November 15, 2011 / by Jeff

Google Maps Turns the Screws on Yelp with My Places

google_hotpot_150x150.jpgGoogle took further steps against Yelp today, adding features to the My Places tab on Google Maps. Businesses you’ve rated with Google Places are now highlighted on your maps, displaying your rating and showing other personalized recommendations based on places you’ve already shared. The highlights are available on the desktop and Google Maps for Android.

These new features push forward Google’s efforts to be a one-stop-shop for mobile, location-based searches. From finding the restaurant to walking in the door, Google is building applications to compel smartphone users to use Google and only Google to find, shop and eat at local businesses.

*Google’s new Places recommendations take a bite out of Yelp googleplacemap.jpg

In July, Google Places made its move and started pushing Yelp around on Google search result pages for restaurants and businesses, which feed into Yelp’s core business. In September, the CEO of Yelp testified before the Senate that Google’s practices around local businesses are anti-competitive.

Chairman Eric Schmidt replied that Google has plenty of competition, including from Yelp, thanks to its partnership with Apple. Siri, the new AI voice assistant on the iPhone 4S, bypasses Google for searches for local businesses, going straight to Yelp results. Apple is also buying companies who compete with other aspects of Google’s local search business, including 3D mapping companies.

In the meantime, Google has acquired Zagat, publisher of restaurant reviews, in order to shore up the quality of its local business content. It has also seized control of the content of local business listings to ensure the quality of its search results.

Original Article By: Jon Mitchell

Posted By: Jeff Pulvino, Social Media Manager / Consultant located in Sacramento, CA

What Web services or app do you use to find stuff to do in your area? Are you a yelp fan?

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