Clickz News reports of Google’s new experimental service offering 411-type information by calling 1-800-GOOG-411. This service is free and intermittent at the moment, but shows Google’s growing effort to penetrate offline media.
Google’s also been up to a variety of other things, such as buying ads on radio stations and of course, their acquisition of YouTube. Google’s local search offerings continue to get beefier, and now many searches will include local listings with maps and business listings before the #1 regular organic rank. As Google continues to improve this offering, it finally gives local businesses the opportunity to get prominent real estate on expensive search terms and validate their services with a physical address.
While Google obviously has some financial motivations for exploring these new topics, I think they’re solid service offerings that will make the web more usable for all of us.