Google has been focusing heavily on mobile and local search recently and released two features today which help further its prominence in these arenas.
Google added new “shortcuts” (see image below) to commonly searched local categories e.g. restaurants, bars, coffee shops, on the mobile Google homepage. Selecting these icons will send the visitor to a results page which displays a map with markers of the users current location and nearby places.
Users will be able to scroll through the results while the map remains constant at the top of the page and will adjust to the listing being viewed. Other Places directories, like ATMs, fast food, and gas stations, can also be searched locally.
Another feature introduced today is a way for users to build longer, more complicated (specific) searches. Users can essentially now add suggested phrases to the search box and “build” the best search piece by piece. This feature is currently available on the Google Search app for Android and iOS devices and should soon be available from mobile browsers.