I built my site, www.smallbuzz.net, for small/home businesses and individuals (with some skills) to create profiles and promote themselves. I have implemented the Zoom search engine and would like to somehow combine it with a location-based search. I have found a database of zip codes (United States), it can tell me what zip codes are within a certain radius of each other. If I search for ONE zip code with Zoom, it can match all the profiles that has that zip code, but I would like the results to return profiles at and near that location. Any ideas?[/url][/i][/b]
There's no automatic way of determining a range search within a specified radius. But one possible solution would be to add a list of nearby ZIP codes as meta keywords data to a page. This means that, when you create the profile page for a restaurant located at zip code 1234, you add a list of nearby zip codes as meta keywords, eg.
<meta name="KEYWORDS" content="2344, 5414, 12345, ...">
This would allow the page to showup for searches for nearby locations. Alternatively, if you have a dynamically generated website, you could change your script to insert these meta keywords by looking up your ZIP code database and determining the nearby ZIP codes. This way, you would not need to modify each of your existing web pages.
Wrensoft Web Software
Zoom Search Engine
The problem with adding near by zip codes to the meta tag is that I will be limited to 1 radius. For example, if I include zip codes within 5 miles of the current zip code, it won't work if I want to find something beyond 5 miles.
I think there might also be some commercial database products on the market that can store a list of company 'branches' and list all branches within a certain radius of a post code. But they won't allow searching by keyword.
So I think the only solution is to do some custom development in this case. If you are not a programmer yourself, you could talk to your web development company about doing a custom solution or post the job requirements somewhere like 'Rent a coder'.