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What is New with Google Ratings and Reviews?

Google ratings and reviews have been in a continual state of change and we wanted to give a quick update on the latest developments of Google Places and the Zagat app.

Recap of the Past Year for Google Ratings and Reviews

Last year, Google bought Zagat for $151 million. Then, it integrated Zagat by replacing the 5 star rating with Zagat’s 30 point scale. This summer, 80 million Google business listings and reviews rolled over into Google+ Local (with the end in sight for Google Places). Reviewers now had to have a Google+ account in order to create reviews.

The Latest Changes in Review Process

Google must have found problems in the way users were reviewing businesses with a 30 point scale, because it changed the way reviews are made again!
Now when users review a restaurant they rate on three areas: food, decor, and service choosing from words/phrases like “poor-fair” and ‘excellent.

Google then brings back the 30 point scale by calculating a score from the words selected in the review. It has been guessed Google is going to do away with the traditional Zagat 30 point scale entirely.

Note that mobile and tablet reviews can only be made on the Zagat Android app. There is no review function when searching Google Places app by phone or tablet. Reviews made via desktop require a Google+ account.

Display of Reviews

Confusingly, the reviewer’s pre-calculated Zagat score is not displayed on the actual review. Instead, Google is showing the word ratings chosen by the reviewer.

New Android Zagat App

Last month Google released it’s own Zagat app. According to the Google Play description, the app is optimized for tablets, and allows users to reserve tables and create reviews that could be published. The search function has 100 filters to browse about 30,000 restaurants in major cities with. Of course, you must have a Google+ account to use the app.

Nonexistent iOS Zagat App

After buying Zagat, Google discontinued the Zagat-created app but hasn’t created one for iPhones/iPad yet. Things have gotten ugly between the two tech giants after the Google Maps breakup. We can be optimistic though, and hope now that the Android Zagat app has been released, a iOS app will soon follow.

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