Thursday, March 03, 2005

Restaurant reviews in Google Local

Gary Price posts about recent improvements to Google Local:
    Let's say you're searching for restaurants located in the Zip Code 60611 (Chicago). The first entry is for Eli's the Place for Steak on Chicago Avenue.

    When you click on the listing link, you'll now find a page with additional information (links to menus, hours of operation, payment info, etc.) automatically extracted from open web sources like,, and Frommers. Below this info, you'll find reviews of the Eli's extracted from various web sites.
John Battelle adds:
    Unlike Yahoo, which allows for users to submit reviews at the point of search, Google crawls the web for reviews which are already extant, then rolls them into its results. Users cannot add their own reviews on the spot.

    This is an important distinction, and yet another declaration of how Google differs from its competitors.
I love this idea of spidering reviews from the web. By building specialized indexes of product, movie, restaurant, and other reviews, Google is essentially building a reviews search engine.

Objective, trustworthy, high quality information about products and services would be of enormous values to consumers.

See also the official announcement by Thai Tran and Bret Taylor on the Google Blog.

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