Google has added new features to its local search engine, in hopes of attracting a bigger audience and creating more inventory for its advertisers.
The company has integrated the newly-launched Google Maps. It’s also integrated various other bits of information – including user reviews, hours of operation and credit cards accepted. All of these are gathered from various sites across the Internet, including Citysearch, Dine.com, SuperPages.com, Gayot.com, AOL CityGuide, Frommers.com and RestaurantRow.com Ads targeted based on both search queries and local geography appear atop natural search results on Google Local.
In a presentation at the Search Engine Strategies show in New York, representatives from Google, Yahoo!, MSN, AOL and Ask Jeeves all pointed to local search – especially local search on mobile devices – as the most important area to which marketers should pay attention.