Is that local hotspot down the street that you want to look up in Google Maps considered a bar, or is it a tavern?
When looking in Google Maps for a restaurant specializing in steaks, what kinds of calculations might a search engine make regarding categories to help you find a good steakhouse when your query is [steak : city : state].
The way that a search engine classifies a business into a category may affect how it is listed in a local search, or in Google’s universal search interface, so a question like this is important. A Cafe that isn’t listed amongst Coffee Houses may not be shown to searchers looking for coffee houses, even though it might be exactly what the searcher wanted to find.
A new patent application from Google points to a method of recognizing, from user log files and user data, that categories which a business could be listed within may be synonyms, so that inclusion in one should mean inclusion in another.
This query refinement approach may improve search results by understanding that someone searching for a bar is also likely to be searching for a tavern. This approach may have broader implications that just for Google Maps