Google Inc. has announced the integration of local search results into Google.com with the availability of Google Local. This new feature is designed to enable users to find relevant local information with neighborhood business listings, maps, directions, and useful Web pages. Google Local search functionality is integrated into Google.com so relevant local information for specific keywords or locations is automatically presented to users at the top of search results pages. When these results are available, they are marked by a small compass icon which, when clicked, connects users to a Google Local search results page.
For example, users searching for a pizza restaurant in their neighborhood simply enter the keyword "pizza", and either a zip code or the name of a town or city "Palo Alto" into the search field to receive a list of local pizza restaurants. Each result is accompanied by a phone number, street address, and a list of related Web sites such as those of local pizza
restaurants, store reviews, and related information. Clicking on a business name delivers a new page featuring a map, directions, and more related Web pages. Users can limit or expand their results to include listings within a 1-mile, 5-mile, 15-mile, or 45-mile radius of a specific location. The company plans to include local information for international markets in the coming months. Google Local is currently in beta.