Before Google Local ever starts thinking about integrating local business search results with Google AdWords and AdSense, they have got a lot of work to do.
That's if the experiences of Knight-Ridder Newspapers columnist Dawn Chmielewski are any guide.
She has been testing Google Local on her cell, and she's not impressed.
"It is unabashedly cool to see Google's interactivemaps and satellite pictures displayed on your cell phone," she writes. "But once the novelty wears off, Google Local has severe limitations."
Dawn searched for a sushi spot, but the results she obtained were 45 miles from her home.
She searched for a Wi-Fi hotspot, but Google Local returned results "near a distant college campus." Somehow, Google Local missed a Starbucks about a mile from her home.
Dawn also wished for turn-by-turn directions, but no go. She points out that you can get these directions on Garmin Mobile for $9.99 a month, as well as on the MapQuest Find Me service offered by GPS-enabled Sprint phones.
OK, so let us assume that Google decides to integrate Google Local with advertising. What we geeks call the "form factor"- i.e., the device or devices used - sound like it will be a real limitation.
"Being forced to hold the phone close enough to glance at the map, while pressing the number '3' to fetch instructions about the next turn, struck me as a circus act, not a practical tool," she writes.