Google Inc. (NASDAQ: GOOG) is once again in the headlines this morning after it replaced its search interface, Google Places with a new one, Google+ Local. The new interface incorporates Zagat Scores Integration as well as references from your Google+.
About ten months ago, Google upgraded its Places page for easier access to information and reviews. However, that page is no more now. So, was it a worthy investment? Only Google knows. An obvious assumption is it wasn't, otherwise why the change within such a short period?
The idea behind Google Places was to aid users in finding directions and photos of places they would love to visit. All in all, it was the best at that time, but technological advancements are taking place on a daily basis. So how about a situation where, you not only get the direction and photos, but you actually get some recommendations from people you know.
This is where Google+ local comes in. It has been introduced to bring in the extra social touch for all your roaming activities. Avni Shah notes in his most recent blog on the matter that, "...the opinions of friends, family or other trusted sources are often the first we seek...".
In addition to these special features, the integration with Zagat Scores, which has a scale of 30, helps in ranking the various places according to the recommendations from your Google circles contacts.
From another point of view, this is also good for social media marketing. You can easily take the advantage of the contacts in your circles and Google+ to recommend various places for a few bucks. It's all about how smart you become when Google makes such a milestone in its technological and media advancement.
This comes in the wake of Apple, Facebook rumored partnership plans that will drive competition over and above the radar. Whether or not this is a response to recent developments between Apple and Facebook, the battle in the social media industry is only beginning.
Most businesses have identified Social Media as an effective tool for their marketing activities.