Google announced today on their Mobile Blog that they’ve expanded their 1-800-GOOG-411 service to cover all of Canada. Canadians can now find business listings by dialing 1-800-GOOG-411 from any phone for free. Apparently the delay was thanks to our unusual dialect.
At Google, we work hard to tailor products to specific markets and regions. We believe that accounting for the unique characteristics of each country can make the difference between an OK service and a great one. Although English is spoken in both the US and Canada, there are enough differences between the way it’s spoken in the two countries that we engineered GOOG-411 especially for Canadian English. We incorporated some Canadianisms such as “eh,” “Traw-na,” “Cal-gry,” and, of course, “aboot.” We also took into account geographical differences. Whereas users in the US are prompted for “city and state,” Canadians are asked for your “city and province.”
After making a couple test calls, it’s clear that 1-800-GOOG-411 performs best when you know the name of the business you’re after. For example, instead of memorizing or making a note of the digits of your favorite restaurant, you can call 1-800-GOOG-411 and connect directly to make a reservation. Very handy.
The service is still experimental but offers all the same features available in the US, such as free call, free connection, SMS info, and iPhone “Map-It” integration. Suddenly being listed in Google’s local search results just became that much more important.
photo credit: W4W Toronto