Australia: Google and News Corp Partner to Launch Google Maps

Following the launch of Google Maps in Australia, people were left wondering when business listings would be added to the site. Wonder no more. Google has announced it is partnering with, a News Corp local search property, to get the required business data for Australia.

“We are putting our entire database of business, paid and unpaid, into the Google database,” News Digital Media operations chief Nick Leeder said. “We also provide Yahoo Local with data for their local search product but ideally we would like to see people use Truelocal.”

“Google’s launch introduces yet another cashed-up media player to the local search market and further highlights the increased level of risk that Telstra will face as search revenues migrate from print to online,” Macquarie Equities analyst Andrew Levy said. (…) The deal with News is understood to have been signed more than six months ago but Google was prepared to wait until it had its product right, people familiar with the project said.”

The Google blog provides some examples: “The next time you’re looking for an address, tiger meat pie in Sydney, cafes in Melbourne, or how to get to the beach, Google Maps can help you find the answer”

Finally, Lisa Barone over at Bruce Clay Inc. says that “local search engine optimization has just hit Australia in a really big way”

(Via Australian IT, The Google Blog, and the Bruce Clay Blog.)

What it means: I’m surprised it’s not Sensis (Telstra’s business directory division) that ended up providing data for this launch. Then again, maybe the major Google/Myspace ad deal (MySpace is owned by News Corp.) influenced the outcome. Or maybe they just did not want to do the deal with Google. We might never know.