Google Maps uses has two features that have lived side by side for a while: local business listings and Street View. Although Google Maps would let you click through to Street View from a local business (or any address) listing, if you were searching for a business, the interface might make you jump back and forth between Street View, the results and the map.
But no more: Google is taking its local listings right into Street View now. The initial results look much the same, with the link for Street View—but now, when you go into Street View the local business listings and markers appear on the street-level photographs.
Even better: when you search for a business nearby, pins for the results appear on the street-level map, so you can see the nearest results from right in front of your location.
Google put together a video demonstration of the new feature:
Of course, staying in Street View to look around for pins can also be time consuming and less effective, if your results aren’t immediately visible from your Street View location. But overall, this looks like a boon to local business listings—if you’re the closest pizza place, anyway.
Combining Street View with local business listings makes it even more important for local businesses to claim their listing in Google Maps and make sure the map marker is in the right spot. It also puts more of a burden on Google to prevent business listing hijackings, which sometimes involve moving a business’s map marker to a different location.
What do you think? Will this improve local business listings in Google Maps for your clients? For you as a user?