Google’s Near Me Now: A Yelp Killer?

Just a couple weeks after failing to consummate a rumored deal to buy Yelp, Google has launched a mobile search tool that could take away the mobile market share of Yelp and similar sites/apps like Urbanspoon, MapQuest, and some of the yellow pages apps.

It’s called “Near Me Now,” and Google previewed it last month — but it was overshadowed by the “cool factor” of other things announced that day, like Google Goggles. Near Me Now lets users search what’s around them at any moment without needing to speak or enter any search terms. You have to let your iPhone or Android browser send your location to Google, and if my testing is correct, you also have to be logged in to your Google account. Once that’s in place, “Near Me Now” shows up as a new link on the Google.com mobile home page.

near-me1

Clicking the link brings up a layer of local search … well, local discovery options such as Restaurants, Coffee Shops, Bars, and more.

near-me2

The primary option is “Explore right here,” and clicking that brings up a list of local businesses — of all categories and varities — that Google believes is in the same place as you.

near-me3

Clicking any one of the listings on that page leads to the business’s mobile place page, where you can get whatever information Google knows about that business.

As I said above, this functionality isn’t new. There are countless apps and tools that provide location-based information. Yelp and Urbanspoon obviously have great traction, but none of them have the overall mindshare and marketshare that Google has. The question is: Will users abandon the apps they love for Google’s browser-based version of the same thing?

Related Topics: Channel: Local | Google: Maps & Local | Top News

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About The Author: is Editor-In-Chief of Search Engine Land. His news career includes time spent in TV, radio, and print journalism. His web career continues to include a small number of SEO and social media consulting clients, as well as regular speaking engagements at marketing events around the U.S. He recently launched a site dedicated to Google Glass called Glass Almanac and also blogs at Small Business Search Marketing. Matt can be found on Twitter at @MattMcGee and/or on Google Plus. You can read Matt's disclosures on his personal blog.

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  • http://www.planetc1.com/ chiropractic

    I feel like a man ahead of his time, have had hundreds of “near me” domains in my portfolio for years, wonder what effect (if any) increased use will have on search.

  • http://www.webnabit.com mwheeler

    This is a good toolby google, however its not all that different than others of similar ones. http://www.webnabit.com/about/how_it_works.htm is offered by Webnabit, and will take a simple local search to the next level of innovation, and its free to use. While Google has introduced a new style of local search, it has not taken it down new avenues.

  • http://incrediblehelp incrediblehelp

    chiropractic do you really think a geo-based domains is going to out-rank a real localized website for a localized query?

  • melihoztalay

    Hello,

    I anticipate that Google’s “Near Me Now” is something that was always planned with or without Yelp. The bigger issue during 2010 will be the war that will rage for consumer reviews at multiple local business listing websites.

    Google has it’s own local business listings and allows consumers to post reviews. So does, Yahoo, Bing, City Search/Ask, Yellow Pages, Yellowbook, Local.com and the list goes on. Although, all of these local listing type websites will be seeking out the consumer to visit their website and post a review about a local or small business, I think the local and small business will become overwhelmed trying to monitor all of these websites.

    As you can imagine a solution already exists for the local and small business. At KillerStartUps a company was recently reviewed providing Local Business Listing Management servers for local and small businesses. You can read up on KillerStartUps perspective of this at:

    http://www.killerstartups.com/Search/smartfindslocallisting-com-be-found-online

    Although, this will be a time consuming effort for the local and small business to manage their local business listing at multiple websites, this is the first time that the Internet is actually helping the local and small business. Hopefully, this business group can be early adopters for a change and embrace the technology so they can benefit sooner rather than later.

    Great discussion here. Thanks.

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