Posted March 15, 2011 2:01 pm by with 5 comments

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Google can’t seem to get out of its own way recently with tools and offerings that help people live life or deal with what it throws at you. Their efforts to aid the folks impacted by the natural disasters in Japan was the right thing to do and they did it.

Now Google has expanded a program introduced late last year, which ties emergency phone numbers to searches. For instance, if someone was searching for information about a poison the number for poison control would show up at the top of the search. Very useful indeed.

Now they are going the next step and have introduced a click to call option for mobile searchers. Below is a picture of the feature from a search in Spain from the Google Mobile Blog. I use this only because it’s ridiculously hard to get a screenshot from Android. Oh well.

It’s things like this that make Google more important than even they will talk about. These are things that will be a welcome surprise to someone who is in the middle of a crisis, didn’t know this option existed, but is grateful it did since doing something like dialing a number can be hard in a time of incredible stress.

My question is why doesn’t Google work to tell the GENERAL PUBLIC about what it is doing? The tech community knows but does that mean that people who are plumbers, insurance adjusters or (insert non-tech job title here) don’t have emergencies?

Google can be so frustrating because in the one breath it can aggravate the heck out of you but in the very next one it can make you say thanks.

Hey, Google, why don’t you publicize this stuff to the commoners? Anyone from the Googleplex want to answer? Why don’t you have Google evangelists giving clinics about what Google does beside search to help people. Give us a number and we’ll ‘click-to-call’ for information. 🙂

  • jam

    i was able to quickly donate to japan red cross through their google crisis homepage. i always have trouble finding charity groups to donate to because i dont know which ones are legit. they made it straightforward so i didnt hesitate.

  • Google probably doesn’t do that because when big companies talk about the good stuff they do, the general perception is either they are showing off, bragging, or compensating to hide something else. Sadly, the public always likes to conspire negative theories or beliefs from big companies that they are always inherently evil. I am a big fan of Google, so glad to see people right great articles about them! I may not agree with everything Google does, but I know that we are much better off to have them around then if we were not around.

  • Cynthia – You raise some good points. Having a QR code simply go to a non-mobile friendly home page is a wasted opportunity. But if it leads to an incentive, or contact information, it serves a purpose. Most people don’t like having to type in phone numbers or remember to look up a company on Facebook. A QR code can serve as a sort of bookmark for products, services or companies of interest. But it’s up to marketers to make proper use of this technology.

  • The daily deal sites that are popping up are very popular – just look at the successes of Groupon and LivingSocial. I think they will be around for quite some time – consumers just love to use these sites to find huge discounts on everyday products.

    Another site to use to find deals is They’ll send you a daily email with the best buys in your area, ensuring you won’t miss out on a great local discount!

  • Google is always trying to stay ahead of the game and to provide useful search results and innovative products such as google maps, I love most of their offerings but do think we have to be careful that they don’t end up owning the whole of the internet.