Google steps up local search efforts by Kate Billinghurst
Google is increasing its focus on local search through the addition of a new feature that returns local results even when no location has been specified in the original query.
Google has made further improvements to the way in which it returns local search results.
Last month, the search engine announced enhanced local search capabilities for its Google News and Google Suggest services.
Now the company is attempting to return more local search results even when the web user has not entered a location name as part of their original search query.
The search engine is undertaking this through IP address matching to find the user’s general geographical area.
It then returns local search results for generic queries such as ‘dentists’ and ‘restaurants’, with users being able to change their location via a link at the top of the page if needed.
Google software engineers Jenn Taylor and Jim Muller said in a blog post: “Whether you’re shopping for ‘groceries’, ‘sporting goods’ or ‘flowers’, or looking for your ‘bank’, your ‘gym’, or the ‘post office’, you can just say what you want and we’ll try to find it right where you are.”
According to WebProNews writer Mike Sachoff, the move may be particularly beneficial for those businesses that target customers residing in their local area and are looking to save money on their search engine optimisation efforts.
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