New: Connect Your Google+ Business Page To Your Google Maps Listing

google-local-places-featured Google has now enabled those with Google+ business pages to connect their page to their local business listing on Google Maps. On the help page Google gives detailed directions on how to connect your Google+ business page to your Google Maps verified listing. This process will connect your current page to Google Maps and apply the business information, including the business address, the Google Maps reviews, business hours and more from Google Maps to your page. The followers, posts, and managers of your page will be retained. Many businesses have a few Google+ pages listed in their [...]


A New Easter Egg In Google Maps: Travel By Loch Ness Monster

Nessie There is a new easter egg on Google Maps, one that gives you travel and transit directions by Loch Ness Monster. If you get directions from Fort Augustus to Urquhart Castle when in Google Maps, Google will show the option of traveling via Loch Ness Monster. You can try it yourself by clicking here or by clicking on “Route Options” and then choose either “Fewer Transfers” or “Less Walking,” it’ll show Loch Ness Monster as a travel option. The time of travel is estimated at 28 minutes. Here is a picture of the Google Maps, notice the Loch Ness Monster icon and then the Eg [...]


Google Maps Now Has Driving Directions In North Korea

Google-Maps-icon North Korea Tech reports that Google Maps now has driving directions in North Korea. As the site reports, "North Korea has strict controls on internal movement, a scarcity of private car ownership and almost no internet users." Despite all of that, Google Maps can give those who do have a car and internet access the ability to see directions and traffic via the Google Maps apps or website. Back in January 2013, Google encouraged users to use Google Maps Maker to help them build the roads and mapping. It seems that request worked and now much of North Korea is mapped. Here are some scr [...]


The Google Local Carousel Is Still Spinning Out Of Control

google-local-carousel Almost a year ago, Google threw everyone for a loop with the rollout of the Google Local Carousel. The SEO community scrambled to try to figure out how it worked, and theories started flying about how it would change search behavior. It was immediately evident that a location's Carousel photo would be all-important... It didn't take long to realize the biggest problem with the Carousel: business owners had no control over the photo that gets displayed. There was a lot of buzz about not being able to choose thumbnail photos, but the buzz died down as nothing was updated. At the end of last y [...]


How SkyBox Satellite Imagery Might Aid Google’s Offline Conversion Tracking

Skybox imagery There's a report this morning that Google is close to buying satellite imaging company SkyBox. The purchase price is put at roughly $1 billion. The deal has yet to be confirmed. The article conjectures that Google wants the company for two potential reasons: More imagery for consumer maps Data for enterprise use cases I'm sure those are accurate assumptions. I'm sure there are additional use cases that Google has in mind as well -- perhaps more real-world data for its self-driving cars, drones and robots. One has to wonder what precisely Google gets by owning the company com [...]


Founder: OpenStreetMap Already As Good Or Better Than Google Maps

phone-map-featured Steve Coast founded OpenStreetMap (OSM) in the UK in 2004. It's 10 years old this year. He was inspired by the Wikipedia model and compelled by a lack of available map and location data in the UK at that time. Coast now works for GPS navigation company Telenav, which owns location-based mobile ad network Thinknear. Not long ago Telenav also acquired Europe-based skobbler, which built a popular consumer-navigation app on top of OSM data. Telenav offers an equivalent, free consumer navigation/local search in Scout. The two apps are being merged later this year. Earlier this week Tele [...]


Google Maps For iOS Brings “Smoother” & “Faster” Street View Controls

google-maps-app Google has released a small update to their Google Maps App. The specific update to version 3.1.0 of this app reads: Smoother, faster transitions when you move through Street View Street View imagery is a huge part of directions and navigation for Google Maps users both on mobile devices and desktop. Previously, the street view controls were a bit slow on some iOS devices, this update makes the app more fluid and seamless when using the street view images. [...]


Google “Mapping” Real World With Incredible Precision For Self-Driving Cars

google-self-driving-car-1323435948 A fascinating article in the Atlantic appeared this weekend. It's mostly about Google's self-driving cars and how they operate technically. But it's also about something much bigger: how Google is now effectively "crawling" the real world as it has crawled the web for years. The analogy or insight isn't mine it's the Atlantic's. But it's spot-on. With its multiple "real world" initiatives (Street View, Project Tango, Indoor Maps, Android location and others) Google is building a virtual representation of the real world that can be used for many and varied purposes, including offline ad t [...]


Google Places Bulk Management Tool Integrates New Google+ Feature

google-local-places-featured Google announced new updates to its Google Places bulk location management tool this week, including a new Google+ social feature. From Googler Jade Wang's announcement in a Google Product Forum: Each location in upgraded and verified accounts will have social features automatically enabled. To use social features on a particular location, like making a post, please hover over Live in the status column and click on the Google+ icon. Also, Wang says each Google Places page will now have only one verified owner: "This ensures that multiple verified users for the same location are not automa [...]


Google Maps Adds Public Transit Directions For Great Britain, Vancouver, Chicago & More

Google-Maps-icon Google announced they have expanded their transit directions to include coverage throughout Great Britain and also add bus lines to the Google Maps transit coverage in Vancouver and Chicago. Google Maps in the UK now supports over 17,000 routes with 2 million departure locations. This is also available on iOS and Android devices as well as your desktop web browser. Here is a picture of the transit directions in Google Maps UK: Google also added a "schedule explorer" that lets you find the exact train, tram or bus that works for you by clicking “List all times and options” when [...]


