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Google Expands Places API with Zagat Reviews and Place Summaries

Google is adding new information about your business to its “developer map” – along with aggregated online reviews and ratings that basically summarize the opinion of your customers.

In a recent Google Enterprise blog post, Google Places API product manager Justin Chu announced the new Place Summaries, a feature that adds detailed review information about local businesses.

These summaries are designed to expand the Google Places API, a service that’s backed up by the same database as Google Maps and Google+ Local. Right now, the Google Places API already has over 80 million businesses and points of interest, and these listings are updated frequently through business owner verification and user-moderated contributions.

“Place Summaries are curated expert reviews and ratings, based on user feedback, that provide information about a location’s key attributes such as decor, quality and service,” wrote Chu. “So whether your customer is looking for a local Chinese restaurant or a national park, the Google Places API helps them make a quick, informed decision about where to go and what to do.”

If you’re a business owner – specifically, a restaurateur – you’re probably going to be interested in the fact that Zagat restaurant reviews will be added to your restaurant’s Place Summary. Zagat is a restaurant rating group also owned by Google.

(Check out: “Google Announces New Review and Recommendation Service”)

Peep the below screenshot to see how Place Summaries will look on the Google Places API:

Hmm. We’re not sure about this hipster East Village ramen joint known for its famously long waits. Are the pork buns really as succulent as advertised?

Anyway, that’s beside the point. The point is that with the expanded Google Places API, existing and potential customers can now see these summaries and aggregated restaurant reviews whenever they’re using a Google-Places-API-powered app on their smartphone, tablet, or computer (for example: WhatsApp, SCVNGR, or Zagat Android).

Giving an example, Chu said: “Car manufacturers can use the API to provide drivers (and car owners) with detailed reviews of local establishments directly in their in-car system.”

You – your business, your restaurant – can easily be one of these local establishments. That’s why we’re strongly encouraging you to actively monitor restaurant reviews – so that when customers say something about your business (that can affect your online reputation), you can listen closely and respond promptly.

You’re now on the map, after all. You might as well have a Place Summary that shines!

Chris Campbell

Chris is the CEO of ReviewTrackers. He has helped tens of thousands of businesses hear, manage, and respond to what their customers are saying online.

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