During its annual Search On virtual conference, Google unveiled seven changes to local search.

Seven local search enhancements and additions were unveiled during Google’s Search On conference.

These changes will make Google Search a far better tool for discovering local shops, services, and eateries.

These updates to local search will shortly be implemented:

  1. Find restaurants by dish
  2. Restaurant specialties
  3. Enhanced Digital menus
  4. Improvements to Google Maps’ Live View
  5. Aerial views of landmarks
  6. Immersive view
  7. Neighbourhood vibe checks

Explore the sections below to learn more about these modifications.

1. Find Eateries Using Your Favourite Dish

By adding a new filter for “dishes,” Google is enhancing its restaurant search functionality.

In the new Google search, you may ask for things like “soup dumplings near me,” and the search engine will provide a list of local establishments that provide the requested food.

There are further filters available, such as those for vegetarian options, spicy options, and more.

2. Restaurant specialties

Most well-known eateries in a given area are locally owned and operated.

Because star ratings don’t provide all relevant information, it might be difficult to determine the quality of a Google search result.

Google will soon include a preview and rating feature to its search results to help users better grasp what sets each eateries apart.

An example “people say” section from a local restaurant listing is seen above.

To determine what makes a given location stand out, Google employs machine learning to examine photos and user reviews.

3. Enhanced Digital menus

Google is increasing its commitment to digital menus by covering more of them, improving them with more appealing aesthetics, and ensuring that they are regularly updated.

In a recent blog post, Google outlined its plans to expand its digital menu offerings without requiring restaurant owners to put in any extra time or effort.

We compile menu data from several sources, including customers, businesses, and websites for eating establishments that adhere to open data principles. To do this, we employ cutting-edge methods for interpreting visual and linguistic content, such as our own Multitask Unified Model.

According to Google, it will highlight the most sought-after cuisines and highlight vegetarian and vegan alternatives for those who prefer such diets.

4. Improvements to Google Maps’ Live View

Google is improving its Live View function, which it first released three years ago and which lets you see directions on your phone’s camera screen at the same time.

You’ll soon be able to do local searches in addition to traditional route planning.

Google gives the following example of how one can use Live View to locate an ATM within walking distance from their current location:

Let’s pretend you need to withdraw funds before visiting a farmer’s market. When using search with Live View, all you have to do is raise your phone over your head and you’ll immediately be able to view all of the nearby ATMs. Locations including cafes, supermarkets, and train stations may all be found. We’ll show you when a facility is open and how busy it is, and if you tap on it, you can get further information, like what services the barber shop down the street provides.

Live View search is set to debut in the coming months in major cities including London, New York, San Francisco, Paris, and Tokyo.

5. Aerial views of landmarks

More than 250 photo-realistic aerial pictures of famous places across the world are already available on Google.

Google doesn’t provide a whole list of the landmarks that have aerial views, only that they “spread everything from the Tokyo Tower to the Acropolis.”

6. Immersive view

When you switch to immersive view, you’ll be able to see about inside of businesses and other structures, not only on the street level.

In addition, the weather and the number of people in a certain area at a specific moment may be seen with an immersive perspective.

Los Angeles, London, New York City, San Francisco, and Tokyo will soon have access to the immersive view on Android and iOS.

7. Neighbourhood vibe checks

Google Maps now includes a “neighbourhood vibe” tool that will let you get a sense for an area before you get there.

Google will include fresh content, hidden gems in your area, and exciting discoveries.

As you explore the area, relevant photographs and details contributed by the Google Maps community will pop up on the map to help you out.

Google’s local vibe feature, which will soon be available on iOS and Android throughout the world, is powered by AI and user submissions, the company claims.

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