Google has announced a new feature for searchers interested in saving local businesses they encounter in search results. In the past, the search engine allowed users to get directions, view a business’ hours, contact info and even view a business’ recent Google+ posts. With the new update, searchers can click a star icon next to the business name to save it for future reference.
Any businesses that one bookmarks will be available when searching for directions in Google Maps under the “Your Places” tab. While the update has not yet rolled out for everyone, it will be available on both desktop and mobile search results.
Although it may seem like a rather small update, it could be very beneficial for local businesses in terms of brand awareness. For example, let’s say a user passes by a restaurant on their way home, decides to look it up on Google, finds it, and bookmarks it. Perhaps the user actually forgets about the restaurant for a while, but the next time he or she is searching for a restaurant in their area, the one that they bookmarked will display as a suggested result.
The update makes sense in the sense that it is in line with Google’s ultimate goal of understanding its users’ behavior and using that knowledge to deliver future information. It is yet yet another way that businesses engaging in local SEO can stay relevant in the minds of its audience. The bookmarking update also comes just a few weeks after Google announced that it would be retiring its old version of Maps. It seems the search engine is constantly looking for new ways to improve its overall user experience.