Google debuts new search app for smartphones, impacts local search

If followers of the technology industry thought Apple had landed the first haymaker on Google's chin by ousting the popular Google Maps and instead replacing it with an internally developed Apple Maps on its recently launched iPhone 5, they might just be in for a 12-round fight between the two Silicon Valley giants.

Google recently debuted a new voice-activated search app for smartphones, including iOS 6 operating iPhones, that rivals Apple's own voice search app, Siri. Notable for local businesses is the impact the new Google app will have on local search, as searching on mobile devices has shown to often carry a more local intent than searching on a desktop.

In fact, in Google's release video of the app, a dad ready to take his family on vacation looks outside only to see smoke sputtering out of the car's hood. He then asks the Google app for a mechanic, to which the app replies that she had found "several listings for a mechanic within 10 miles." The video also shows the app displaying a map with Google markers placed on the locations for a mechanic. However, Siri will have a similar advantage because of the Yelp integration into iOS, meaning local listings will automatically appear when Siri is asked something.