brother – where are you?

Geolocation. How useful is it? The sources claim that it’s accuracy is even exceeding 90% for country information, 80% for city information. Determining the country from an IP is quite easy. All IP are associated with country. Determining the city from an IP is more difficult. These information are in IPWHOIS for all IP ranges, however this info is not very accurate.

There can be many usages of it – you can target promotional offers better, you can lead customers to nearest resellers of your product (and even show the map on the way), you can make more attractive messages in banners by personalizing it (calling customers by city where they come from). Possibilities are endless…

Usefulness depends heavily on target customer group – if you target consumers or small SMBs – all should be fine. Watch out however when you target corporate customers. Due to their security rules they usually access the web via proxy which means that you will see address of the proxy – no city information, just country. In most of the cases – I’m recognized as coming from Germany, which is not true.

What’s your experience with it? Do you trust geolocation data? Do you see good usages of geolocation info in your business? Comments are welcome!

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