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Google Launches Mobile Local Search Feature

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Yesterday, Google announced a new service aimed at mobile gadget users who are frequently on the go and may be in need of local search services.

Google Local for Mobile

Offering the ability to “get local listings, maps and driving directions on your mobile phone or device,” Google’s Mobile Local Search offers those who query the service locations, driving directions, and the ability to call the business you are looking for without having to remember the phone number.

Not only that, but Google has also incorporated the Google Maps function into their Mobile Local Search service. According to Google’s blog, the motivation behind this service is:

It’s so irritating when I leave the driving directions behind, or have to find another restaurant to try when my favorite is booked. I may be forgetful, but now at least there’s Google Local for mobile. If your phone/device supports XHTML, you’ll get the same results for search terms plus maps and driving directions.

To use Google Local for Mobile on your phone, do the following:

  1. Access the mobile web browser on any mobile phone or device that supports XHTML (WAP 2.0).
  2. Type http://mobile.google.com/local.
  3. Enter your local search query (for instance, ‘sushi restaurant’ or ‘wireless hot spot’) in the ‘What’ box.
  4. Enter your location (for instance, ‘New York, NY’ or ’10011′) in the ‘Where’ box.
  5. Select and hit the “Google Search” button.
  6. Now just scroll through your search results

Once users are returned results, they can: Locate a business’s exact location on the map by zooming in and out or shifting the map north, east, south or west; get driving directions to your desired location; and place a call directly to a business by highlighting and selecting its phone number.

As mentioned, the Google Local Mobile service can also provide driving directions. To receive these instructions, do the following:

  1. After conducting a local search, click the ‘Driving Directions’ located at the top of the page (you can also get Driving Directions directly from the home page).
  2. You’ll be redirected to a new page with the business’ address in the ‘End Address’ box.
  3. Enter your location in the ‘Start address’ box.
  4. Click the “Get Directions” button.

For more in depth questions concerning Google’s newest service, please visit their FAQ.

Currently, results for the mobile service will not be featuring Google advertising. However, there has been no word whether or not this will always be the same. As much as Google enjoys capitalizing on their ad services, one can expect to see AdWords ads appearing on their local mobile service at any time.

To further this point, Reuters offers this:

[According to the Kelsey Group], Local search ad spending hit $162 million in 2004.

Chris Richardson is a search engine writer and editor for WebProNews. Visit WebProNews for the latest search news.

Google Launches Mobile Local Search Feature
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