Google integrates Zagat reviews, user recommendations into mobile search
Google (NASDAQ:GOOG) introduced Google+ Local, a recommendation engine enabling consumers to discover and share local information based on social networking insights and Zagat reviews.
Google+ Local lets users discover and share information based on social networking insights and Zagat reviews.
Google+ Local is integrated into the company's mobile, search and maps products and is available as a new tab in its Google+ social platform, promising a unified experience across the Google ecosystem. Users can search for specific destinations or browse nearby sites according to mood; clicking on a location transports the user to a Google+ page including photos, Zagat scores and summaries, reviews from friends and business information like address and hours of operation. Users can access the same information via Google Search or Maps.
All retailers and restaurants featured on Google+ Local are scored based on Zagat's 30-point scale, which rates businesses on a variety of metrics like food quality, décor, service and pricing. Friends' reviews are also integrated into each location's aggregate score.
"If you search for ‘tacos' on Google+ Local, your results might include a friend's rave review of the Baja-style taco stand in your neighborhood," explains Google Director of Product Management Avni Shah. "And if you're searching on Google or Google Maps for a great place to buy a gift for that same friend, your results might include a review from her about a boutique she shops at all the time."
For now, mobile access to Google+ Local is limited to devices running Google's own Android operating system, although the service will expand to Apple's (NASDAQ:AAPL) iOS in the near future.
Google acquired Zagat in September 2011. Founded in 1979 by Tim and Nina Zagat as a means to collect diners' recommendations of New York City restaurants, the Zagat brand encompasses guides spanning more than 100 cities and millions of user ratings, expanding beyond the restaurant vertical to embrace hotels, nightlife, shopping and related categories.
- read this Google Official Blog entry
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