Optimized Search Suggestions using your location

Thursday, January 14, 2010 | 2:38 PM

Typing a query into the search box on a phone can often be slow and difficult. For this reason, relevant search suggestions that match your intended query can meaningfully reduce the time and effort it takes to submit a search. Today in the US, we are happy to announce an improvement to Google.com search suggestions offered on Android powered devices and iPhone. Now, Google will offer suggestions based on the phone's current or last location, making the suggestions more relevant.

For example, when users in the Boston metro area begin typing "Muse", suggestions such as "museum of science boston" and "museum of fine arts boston" are provided because people near Boston frequently look for these very popular museums. On the other hand, users in San Francisco who begin their query with "Muse" will see suggestions for museums in the San Francisco area. By using the device's current or most recent location, Google is able to offer even better, more useful suggestions than ever before. To try this yourself, go to google.com on your phone's browser and start typing a query to see the new location-optimized suggestions. Make sure you have turned on "Save recent locations" and "Allow use of device location" under the Settings link on the google.com home page.

Update @ 4:50 PM: Note that you may have to refresh google.com in your phone browser to see the new optimized suggestions.

18 comments:

The Dragon said...

Ummmm... Google fail? I'm in Mobile, Alabama and I typed in "museums in" and it pulled up "mueums in nyc" as the first suggestion. NYC? That's 1,200 miles from where I am. How is that 'in my area'?

baker said...

Worked a treat for finding Museums in Melbourne Australia. I'm surprised to hear you can get mobile coverage in Alabama!

blubber said...

We have beeen using this service in Switzerland / Europe for months. And now it is coming to the US? Funny, normally it seems to be working the other way round: Google Voice, Nexus One etc.

The Dragon said...

yeah but you guys are getting multitouch on the nexus one. We aren't.

Tor said...

'Course, they already had a "Search" app with this feature (and now voice search) for a variety of platforms... I've been using it on my Nokia N95/N97 since forever. (Activated by pushing a single key on the home screen).

http://www.google.com/mobile/google-mobile-app/

blubber said...

but I was talking about the regular android browser on google.com, search was location based for months...maybe not suggestions?

David LaCivita said...

Google can't find my location on my Nexus 1. Does GPS need to be enabled?

The Dragon said...

Yes. Unlike the iPhone, the Nexus One can't use the towers around you to determine your location.

blubber said...

.... Says who? GPS defnitely doesn't have to enabled. My Hero detects my location through regular cell towers, and I don't think that Nexus went one step back.

Joe said...

It's a scientifically proven fact that the iPhone is better because it makes you feel 9 times trendier than the next leading device.

Adrian said...

''muse'' results for Washington, DC on my N1 were inaccurate. When I start typing in the Google homes screen widget, the GPS icon automatically appears. However my result are way off. Result in order were MoMA, Museum of Natural History, Museum of Science & Industry, Museum of Science Boston, etc. I also tried ''smith'' for the various Smithsonian Museums in my city, nada.

Chris Lang said...

@Everyone, you may want to pay attention to this in the blog post above:

"To try this yourself, go to google.com on your phone's browser and start typing a query to see the new location-optimized suggestions. Make sure you have turned on "Save recent locations" and "Allow use of device location" under the Settings link on the google.com home page."

Also enabling Google Latitude on any phone should solve any geo location problems you are having on any brand of phone that can handle it.

@Joe,

You said: "It's a scientifically proven fact that the iPhone is better because it makes you feel 9 times trendier than the next leading device."

Either you are more witty and sarcastic than I am or... Well we'll leave that to you all to fill in.

Either way, that is the funniest thing I will read all day Joe.

David LaCivita said...

Turns out it works fine on the Android browser but not so good on the Dolphin browser. That's too bad as I really like the tabbed browsing and easy zoom of Dolphin. BUT since Android can rum both at the same time, I guess it isn't too big of a problem. Anyone know how to get bookmarks from one browser to the other?

Joseph M. Gaffney said...

Ok, but when will I be able to sync my Google contacts with my Outlook contacts?

Tom Wans said...

PLEASE ADD THE META TAG " apple-mobile-web-app-capable" TO YES TO THE HTML OF THE iPHONE GMAIL APP! PLEASEEEEEEEEE

SEE HERE http://developer.apple.com/safari/library/documentation/AppleApplications/Reference/SafariWebContent/ConfiguringWebApplications/ConfiguringWebApplications.html#//apple_ref/doc/uid/TP40002051-CH3

cbarber said...

Where is the official response to the nexus one issues? would think your blog would be a good place

Giuseppe said...

I NEED a nexus ONE!! to a review on brazil! !!!!



please please!!!!!

Bill Wood said...

Please implement for BlackBerry too! It has a location API.