GoogleÂ is making search more local and social by adding a Local tab to Google+ and also integrating information from your social networking friends plus Zagat restaurant and hotel reviews across Google Search, Google Maps and mobile.
Announcing the move in a blog post today, Google says a Local tab will be positioned on the left-side of Google+, enabling users to search for local places of interest and to view images, Zagat scores and summaries, plus feedback from people in your social networks.
The service is called Google+ Local.
The same local information, including addresses and operating hours of local establishments, would also appear in Google Maps and on Android devices, in addition to Google+ Local.
Integration with iOS devices is in the works, Google says.
Google’s initiative, which had to be in the works for an extended period, follows Bing’s integration of social networking feedback into its search results pages a couple of weeks ago.
Google+ Local apparently was being rolled out in the US and wasn’t visible to all users at the time of the Google announcement.
And, Zagat, acquired by Google in 2011, is very much part of the changes, Google says.
Whether you are using your Android device, conducting a Google search on the Web or browsing Google Maps, Zagat scores, using a 30-point rating system, were to be visible when gathering information about local restaurants.
Google also hopes the renewed emphasis on Local search and Zagat scores will spur users to write their own reviews.
That would enable Google to reduce its reliance on third-party reviews.
For example, if you use Google+ Local to search for the New York Marriott Marquis hotel, you’ll find hotel reviews from Google users and Zagat users, as well as links to user reviews on Oyster.com, qype.co.uk and igougo.com.
Some of the Zagat hotel reviews are 6 years old.