Google Suggests Competitors for Local Business Searches

Google Suggesting "Nearby Places You Might Like"

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Google is offering suggestions for "nearby places you might like" on Google Maps when you look up a place that you do like. So if you like a particular bakery, you might be presented with other places within the same vicinity that Google thinks you might also be interested in trying.

"When you live in New York City, everyone has an opinion on where to eat," says Tammy Stern of the Google Maps team. "And usually, telling someone a place you love will lead to a long conversation of a string of other places you should try. For example, one of the more interesting restaurants I’ve eaten at in NYC was recommended to me by someone who knew I loved a different restaurant by the same owner. And, when I told a friend I was heading to the Lower East Side to get some yummy knishes for lunch, he told me to make sure I checked out the famous Guss’ Pickles right around the corner and that I might consider picking up some smoked fish at Russ & Daughters down the street."

Nearby places you might like

"You’ll notice that we do not limit these suggestions to places sharing any specific characteristic; instead, we use a broad set of signals to come up with what are hopefully the most interesting suggestions," says Stern. "We’re still working on refining these signals, so bear with us if your serendipitous discovery of a new place is even more unexpected than you’d anticipated."

This feature could have both positive and negative effects on local businesses. On the one hand, it could give established customers ideas to go to your competitors. On the other hand, you could be the competitor and benefit from that.

The suggestions are just the latest feature in a recent slew of local business-related features from Google. The company is clearly focusing a great deal on this aspect of search.

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Google Suggests Competitors for Local Business Searches
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  • http://easynetincome.info Search Marketing Advice

    From the business owners perspective, yes there is competition. But from a customers perspective, s/he has a choice and that propels businesses to improve their service to compete.

  • http://www.sitebyjames.com James

    Let’s not forget they also offer ratings. I mean this should open up a whole new industry of marketers who peruse the reviews and write what they feel. Correct?

    I mean your business is no longer under your control.

    That’s the downside. Both the customer and the business lose out.

    I would prefer it if a company who a little more responsible entered that area. At least a company who staffed it. I already found problems with the reviews. Technical issues which have thrown a company into bad light.

    I just don’t think anybody except rockstars are working at Google anymore. Sorry… That’s the way I see it.

  • http://www.sitebyjames.com James

    Okay… I found a problem which has thrown hundreds of companies into bad light. I don’t really care if it was their fault or a technical issue with a third party website. It’s proof positive that the doors are wide open for corruption. Nobody is paying attention…

    Hey… maybe the old way was better?

    It has been a very long time since I’ve actually thought Google has done anything good for small business.

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