Spare a moment for me to explain something that's been bugging me for a while? What's the deal with GPS coordinates in social media profiles - most often, Twitter?
This nuance has gone from something I merely had an ambient awareness of, to something that I questioned, to something that started to really annoy me as it began to throw obstacles into my research as I actively monitor behaviors and conversations in the social space.
GPS coordinates in online profiles are bad for SEO.
Think about it. If a potential client is looking for a public relations professional in Minneapolis, they are likely to search for something like, "public relations, Minneapolis." I highly doubt anyone is searching "public relations, ÜT: 44.964859,-93.247224." If you're doing business in this space, and want to be found, this is a missed opportunity.
GPS coordinates in online profiles don't offer useful information.
How many people do you know who can recite the GPS coordinates for major cities across the globe? Yeah, I thought so. GPS coordinates, while excellent for air and ground navigation, offer very little information on which to base intuitive decisions. When reviewing profiles and deciding whether or not to follow, I take a look at the profile information. As part of this, I'd like to know where the individual is located. GPS coordinates offer nothing of value to me as I am reading and trying to get an introduction to this individual or business.
I am struggling to find any good reason why GPS coordinates belong in profile information.
My big hangup - and why it took me quite a while to write this post - is that I was seeing several smart individuals, who I highly respect, using GPS coordinates in their profiles. I questioned, "Am I missing something? Certainly, if this is what the 'cool kids' are doing, I want to know why." Other than the fact that perhaps a GPS coordinate might give the impression that one is savvy with mobile technologies, I couldn't come up with a solid reason that, in my opinion, would validate sacrificing a bio that was optimized for search (with the name of a city).
So, I asked around. And, the responses I got only offered more support for using the city name over the coordinates. Most individuals admitted that they didn't even realize they were using GPS coordinates (having set up via third party apps) and really hadn't given much thought to the importance of location in their profile. (A few also told me that after bringing it to their attention, they changed it.)
What about you? Am I still missing something? Have you given it thought?
While I'm comfortable in my statement that GPS coordinates aren't doing people any favors, I'm also here to learn. If you have any additional thoughts, for or against, or if you're using them, I'd love to hear from you.
I’m a consultant, strategist, author, educator, and speaker with more than 30 years of professional experience. I’m passionately curious, fairly sassy, kinda dorky and seriously good at what I do.