(or Google Voice Local Search
) is a telephone service from Google
that allows users to make a business search in any U.S.
city by calling a toll-free telephone number
. Graduated from Google Labs
in September 2007
, the service uses speech recognition
technology to connect users to their desired business. Users that call 1-800-466-4411 are told that the call is being recorded to improve results, and then asked to say the city and state of the sought business. Users may then search for the business by name or category, which generates a list of businesses matching the search. Users may then select a business on the list by saying "number" followed by the number that corresponds to the business, or press the desired number on their phone. Once a business is selected, Google automatically connects the user to the business or sends an SMS
with the phone number. Alternatively, users can listen to the address and phone number by saying "details". U.S. users may narrow search results by zip code or street intersection.
Search can also be invoked by using the phone keys if the system misses the spoken query multiple times. This works in a similar manner to predictive text input on a cellular phone.
Because GOOG-411 is offered to the public free of charge and does not contain advertising, users have questioned the business model behind the service. Google has stated that the company originally implemented GOOG-411 to build a large phoneme
database from users' voice queries. This phoneme database, in turn, will allow Google engineers to refine and improve the speech recognition engine that Google uses to index audio content for searching.