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GOOG-411 (or Google Voice Local Search) is a telephone service from Google that allows users to make a business search in any U.S. or Canadian city by calling a toll-free telephone number. Released by Google Labs in September 2007, the service uses speech recognition technology to connect users to their desired business. Users who call the toll-free telephone numbers 1-800-466-4411 or 1-877-466-4411 (1-800-GOOG-411, 1-877-GOOG-411) or the local number 1-425-296-4774 are told that the call is being recorded to improve results, and then asked to say the city and state of the sought business. Although Google’s FAQ states that users may prevent their phone number from being saved by blocking their caller-ID, this is ineffective when calling the 800 number and only works when calling the other two.
Users may then search for the business by name or category, which generates a list of up to eight businesses matching the search. Users may then select a business on the list by speaking or pressing the number that corresponds to the business. 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 user prefers. This works in a similar manner to predictive text input on a cellular phone.
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.