Google Mobile Search localising with Google Places
Google has rolled out some updates to its Mobile Search platform in Australia, now taking advantage of localising user content and prominent positioning of Google Places.
Australia, USA and many countries now have an updated Google Mobile site with simple navigation for accessing Google Places.
Look at the below screenshot on Google.com.au showing my location being auto-detected by the iPhone’s GPS, presenting me with nearby entertainment venues – Restaurants, Coffee, Bars and more.
Click one of the headings and you will get some nice HTML5 mobile animation
You will then be shown a list of nearby venues matching your main criteria (Restaurants, Coffee, Bars or other type) on Google Maps.
Ahh, an old favourite, Colombian Hotel. Always nice electro music upstairs, dark dingy red lighting, feel right at home.
If you are a local hospitality business, you would want to make sure you are maximising any exposure in this sort of local search as much as possible.
Creating a Google Maps listing is free for any physical business, and you can see the potential rewards for a high search engine ranking in this case.
This is a good move by Google, they have acted quickly to position themselves for the location search/deals/reviews/ market that seems to be expanding rapidly. Surely more to come as we’ll surely see some sort of integration with the Google advertising platforms.
However, when Facebook fully release the might of Facebook Deals globally, which will no doubt be deeply integrated with Facebook places – the whole localisation game will change.
Traditional Deal a day website likes in Australia like Spreets, Cudo etc may feel increased competition, to put it nicely. Groupon in the US will be a good indication of how deal-a-day specific websites fair again Facebook Deals.
With this new localised Google Mobile Search there are a number of additional search categories available at the moment;
Fast Food, What’s Nearby, Shops, ATMs, Gas Stations, Attractions.
It’s worth noting all 3 major search engines, Google, Yahoo and Bing are developing local platforms, as are social media websites Facebook and Twitter. This seems only to be the start of the fast paced innovation we will see in this space.