Google Maps – No address required

It has always struck me that one of the bigger problems with the internet yellow pages is that often they are used to find out what people mostly already know or to confirm the last emotional inch of the purchase cycle. They look up the directions betweein two known locatiions to get the specifics of the directions or to confirm them. They look up a business or even a business category to find the phone number of a particular business that they had already decided to contact. They are not really looking for new information and thus are not very receptive to an ad.

Part of this behavior is that people are looking to expend as little energy as possible and partly it is a function of long term training both offline and on. The Yelllow Pages or Rand McNally functioned this way and to some extent despite integrating maps and business directories many IYP still do function this way. Most folks really have been conditioned to to use these resources in this limited way. While the search for “pizza olean ny” makes for good blog fodder it is unlikely that most people other than search marketers writing about local ever use Google that way. It may be that this behavior limits the upside advertising potential of local and services like Goog-411.

Google has taken a small step to “recondition” users to the many possibilities of they IYP search process with their upgrade to Maps: No Address Required announced in the Google Lat Long Blog:

Have you ever been traveling and needed to get directions from your hotel to another destination in town, like a restaurant you keep hearing about? You may have been a bit frustrated that Google Maps required you to look up the addresses of your starting and end points before ultimately getting your directions.

Well, we felt the same way. So we fixed it. Now you can type in any location where you want to go — whether it’s a specific street address, a business name like Fuzzy Buddy’s Dog Daycare, or even something more general like “florist” — and we’ll help you get directions. We’ll even automatically try to find the closest results for you.

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
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3 thoughts on “Google Maps – No address required”

  1. This is business category specific. If you apply yp stats to search you will find that 90% of the time someone is looking for a Doctor, they just need the number, directions etc.

    However the exact opposite is true for a mover… where 90% of the time the ad/website will influence which business is chosen.

    And if all business categories are aggregated it would probably be around 50-50. A business should track carefully to find out.

  2. The information is put out by a company called SRI. There is a lot of good info about the type of information people are looking for when they read a local advertisement. The research is based mostly on how people interact with yellow pages, but I believe a lot of will be valid for local search… I assume most of the research is licensed and copyrighted.

    What’s old is new again, right?

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