The Internet has revolutionized the way we live in countless ways. We are able to access news as it's happening, email friends and relatives all over the world, and purchase anything from cars to vacation packages with a few clicks of the mouse.
What's ironic is that we frequently neglect to use this amazing resource when it comes to finding things in our local area. That's where GoogleTM, the world's leading search engine, comes in. Google has produced a search tool, called Google Local, which you can use to locate anything from an Italian restaurant or golf course to a dentist or CPA, all within a few miles of your home!
To access Google Local, you may go there directly (www.local.google.com) or you can click on the "Local" link at the top of the page at www.google.com. Once there, specify what you are looking for and in which location. You can even select the search radius you prefer, at increments of 1 mile, 5 miles, 15 miles, or 45 miles.
One of the many benefits of this tool is that you receive a map with the locations of your search results available for viewing. Click on a map marker, and you can obtain driving directions right away. In addition to the item's address, phone number, and map, Google also provides relevant links and color-coded online reviews when they are available. (Red reviews are negative, green are positive, and yellow is neutral.)
Google Local is available free to local businesses, as opposed to yellow pages in the phone book which are updated annually and charge a fee. Next time you are searching for a local resource, give Google Local a try. You might be surprised to learn what is in your own backyard!