Google’s got a new plan to connect its search users to the local home services they’re looking for in their area, BuzzFeed reported yesterday (April 7).
Google didn’t confirm details of the new search feature product that will allegedly change the way Google uses its search to help consumers looking to find a local plumber, electrician, painter, or perhaps landscaper, but BuzzFeed cited unnamed sources “close to the company” who reportedly provided a few details about how the search service would work. The source indicated that Google will announce its plans at a conference this spring.
While it appears this new plan isn’t much different than what Google is doing now when consumers tap into Google to find services in their area, BuzzFeed reported that Google’s new search product would add a new format that’s more unique to the user’s location and would help the searchers actually connect with those service providers. But BuzzFeed wasn’t able to confirm just how that might be achieved. Google currently relies on a system that connects searches to services that are linked to specific ads.
If Google does in fact add this new search product, it would be similar to what Amazon is looking into with Amazon Home Services, which launched March 30. An early version of Amazon Home Services, which launched in 2014, offered services related to specific products that were sold on Amazon.com. The refurbished marketplace, however, is doing away with that caveat, offering a wide range of professional services to search from on its site.
The Amazon Home Services site lists a variety of categories that go beyond the products that Amazon sells — such as Home Improvement, Lawn & Garden, Automotive, Computer & Electronics, and Lessons. Additionally, a “More” category is in place to fulfill requirements like housecleaning or babysitting services. Amazon Home Services is available on a new section of its website where consumers will be able to hire local service providers, like plumbers, electricians and more — just like Google may be soon looking to offer.
When it launched last month, Amazon Home Services put itself in competition with Yelp, Angie’s List and search providers like Google. When Google’s potential local search for services product gets launched, that may tighten up the competition with Amazon even more.
The question is: How will Amazon fare in competing against a search giant when it comes to securing searches for local services?