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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. }


  1. Well, happy birthday, I guess. I made a note to delete your RSS feed from my Google page, but, fortunately, didn't do it immediately upon seeing your farewell post. I wonder how many readers you flushed away with this "funny" stunt. Otherwise, I think you're probably a smart person.

    I'll get over it, but I don't know that I'll trust your info in the future without following links myself.

    Two pieces of advice:

    1. Don't play stupid tricks on your readers. Respect us.

    2. Respect our intelligence and display yours: learn to spell, or to proofread. (This is a word that means: look over your posts and correct your spelling and grammar errors before posting them. And, remember, it's never too late, on a blog, to correct mistakes and republish.) When you misspell words and garble sentences, you don't communicate. Your information is valuable, and appreciated, but your blog could be better.

  2. Thank you for your great tips, Dave. The post "So this is goodbye" wasn't a farewell, or a trick. It actually had a meaning. At least for me. It was a little sign I had to encrypt here.

    You should know that English is not my native language. I try to avoid spelling errors and grammar mistakes, and I don't mind if someone corrects me.

    I rarely proofread my posts as this is very difficult for me: I don't like to read what I write.

    Your suggestions are valuable and I understand you are upset.

  3. dave newton

    stop bitching
    it's a blog, not a piece of literature

  4. I actually find Ionut's spelling/grammer a hell of lot better than most English speakers.

    Dave, if you think you can write a better blog, do it.

    However, Ionut, the goodbye post was a bit out of the ordinary in a cryptic sort of way. Any clarifications?

  5. Goodbye
    as in
    Au revoir
    A bientôt
    A piu tardi
    Hasta pronto
    A revider nos
    [ meaning "see you soon" ]

  6. Thanks, ionut alex, for your open and, yes, classy response. I'm not saying goodbye. I hope you'll improve your proofreading -- it's not fun, but it increases quality and clarity, in any language. Contrary to what other posters seem to be saying, misspellings and other writing flaws are not the mark of authenticity in blogging.


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