Quick… pick up the phone…. and….
You hear that? It’s the death of conventional 411.
That’s right Google has released their own 411 service!
It makes complete sense, but is a complete surprise for all of us here at Unique ID. For years we have seen Google’s grand vision of “indexing the world’s information” expand and expand, in a near perfect way. Although not every decision or move makes sense at first, some how it ends up working.
For example, Google has had Google Local, featuring local business and service information along with local maps, for years. More recently, Google has implemented telephone information on many of these local services, making it very easy for surfers to connect with the shops and services they are looking at. Finally this grand vision became even more clear with the implementation of the iphone. Now users surfing the inter-web could find a restaurant or business, tap a button, and be instantly connected with a real person – for free (is analytics for this coming?!).
With 1-800-Goog-411 this is extended. It makes complete sense, Google has been a great resource for finding things on the web – now they will (most likely) be a great resource for finding things in the real world.
So what does this mean for you our clients?
I have been crafting an in-depth article about Search Engines and the Yellow Pages for sometime now (due out soon) which will feature some of what I am about to say. But, this totally changes the game. Now optimizing your website for search engines isn’t just a virtual business practice. If Google is able to penetrate the 411 market optimizing your website will no longer just be about ranking well in the search engines – it may be a cost-effective way to get your business in front of the 411 audience – an on-demand audience that is ready to commit, buy, visit, etc. Why? Because Google may very well be using it’s local search results (results that are generated most of the time by your website) to feed its Goog-411 listings.