Local optimisation gets clever – Google introduce new features

by Peter Young on May 5, 2010 · 7 comments

I seem to have actually missed this one by a couple of days but its still a feature that could change the way many local hotel optimisers approach their local optimisation campaigns

I was looking at a number of local searches and noticed some ‘new’ features at the bottom of the the local listings which allowed me as the browser to view more specific results. These included

  • Types – 5 star, boutique, 4 star etc
  • Hotel near +locations

This could potentially have a significant impact on traditional mainstay searches such as those for ‘hotels in x’ type phrases – particularly given the nature of how some people search for hotels. Currently search trends in these sectors is heavily biased towards ‘x hotels’ or ‘hotels in x’ type searches which has traditional served advertisers appearing in these results fairly well.

However with browsers now able to dissect their search even more, secondary (or longer tail) results could now see a significant uplift in traction. I would also suggest we are likely to see further refinement of these features as one can’t rule out the price sensitive nature of the industry, and this is one of the features advertisers can provide via the Places functionality.

Note: My initial suggestion this may be limited to just hotels would appear to be wrong, further tests on restaurants has also resulted in similar functionality

Let us know if you see more

Google+ Comments

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Laura Hannan May 5, 2010 at 10:10 am

Great post. This is surely applicable across many sectors. Have you seen evidence of it for other local businesses?

mike May 5, 2010 at 12:51 pm

Hi, been seeing this pop up for a bit within the SERPs and have been monitoring for uplift in traffic and so far has been patchy: some keyword areas have shown an increase some haven’t – not seen any corresponding falls in traffic on the short tail keywords.
Did notice today that when I searched for “ascot hotels” the top local result was for a danish hotel! So local results are still patchy in their relevance, which is disappointing as I had been seeing the quality rising a bit in recent months.

Peter Young May 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Hi Laura

As seen above this seems to happen on restaurant searches as well – however further tests tended to suggest this is a limited rollout. Amongst those tested were
- houses in
- hairdressers in
- estate agents in
- shops in

Traditional local results were returned in the majority of these instances….

Peter Young May 5, 2010 at 3:06 pm

Hi Mike

Are you talking about the local results themselves or the related searches which were blogged about above?

Andy Kinsey May 7, 2010 at 8:52 am

This as you say may change the face of local search once again, google is becoming that directory you will use first when wanting to find something – it is yell.com or thompson local of the future

I have a blackberry and I used the G1 for a long time and I know the iPhone has this kind of app too! But could google be going after the mobile local search a little more – removing the need for an application other than a web browser (even the most basic of)? That would be very very interesting and a great way for google to diversify – something they must start to do.

Great post peter

Peter Young May 11, 2010 at 9:37 pm

Thanks Andy – much appreciated

I think Google need to continue this diversification to keep themselves ahead of the game – particularly given the offline resource people like Bing are ploughing into their search product.

I think there is no doubting Google are looking at new channels, recent acquisitions in particular would suggest video and mobile remain two key battlegrounds.

Interesting times are certainly in the offing – particularly if this period of ‘evolution’ continues at the speed it currently is going at

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