atom feed2 messages in Local Search: TOS question
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Marnen Laibow-KoserApr 5, 2009 12:46 pm 
Marnen Laibow-KoserApr 24, 2009 10:45 am 
Subject:Re: Local Search: TOS question
From:Marnen Laibow-Koser (
Date:Apr 24, 2009 10:45:21 am

I hate to bump this, but it would be nice to have some response...

Hi, Googlefolx (and others)!

I'm building an application that's a bit like Yelp.  Basically, users should have the capability to find businesses through Google Local Search and write reviews about them.  I have figured out how to do the technical side of this, but I want to make sure I don't break Google's TOS, so I have a few questions.

By the way, the TOS I am referring to is the copy at  If that's not the correct one for the Google AJAX Local Search, please let me know.

Now on to the questions.

1. I would like to display my Google search results along with links to pages in my application that provide more detail about the businesses retrieved in the search.  However, I don't want to break the prohibition on intermixing other content in §1.3(a)(iii) of the TOS.  At the moment, I have a two-column table that presents my links next to each Google search result while clearly separating the two visually -- sort of like this for each result:

+------------------------------+-----------------------------------+ | Joe's Pizzeria               | 2 reviews by MyApplication users. | | 123 Main Street              | Average rating 3/5.               | | [link to Google detail page] | Click here to write a review!     | +------------------------------+-----------------------------------+ | [and so on...]               | [and so on...]                    |

I believe that this is within the spirit of the TOS, but it's not great UI design.  Could I simply have

Joe's Pizzeria 123 Main Street [link to Google detail page] 2 reviews by MyApplication users -- click here to write a review!

[and so on...]

or would that be considered too much intermixing?

2.  Ideally, I hope to eventually offer my users a way to add businesses to the DB that are not listed on Google -- and it would be nice if they could come up in the searches at the same time as Google results (of course, I'd label the ones from my DB as non-Google results).  In fact, there was a post this past Friday on the Google Ajax APIs Blog
( ) that describes doing exactly this.  So far so good. Yet the TOS, in §1.3(a)(ii), specifically prohibits "intermixing Search Results from sources other than Google".

Now, given the post on Google's own blog, I assume Google does not consider to be breaking the TOS.  But before I implement similar functionality, I want to be sure that I'm not crossing the line here.  I would really appreciate some clarification.

I know this has been a long post, but I'm just not finding the answers I need in your TOS or elsewhere on your website.  Please help me out here.  Thanks!

Best, --MarnenLaibow-Koser mar...@marnen.org