Google gets patent for integrating local contact information with search results.
Google has been awarded U.S. patent 7624101 for “Enhanced Search Results”. The enhancements are related to Google’s local search capabilities, including returning a result for a business that includes a phone number, address, and map. You’ve probably seen these search results at the top of a Google results page:
The patent describes a system that captures phone and address information from the target web site and displays it in the search results. A couple embodiments include accessing the domain name whois database to retrieve the information. In one embodiment, the whois record’s address and phone number may be used to verify the information on the target web site. In another, the whois record may be the sole source of address and phone number information.
The full patent image is not yet available, but the text is available here.