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Google Removes Some Reviews from Places

 8:51 am on Jul 24, 2011 (gmt 0)

Wall Street Journal reports Google removing Yelp!, TripAdvisor and other 3rd party reviews from Google Places pages --

Google Bows to Web Rivals
Internet Giant Removes Outside Customer Reviews From Search Results

Google Inc. has made changes to the way its search engine displays information about local businesses, a move that follows the disclosure of a U.S. antitrust investigation of its business practices.

The company said it removed snippets of customer reviews that were taken from other Web firms for its Google "Places" service, which has millions of pages for local businesses. Google's practices have drawn fire from some of those Web companies, and is believed to be among the issues the Federal Trade Commission is investigating.




 9:53 am on Jul 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

So we’ve added the call-to-action “Write a review” button to the top of the Place page to encourage you to tell us what you think about places you’ve visited, while at the same time ensuring that you get personalized recommendations in return when you’re signed in to your Google account.

Based on careful thought about the future direction of Place pages, and feedback we’ve heard over the past few months, review snippets from other web sources have now been removed from Place pages. Rating and review counts reflect only those that’ve been written by fellow Google users,

[google-latlong.blogspot.com...] posted by Avni Shah, Director of Product Management @ Google

Another step forward for Google to take ownership of the search real estate, from 3rd party's. They won't achieve density, IMO , so it will be interesting to see how this morph's in the future.


 6:20 pm on Jul 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

I think you're right --- Google won't get enough independent (unbiased) reviewers. The reviews will be the business owner and a few of his friends or employees writing positive reviews -- and competitors writing negative reviews.

Someone really needs to go after pure search while GOOG is going after everything else.

Then GOOG will have to rank for "reviews", "places", "social networking", "books", blogs, and everything else according the new search engine's algorithm.

I don't think any one company can dethrone Google in search -- but I'll say it again: a "distributed search engine", one made up of hundreds or thousands of people's databases of sites, (people like "webmasters"), who can edit categories of listings and pull all the data together under a single "engine" can.

...and of course it will need a centralized advertising system to monetize it.

Expect a standardized "Facebook Business Reviews" app and a push to get FB users to review stuff in a systematic way next.


 11:32 pm on Jul 26, 2011 (gmt 0)

Expect a standardized "Facebook Business Reviews" app and a push to get FB users to review stuff in a systematic way next.

I'm seeing several start ups trying variations on the theme, which involves Facebook. The problem is that reputation is open to manipulation and i guess Google is aware of this.

Google has to capture reputation information that has integrity, and in most cases this is down to a verifiable transactional relationship between a customer and a product. Google does not, and will not have density in transactions , Facebook is also open to manipulation , and siteowners are famous for it. Recently there was an article in the UK's Sunday Times that spoke of freelancers being offered $3 a review for a leading travel site, which Google was scraping data from anyway.

The bottom line is that Google wants to recruit business' into it's "Places" product as this is a highly lucrative electronic replacement for a digital, global YELP - in the US alone it was in the order of a US$30bn+ business . Publishing reviews that are negative and/or inaccurate damages reputation management. Indeed, one such major publisher has such a reputation for publishing false reviews that it may have damaged itself beyond repair. Google doesn't want to be part of that I'd say.

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