Google Local Mobilizes

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The extension of Google Local and its maps to wireless phones will include satellite imagery just as it is available from a computer. A free download for Java-enabled phones lets users take Google Local for mobile along for a trip.

Google Local Mobilizes
Google Local Becomes Even More Mobile-Friendly

The features found on the Local service online will be present in the mobile version.

Directions from place to place can be plotted on the phone. Results from local search will be integrated on a map, and users can find businesses and contact information as part of the display. Maps can be zoomed in or out, or dragged around the screen.

Once a search for businesses has been made, users can press the numbers on the keypad to go to each result. Pressing the number twice brings up additional information about the business, driving directions, and most importantly, the ability to call the business directly.

That call option plays into Google’s recent forays into print advertising, where telephone contact information has been included in the ads. Pay-per-call advertising promises to be very lucrative for search engines.

Verizon and AOL are among those that have been using pay-per-call to profit from local search. Companies like Google and Yahoo have been working to build up their local search products. Once MSN gets its AdCenter network launched in the US, they certainly will make a push there too.

Google lists Cingular, Sprint, and T-Mobile as providers whose Java-enabled phones should work with the Local application. The app isn’t supported on phones that use Brew technology, or on Nextel, Palm or Blackberry devices.

David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business. Email him here.

Google Local Mobilizes
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