Google+ Local has recently been launched by Google. In short, it is a replacement to Google Places but a really good recommendation tool, probably even better than Foursquare recommendations mainly because it integrates the Google+ social network.
Google has partnered up with Zagat to introduce Google+ Local. Zagat is a very well known company which rates and provides reviews about interesting places around you, mainly restaurants, hotels, clubs, diners, etc. Google+ Local tab has already been added to your Google+ profile. Just sign into Google+, and click on the 7th tab, where it says Local with a superfix NEW.
You may have already seen the advertising of Google+ Local on Google’s homepage, as that’s how they are promoting the new G+ Local. The moment you sign into Google+ Local you will see a page displaying the Recommended places in your city. There are currently 5 major categorization of your favorite places such as Restaurants, Cafes, Bars, Hotels and Entertainment.
For each place there is an overall score which is dependent upon other factors. Take for example, you are searching for a nice 5 star hotel in a city to crash, just click on the most popular overall score and you will immediately see reviews from people you know on G+. The review is based on three important aspects seen in a hotel, the Quality, the Facilities and the Service which is called as Zagat’s 30 point scale. So all the scores will be out of 30.
You get to vote for each one of them and the overall score will be based on those individual votes you make. Apart from voting you also get to add a personal review. So you always get a quality recommendation…everytime! Your reviews will all be Public by default.
The Plus point here is you get recommendations from people you trust and are friends with, a feature which is seriously missing in a lot travel recommendation sites. There is also an option to book suites, what did you think Google Ads are for?
Google+ Local has also integrated Search and Maps and is available for all mobile devices too. See a hotel you want to drive to, just click on Directions and Google Maps will come to your rescue.
When writing a certain review you also have the opportunity to upload photos. All those photos will be Public by default so that they can be seen by your friends in extended circles and everyone else too.
Avni Shah, Director of Product Management at Google explains us in the official blog post:
You can also share your opinions and upload photos. These reviews and photos will help your friends when they’re checking out a place, and are also integrated into the aggregate score that other people see. The more you contribute, the more helpful Google+ Local will be for your friends, family and everyone else.
By time we will see more and more features be added to Google+ Local and making recommendations ro your favorite destinations easy and beautiful. Visit Google+ Local by following the link and experience it yourself.
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