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July 16, 2006

New Google Local Search Front-end

Google tries to push local search by showing a new kind of OneBox results. If you search for San Francisco mortgage broker, Google shows the address of a mortgage broker, a map that locates the business and a link where you can find other similar local businesses. Although you can't find too many queries that show this OneBox, it's likely that this will be the new front-end for Google Local.

Local search is a growing business as many people try to find better products and services in their neighborhood. Local advertising is much more targeted so it's more relevant to the potential buyer. "We're working hard to integrate local search and local advertising. Most of the business that people are involved in is local. Most of the things you buy on a daily basis are from local businesses, and that business is probably larger than the current advertising business because they're generally undeserved." said Eric Schmidt two years ago. "The longer term goal is to have businesses give us very timely local information. So, for example, they'll say we have too much of this or too much of that product, and we want to have a sale. The goal is to have the computers arrange that real time and send out targeted advertising to interested parties nearby." (from a Fortune interview).

Here's the new interface:

... and the old one:

This is, a popular online directory of businesses:

The map seems like a catchy feature: it's not that useful as a static feature, but it gives a good hint that the OneBox result it's more relevant than the rest of the results.

{ Via Blogoscoped. }

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