Gas Prices Added to Local 3-Pack

Google appears to be  rolling out local gas prices to the mobile Local 3 Pack. The pricing is also visible on the Local Finder and the location Knowledge panel. Spotted last night by Dr Pete on the desktop and  Adam Humphreys of Making8  and reported this AM by Barry Schwartz it is visible to me on iPhone Safari and iPhone Chrome but not yet the Google search app. On the desktop I am seeing on Safari and Chrome.

It is not clear if Google is sourcing the data from Waze or one of the 3rd party gas price aggregators although it doesn’t appear to be GasBuddy as their pricing is more comprehensive than Google’s. Nor is the speed with which updates appear obvious.  During times of slow price change speed would not be an issue in this market but I could envision times when operators would be screaming in the pricing were not near real time and historically Google has not been great at updating these detailed attributes for a business in a timely fashion.

This update is consistent with Google attempting to add vertical information to local that provides the answer on the front page of search without the user needing to look any deeper.

IMG_1036 IMG_1037

Here are the desktop screen shots:

 

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 9.49.31 AM

Screen Shot 2016-04-13 at 9.51.40 AM

 

Please consider leaving a comment as your input will help me (& everyone else) better understand and learn about local.
Gas Prices Added to Local 3-Pack by

12 thoughts on “Gas Prices Added to Local 3-Pack”

  1. Hey Mike, we spotted this in the Local Search Pros G+ community back in November – https://plus.google.com/u/0/106034726688786123309/posts/U7LnHttVs82?cfem=1 The prices are coming from Mapquest Gas Prices – here’s the page for Olean: http://gasprices.mapquest.com/station/us/ny/olean

    I’m not quite sure how Mapquest is getting that data though… I have a client in this space and they don’t submit their prices to any aggregators. They suggested Mapquest might somehow be subscribed to distributors’ digital displays of prices at pumps. Seems like a stretch to me but that was the best answer we think of.

  2. Hey Mike,

    This is an amazing thing that is happening here! Think about how this will change purchasing behavior. Think about when Google starts displaying pricing for all businesses.

    I travel A LOT. I love the new maps feature that allows me to modify my route to find a gas station or a coffee shop. I have been making decisions for 90 days day based off the prices of gas at each station.

    While in route, I tap the search icon, gas stations is the first option, I can see that Lakeway Valero $1.90 (+2 mins to route) or Shell for $1.90 (+3 mins to route) or Lakeway Texaco – no pricing (+2 mins to route)

    I have learned a few things the past 90 days. I never go to gas stations that don’t show pricing. I search for cheapest price / brands I trust. Shells tend to be cleaner with more amenities than Valero.

    Anyways, big shifts in my purchasing behavior. I sense crazy things brewing in terms of consumers / Google demanding transparent pricing,

  3. @Cori
    Thanks for the background on the feature. I would agree that MapQuest is getting the data the same place as Google.

    Interestingly the data that Google is showing in search is NOT the same as Waze (which they own) and not the same as GasBuddy who is the leading app in the space… so the source TBD

  4. @Cody
    The feature is similar to the Movie ticket buy button that I wrote about last week. Google is attempting to move the transaction to the search result, that is clear. Or if not a transaction provide enough info for the user to make a decision.

    It is also clear that in any given vertical the specifics of the type of information might vary. In the case of Doctors it would be scheduling, in the case of the movies its ticket purchases and in the case of gas stations, its pricing (it can’t be tranactionalized).

    I don’t think pricing works for everything in terms of discovery… ie lawyers Buffalo NY but it would work on item and product searches.

  5. @David
    I assume that what you are seeing in the US will make it to the EU when they have the data set… part of the issue in Europe is the fragmentation that makes some of this data collection harder.

    I missed Munich but I don’t miss the travel. 🙂

  6. ; )
    Well put Mike, SMX Munich was amazing!
    Stupid question alert: can you define data set in this context Mike? Do you mean enough data for example?

  7. Given that they aren’t doing this themselves it appears that they now has a trusted data partner with a comprehensive set of data about gas prices throughout the US that is updated in near real time.

    I assume that an equivalent data set is not available to them in EU .

    So I am using data set in this context to mean a list of “pump by pump prices, updated in near real time, that covers enough geography to worth their while to import”.

  8. Mike, I don’t think this would be feasible in smaller towns. I’ve visited the gas sites where you’re predicting the data is pulled from and it’s never been “fresh”. I think google should add a “updated on xx/xx/xxxx” before I would use it reliably

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