Google Maps update improves local search

The latest Google Maps update offers new opportunities to improve local search marketing efforts, making it easier for users to get in touch with local businesses. According to VentureBeat, the new Maps iPhone application makes it easier to search for local company data, among other options. This is yet another successful advancement for Google Maps and local search opportunities.

Small businesses especially will benefit from the new application, as a quick-search category allows users to narrow their inquiries by popular categories and find companies based on their industries, such as restaurants or gas stations. However, this could take away from the usefulness of Yelp or Foursquare, but it would make users' searches more centralized.

Search Engine Land says that Facebook Graph Search is going to give Google, Yelp and other similar search platforms a run for their money, as it connects users to destinations based on popular reviews or mutual interests. But Google is still a more encompassing, traditional search engine. Facebook remains a social media site and Google remains a search engine, but integrating the two for better local search results may be a good idea for companies in the coming months.