This morning, Google posed a question: “What if we told you that during your lifetime, Google could create millions of custom maps…each one just for you?”
You’d say, “Of course you can! You’re Google!”
We’ve sipped the Kool-Aid and it tastes good.
Introducing (insert fanfare here) the new Google Maps!!
This nifty number isn’t just about how to get from here to there. No, no. Like its big brother the search engine, Google Maps is all about discovery. That’s a huge plus for anyone running a brick and mortar location – except when it’s not.
Let’s take a walk with Sue. She’s walking down Dolores Street in San Francisco and she wants Italian food for lunch. She takes out her phone, activates the new Google Map app and types Italian. Instantly, dozens of tiny fork circles appear on a map. It’s easy to see that there are several good choices within walking distance. Like Sparky’s. But wait. Delfina is listed as a “bustling” Italian restaurant. That sounds like fun. Sue clicks and a info card overlays on the map with reviews. Her friend George left a 5 star review. Forget Sparky’s – Sue’s headed to Delfina’s.
One click and she has walking directions, or directions using public transportation, a bike, even a car.
If Sue enjoys Delfina, she can click the star to “like” it. That will help Google decide which other restaurants she might enjoy. And thanks to Google, Delfina now has a new, loyal customer.
The new map app lets you switch in and out of street view. You can locate photo galleries for nearby attractions and you can get a 3-D view of the city with a touch. It’s not any more helpful than a flat map, but it’s cool.
The new Google Maps is designed to help people find places to eat, shop, and enjoy. This is great news if you have terrific ratings and a catchy description, but it’s deadly if you don’t. Why settle for a three-star burger joint when there’s a four-star place right around the corner?
If you’re not happy with the way your business shows up on Google Maps, Google has a page of instructions that will help you submit photos and review your Google+ listing.
Here’s hoping the new explorers come your way.