Google has expanded the ability to book or schedule appointments for some businesses through Reserve with Google, a service that allows users to book an appointment or reservation with nearby providers directly in the search engine. The icon that lets consumers book the appointment appears in the "3-pack" in search results.
The Reserve with Google feature allows people using Google Search, Maps, or the Reserve with Google website to book appointments with local businesses. Google introduced the tool with a focus on Spas and Gyms. It initially worked with a list of 12 scheduling apps. Then in April, Google added restaurant bookings.
The expansion of the feature was first spotted by Mike Blumenthal -- founder of the site Understanding Google My Business & Local Search -- who wrote that since launching the service last fall, Google has expanded with 36 partners, with 33 coming soon.
Today Google offers direct bookings from Bookatable, Dimmi, Mindbody, Peek, and a long list of other merchants and services. Ticketmaster, TripAdvisor, and Yelp are some of the businesses that will be added in the near future.
The icon appears in what Blumenthal calls the three-pack SERP (search engine results page). The three listings, which typically serve up below a map of the local area, are highlighted in the search results. The icon serves up in the information local listing box that provides information about the business such as the name, address, hours of operation, and more. Rather than a “call” icon, the searcher will see a “book” icon.
Blumenthal believes the industry will begin to see these types of “transaction capabilities directly in the main local search results” as more and different types of transactions become directly available in Google’s local search.