Even though Google’s local ecosystem is a train wreck for businesses themselves that isn’t stopping Google from promoting local results in new ways for iPad users.
Users will now be able to see what Google is calling a ‘horizontal carousel’ so a user can see several results and review data and then see more by swiping. Here is a picture of the new offering followed by what happens when you click on a results box.
Clicking on a result shows this
The Google+ post from Google themselves described it this way.
Starting today, English-speaking iPad users in the U.S. will see a new, interactive experience when they search for restaurants, bars or other local places on Google. In addition to the regular web results, a horizontal “carousel” of local results will appear at the top of the page. For example, say you’re located in New York City and you search for [ramen shops]. On the carousel, you can quickly and easily see a place’s overall review-based score, address and a picture related to the location. A quick swipe displays additional results. If you find a place you’re interested in, simply click on its image to get a card that can be expanded to show more detailed information, reviews, and more. If you really want to find a business in a specific geographic area, click on the “map” button in the upper right corner to view the same places on a fully interactive map.
While this all reads nice it is simply covering up the mess that is Google Local. Quite simply, it appears at times that Google doesn’t have a plan and just keeps doing things that baffle business owners and online marketers alike.
There is no guidance that comes from the company that anyone seems willing to hang their hat on yet Google claims local is so important. You can’t swing a dead cat without seeing mention of SoLoMo (social, local, mobile) and Google is not so great at social, getting exponentially worse at local and is only dominant in mobile because of their search prominence.
Hey Google, when are you going to wake up and do something intelligent (or intelligible) about what many feel is the future? The world is pretty much forced to deal with whatever Google throws at them but as those offerings start to look as lame as Google Local maybe it really is time to look for a true alternative.
Any suggestions? Is Apple’s offering better? Are there any other local ecosystems out there? Are we just stuck with Google?
Let’s hear your thoughts.