Google Officially Launches Knowledge Graph Carousel For Local Search

google-carousel-featured After reporting yesterday that the Google Knowledge Graph Carousel was showing up more frequently and for a wider variety of searches, a Google+ post today announced the official launch of Carousel for local search results. According to the announcement, when a user searches for "restaurants, bars or other local places" from their desktop, they will get the horizontal Carousel display of images against a black background at the top of their SERP. Users can scroll through more images by selecting the arrow on the right side of the carousel or zoom in on the map to pull results for a restr [...]

Google Knowledge Graph Carousel Sightings Becoming More Frequent Within A Wider Variety Of Searches

google-knowledge-mortar-board-graduation While the Google Knowledge Graph Carousel was launched nearly a year ago, more reports are confirming Carousel image displays appearing more often and for a wider variety of categories in SERPs. The Carousel display shows results in an image-focused fashion, listed horizontally at the top of the SERP. The new reports show an updated design, with images set on a black background. According to Greg Gifford on the Autorevo blog, Carousel results are moving beyond restaurants and hotel searches, with more than 50 different topics serving up the Carousel display, including searches for: wedd [...]

Google Maps Adds 1,001 New Street Views From Singapore’s Bay To The Vermont State House

google-maps-featured Google Maps has added more than 1,000 new destinations, with an expansive collection of street views across Asia, Europe, Latin America, the US and Canada. New Singapore street views have been added for Fullerton Heritage Promenade, the Singapore Zoo, and the Marina Bay Waterfront, letting users can see what it's like to walk along Singapore's bay as pictured here. [caption id="attachment_163248" align="aligncenter" width="600"] Singapore's Marina Bay Waterfront Promenade[/caption] Images from Spain's Seville Cathedral, the third largest church in the world, were added, as well as str [...]

Google Officially Buys Waze, Will Integrate Technologies

Waze logo Google announced they've officially acquired Waze, the popular app based social driven mapping technology. This was expected and the rumors are Google paid $1.3 billion for the Israeli startup company. The big questions are (1) will this acquisition be allowed and if so (2) will Google allow Waze to be an independent product and brand? Google did imply that Waze will eventually be brought into Google Maps completely, saying the software and company will "operate separately for now." Google also said they are "excited about the prospect of enhancing Google Maps with some of the traffic [...]

Google Business Photos Expands To Europe & Asia

google-business-photos Google announced they have expanded their business photos program into Europe and Asia. Google Business Photos is a way for you to share the inside of your stores on Google Maps. There are groups of trusted photographers that take the photos for syndication into the program. Now, this is available in more places around the world. Specifically, seven new countries now support this program including Belgium, Czech Republic, Germany, Poland, Russia, Singapore and Switzerland. The Business Photos program enables merchants to create 360-degree, interactive tours of their establishments. Th [...]

Google Maps Expands European Biking Directions, Adding Hundreds Of Kilometers Worth Of Bike Paths

Google Maps icon Originally launched in beta mode for a number of European countries last year, Google Maps has enabled biking directions for Germany, France, Poland, Ireland, Luxembourg and Liechtenstein. By working with partner organizations, as well as adding hundreds of kilometers of bike paths via Google Map Maker, Google Maps offers European cyclist a number of biking trails, lanes and recommended roads. A simple search for directions in Google Maps provides users with suitable bike routes along with time estimates that account for the type of road, terrain and course turns. Users can also switch over [...]

Google Glass Diary, Part 4: Local Search & Navigation

google-glass-local-search-featured Remember that first Google Glass video? It was published a little more than a year ago and gave the world its first glimpse at what Google had in mind for Glass. Even though Google described it as "an early concept video," you can clearly see that local search and navigation was a key aspect of Google's concept. The first two minutes of the 2:30 video practically center on local stuff: search, information, businesses and navigation. And, that's smart because since Glass is a mobile device, local search and navigation is bound to be an even more common use case than the more traditional G [...]

Report: Google To Bid For Waze — To Shut It Down?

Waze logo According to a just-published Bloomberg report, Google is preparing a bid for Waze. Earlier this month, rumors indicating Facebook was in late-stage acquisition talks with Waze for roughly $1 billion appeared online. Other parties (Apple, Microsoft) may now also be interested in the social mapping service. According to the Bloomberg report: Waze is fielding expressions of interest from multiple parties and is seeking more than $1 billion, said one of the people, who asked not to be identified because the talks are private. The Palo Alto, California-based startup might also remain independ [...]

Google Testing Ads In New Google Maps, Pushes AdWords Location Extensions

google-adwords-local-map-featured If you needed another reason to get your location extensions set up in AdWords, Google has announced its testing new ads in the new Google Maps. AdWords search ads set with location extensions can appear directly below the search box and on the map itself. Ads without location extensions can appear below the search box only and not on the map. The screenshot below shows a Rent-a-champ Cars ad below the search box and an "ad", or sponsored listing, on the map, indicated by a red icon with a white square in it. Google announced the new version of Google Maps at the company's annua [...]

New Google Maps UI Calls For Shifts In SEO Tactics

Last week at the Google I/O developer conference, a newly redesigned Google Maps design was introduced. While a number of online commentators have virtually gushed about the new interfacing from an end user perspective, there may be a less-than-rosy view for many local businesses. Thus far, the new version of Google Maps is pretty much in beta, rolled out by invitation or to select user groups. So, some parts of the design may still be in flux for a while. However, the direction of the development is likely crystallized sufficiently to be able to make a number of observations and deducti [...]

