Buzzfeed reports that sources close to Google are saying the search giant is planning to launch a new product for connecting people directly to local service providers.
The new product will be built right into Google search, with some AdWords integration as well. It is said to be designed to interpret a searcher’s intent, and match them up directly to a home service provider that can help them.
So if you’re searching for the nearest electrician, for example, Google will be able to recognize this and connect you to the appropriate local business.
That’s all that is known right now — details are limited as Google has declined to comment on this story. More details will reportedly be announced at “an advertising conference” later this spring, according to Buzzfeed’s sources.
This news comes at a peculiar time, since Google recently invested in a startup that already does exactly what Google’s future product is said to do.
Google recently led a $100 million investment round into local services company Thumbtack — and on top of that, Google assured the startup that it was not personally interested in expanding into the local services space.
Thumbtack CEO, Marco Zappacosta, was quoted in August explaining what he was told by Google Capital:
“The one line that convinced me is that they said, ‘We don’t explicitly invest in companies that we think will be competitive with us over the horizon that we can predict’… Because obviously then Google would either want to kill them or buy them, and that would put Google Capital in a very awkward position.”
Now, less than a year later, Google finds itself invested in a company offering a competitive product. In addition, Amazon recently launched a similar local services product which is sure to pose a threat to what Google eventually releases.
Needless to say, competition in the local services space is about to heat up this year as two of the biggest companies in the world go head to head with similar offerings. Who is your money on?