Apple to use GPS technology to enhance local search

Apple is tinkering with a crowdsourcing-esque technology that can be used to increase a company's local search ranking based on recorded user visits, Apple Insider reports.

The new concept, published by the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office last week, is called Relevancy Ranking for Map-Related Search. It would use the iPhone's iOS Maps application to report a user's present location using GPS technology.

Apple would then collect this data to find the most popular destinations of iPhone users. Search results could then be ranked accordingly, based on locations with the most visitors, so if a restaurant with the most checked-in individuals would reserve the top ranking in search engine results when searched by location or category.

"For example, it can be assumed that a person who visited a restaurant for over an hour ate at the restaurant," the Abstract reads. "If many users did the same thing, it can be assumed that many users ate at the restaurant."

Furthermore, Apple can use recorded data to recommend other locations for users who display similar interests.

According to the Abstract, the "collective wisdom and experience of the population" will be used to create more accurate search results, SEO by the Sea reports.