Monday, February 05, 2007

Google Local Australia Live

Full Australian business listings and driving directions are now available at Google Maps Australia and Google Maps for Mobile.

Google has been steadily adding Australian support to Google maps over the last few months, including satellite imagery, local street maps, geocoding, and as recently as two weeks ago the the Australian domain of Google maps went live.

Google Maps Australia now joins Europe and the US in providing driving directions and local business listings (provided by Truelocal, a local listings provider from News Limited). Apparently this is part of the Google / News Limited deal from last year which saw Google Ads in MySpace.
It's a welcome addition to the Australian local search market that has for years been dominated by Sensis -- the online arm of the formerly government owned telephone monopoly Telstra. Sensis provides both White (personal) and Yellow (business) pages searches, as well as hosting Whereis, the incumbent Australian local mapping service.

Sensis' Whitepages and Yellowpages have always been pretty strong, but Whereis has been stuck somewhere in the Web 1.0 dark ages for a long time, so I expect the growth for Google will begin with maps and develop from there. The current user base for White/Yellow pages searches is still big and loyal enough that it will take some time for Google to start making an impact on local search. But Google's innovations in mobile local search and providing personalised local search should help it win over market share.


  1. Anonymous4:49 am GMT

    Hi Reto

    Unashamedly, I work for Sensis so I'm interested in your views re Google's innovations in mobile local search.

    If you've got a Telstra mobile (particularly Next G), I'd recommend you have a look at:
    - Whereis Mobile (especially our latest and greatest app Whereis Everyone)
    - Yellow Mobile
    - Sensis Mobile
    - Citysearch Mobile
    - Trading Post Mobile

    Just a few good examples of innovation at Sensis :)

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