Yelp haters, you may have finally found your digital savior.
Google, which bought restaurant-ratings guide Zagat last year, is integrating the service into Google+ Local, an offshoot of their social media service Google+, that will provide user reviews to refine local searches.
The new service will utilize Zagat’s “poor-to-perfect” 0-to-30 rating scale and seeks to create “pages for all known places,” including businesses and even locations like Yellowstone National Park.
Marissa Mayer, Google’s vice president for local search and maps, told the New York Times that 20 percent of searches were for local services, 40 percent of which used mobile phones. “Getting local search right is important,” Mayer said, “and to do that you need great reviews.” Google is also of course hoping to tap into the growing market for local online advertising, which is worth about $140 billion per year.
Google’s hoping Zagat’s meticulous rating system will prove more useful to young users than more successful alternatives. But the real help may come from the tech giant reordering some of your search results.
Video by Jim Festante.