us. As Fwix continues to innovate, we anticipate interesting new products and services we can build around the geotagging service.”