Google fuels local search with Zagat reviews
New Google+ Local service also offers restaurant reviews of friends and maps
Computerworld - Google today unveiled a tool that promises to make it easier for people on the run to find the perfect restaurant.
Google+ Local is available as a tab in Google+ and can be integrated into Google search, and the Google Maps mobile app.
"Finding the best places to go is an essential part of our lives, as are the people and resources that help us make those decisions," wrote Avni Shah, director of Google's Product Management, in a blog post.
"In fact, the opinions of friends, family or other trusted sources are often the first we seek when looking for the perfect restaurant for date night or the cafe that makes the best latte ever," Shah added.
Google's move to integrate Zagat reviews into its social network has been expected since the Internet search firm bought the restaurant ratings publisher last September. Marissa Mayer, Google's vice president of local, maps and location services, said in a blog post at the time that "Zagat will be a cornerstone of our local offering."
"This is all part of the evolution of search being more than just finding things," said Zeus Kerravala, an analyst at ZK Research. "Today I search, I get a result, then I go to Zagat or Google+ to find reviews. Having them instantly available saves steps and time."
He added that the move not only boosts Google's search capabilities, it also gives the company a leg up in pulling in local advertising and in offering local deals.
"Search is definitely evolving to be more than just search. The integration of social information is a big differentiator," Kerravala said.
"I think it could create another wave of advertising growth for Google, particularly in mobile where they don't make much money. And it does create some urgency for Facebook to figure out how to make money off of mobile," he added.
When a user clicks on the Local tab in Google+ and searches for a restaurant, he or she will be taken to a Google+ page that shows the business's Zagat and Google+ friends' review, photos, it's address and phone number.
Shah also noted that Local has been integrated into the Google Maps app for Android and will be integrated into the iOS app, as well.
Sharon Gaudin covers the Internet and Web 2.0, emerging technologies, and desktop and laptop chips for Computerworld. Follow Sharon on Twitter at @sgaudin, or subscribe to Sharon's RSS feed . Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.
Read more about Web Apps in Computerworld's Web Apps Topic Center.
- Six Ways Your Small Business Can Save with Internet Phone Service Traditional phone systems present two main problems for businesses: limited features and high costs. As a result, small businesses are migrating to Internet...
- Face Time Anytime Real-time communications facilitates team collaboration from nearly anywhere in the world. With facts and figures you can use to justify an investment
- Now is the time to implement a video conference solution Video conferencing is getting a lot of buzz lately due to the recent cost decrease, making it tangible for many law firms. It's...
- Video drives engagement Achieving maximum results means building a solid platform and network infrastructure. As digital age unfolds, it's clear that the ability to communicate effectively...
- Cloud Knowledge Vault Learn how your organization can benefit from the scalability, flexibility, and performance that the cloud offers through the short videos and other resources...
- LIVE EVENT: 5/7, The End of Data Protection As We Know It. Introducing a Next Generation Data Protection Architecture. Traditional backup is going away, but where does this leave end-users? All Web Apps White Papers | Webcasts