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Monday, 29th January 2007

Google Expands Local Listings to Web Results, Others Offer Similar Services

UPDATE: The concept of offering local results on web search results pages is not entirely new at Google and other search companies. Ask.com (then Ask Jeeves), Google, and Yahoo have been doing it in one form or another since 2004. What we are seeing these days is an expansion of that concept to include more info (reviews), events (concerts), links to purchase tickets, disambiguation, and maps.

Now, today's news:
Word from Google today that they are expanding local results on web search results page when the context of a search indicates it that this info might be of use to the searcher. Barry has more in this post.

Examples:
+ Movies 10036.
+ French Restaurants San Francisco

In some cases you must specify a state. For example, Movies Springfield provides listings of theaters in Springfield, IL results but nothing for Springfield, MA or Springfield, MO.

On Search Engine Land, Barry points out that Yahoo offers something similar.

On Ask.com, since the launch of the AskCity two months ago, event listings, movie listings, restaurant listings and business listings have expanded on a web results page (when the query suggests this will be of value to the searcher). In some cases, an even listing might also provide a direct link to purchase tickets. Here are a few examples:

+ A search for the motion picture The Queen in Midtown Manhattan (using a Zip Code). Ask also shows the movie poster with theaters and movie times. A search for "The Queen" Springfield offers a drop down box for all cities named Springfield.

+ A search for Alternative Rock Concerts in New York City
Note that Ask offers a pull-down box that allows the searcher to narrow their search (without typing) to a specific borough. Also, note the links to purchase tickets on this page.

+ French Restaurants, Columbus
Again, if the user doesn't enter a state, Ask offers a pull-down box that lists cities and states named Columbus.

+ Finally, in this example, Ask.com not only offers listings but direct links to related categories.

Note: Gary is Director of Online Resources at Ask.com


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