Google Local Search – ok now what?

By Herb

Local Search is a new feature at Google. Interestingly enough, they’ve had it for years, but are just now giving it front page support. The local feature makes Google act like a digital yellow pages for you. Type in Radioshack for instance and then your location, and it will give you a yellow pages-esque listing of Radioshack locations. It won’t however give Zagat style references. You’d need to do a normal google search for that.

Where they’re missing out is by ignoring the basis of their mission statement: “To organize the world’s information.” There’s no organization in alphabetical listings anymore. It’s nice that Google can find the address and phone number of Paul’s Palace, but it can’t tell you that it has the best burgers (beef, turkey, veggie, or otherwise) in New York City. If you searched for some thing as specific as a restaurant, you’d already have to know about it and would probably already know how to get there. If Google, Overture, Amazon, or anyone else can figure out how to wed information exchange with search, they’ll be sure to have something big on their hands because that would get more people to use online advertising (and consequently make more money for everyone).