Google Patent Has Implications for Small Businesses

Google Patent Has Implications for Small Businesses

By Chris Crum – Mon, 05/03/2010 – 2:40pm.

Navigator App May Get Beneficial Feature Additions

We’ve been discussing the importance of being listed in Google Places a lot lately, particularly since the company changed the name of its Local Business Center to Google Places and added some new features a couple weeks ago.

How important is Google Places to your business? Comment here.

There are a number of resources available to assist you in doing so, and Google also launched mobile-optimized versions of Place Pages last week. Bill Slawski at SEO By the Sea points to another interesting nugget, and what he calls a new reason to be listed. It involves Google’s Navigation Android App.

First off, features of Google Navigation include:

– Search in plain English (as opposed to address)
– Traffic View
– Satellite View
– Car Dock Mode
– Search by voice
– Search along route
– Street View

Videos demonstrating each of these features, as well as a screenshot gallery, can be found here.

What Slawski points to is a patent filing from Google, which seems to hint at additional features that would use info from your contact lists, Calendars, and task lists. Slawski explains:

For instance, you set up a task list on your smart phone to visit a new client, and then pick up stamps and mail out letters, drop off drycleaning, and go grocery shopping. You’ve also added the new client’s address to your personal information system contact list and calendar.

You have your phone set up to use Google Navigator as a GPS system for your car. The navigation system shows you where your client’s office is located on the map you’re following, and also shows you icons for nearby post offices, drycleaning shops, and shopping centers.

There’s no guarantee that this will come to fruition, but as Slawski notes, it seems like a pretty reasonable addition to the app. Google Maps already has the nearby places feature.

If you’d like to take a look at the actual patent filing, you can do so here.

It’s something to keep in mind, but really being listed here is a no-brainer anyway. Just think about how many people use Google, and increasingly so from their mobile devices.

On a related note, Google expanded its Tag advertising feature into more cities.

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