Google strengthens its India story

By siliconindia   |   Monday, 20 August 2007, 07:00 Hrs
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Hyderabad: 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 by simply doing a search on

Google Local Business Centre is available at 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 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.

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."

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