Google+ Local, Part 3

What Has Google Accomplished?

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a) Google Places is now Google+ Local or Google Local

b) Integration of Zagat Reviews

c) A new Local tab in Google + was added

d) Circles and Friend Reviews through G+ Filters

e) One easy to use and easy to manage platform across G+, Google Search, Maps and Mobile

What Is Gained?

New more comprehensive ratings: the integration of Google Places and Zagat has created a new rating format based on a thirty point system. It replaces the simplistic 5 Star + Review system with a more comprehensive one that is more detailed and specific. Now your Google+ page will allow you to quickly navigate through your Home page, Profile, Explore places, Favorite hangouts, Photos and Friends Circles as well as the new Google Local and Games. There will be the Zagat ratings displayed on all the listings and a “Just for you” button. You may also click on the tab at the far right of the listing’s name (shows the image of a pencil) to offer your own reviews. This is where Google+ invites you to publish your reviews and to interact with the people you are connected to. This model is in direct competition with Foursquare and Facebook “Check-Ins”.

Publish Your Reviews

Clicking on the ‘Write a review’ button (the pencil icon at the right) will pop up a text box that explains that with Google+ Local, all of your review photos are visible to: anyone who views your profile; anyone who searches for places if they’ve added you to their Google+ circles; and anyone who’s reviewed the places you’ve reviewed. So everything you review will be posted to the web.

When you click on the ‘Write a review’ button at the top of the page you will see a ‘Write a review’ box pop up. There is a ‘?’ icon for those who want more information about writing their review. At the top right of the box is a ‘Wrong labels?’ option that can be used if the business you are considering is listed under the wrong topic such as if you are reviewing a restaurant and a plumbers supply store pops up. Then you will see the various categories available for rating. Searches vary by vertical. That is to say each business will be rated according to the type of business they are. A restaurant or bar will have different ratings and reviews than a plumber, dentist or chiropractor. You will see ratings such as Food, Decor, Service, and Cost per person if you write a restaurant review or Quality, Appeal and Service if it’s to rate a photography business.

These show a 0-3 box to select and the ‘Cost per person’ is optional. They have a thirty point scaling system with five tiers that allows you to rate a business from 0-3.

26-30: Extraordinary to Perfection

21-25: Very Good to Excellent

16-20: Good to Very Good

11-15: Fair to Good

0-10: Poor to Fair

What Google will do, every time a business is rated, is to add all the points a business got (the rating is between 0 and 3), do the average and then multiply it by 10.

Below is a text box that allows the reviewer to leave a blurb. A description line showing the user name of the reviewer that states ‘Your review will be posted publicly on the web under…’ is below the text box. If there is not enough user ratings available on different aspects, an “Overall” score is used.

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