Google To Provide Restaurant Reviews – The Beginning Of The End For Google Place Listings?
Google To Provide Restaurant Reviews – The Beginning Of The End For Google Place Listings?
  For those people whose business is search engine optimisation they constantly watch the results that Google shows. Go to any Page 1 of Google and chances are you will see three pay-per-click ads at the top and a few more along the right hand side. You will see keyword related URLs with either dot com, dot net or dot org. You will see results from LinkedIn, EzineArticles, MySpace, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube primarily amongst others. When a person does a search for a business or service at a location you will see seven 'Google Places' highlighted. Sometimes there will be pay-per-click ads above them. Since they changed how business ads display in Google Places, sites like Yelp, Yellowpages, review sites and other directory sites have been moved down below the seven Google Place listings. On mobile, these Place listings can appear differently and under a map of he area. Businesses claim and verify their Place listing and with reviews, citations, videos, photos and regular content within these listings, they can secure a high position when people do searches for keywords around them that include locations Google being 'Big Daddy' can dictate how searches display. Whilst one has to applaud this new way that businesses appear and are given preference over directory and review sites, a new development could change all of this in the future. In a recent eBook Google released they talk about consumers shopping habits and pointed out that the 'first moment of truth' was when a person is in a shop looking at products and thinks about what product to buy. Google then informed us that a new way of shopping is occurring which they phrase the 'zero moment or truth' and they tell us people now pre-shop or look at reviews of products before they go shopping and as they are shopping. People typically type in 'review of......' What is the significance of this? Google has announced the purchase of Zagat, a company that provides content or more specifically provides reviews of restaurants. Is this the start of other acquisitions of similar niche review websites? Mobile marketing is huge and will be the dominant way advertisers will advertise in the future. Everybody has a mobile phone and more and more people are looking at websites on their hand-held device. It is predicted that by mid 2012 more people will be looking at websites on their mobile phones rather than on PCs (yet most companies still do not have their websites adapted to display correctly on all mobile devices!) So, going back to Google's 'zero moment of truth', is the Google plan to exhibit the websites they own at the very top of local business searches, ahead of Google Place search results? Should Google be allowed take over review content sites like this because they have the power to place their review companies for each niche at the top of results? It will be interesting to see will there be similar acquisitions soon, then we will know if we are seeing the beginning of the end of Google Place listings.

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