While search engine industry watchers obsess over Google’s forthcoming initial public stock offering, the world’s No.1 Web search provider quietly launched Google Local late on Tuesday. Joining rival Yahoo! and news search newcomer Topix, Google’s search engine developers continue to make strides toward improving localized search technologies. Their latest efforts allow U.S. users to perform local searches by zip code or city name.
Currently in beta testing, Google Local lets users find shops and information that are right around the corner. Previously, a general Web search for “pizza” might return unwanted results, such as sites documenting the history of the foodstuff or links to far-flung restaurants and major pizza chains.
Now, when you enter “pizza” and a zip code into a Google Local search, you get geocentric pizza parlor listings starting with those nearest your location. Having local search capabilities available to the general public means that having a Web destination for your small business is more important than ever. Your small business is no longer buried among the myriad of listings that make up the World Wide Web. With Google Local, your small business could be listed front and center ó with potential customers just around the corner. (full story – Smallbusinesscomputing.com)
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