As local information requests are being keyed in from mobile devices, 411 and driving directions are becoming more visually rich and available via search.
Case in point: The business telephone number reverse lookup.
How does Microsoft’s Live render a reverse lookup for Microsoft’s own telephone number? Microsoft delivers the correct result along with the five previously mentioned view options: Road, Aerial, Hybrid, Bird’s Eye and Traffic. The map view does however default to Chicago, IL even though Microsoft is located in Bellevue, WA.
I can find the Microsoft campus on the map after scrolling over a couple thousand miles. I ran several more queries with each defaulting to the same Chicago starting point. I am not logged into a Microsoft account so I wouldn’t think it was based on my computers cookies or IP address which by the way is still several hundred miles south.
Evidently, Microsoft, Yahoo and Google all seem to generate their map results based on your past location specific searches.
Microsoft’s reverse lookup offers: 1 Click Directions, Add to collection, Send to Email, Mobile and GPS and Reviews. The send to GPS requires MSN Direct compatible navigation systems.
Reverse Business Lookup– 425-882-8080 Microsoft
A reverse lookup for Yahoo’s telephone number in Yahoo produces two results both of which are Yahoo locations. The map provides the same functionality found in their standard searches: Get Directions, Save for later, Send to phone and Write a review. If a web address is associated with the location it will be displayed too.
Reverse Business Lookup– 408-349-3300 Yahoo
A search for Google’s telephone number yields the same five view options: Map, Street, Traffic, Satellite and Terrain Views as with the brand or business category search before. Additionally, Google provides a dialogue box with more options.
Searchers options are: Get directions, Search nearby, Street view, Save to My Maps, Send to phone and Edit. More information about the business and reviews are also one click away.
With “Search nearby” a searcher can locate additional businesses and services like finding Chinese takeout from their hotel.
Where Microsoft’s Bird’s Eye view appears to have bested Google’s satellite view, Google’s “street view” takes visualization to the next level.
With Google’s street view, Google provides eye level images of locations. It’s not available in every area yet. Coordination with volunteer picture geotagging projects may eventually speed the population of their street level image file.
Google’s new Edit feature lets anybody correct the location of a business. It also prompts business owners to “claim” their business in Google’s Local Business Center. These two options should eventually help them improve their data.
Reverse Business Lookup – 650-253-0000 Google
Google Street View
Edit Map Feature
By pushing more information out to users third screen (mobiles), Google, Microsoft and Yahoo regardless of their corporate status, have greater potential to attract ever-larger audiences and their keystrokes – a situation where all consumers ultimately win.
Tags: Search Marketing