Yes Google local search results have turned into yellow page or directory type listings, but I haven’t seen an announcement about Google officially getting into the local directory business. Look out Yelp and City Search! Either I just made a discovery and this is something fairly new Google has not promoted yet, or this is just a test (probably) or I missed the announcement somehow.
UPDATE: 6/15 1PM PST Google just made the official announcement about these pages I discovered 2 days ago.
Discover new local gems with our new city pages – Official Places Blog
“We’ve got big plans for these pages, so stay tuned in the coming months to see what’s new.”
(Continued from original 6/13 post) So far I found a Google Austin City Directory and one for Portland. There are likely more, but I don’t have time to any more research now. NOTE: they list LOCAL phone numbers to make an in-person appointment with a Google Places business specialist. See commentary below.
Quick observations: Very nice looking! Seems very Hotpot oriented since it focuses on restaurants on the home page. Could promote more reviews and ratings with local consumers if Google decides to promote this and it catches on. Search around and see what you can find.
If you click the link for business owners there are some interesting things to check out. See comments below the next screenshot.
Couple noteworthy items. Each city’s biz owner page lists a DIRECT LOCAL phone number for an ON-SITE visit with a Google Places business specialist!!! So maybe as I’ve speculated Google IS moving toward more hands-on support for Google Places. (Although I realize visiting an SMB to get them signed up, is a far cry from offering full on tech support.)
The other thing I noticed is that Google is already promoting TalkBin as one of their business offerings. Google just acquired TalkBin in April of this year.
Oh and here is the Portland Business Directory.
I’m out of research/blogging time for today. Let me know if you poke around and find anything else noteworthy! Inquiring minds want to know!
UPDATE: I guess this IS NEW and IS NEWS! Here are the 1st few tweets that just came out as soon as I hit publish.
@davidmihm get ready for the new #1 local search result: http://bit.ly/jeXkOT -> unlike Place Pages these are NOT no-indexed. hat tip @lindabuquet
@davidmihm either G engineers made same mistake they initially made w Place Pages or HUGE NEWS
@martijnbeijk to @davidmihm holy whatthe!
@davidmihm here’s the page for madison: http://bit.ly/iN0idE
@davidmihm and san diego: http://bit.ly/m5c0MM
@Nyagoslav Google Places Local Business Directories! For now discovered Austin, Portland, Madison, San Diego via @CatalystLocal
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