Within the last few hours we have noticed that there have been some changes to the mobile version of www.google.com.au.
It first came about when Stefan (one of our SEO programmers) noticed that there were some not seen before icons on the mobile version of the search engine giant.
From the image on the left you can notice that there are several icons at the bottom of the mobile website. This spurred Stefan to ask me if I had personally seen these icons before. I quickly took out my phone to see whether or not it was just an iOS tweak that Google had made (I myself use an Android based OS).
Once I took out my device and loaded the same website, I too noticed the new icons at the bottom of the page. Quickly I proceeded to press on the “More” button which revealed the second screen capture below right.
Wow this is definitely a first that I have seen Google Places available as a mobile version! Being an Android based phone I have the Google Places app (known simply as Places in the apps list) so these icons were starting to look familiar, or at least they were similar icons to what was in the app itself.
If you are going to also see this in action for yourself, you will also notice that once you get to the homepage, it will ask you whether or not you will want to allow your location to be included as part of the search.
On allowing our smart phones to include this information, we were essentially performing a search using our location and thus all results that came up were location based results for businesses with a verified Google Maps listing! What was more exciting was that the map itself changed (the map held its own real estate on the top third) on screen as you scrolled down to view the various listings (see image below for proof)!
With the inevitable number of searches via mobile phones on the rise, and the number of smart phones that have GPS capabilities, the reason for having your business registered and verified with a Google Maps listing is almost a non-argument.
Benefits of having a Google Maps listing include:
- Having an address that the user can view, not to mention the ability to navigate to your business through the various GPS turn by turn software;
- Having a telephone number included that users can touch and dial straight away from their phone;
- Having your business location rendered by Google Maps displayed prominently and clearly in the middle of a users smart phone;
- Having reviews that users can see instantly to get feedback on the products and services you provide.
- Having a link that goes STRAIGHT TO YOUR WEBSITE!
Have you got your business on a Google Maps listing and are you optimising it?