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Google’s Got The 411

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Don’t have access to a computer or phone book but need to find the number of a local business? Google Labs has launched an "experiment" that provides free 411 services.

Google's Got The 411
Google’s Got The 411
Google's Got The 411

Google Voice Local Search is an automated free service that offers information on local businesses. Users can search business listings by name or by category. The information provided on Google Voice Local Search is the same found on Google Maps.

Once a user has found a listing they can have the information sent to their mobile phone through SMS or they can be directly connected to the business free of charge, though your phone carrier may charge for the phone call or for receiving an SMS.

To access the service, users can dial 1-800-GOOG-411. Google cautions that the service is still in its experimental phase and may not be available at all times or work for all users. The service is offered only in English and in the U.S.

Surprisingly, the service is not ad supported and does not provide residential listings.

Google will be competing with similar services such as 1-800-YelloPages owned by AT&T, TellMe recently purchased by Microsoft and 1-800-Free411.

Danny Sullivan raises an interesting point about who is missing from the 411 markets.  "Yahoo is noticeably absent from the group and has speech assets and speech professionals working there (former Nuance employees). So this may prompt further attention to a voice-based local search offering at Yahoo."

It will be worth watching what kind of impact Google will have on other competitors and what users will think of their latest offering.

 

Google’s Got The 411
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