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Now Google Let Users Connect With Businesses Within Maps

Last year, Google enabled users in select countries to message businesses using "Business Profiles" on Google

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Google is rolling out a capability on Maps that would let users connect with business profiles in the nearby locations, helping them with the opportunity to ask questions while looking for things to do and places to go or shop.

“You’ll see your messages with the businesses you connect with via ‘Business Profiles’ in the side menu, within the Google Maps app on both, Android as well as iOS devices,” Aditya Tendulkar, Product Manager, Maps, Google wrote in a blog-post on Wednesday.

For this feature to work as intended, if local businesses were available to accept messages from users, they could install the search-engine giant’s “My Business App” and enable messages.

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Google to let users connect with businesses within Maps. (Representative image) Pixabay

“My Business App” is a free tool that helps small business owners reach more people online and connect with their customers through Google, to escalate the growth of their ventures — much like Facebook “Pages”.

“As long as a local business has enabled messages, you’ll be able to connect with them in a tap. Just look for the ‘message’ button on Business Profiles on Google Search and Maps,” Tendulkar added.

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Last year, Google enabled users in select countries to message businesses using “Business Profiles” on Google, allowing them to send messages to businesses without having to make a phone call.  (IANS)

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Googling ‘idiot’ Bringing up Donald Trump Pictures Drags Google in Trouble

The House committee had also questioned YouTube, Twitter and Facebook executives at separate hearings on bias in big tech

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Google CEO Sundar Pichai testifies at a House Judiciary Committee hearing "examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices" on Capitol Hill in Washington. VOA

US Democratic Congresswoman Zoe Lofgren, in an effort to understand how Google search algorithms work, asked its CEO Sundar Pichai why so many pictures of President Donald Trump appear when she does a Google search for “idiot”.

“Right now, if you Google the word ‘idiot’ under images, a picture of Donald Trump comes up. I just did that,” the California Democrat told Pichai during a House Judiciary Committee hearing on Tuesday here.

“How would that happen? How does search work so that would occur?” Lofgren asked Pichai, according to the Washington Post.

The Google CEO — who was at the hearing to address allegations of political bias in his company’s widely used search engine — said the results were based on billions of keywords ranked according to over 200 factors such as relevance, popularity, how others were using the search term, to determine how to best match a query with results.

“So it’s not some little man sitting behind the curtain figuring out what we’re going to show the user?” Lofgren asked. “It’s basically a compilation of what users are generating.”

Republicans have long accused Google of political bias, which the company has strongly denied.

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Why googling ‘idiot’ brings up Trump photos, Congresswoman asks Pichai. VOA

In August, Trump said in a tweet that a Google search for “Trump News” showed only reports from “Fake News Media.” He concluded it was “rigged” against him so “almost all stories and news was bad.”

House Republicans said they wanted to hold the hearing — entitled “Transparency & Accountability: Examining Google and its Data Collection, Use and Filtering Practices” — to make sure the search giant was being impartial.

“Americans put their trust in big tech companies to honour freedom of speech and champion open dialogue,” Republican House Judiciary Committee Chairman Bob Goodlatte of Virginia said in a statement before the hearing.

The House committee had also questioned YouTube, Twitter and Facebook executives at separate hearings on bias in big tech.

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In response to Republicans who complained about Google searches, Democratic Representative Ted Lieu said: “If you want positive search results, do positive things. If you don’t want negative search results, don’t do negative things.”

“And to some of my colleagues across the aisle, if you’re getting bad press articles and bad search results, don’t blame Google or Facebook or Twitter, consider blaming yourself.” (IANS)