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Google kills Yelp… story at 11
Google, the company that keeps on giving, has launched a new feature as part of their maps/local service. You can now write a review about a local business. They have offered links to other review sites in the past, but now you can offer up your own thoughts on the pizzeria down the block or when the dry cleaner shrunk your best nightie.
So will this hurt sites like Yelp? Yes and no. Yes to new sites that don't have the "cred" yet. No to Yelp because the Yelp community is a tightly-knit one. I am sure that at the smaller local review startups, there were some earthquakes today while at Yelp HQ, they were still playing foosball.
The reviews option works well from my limited testing this afternoon. I guess a question would be… how many people use Google maps to search for a needed business. I use the maps feature when I want to find something I already know I am going to. But it will be nice to get a quick view on thoughts on the places I am already going to.
Another thought – is this the first time that Google is allowing user-generated content on their main service offerings? Will users want to write reviews on Google? Currently there are too many clicks to even see that you can write a review. Will the casual user even know it's there? Too early to tell but it will be interesting to look at the numbers of written reviews over the first period.