If you’ve searched on Google Search for restaurants and different places to eat, visit and so on… You may have noticed results that seemed quite like Yelp or Urban Spoon’s, you may have even seen reviews that certainly seem almost unprecedentedly the same? Is it Déjà vu?
Well, if you didn’t know by now, Google crawls the internet for information that it feels it’s relevant to your query search and as they try to give a prompt and idiot proof UI with an all-in-one stop shop with what you want, they may just have taken content like reviews, star ratings, photos and so forth from sites like Yelp.com or possibly even Zagat. As a user of Google you enjoyed having to just go to Google for these results and not have to go to site after site for reviews and details about the place you’re inquiring about but Yelp and others alike have complained and trying to make a point saying their losing [potential] users as Google provides the content on their site without making the end-user visit them.
Unfortunately I can understand the arguments that could possibly come from both sides of the tablet and both valid to each degree I am sure but as Google is a “Search” Engine, their whole existence is to offer results that a user wants, doesn’t really matter how or where it comes from… Right? Sites like Yelp completely disagree and I don’t completely believe that Google didn’t give text stating “More results from Yelp.com” with a link to the reviews and I think millions probably went to click that link and see more from said linked-review website. You really should be completely ecstatic that Google indexes and Archives your content as its free exposure and perhaps you’re not getting the direct-clicks you wanted, to me Google provided you a better chance for exposure as they could literally just go in the business as a review site as they have in the past started businesses to compete with those already existing to develop extremely popular products (Google Drive, Google Maps, Google Docs, Chrome, Google Ads, and you get the point…).
Oh, wait. Yelp pissed Google off so bad, they’re now in the Review business by buying one of the most prestige and well-known but also certainly trusted review magazine/website known none other than Zagat. Does the name sound slightly familiar? It should as most people will tell you “this place has a … with Zagat” or perhaps just going to certain restaurants and seeing them show off about how they’re proud they were rated so greatly in a Zagat Review, that reaches millions and in multiple languages if I recall correctly.
So what will Zagat offer to Google? Well, it will help prevent possible lawsuits from review sites like Yelp but already now Yelp complains that Zagat reviews coming before them or reviews maybe even coming directly from the review giant is going to hurt their exposure. I can only say, you better be careful what you wish for as Google will now stop scraping your site, linking to you and ultimately helping you out and now you’re in trouble cause they have Zagat and that is just a hub of rich and informative reviews you can certainly trust.
However, now you’ll notice on Google+ that a new feature called “Local” exists and it’s customized to allow G+ users to easily access restaurants that they may be interested in or a friend can easily link his/her review to their G+ page and now make this a social feature. In other words? Yelp and other parties alike who were trying to be ‘smart’… You messed up big and Google is out for blood and better see if the red cross is going to have enough blood or insist they have more blood banks, for this slow death you’re going to face.