In order to answer questions which have arisen about the Rich Snippets feature for Google Maps, Google has issued a new FAQ. Most of the questions which were brought up after the announcement regarding rich snippets have been answered here. 

Now, as an internet marketing company, this is important.  The FAQ covers a number of different areas. It mentions that call tracking numbers should not be used, and that only the real phone number for a business should be given. Users have the option of providing precise geo-coordinates, but failing to do so if they have the physical address will be deemed acceptable. They also want people to know that verifying your Places listing isn’t meant to be replaced by structured data. Instead, it should supplement your use of Places.  An SEO company will certainly have to modify strategies.

When dealing with Rich Snippets for local search, there are only two currently recognized micro-formats. Currently, support is only offered for the hCard and hReview formats. Although RDFa format support could be an option at some point in the future, for now, users need to stick to the two previously mentioned micro-format options. 

The big surprise for many people was in regards to how testimonials will be treated. The new features are going to mean that testimonials are going to be able to be used as reviews on the Places page for a business. This may have a very large impact going forward. 

Google Cars 

Google-Cars-300x224Google’s technology has helped to impact almost every aspect of our lives, and now Google is taking on the way we drive. In their constant efforts to innovate, the founders of Google have now taken on the automobile, and hope through their efforts that both emissions and accidents can be reduced dramatically. 

Google’s new cars have been in the news a lot recently, because they have essentially created a car that drives itself. The cars are automated, and have been driving all around California with a backup operator inside the cab.  The total logged distance in these cars, including navigating cities and the Pacific Coast Highway, is over 140,000 miles. 

How is this possible? Well, by utilizing the massive amount of information that can be processed by Google’s data centers, of course. The cars combine data taken from on board cameras, lasers, and radar, and combine it with map data to see hazards and navigate the road safely. 

The team which has helped develop this car includes Chris Urmson, Mike Montelmerlo, and Anthony Levandowski. All three men have had significant achievements in past DARPA Challenges regarding autonomous vehicles.

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