Google Embeds Store Interiors Inside Local Search Results

December 24, 2012 0

Mountain View, California — Attempting to help users find businesses tied to its popular products, thus, in an interesting update last week, search engine Google has embedded indoor photography for businesses from search results pages, allowing users to see if the ambiance of that downtown restaurant matches the online review. This way, users have a way of seeing what the inside of a business looks like.

As the service is growing rapidly, Google is making it even easier to take a virtual tour of business interiors without leaving home. Google Business Photos present 360-degree panoramas, allowing businesses who have been able to participate in this get the added bonus of letting users to scope out businesses without actually visiting.

Google initiated mixing indoor business Street Views in search results last week for those companies that have supplied the Google with panoramic interior imagery.

Google lets you see inside businesses now

Commenting on the latest move Google said in a Google+ post, “Ever wonder what the inside of a business looked like before visiting? Google Search just made it easier to find Google Business Photos–which allows users to virtually walk-through a business with Google Street View-Technology. Just click the “See Inside” image on Search to enter the business and walk around as if you were there.”

Google, originally initiated taking photos of store interiors back in 2010, then officially announced Google Business Photos last year. Now, the Web giant began posting the photos to its Web search results page, presenting them along with the business results that appear to the right of requested results.

According to Googles’ perception “Just as you can not judge a book by its cover, you can not always judge a business by its exterior,” Google said at the time. “Interior photographs are a great way to show potential customers what your business is really like. By enhancing your Place Page, business photos will help your business stand out above the competition and get discovered on Google. Millions of users will be able to visit your establishment from the comfort of their own homes, or preview it to help them decide on a visit. Best of all, it is free!”

You can see the new functionality in action here.

Google recommended that the Street View-like presentation would be handy for those who want to check out a restaurant’s ambiance before planning a date there or who want to preview the goods for sale at an antique store. Of course, the Place Page concept has changed a bit over time, with the newer Google+ Local interface.

“These interior business photos on Google Maps give you the feeling of being there, and the comfort of knowing what to expect when you arrive,” the company said in a blog post announcing the product.

Here is how the actual indoor Street Views look like:

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Google pitches the feature as an interactive way for business to attract new customers. But unlike Google Street View, in which camera-equipped cars roam the streets, but these 360-degree tours inside businesses and shops are not actually taken with Street View cameras.

In fact, they are panoramic photos taken by “Google Trusted Photographers,” who do photo shoots in the U.S., Australia, New Zealand, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada, and the U.K., then stitch the imagery together, and publish the virtual tours on Google Maps. Business owners in other countries can upload their own images, but they would not present the same Street View experience.

Apart from numerous nifty features, the new Maps app is compatible with the iPhone and iPod touch (4th gen) iOS 5.1 and higher, in more than 40 countries and 29 languages, including Chinese, Dutch, English, French, German, Italian, Japanese and Spanish. Please note that some of the features mentioned in this post are not available in all countries.

{iframe width=”620″ height=”390″ align=”top”}http://www.youtube.com/embed/kMWxBpM-MSA{/iframe}