Google Local Search Dashboard

Dashboards By Example readers will recall the sneak peek of the new upcoming search engine, Microsoft Bing, and it’s use of a dashboard/scorecard to present reviews of certain local search results such as restaurants. See Microsoft Bing Scorecard.

In a similar vein, Google has rolled out today (June 1, 2009) a dashboard layout for its local search results. Thanks goes to the Dashboard Spy who sent me the screenshot with the early preview. The Google Local Business Center Dashboard is basically a “Search Analysis Dashboard”. It is for users of Google’s Local Business Center, a service that allows business owners to study how their search rankings are found across Google properties. They can use the dashboard to enhance their business listings in Google Maps search results and in other searches.

Here is the screenshot.

google local business center dashboard

Here is more info:

Just as Google Analytics provides Web site owners with information about visitors to their Web sites, the new dashboard provides business owners with information about how visitors came across their local listings.
“It helps businesses see how customers are finding them,” Maslan said, noting that the dashboard offers unprecedented access to search data across Google’s services, from GOOG-411 to Google Maps to Google Search.

For example, the dashboard shows when Web site visitors clicked on driving directions included with Local Business Center listings and where those visitors were coming from by ZIP code. Information of this sort can help businesses target ads to regions where known customers reside.

“The big eye-opener for some local businesses is going to be that more than 80% of online visitors start at search,” he said.

Google wants to extend online analytics to world of offline merchants, Maslan said. He compares the service to Google Trends, a similar effort to expose search data. And he notes that no personal data is included.

“We’ve done all the scrubbing to keep it free of any personally identifiable information,” he said.

Google Local Business Center listings are available to any merchant willing to go through Google’s verification processes. The listings are available in 36 countries, but the new dashboard is currently only available to businesses in the United States.

There is good coverage of this dashboard at http://gesterling.wordpress.com/2009/06/02/google-bows-lbc-dashboard/

Tags: Google Local Business Center Dashboard, Microsoft Bing Dashboard Scorecard

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