The feature is currently only tested in the San Francisco area, and depending on its accuracy and reliability might be expanded afterwards to a worldwide reach. What it does m0ore specifically is to filter certain search phrases, such as “locksmith bay area”, and show a couple of nearby businesses as first search result instead of any type of other junk that might appear as results.
This might generate a lot more user traffic for Google and provide some great exposure for local businesses, but it’s not exactly clear if the latter will pay to be shown or if the search engine will calculate on its own the most relevant results. In any case, finding home specialists such as plumbers, cleaners or exterminators should become quite easy with this feature.
As it stands right now, users can search for businesses using Google, and might even filter nearby results, but the company’s algorithm makes it so totally irrelevant searches also show up – for example movies related to the search phrase or forum discussions. If it does happen to show only businesses, then customers have to browse each individual site to decide.
However, the new feature offers a host of relevant information directly from the search page, such as other customer reviews, contact information or pricing. Internet surfers can now compare these providers more easily in their search for the best one – and it also makes contacting them way easier, as a service request button will also be added.
Google isn’t exactly innovating in the field, though. Several other internet services have already launched features which serve more or less the same role. For example, Amazon has green-lighted Amazon Home Services in March – while this isn’t an internet search, it’s basically a great bazaar where you can find and request home service professionals.
Of course, one of the greater impediments of this feature is going to be localization. Amazon Homes Services has expanded until now in US cities from 41 states, but it still has no support for rural or less populated areas. This is the niche that Google might profit from, but it is going to require a certain degree of work to achieve – local businesses from smaller towns will certainly cooperate though at the prospect of actually showing first in a Google search.
Image Source: bgr.com