Google Integrates User Location Into Searches

Useful or a little too Big Brother?

We’ve all been there: desperately trying to use Google to discover what’s going on in our local area but this often seems to be where the ubiquitous search engine falls down. Until now…?

In what could prove to be something of a controversial move, Google has this week finished a worldwide rollout of intuitive local search results by using your current location.

”But I don’t have GPS in my laptop!” you may be thinking. That doesn’t matter:

“How do we guess your location? In most cases, we match your IP address to a broad geographical location,” explained the company on its official blog. “You can also specify your likely location using the ‘Change location’ link on the top right corner, above the map. We try to make our guesses as good as they can be so that whether you’re shopping for (groceries), (sporting goods) or (flowers), or looking for your (bank), your (gym), or the (post office), you can just say what you want, and we’ll try to find it right where you are. You can also search for specific stores or street addresses near you.”

Useful? Potentially. Likely to have the privacy activists up in arms? Almost inevitably. Quite what Google can exploit with generic IP based data that is open to any Internet user anyway is rather beyond me, so I personally think it’s a nifty addition.

That said, I find its rather vague positioning means it is still no match for finding your location on Google Maps and simply typing in (s)pubs(/s) what you need…

via The Google Blog

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