A while back, Google started bringing its Street View technology indoors under the name Google Business Photos. These images, however, were often hard to find and somewhat buried on Google’s local listings and Google Maps. Starting today, Google is bringing these images right to its search results pages by highlighting them on the business listings it now often displays in the right sidebar next to the regular search results.
To see the inside of these businesses, users simply have to click on the “see inside” image and they’ll be taken right to the indoor imagery on Google Maps. There is no special interface for this feature, so it does take you away from the search results page and you do have to click the back button if you want to exit the Street View interface.
Google is currently making this indoor imagery available to businesses that work with the company’s “trusted photographers” in U.S., Australia, New Zealand, France, Ireland, the Netherlands, Canada, and the UK. Business owners in other countries can always upload their own photos, of course, and those are also prominently displayed on the search results pages. They cannot, however, create these Street View-like walk-through experiences.
Google provides search and advertising services, which together aim to organize and monetize the world’s information. In addition to its dominant search engine, it offers a plethora of online tools and platforms including: Gmail, Maps, YouTube, and Google+, the company’s extension into the social space. Most of its Web-based products are free, funded by Google’s highly integrated online advertising platforms AdWords and AdSense. Google promotes the idea that advertising should be highly targeted and relevant to users thus providing...