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Google adds Near Me Now functionality to its mobile homepage

Google isn’t going to let a little failed purchase of Yelp get in the way of its expansion into local mobile advertising. The search giant today added “Near Me Now” fuctionality to the iPhone.

And while results may not be thorough today, Google is providing plenty of incentive to small businesses to sign up with Google local and help the search engine achieve the kind of dominance in local that it has mastered online.

Google is going after Yelp’s business whether Yelp comes along or not

For many startups, a purchase bid from Google may seem like an offer they can’t refuse. But Yelp has done just that. The search giant was in talks to purchase the local ratings site, but Yelp founder Jeremy Stoppleman walked away from talks this weekend.

TechCrunch reports that Yelp turned down an offer of half a billion dollars from the search giant and speculates that it got another bid or partnership that made selling less than necessary.

Hopefully the recommendation site has some good tricks up its sleeve, because Google’s recent moves show that the company is serious about local. And while standing athwart Google yelling “Stop!” may seem a noble cause, many companies have crashed and burned with this strategy before Yelp came along.