Google Updates AdWords Express Sign-Up Process, Ad Copy Preview And Dashboard

Google has updated  the interface for AdWords Express, Google's AdWords product designed for small businesses. Among the interface updates are a redesigned dashboard to show an at-a-glance look at ad views (impressions), clicks and calls generated as well as a pie chart that tracks monthly budget expenditures.  A new performance graph allows advertisers to compare results over time. A real-time ad creator tool now lets users see how their ad will look as they write their copy. Hovering over the icons at the bottom of the window allows advertisers to see a preview of the ad in the di [...]

Exploring The New More Dynamic, More Social Google Maps

Google maps icon larger At the Google Developer conference keynote this morning in San Francisco, one of the clear highlights was the introduction of a redesigned Google Maps experience for the PC and mobile. The New Google Maps are available now with an invitation. Already the leading digital and mobile mapping service, the various feature and UI improvements put more distance between Mountain View and its competitors. While Microsoft, Nokia and Apple offer some or even many of the same mapping capabilities, no one offers "the complete package" that Google does. The new Google Maps offer a redesigned UI, though it [...]

New Google Maps Interface Launching At Google I/O Today?

New Google Maps Interfaces & Leaked Map Design Images Last week, Alex Chitu at Google Operating System blog reported on some screengrabs that were apparently leaked from Google Maps. The images indicated that new Maps interfaces could be in the works, and it was supposed that these might be officially announced at Google I/O today or tomorrow. This morning, Mike Blumenthal reported on new Google Place Results pages that are rolling out in Europe and appear to be closely related in look and feel to the leaked images. Compare a closeup detail of one of the leaked images on the left, with a screengrab I just took of the map portion of the results [...]

5 Ways To Rank Outside Of Your Physical Location In Google Places

One of the more desperate requests I get from clients interested in Local Search is wanting to rank well in Google for local queries when they don't have a physical location in the searched city. The challenge is that Google appears to not want to show businesses that are not physically located in the searched city if they can avoid it. And, in their guidelines, they are fairly explicit about trying to game the listings, particularly with easily faked addresses like P.O. Boxes: "Do not create a listing or place your pin marker at a location where the business does not physically exist. P.O [...]

Google & Time Inc. Launch Timelapse: See How Any Part Of The World Has Changed Over Time

Timelapse The new Timelapse site, created by Time Inc. and Google, is a pretty amazing way to see how any part of the world has changed since 1984 through 2012. The site offers amazing animations such as the growth of Las Vegas and the shrinking of the Columbia Glacier, and you can point it at any part of the world you want. Google explains more about how it has collected the images with the US Geological Survey since 2009 and sifted through to find those with good quality, and without cloud cover, over every part of the world. Here are some examples of what you can see. Deforestation in the A [...]

Google Maps To Get A Major Design Overhaul

google-maps-iphone-icon Alex Chitu reports Google is testing a new Google Maps interface, possibly to be launched next week at Google I/O. The new interface is a complete and major overhaul of the current Google Maps user interface. The design and interface changes touch everything from the map colors, icons and text formats to dropping the navigation elements on the left hand side and adding in Google+ integration. For example, you can filter local search results specifically to friends in your Google+ circles. The navigation seems to have been moved to button like methods, similar to how mobile apps work, wit [...]

Google Local Results Drops “More Results Near…” To “Improve” Local Search Experience

Google Maps icon Google has quietly dropped yet another search feature; this one is related to local search results within a search on Google. Google has removed the "more results near..." link on local search results for queries with local intent. For example, if you search for [pizza] on, Google will show you local businesses selling pizza to consumers, as well as webpages, videos and so forth on pizza. This is part of the universal search initiative from 2007. Since then, when Google showed local listings in the organic search results, Google would show a "more results near..." link under t [...]

Google Ignites Controversy By Using “Palestine” On Homepage

Google "Palestine" Google has been at the center of heated geo-political controversy before, usually around disputed place names or borders on maps. A new controversy, however, has arisen about one of Google's international homepages: That's the page previously dedicated to the "Palestinian Territories." On May 1 Google dropped "territories" and now calls it "Google Palestine." This move follows UN recognition of the Palestinians last November as a "non-member state." The name change was condemned by Israeli authorities immediately after it happened. According to the Jerusalem Post D [...]

Google Street Views Now In 50 Countries With Addition Of Hungary & Lesotho

Google Maps Street View Trike Google Maps announced today that their collection of images now include Street Views from 50 countries with photos recently added from Hungary and Lesotho, an enclave surrounded by South Africa. According to the Google Maps blog, their latest update is the largest single update of Street Views imagery since Google Maps launched in 2007, with new images from nearly 350,000 miles of roads across 14 countries. The new Street Views of Hungary allow users to see the historic center of Budapest, with up close views of the Hungarian Parliament building along the Danube and Hungary's Chain Bridge. [...]

Google Places For Business Gets Its Own iPhone App For Managing Listings [Update: Google Removed App]

google-places-icon Local business owners have a new tool for managing their Google Places For Business listing: a dedicated app that works on the iPhone and iPod Touch. There's no official announcement that I can find about the app, and as best I can tell, the iClarified blog was first to report on it. The Google For Places Business app is a free download in the iTunes app store. I haven't tried it yet (and may not be able to given the ongoing mess as Google merges the Places dashboard with Google+ Local), but here's how Google describes the app's capabilities: Business owners can use the app to: - Verif [...]

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