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Google shows local movie times

new feature or old?

5:18 pm on Feb 23, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I don't recall seeing this before, Google knows my local zip code, knows I am asking about a movie currently in theaters and shows where and when at the top of the results:


Has this feature been around and I am just the last to know?

It also has a handy review feature?!

When did all that happen...

1:56 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Google has started displaying film reviews and local show times above the organic results on movie-related searches. For marketers, the feature is both exciting and alarming.

Google execs believe the feature will ultimately result in more keyword bidding from entertainment marketers. These advertisers, it said, have been historically reticent to engage in much search marketing.

"We'll expect more traffic flow overall in movie names," said Marissa Mayer, Google's director of consumer Web products. She said increased inventory will increase bidding. "We're basically creating a new market for AdWords."

ClickZ Article 2/23 [clickz.com]

While he describes it as "a noble effort, and perhaps the start of something very interesting," Schafer worries Google is marring its famous simplicity with clutter on the results page.
6:10 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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I was just coming over here to post about this one. I find the whole movie implementation really impressive.

Not sure that Google has yet figured out how to let the public know about its many features, though, including this one. Somewhere, I remember I could search airport codes and do calculations and check FedEx shipments, but after a while it all blurs.

Anyway, if you enter...

movie: movies

...in the search box, you'll be prompted for your location if Google doesn't have it. At that point, you get the cleanest local movie search I've seen anywhere... beats the Sunday pink section all to hell... with a star rating system, links to reviews, maps, and an option to sort by theatres.

They scope out my metro area extremely well, though an option to widen or narrow it geographically would be very useful, albeit probably resource intensive.

I also tried some cast, credit, and story searches of old movies, and the results were surprisingly good... and in fact could be bypassing IMDb, though I see they do have an IMDb link.

I would think a next step for Google would be a local TV schedule. I don't watch TV much, and often don't have a schedule handy. Current online schedules, like local newspapers and TV Guide, are unbelievably slow. If Google can return TV scheds with anything like the speed of the movie schedules, it's going to have another local winner.

What's not clear is whether people looking for schedule info are in a mode to search for anything else... movie or TV reviews maybe, but I'm not sure about popcorn ads or whatever.

10:38 am on Feb 24, 2005 (gmt 0)

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Apparently they blogged about the new feature today too [google.com].
Just in time for the Oscars, we've created a new "movie:" operator that enables you to find movie-related information faster and more easily, whether you're looking for titles or actors, director or genre, famous lines or obscure plot details.

Seems like I discovered it just as it came out... neat!


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