Taking a page from Facebook or Twitter, Google is putting a bit of real-time functionality on local business Place Pages. Google is promoting the idea that small businesses can use their Place Pages to promote time-sensitive (real-time) events. Here’s the Google LatLong blog discussion of how they envision its use:
Holding a special event today? Want to post a coupon for 5-7pm tonight? Have a new product in stock? You can now get the word out by posting to your Place Page directly from your Local Business Center dashboard. Once you’ve logged in and are on your business’ dashboard, post an update and it will go live on your Place Page in just a few minutes.
This requires the owner to put a simple message in a box; it’s even simpler than coupon creation:
Here’s the example site provided by Google showing the functionality in action:
Mike Blumenthal makes the point that, like coupons, this feature is somewhat “buried” a couple of clicks down. Nonetheless, this feature is quite interesting and has potential both as a promotional tool and as a way for Google to get business owners more engaged with the LBC. To that end the company has also introduced an “owner verified” badge that will appear on all claimed listings.
Separately Google announced that it had upgraded its BlackBerry mobile app. The new version of the Google Mobile App for BlackBerry offers deeper search integration with contacts:
Just type (or speak) your query – perhaps the name of the person who sent you the mail or a phrase from the text – and Google Mobile App will search through the emails and contacts on your device and return the results. You can quickly reply to an email or forward it on.
You can also quickly call, SMS, or email contacts by typing the first few letters of your contact’s first or last name, and then pressing the corresponding button. Google Mobile App will suggest contacts as you type and you can scroll down to select one. Google Mobile App will promote the people you contact frequently to the top of the suggestions list.
This kind of integration is designed to make search more functional and broadly useful on mobile handsets.