Google has started testing a new feature this month that lets you book an appointment with a local service provider right from the search results.
Intuit’s small business marketing platform Demandforce is among the partners involved in the test. Here’s how it works.
On a Google search for a participating service provider, such as Cynthia Brattesani, DDS in the example below, an option to “Book an appointment” will appear in the knowledge panel, which is chiefly populated with the provider’s Google My Business information.
In this case, the booking partner is listed as Intuit. Once you select the type of appointment you want to book, the “Continue booking” option is activated.
Clicking to continue booking brings you to the service provider’s landing page — in this case, the request an appointment page the service provider has activated in their Intuit Local setup in Demandforce.
Once the form is submitted, the information passes into Demandforce with Google listed as the referrer.
Google has been testing several other third-party-powered features in knowledge panels and Google Maps, including making restaurant reservations through Open Table and getting Uber estimates. Also on the local front, at the end of July, Google began testing a new ad product in the San Francisco market for local home services that enables users to request quotes directly from Google-hosted listings pages.
Hat tip to Mike Blumenthal; Blumenthals.com has a screen grab of the Demandforce explainer of this new appointment booking feature, which has since been gated.
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