Google’s home page has begun to identify users’ locations on the iPhone. This basically takes the form of a link that asks users to have Google know their location in order to get locally relevant results.
As a result, local listings are given higher placement in search results. See the screen shots below, which show a before-and after-comparison of location-aware and non-location-aware searches.
The move represents yet another step Google is taking toward location relevance. Google Maps on the iPhone has always been location aware. So has the Google native app (same one that has voice search and bundles a range of Google products). Then last week Google brought location awareness to Google Maps proper (desktop).
The latest move extends that logic to the mobile Google Web site, where the company has managed to carry over its dominant search market share from the desktop world (among core search engines). It’s also one of the first major signs of location awareness in the Safari Web browser, following the capability’s introduction in the new iPhone 3.0 software.
We’ll see lots more Web sites follow suit, as the browser continues to take on more and more capabilities previously reserved for native apps. This lowers barriers for mobile developers to “get on” the iPhone, as was explored in a past post.
For Google, it’s yet another sign that the company is banking heavily on local and is behind the oft-cited philosophy that mobile is local.
Opt in for Google to locate you…
Search results before
Search results after