Google’s Knowledge Graph Expands Into Google Maps

google-maps-knowledge-smart-600 Google is expanding its Knowledge Graph into Google Maps. The company has confirmed to Search Engine Land that some locations in Google Maps will now get a new "Quick Facts" info card, and that the data are from Google's Knowledge Graph. This new feature began appearing on Monday (May 12). The info card appears in the left content space and -- like the other cards -- can be expanded or minimized accordion-style. This new "Quick Facts" card might appear for places ranging from lakes and mountains to cities and countries, as well as important points of interest (like the Space Needle, [...]


Research: 56 Pct. Of “On The Go” Searches Have Local Intent

local-search-map-600 ComScore recently found that 78 percent of local-mobile searches resulted in an offline purchase (usually in a few hours). New consumer data from research firm Ipsos MediaCT (sponsored by Google) echo most of the comScore study data, underscoring the critical nature of local information to mobile users. Ipsos conducted the online survey of 4,500 consumers across nine vertical segments: Auto, CPG, Finance, Local Services, Media & Entertainment, Restaurant, Retail, Tech and Travel. The firm also reviewed and incorporated data from a smartphone shopper diary study involving 653 resp [...]


Google Maps App Now Showing Uber Ride Options, Lane Navigation, Offline Maps

google-maps-ipad-featured Google Maps is rolling out a number of new features for its iPhone and Android app today, including an integration with Uber, the transportation company that connects people in need of a ride with available drivers. According to the announcement, people who already have the Uber app downloaded will be able to compare Uber ride times versus walking directions within Google Maps. If a user wants to use Uber, they can access the Uber app by clicking on the Google Maps' Uber option: Another new feature includes lane navigation directions, making it possible to determine if you should [...]


Indoor Maps & Mall Directories Come To Google Now For Android

Google-Maps-icon As we reported last week, similar to the offline Google Now cards, Google has made indoor maps within the Android Search App's Google Now cards live. Google Indoor Maps was introduced in 2011 for select malls and shopping centers. Now, if you are using the latest Google Search App on Android, a Google Now card may appear and show you a searchable card that lets you find the stores in the mall. It may also help you walk directly to the store using Google's indoor maps feature. Google said, "with one tap, you’ll be taken to the indoor map in Google Maps with a pin showing you exactly whe [...]


Google Now Remembers Where You Parked, Gains Offline Cards, Indoor Maps, Shopping Reminders

google-now-card-featured Excited that the updated Google Search App for Android will remember where you parked your car? Wait, there's more! Google Now cards also work offline, malls are gaining indoor map directories and you can now get product search reminders. Earlier today Barry Schwartz wrote that the updated Google Search App for Android will now help you locate your car in a parking lot or on the street. Since then, we've learned that this "parking locator card" is just one of several new features and capabilities in the updated Android version of Google Now. No word on iOS yet. Among the new Now feature [...]


Does Google’s Review Count Inflation Give Them An Unfair Advantage In Local Search?

online-reviews-featured We all know that monitoring online reviews is important for online marketing; but lately, it seems that not all reviews are created equal. In fact, Google+ Local reviews may have a greater impact than others on your online marketing effectiveness. According to Searchmetrics' analysis of SEO ranking factors in 2013, Google+ had the highest correlated effect on search rankings for Google UK. A 2013 study from Now Digital Marketing Works took it one step further, reporting that Google+ reviews are the most important factor when it comes to inclusion and ranking in the Carousel. While some c [...]


Google Search Lets You Filter Restaurants By What’s Open Now, Price & More

filters austin Google announced you can now filter your restaurant searches by price, ratings, cuisine, and if it’s open right now. All you need to do is go to Google on your desktop or mobile device and search for [show me some restaurants in downtown Austin] or related searches, and Google will give you the ability to filter down the results by those characteristics. Here is a screen shot: If you are on your mobile device, and you found a place you want to eat at, all you need to do is say "OK Google, call..." and it will call the restaurant. This feature currently only works in the Unite [...]


New Google Maps “Digital Timeline” Shows Street View Images Dating Back 7 Years

street-view-car-featured Google Maps has launched a cool new feature for its Street View images that lets you see past pictures of various landmarks dating back seven years. From the announcement, "If you see a clock icon in the upper left-hand portion of a Street View image, click on it and move the slider through time and select a thumbnail to see that same place in previous years or seasons." Going back to 2007, the "digital timeline" offers images of various locations, including New York City's Freedom Tower: The announcement also included images of Onagawa, Japan, showing how the feature could be use [...]


Google Places Adds New Features To Its Bulk Location Management Tool

google-local-places-featured Googler Jade Wang announced yesterday Google Places is rolling out new features to its bulk location management tool. According to the announcement, the new features will include a "Status" column that lets users know if a Map location is live, unverified, has errors, data conflicts, is a duplicate, or if it is pending review. The "Conflicts" interface is being updated as well: The updated [conflicts] interface will show you details on how a location page might differ on Maps/Search results versus what’s in your dashboard. We’ll show you what is live on Google, and which field is di [...]


Hotel Search Upgrade: Google Licenses Room 77 Platform

Room 77 Despite its controversial $700 million acquisition of travel software company ITA several years ago and the launch of Google's Hotel Finder site, Google has yet to emerge as a force in online travel. That may all be about to change. Bloomberg reported yesterday that Google "is licensing hotel-booking software from Room 77 Inc." The news site also reported that "Room 77 co-founder and Chief Technology Officer Calvin Yang and many of its engineers are joining Google." Room 77 is a travel metasearch site like Kayak, only better in my experience. It only focuses on lodging however. The Bl [...]


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