My latest column is up, at Inc Technology. This article is about the evolving area of local search. Local search simply means the ability of online searchers to find a local business, or a business in a particular geographical area. As I note in the article: Some small business owners don't see the value of online advertising because they aren't interested in attracting website visitors worldwide. Local search changes all that. Studies show that the majority of small businesses draw customers from within a 50-mile radius. The good news is that a variety of tools make it easier for your business to be found by people searching for local businesses. And the tools are getting more precise and more intelligent as the search engine companies invest in local search technology. For this column I had the pleasure of interviewing Bill Slawski, President of SEO by the Sea (and someone I've run into online for several years now). With Bill's expert input I was able to distill 8 practical tips to make sure that when people search online for a business in your local area, it is YOUR business that they find. Bill has been following closely the evolution and growth of local search. He even reads search patents to detect small nuances in how the search engines treat certain types of Web pages and their content. Read the Inc Technology column: "Local Search -- How do I Use it for My Business?"