Google, the world’s top search engine, unveiled Google Local on Tuesday, adding the function of local search to the Google experience and joining rival search engine Yahoo in staking its place in local search. Google Local, developed and tested in Beta within Google Labs, lets web searchers look locally from different sources including Yellow Pages, local business listings and Google’s normal web page index.
“Google’s goal is to connect searchers with the information they need whether it’s half-way around the world or in their neighborhood,” Google co-founder Sergey Brin said in a statement to the press.
If you’re looking to get in a golf game around the Queenstown, MD area, a Google location search for “golf” and “Queenstown, MD” yields multiple golf oriented businesses in the area, along with address and link for driving directions, a map link, related web search sites, and phone numbers. Although Google currently sells geographically targeted AdWords, there seems to yet be any incorporated into Google Local. Here are the results on Google Local.
Local Search Advertising
Google said it is not currently selling lucrative paid-search advertising for local searches, but it plans to do so in the coming months as local search begins to be the buzz around small businesses and paid search advertising. “The market potential for local search is enormous,” says eMarketer Senior Analyst David Hallerman “As search engines find more ways to work with traditional yellow page providers, merging the success of online search with the personalized sales forces required to gain more local advertisers, the market will expand exponentially during the latter part of the decade.”
Other Local Search Engines
Yahoo’s GetLocal and SmartView – SmartView enhances the current Yahoo! Maps product by allowing consumers to choose local points of interest and attractions – such as restaurants, hotels, movie theaters, parks, ATMs and post offices – to customize the current map display. Once displayed on the map, expanded information, including address and phone number, pricing, user ratings (for hotels), website address and access to driving directions can be found by clicking on the identified icon. Consumers can easily search the web for additional information on a particular point of interest by clicking on the “Web search” link in the information box. Additionally, by typing an address into Yahoo! Search, consumers can retrieve a direct map display in their results where they are then one-click away from the SmartView search experience.
Vivante – Business and local search engine which offers customized searches to fit different lifestyles.
SuperPages – In a partnership with FindWhat.com, Verizon’s Superpages announced that on March 1st, its listings will feature pay-per-click advertisers at the top of each page. With FindWhat.com’s technology and Verizon’s strong sales and customer service infrastructure, Superpages hopes to boost local and yellow pages ad revenue through the roof this spring.