With the rapid adoption of smart phones and web driven mobile devices, mobile search is hot property and this latest development by Google aims to further assert its position at the forefront of local search.
Local search has been bubbling away for sometime, but the proliferation of advanced mobile devices is fast tracking local search usage. But even those with the most innovative mobile devices have been under whelmed by the local search experience.
Enter Google’s new local search. While it’s not groundbreaking in terms of innovation, it definitely enhances the usability of the search experience. Here’s how the release post announced the new version:
Today we’re introducing a redesigned local search experience on your phone that integrates with Google Maps on your computer and includes browseable categories that let you search without typing.
By better integrating maps on desktop with your mobile local search experience, Google hopes to streamline the experience. The new categories and browse feature eliminates unnecessary typing – which on mobile devices can be a tedious task. Here’s how Google describe category browsing in action:
The new category browse feature made it easy to find a place to rent bicycles for a quick tour of the coastline. I just tapped on “Entertainment & Recreation” and then “Bicycles” to execute a search — no typing necessary. When it was time for scuba diving, I didn’t see an appropriate category, so I started typing “SCUBA” in the search box and clicked on a suggestion for “Scuba Tour Agency”. A few hours later, I was petting a white-tipped reef shark!
Ongoing use of the Google Maps bookmarking functionality will also help users build a highly personalized and simplified local search experience on their mobiles.
To see the new local search in action – watch the video below where Joshua Siegel a Product Manager from Google’s Local Search Team takes us through planning for a birthday party.
At this stage, the new local search for mobile is only available in the United States and China. But stayed tuned as its sure to roll out to other countries shortly.
Rene is the marketing manager of ineedhits.com - a global search engine marketing company. He also leads the marketing for Gooruze.com - a web 2.0 style community for online and digital marketers. Rene has been in the industry since 1997 with much of that time spent helping businesses embrace the best of the internet and digital world.