According to Local SEO expert Mike Blumenthal, Google is quietly adding a new feature to the places page that will show current events for specific venues; like theaters, concert halls, museums, and more. For these venue owners, it allows another useful step in optimizing the local page, providing more specific information and search terms. And for the searcher, this new places addition provides a more social experience to their search. Starting in major cities, this feature will allow searchers to find their venue, add the date of the concert, opening, gala, etc. directly to their Google Calendar. From there, users can then notify and invite friends about the event.
Though this isn’t a mind-blowing update, it does represent another step in the direction of Google closing the gap between the search and the social. Less than one month ago, Google unveiled the +1 feature, citing that relevance (one half of the goal of their elusive algorithm) is about as much about the relationships as the content on web pages. This +1 feature appears next to results on the SERP, and searchers only need click once on the tiny tab to give their virtual thumbs up that the result is relevant and worth checking out. These kudos will start to show up to other people searching for the same thing. The idea is that you’ll see your friends, family, and those with opinions you generally respect (those with Google accounts anyway) pop up next to the result you’re searching for, and their approval will inspire you to check it out.
Also this month, and perhaps a bit more mind-blowing is Google’s take on the take-on of social consumerism, a la Groupon and Living Social. About a week ago, Google began a preliminary release of Google offers in a few select cities, promising future bargains of 50% off or more from local vendors, restaurants. These offers will be distributed by email as well. Given the success Groupon has had from a networking perspective with its daily deals, it’s no surprise Google has found its own style and flair for its own daily deals. While Google may not have been the first to come up with any of these concepts, it’s constant overhaul of “what’s working