Google Place Search

Yesterday Google announced their latest feature, the Google Place Search. Place Search allows Google users to easily find information about local businesses, by clustering search results around a specific area.

According to Google product manager Jackie Bavaro, writing on the official Google blog yesterday, more than 20% of searches on Google nowadays are related to locations, and the new feature is intended to serve that growing market.

She explains that place searches will appear automatically if Google can see that you’re searching for local information, and that clicking on the new “Places” option on the left hand side of the page will also bring up the new results page.

A New Type Of Results Page

The new page will include a map with search results shown on it, and considerably more results. As many as 30 or 40 results could be displayed on a single page with Google Place Search, making it that much easier to find what you’re looking for in a single search.

Tests on the new feature have suggested that users can save as much as 2 seconds per search when looking for local information, and when it comes to search, 2 seconds can be a lot.

International Roll-Out

The new feature went live yesterday, and Ms. Bavaro said that it would be rolling globally in the next few days, and would be available in more than 40 different languages as well.

“With Place Search, we’re dynamically connecting hundreds of millions of websites with more than 50 million real-world locations,” she said, adding, “We automatically identify when sites are talking about physical places and cluster links even when they don’t provide addresses and use different names.”

What You’ll See

According to the team at Google, Place Search attempts to remove the need for multiple searches, by grouping different results about a specific location.

If you search for a certain type of restaurant, for example, the results might list several local restaurants, along with addresses, a map, and even links to reviews if they exist.

“It makes it easier to find a comprehensive view of each place,” explained Ms. Bravaro.