Google wants to make it even easier for its users to pick a dinner spot. Yesterday the company announced that when searching for restaurants and bars within the Google app, results will now highlight “reviews from top critics and best-of lists from reputable publishers.”
As TechCrunch notes, this means that Google users won’t have to rely on amateur reviews, but will instead see a more curated selection of expert reviews. Google explains: “If you’re craving dim sum, but not sure which place is a top spot, a search for ‘chinese restaurant’ may bring up Michelin favorite RedFarm in the West Village. Looking further at the search result, you’ll see it also appears on more than 10 best-of lists, including Eater, CBS Local and Refinery29.”
Google has been accused in the past of burying review sites like Yelp and TripAdvisor from search results (Yelp CEO Jeremy Stoppelman has accused Google of trying to hurt its competitors), though it has claimed those instances are merely glitches. One study, conducted in 2014 by Yelp, found some instances in which those who searched for "a restaurant's name and the word 'Yelp,'" were shown content such as restaurant's Google+ page as the first result. It’s unclear how this latest Google search feature will affect Yelp.
The new feature — currently only available in the Google app for Android and iOS — is the latest tweak geared toward the food-obsessed. Last year, the tech company unveiled a feature that allows users to get info about hundreds of types of cheeses, such as taste, texture, and origin.
• Never Miss a “Must-Try” With Google Search [Google Blog]
• Google to Surface Critic Reviews and Best-Of List Inclusions for Bars and Restaurants [TechCrunch]
• All Google Coverage [E]