Last month, just as the Indian Premier League season was kicking into high gear, Google India released a rather interesting television commercial. It features a couple moving into a new house, and the lady desperate to catch up on some live cricket. But with the television in their apartment not functional just yet, the man tries a rather unusual route. He searches for sweet shops (or halwais) near his new house, on his phone and upon finding one, places an order for 30 samosas, which he offers his neighbours, just so his wife can watch the match.
Google India’s experiment to reclaim local search
Its foray into hyperlocal delivery with Areo got everyone excited. Except, it had nothing to do with hyperlocal. Instead, it took first, albeit belated steps, to win local search in India
Google is trying to solve the local search problem differently—i.e., going where the searches are happening, in food and services
Areo is taking aim at the likes of Zomato, since Google will start favouring its own services in search results
Google is trying to onboard as many local businesses as possible in India through its My Business programme. It also brought in Google Flights last year, in a bid to crack the travel search segment
Google’s entry into local search is also expected to shake up the likes of Justdial and AskLaila, which have held fort in this space for over a decade