What Would D-Mac Do


Friday, January 8, 2010

Near Me Now

This doesn't really add any new functionality, but it organizes information way better. Google has added a "Near Me Now" button (I guess it came out yesterday) on their mobile homepage. Essentially, as long as it knows your location, it categorizes local search results for your area. Since I'm sitting at the Resolution Media offices at the moment, I pretty much know exactly what's around here so it isn't mindblowing, but this could be a very useful tool in new areas. I am, however, amused by the fact that Google thinks my neighborhood is "Little Hell Illinois" (personally, I'd reserve that distinctive name for Rogers Park but that's just me). For example, cycling up to Zion or Geneva has always somewhat bittersweet because while I LOVE those locations, the ride through Glencoe, Forest Park and North Chicago is a nightmare because those areas are so drab and boring (I'm long over the notion of "looking at the big houses"...if you live there, my condolences). So this is a good way to at least scout out some bars and ATMs within reach.

This just goes to re-emphasize the need for optimizing local search (especially for banks. I note Bank of America doesn't even have all its ATM locations for the area in here...for shame!).

All in all, I'm glad to see Google looking for ways to make their information more obvious for the average user to access. Local search has always been available, and Google has been able to triangulate a position of a phone for a few years now, but using these features has (in my oh so humble opinion) been beyond the grasp of a novice user..not because it's hard, but because they bury those services in subsequent tabs or require you to download an app to use them. Ultimately, this information is a good thing for both users and businesses so the more apparent they can make it the better.

That said, may a pox be dropped on the house of whatever jackass Googler decided to use that music in the tutorial video.

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