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Ready, Set, Drink!

We might have to create a drinking game out of the number of time we mention Google Places in our Daily Gold Nuggets.

If you are keeping score this is going to be #5. Ready? Set? Drink!

According to Google's Mobile Blog, there are some nifty new features when they display local businesses through the SERP on a cell phone.

Although we've not been able to test the features on every type of phone, our initial results should be the same on all smartphones.

From your smart phone, do a Google search for "jewelry store."

On the mobile SERP you should see map. Right above the map there should be a button that says "Use my location." When you click that button you should get a pop-up notice asking permission to use your current location. Go ahead and allow that.

The SERP should redisplay with a message saying "Places near: {city, state}." You might see some ads in there, and below the ads you will see a list of the local jewelry stores to you.

Now look carefully at the screen. Right above the first listed business you might see another message saying "Show only businesses open now." The words "open now" are clickable, so click that.

If you're following along, you should now be on a special Google Places page. At the top in mouse-sized type you will see the message "Disclaimer: Places without known hours are not shown. Opening hours may be inaccurate or change without notice -- be especially careful around holidays."

Below the disclaimer you will see the stores listed in distance order, not physical distance, but time to destination. The listings also include a button to see a map, get directions really fast and even call the store.

This technology is very simple to use, and it seems so valuable. As we worked through writing this Nugget, the two local jewelers in our own town disappeared when we selected the "open now" option. The next closest jeweler is 3.1 miles from us. That's a shame since the closest jeweler is actually 53 meters away according to the Foursquare app on this same phone. The other jeweler is 1578 meters away.

In other words, neither local jeweler has claimed their Google Places account. Make sure you add your holiday hours to your Places account when you claim it.
AT: 11/25/2010 09:00:27 AM   LINK TO THIS GOLD NUGGET
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