Google created a new opportunity for local businesses hoping to boost their online marketing efforts this week – Google Place Search.
The feature is intended to offer users of the search engine more and better organised local information on businesses and services, including photographs of the business premises themselves and reviews.
From the Google users’ point of view, the new feature is a great way of exploring a neighbourhood, from the best restaurants and bars to museums and galleries. Place Search organises all this information around the location itself, rather than the category of business or amenity itself.
The local search results are marked out on Google Maps with red pins and come complete with any relevant info – such as whether a bar features live music – and web links to reviews from the likes of citysearch and tripadvisor. Previously, searches of this kind would provide the links and information in different parts of the results page, rather than conveniently grouped for easy digestion and comparison.
The feature looks set to be a boon for local businesses looking to raise their online marketing profile and attract extra custom from their catchment areas. It is likely that online advertising campaigns will be quick to pick up on the possibilities and tweak their marketing efforts accordingly.
Writing on the Google blog, product manager Jackie Bavaro said: “We’ve made results like this possible by developing technology to better understand places.”
“With Place Search, we’re dynamically connecting hundreds of millions of websites with more than 50 million real-world locations. We automatically identify when sites are talking about physical places and cluster links even when they don’t provide addresses and use different names.”