Google shortcuts use personalization and rich content to build next-gen local discovery tool

Several weeks ago, without much fanfare, Google added new shortcut icons to its mobile app and website. They appear immediately under the search box to provide quick access to current weather, sports, entertainment and restaurant information.

These are essentially prepackaged queries, using a range of data behind the scenes, to replace typing with tapping. These shortcuts have quietly turned Google’s local search and discovery experience into a powerful competitor to Yelp.

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