Google Voice Local Search Launched

Google Voice Local Search LogoYou’ve heard the rumors. Now you can try the experimental service from Google Labs. Google Voice Local Search is now live and publicly claimed by Google. Greg Sterling will be along to say more either here or in a fresh post. In the meantime, you can call (1-800-GOOG-411) and get local information by talking to your phone, at least in the United States.

Microsoft, of course, also has local voice search through the TellMe service it acquired last month.

Postscript from Greg: Google’s experimental entry into automated voice-based mobile search (free directory assistance [DA]) establishes a clear competitive landscape, which will likely mean a further decline in call volumes and revenues for traditional mobile directory assistance, as consumers become more aware of the availability of these free services.

The current competitors in the segment are:

Yahoo is noticeably absent from the group and has speech assets and speech professionals working there (former Nuance employees). So this may prompt further attention to a voice-based local search offering at Yahoo.

Asked whether Google would be integrating ads soon, the company said that it was not certain that ads would ever be integrated into the product, which offers an SMS/Text back with listings information, as well as free call connection.

Voice (DA) and text are where the volume of mobile data and search usage is today. And free DA is likely to capture a good deal of mobile search usage in the short term because it’s the most familiar to mobile users and has the largest “installed base” right now.

We’ll write more about this rapidly evolving segment later.

Related Topics: Channel: Mobile | Google: Maps & Local | Google: Mobile | Google: Voice Search | Search Engines: Maps & Local Search Engines | Search Engines: Mobile Search Engines


About The Author: is a Founding Editor of Search Engine Land. He’s a widely cited authority on search engines and search marketing issues who has covered the space since 1996. Danny also serves as Chief Content Officer for Third Door Media, which publishes Search Engine Land and produces the SMX: Search Marketing Expo conference series. He has a personal blog called Daggle (and keeps his disclosures page there). He can be found on Facebook, Google + and microblogs on Twitter as @dannysullivan.

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  • Todd Mintz

    If your profession is “directory assistance operator”, I think you should consider a career change.

    Very slick service.

  • Rocky Agrawal

    The *huge* difference between this and Jingle is that you can connect through to the business. Very helpful when you can’t write things down. (Like when you’re driving.)

    Jingle only gives you the number. Unless you choose to be hijacked by an advertiser and call them.

    Of course, Jingle could easily lift that restriction, but it adds to the cost base.

  • gary price

    Don’t forget that at one time (years ago in search time) Google offered a telephone-based voice search service that would allow the user to speak his keyword search terms and then here the results.

    The page is still online here:

    The newsgroup is still online at:

    Here’s a story Chris wrote for SearchDay in 2002.

    Also, at one time Yahoo Phone would use a synthesized voice to read your email to you over the phone.
    Here’s a copy of the home page from 2006
    and another from 2000.

    Now, the page resolves back to the Yahoo home page.

  • gary price

    I forgot to mention that another cool voice activated info service comes from (now a part of NAVTEQ) offers real time traffic info for many U.S. cities.
    1-866 MY-TRAFC
    More about the service here.

    You can also have traffic alerts sent to your phone at predetermined times.

    Details about both services here:

  • CSKnight

    Read/WriteWeb just published a poll of some of the alternative “talking” search engines; Ms. Dewey, Ask VOX, AbbyMe, Heather, etc. It’s here:

  • Paul van Veenendaal

    Also tried the new service.

    Location: Mountain View
    Business: Google

    Got connected immediately :-)
    Does anyone know the extension number for Larry Page or Sergey Brin by the way ha ha LOL

    Also love the commands: “start over”, “Go back”, “text message” etc. Really smooth tool.

    The service comprehends the location voice flawlessly, however has sometimes difficulty with the Business name

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