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Google augments local business search features

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Mountain View, Calif.—Google is revamping how it displays local business information, introducing a new ad option as well as richer information offered via organic search.

Google Boost is a new paid search option for local businesses, priced from $100 a month. A Boost result will look like an organic result, but will link to a business’ website or its Google Places page.

Another new feature, Google's Place Search, provides richer organic search results about local businesses, including photos and links to reviews from such sites as Yelp.com. Both Boost and Place Search are expected to augment Google’s Tags feature introduced earlier this year, a paid feature which highlights local businesses on Google Maps.

Google estimates that about 20% of all queries on its search engine are for local businesses.

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