Saturday, April 7, 2007

Google Launches Voice Local Search: 800-GOOG-411

Google's Local Search has got voice now. Today, Google has announced the experimental launch of its voice local search 1-800-GOOG-411, a completely automated system without human operators, which can be used to obtain local business information. The service is based on the local business information available through Google Maps. Now you have best of both worlds, Google's information powerhouse coupled with ease of access through any phone; not necessarily mobile phone. And as usual with all the Google services, it is free!! (Please read the fine print as well stating that you might be charged minutes by your carrier)

The best part about the service is its ability to understand the voice input which will bring a relief from keying in those numbers as demanded by most of the automated systems. Although, key input has also been given as an option, if the system refuses to understand your words.

Talking about the importance of this service from Google's product line perspective, its Pay-Per-Call service for advertisers did not set the world on fire, but a hybrid of voice local search and pay-per-call will be a great one to see.

Assume yourself searching for an Italian restaurant's phone number to book a table through voice search and at the end of the search you are given an option of connecting to the restaurant directly without the need to hang up and dial the number yourself. How easy it will be for users and value for money for advertisers.
Let's see how Google plans to use this service if its experiment is successful.

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