Google+ got a new upgrade when it was announced that Zagat rating will be available on the Local tab search. The Zagat data will appear alongside images, reviews from users, addresses, operational hours and summary for restaurants and other attractions.
The new move by Google highlights the search engines attempts at moving in on Facebook’s customers. Google has tried to cut in on the social networking scene by launching its own product called Google+. Even though the Google social network was considered by many to be a well made product, users have not warmed to it and the company has not been able to grab significant users from its competitor. The latest addition of Zagat reviews to Google+ sounds to be meant for the companies to get into local search service.
According to Google, 20 percent of the searches taking place on its engine are related to information for locations close to the user. The number jumps to 40 percent for users using Google on a mobile. Google believes that local search is worth $140 billion per year and the company is pushing to grab a large share of that total.
The tech giant’s first attempt at improving its local search was a 500 million dollar acquisition deal for Yelp, an online restaurant review and rating provider. The deal did not go through and the two companies are now rivals with a lawsuit pending in courts related to Yelps accusation that Google favors its own sites in search results over others. Google eventually ended up purchasing Zagat for $151 million to compete against Yelp. Zagat used to charge a $25 annual subscription for access to their online service which has ratings for 35,000 restaurants located in 100 cities around the world. Google has given out these rating in its search results for free.