Google India today announced the launch of an India serving innovation platform, Google India Labs, and two new India facing products- Google Local Search and Google Local Business Centre. The announcement is further evidence of the global search giant’s commitment to providing locally relevant information and opportunities for its Indian users.
Google Local Search promises to be a useful tool for Indian users who are looking for locally relevant information on the web. With the launch of this product users will now be able to search for information on local businesses like restaurants, shops, and hotels .
Google Local Business Centre is available at www.google.co.in/local/add and will allow any business to add its information to Google Local for free. When users search on Google Local Search, the listed business information will be displayed. Local Business Centre already exists in other geographies and has provided owners with means to provide visibility to their businesses.
“Local Search and Local Business Centre will provide our users with better local business results by increasing the corpus and depth of business listings, and benefit local businesses by ensuring visibility on the Internet for free,” said Vinay Goel, Head of Products, Google India.
Google Labs™ is a technology playground for products that are in the process of development and require market feedback to improve. Launched under the sub domain labs.google.co.in This launch makes India one of the few countries to have a country-focused labs program. Globally, Google has 7 labs across US, China, Italy, France, Germany, the Netherlands, and Spain.
India labs will serve as a platform to showcase innovations that are particularly relevant to the Indian market and will also allow users to take a peek into Google’s future offerings. These products will come from Google offices across the globe, including the India R&D centre in Bangalore, but will specifically cater to the needs of Indian users. It will also give users a platform to provide valuable feedback to further improve the products. India Labs would initially showcase two India-centric products –
The Indic On-Screen Keyboard iGoogle Gadget™ will offer users the ability to type search queries in 14 Indic languages. These iGoogle™ gadgets will enable users to type in Indic languages by choosing letters from an on-screen keyboard using a mouse. Users would be able to add the gadget of their chosen language to their personalized iGoogle home page and use it to search for content in their language.
Google Indic Transliteration allows the user to type in Hindi using phonetically equivalent English text entered through an English keyboard. For instance, typing “Bharat” would give “Ã Â¤ÂÃ Â¤Â¾Ã Â¤Â°Ã Â¤Â¤” on the screen. Hindi transliteration was launched on the Blogger™ service earlier this year, and this labs service is a standalone offering of the same technology. Users can create Hindi content and use it in applications of their choice, such as mails, documents and so on. The product uses a machine learning based approach that can learn from corrections made by the users.
Speaking on the launch of Google India Labs, Dr. Prasad Ram, Head of Google R&D, India said, “Our vision for India’s 60th year of independence is to empower our Indian users by providing organized, easily accessible information and products which encourage the creation and consumption of locally relevant content. India Labs is one such effort that will enable users to test and provide valuable feedback on products that are most relevant to them.”
Google’s innovative search technologies connect millions of people around the world with information every day. Founded in 1998 by Stanford Ph.D. students Larry Page and Sergey Brin, Google today is a top web property in all major global markets. Google’s targeted advertising program provides businesses of all sizes with measurable results, while enhancing the overall web experience for users. Google is headquartered in Silicon Valley with offices throughout the Americas, Europe, and Asia. Google, Google News, Google Toolbar, and Blogger are trademarks of Google Inc. in the United States and/or other countries.