Tuesday, May 22, 2007 at 5:40 PMPosted by Arnaud Sahuguet, Product Manager
In case you hadn't heard, our mission at Google is to organize the world's information and make it universally accessible and useful. The good thing about mission statements is that you can refer to them and decide where you need to go next. We've gotten a good start on our mission already... provided you have access to a computer with an internet connection, or a phone with SMS and some very nimble fingers.
But in order to start to reach some folks that don't have an internet connection and aren't SMS savvy, we started a new experimental service a few weeks ago. It's called Google Voice Local Search and can be accessed by calling 1-800-GOOG-411. Google Voice Local Search is a new way to access business information available in Google Maps. Just call our toll-free number, answer a few questions, and get to the information you need. If there's more than one answer, you can navigate among the results. Once you get to the result you like, you can either be connected (free of charge) directly to the number, ask for a text message with the number and address, or ask for more details. The text message even has a link to Google Maps so you can display it on your phone. At the moment this service is only available in English for US businesses.
User feedback will be critical in the development of this service, so we are looking forward to your comments and suggestions via email firstname.lastname@example.org or on our Google Voice Local Search groups page.