Searching Google for '**' Shows Local Businesses for Some

While we now think of Google as the company that makes Android, that sells the nexus line of smartphones and creates all sorts of different products like Gmail and Google Docs, Search was their original product, and it continues to be the beating heart of Google's portfolio. Search has of course evolved over the years, with Google Now and soon the arrival of the Google Assistant, but at its core, it's still accessible via the web on both Desktop as well as Mobile, and it seems as though the service still has some surprises up its sleeves for users. Easter Eggs aren't uncommon throughout Google's history, and this latest one appears to actually be useful.

Over on Reddit, users are reporting that searching Google for '**' (sans quotes, naturally) brings up results of all the nearby businesses, restaurants, banks, gas stations and whatever else Google knows of near your current location. Not everyone appears to be able to get this to work, and if that's the case then Google will simply return an empty search, telling you that there are no results to display. However, for those that have gotten it to work, they say that it works on both Mobile as well as Desktop, giving you a quick way of finding out what's near you without having to jump through any hoops. It appears to be directly linked with whatever GPS location your device last reported to Google, and it won't be as accurate when on a computer, for obvious reasons.

Whether or not this search term works appears to be regional, as there are people in the United States that report it to work, and then others in countries such as the United Kingdom, Poland and India where it doesn't. This could suggest that this is a feature under testing as something that Google is still working on or something that wasn't supposed to become public knowledge. Either way, it seems to be worth a try, so go ahead and click the source link to run your own such search, and we'll share more on the matter should Google issue an official comment on the subject.

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Tom Dawson

Former Editor-in-Chief
For years now I've had a heavy interest in technology, growing up with 8-bit computers and gaming consoles has fed into an addiction to everything that beeps. Android saved me from the boredom of iOS years ago and I love watching the platform grow. As an avid reader and writer nothing pleases me more than to write about the exciting world of Android, Google and mobile technology as a whole.
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