Less than two weeks after we learn that Marissa Mayer has been moved over to run Google’s geo/local efforts, the search engine she helped launch to global prominence is adding a location tab to the left-hand panel of its search results page on Google.com.
To this point, when users wanted to view or manipulate their location information on Google.com, they had to click “View customizations” on the results page.
To modify location info they would click “Change location” next to search results for Google Maps or Google Movie listings.
But this is quite unwieldy at a time when the emergence of Yelp, Foursquare and other applications have put a spotlight on locally relevant content online.
In the coming days, Google said it will roll out the new location tab in 40-plus languages to make it easier for users to manage their location data.
Users who are traveling or planning a trip may also want to type in a different location find info relevant for another area. Users may also set location down to a zip code or to wider areas.
The company tries to automatically detect the most useful location leveraging users’ computer IP addresses and the My Location feature in the Google toolbar. See this Web page for more info on how to use this feature.
This is not a new Web service, so Google is not changing anything about how it uses location information to improve search.
But it is a very obvious feature that could be a precursor for Mayer and Google’s plans to leverage geolocation services in a major way going forward.