Google Adding Desktop Hangout Calling to Knowledge Panel in Search & Local Finder?

kp-click-callI have been traveling for the past week so I am not sure when this hit the street or that I am seeing it because I am inside of Google but Google has added the ability to directly contact a business via the Knowledge Panel.

This is a feature that was first tested in 2006 and made appearances throughout the years.

The current iteration that I am seeing drives the user from the linked phone number directly into a hangout screen and is immediately ready to dial the business.

Are others seeing this? I am inside the GooglePlex and no one here seems to know about the feature.

Here are the screen you see when you click on the phone number in the knowledge panel:

Call a Phone number via Hangouts
When you click the phone number link you are taken to this Hangouts window.
Call status
When dialing you are presented with a clear indication of the call status
active call indication
When the call is completed and your talking you see this pulsating active call indication
Permanent Hangout Link to Call the Business
Hangouts provide a permanent URL to be able to call the business going forward


Caveats
There are still some very weird interface quirks. For example if you have any problem that prevents call completion you are dropped into the Hangouts interface and given the option to fix settings. However once fixed there is NO way to complete the call without exiting and starting over.

 

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Google Adding Desktop Hangout Calling to Knowledge Panel in Search & Local Finder? by

9 thoughts on “Google Adding Desktop Hangout Calling to Knowledge Panel in Search & Local Finder?”

  1. So instead of putting the phone number up so you can call it, google is inserting a hangout into the process.

    WHY???? WHY NOT JUST THE PHONE NUMBER???? WHY DOES GOOGLE HAVE TO BE INVOLVED?????

    They are going to charge for this, or they are going to demand more control, now not only of your site, but your phone calls.

    Google = not big brother, but overwhelmingly gigantic unrelentingly controlling, and having their hands in your pockets every which way, ABSOLUTELY CONTROLLING BROTHER.

    Beware!!!! Just put the phone number in and quit intruding into every inch of our business.

    Who in which governments are going to stand up and say enough!!!!!

  2. Mike,
    I am NOT seeing it in the knowledge panel, but apparently the business you shared is closed right now, so maybe it shuts off after the business is closed?

    Inside the Google Plex, eh? That sounds exciting!

  3. Mike,
    Placing a call with just a click from the Search results makes me wonder if this has anything to do with the Google Home Service ads being tested in San Fransisco. They can track click-to-call links from mobile easily enough, but if it takes off trying to do forwarding numbers for every business participating would not be as easy as just routing the call through hangouts to track and collect for calls generated. So I’m wondering if they’re just testing to gauge user acceptance of it.

  4. Mike,

    Over here in the Netherlands I saw this a few times now and then.
    Especially on mobile when searched on Android tablet. I even tried it but did not work. Probably because the local businesses do not know it. They must be capaple of it, data en computer speeds aswell as headsets, probably.
    Most of the times it looks like tiny Google selftesting, hotels mostly. In there Google cards, a lot is happening, for instance searchers can book directly from that g-card in the hotel’s own reservation system , so without commissions to be paid for hotel-owner.
    So why not give them direct connection ? Will speed up booking and directly at the owner?

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