At iMobile Local we are trying to keep you, small business owners abreast of what’s going on in the whirlwind world that is ‘iMobile’ , there is sooooo much activity with Google, Facebook etc directly at YOUR KIND OF BUSINESS . . . Yesterday Google announced that it was adding check-ins (and loyalty categories) to Latitude. It also announced the global expansion of HotPot, its recommendations tool. Checkout the video (left)
Google Places apps for both iPhone and Android allow people to rate and review businesses (HotPot’s objective). And on Places Pages, in Android, you can also check-in (that’s coming to iPhone). In addition all of this is deeply integrated with Google Maps and Navigation on Android handsets.
Google is also developing a Groupon clone. No doubt deals/offers will also be distributed on Google Place Pages when that service gets off the ground. Separately Google has been experimenting with “mobile Offers Ads” that show discounts and coupons intended to drive foot traffic to offline businesses.
Google is at it again. A recent change in how Google displays local search results has created a competitive advantage for some local businesses while others remain in the dark about the major competitive shift that just occurred.
If you’ve done a Google search for a local business or local service provider recently (for example, “Chicago accountant” or “chiropractor Sacramento”), you may have already noticed a brand new look at the top of Page 1 for many of these listings. These results are no longer coming from the regular pool of Internet websites that are shown with non-local searches. Instead, the results you see are coming from inside their own Google Business Listings (also known as Google Places and formerly Google Maps).
So what does this mean for local business owners?