Google+ is thought of most commonly as a social network, but it's also key to Google's efforts in local search.
In May, Google+ Local replaced the old Google Places pages. Searches for venues on Google Maps and inside Google+ bring up results bolstered by ratings from Zagat, which . The company also enabled to add reviews of their own.
But starting today, the reviews process is getting an overhaul.
Google's Megan Stevenson described the new process in a post on Google+.
"If you want to rate the food at a restaurant, or the quality of a mechanic, just choose 'poor - fair,' 'good,' 'very good,' or 'excellent'. Behind the scenes, we'll convert your ratings into numbers and factor them into the business' precise 30-point score that shows up in Google+, Search and Maps."
The new interface is sleek, quick and intuitive, offering users every encouragement to dash off a quick review of places they have been. And Google+ makes the reviews social -- any time you browse to a venue your friends have visited, their reviews will show up on the venue page.
It's a small change, but also one that illustrates the broader vision behind Google+ -- as a layer that links all Google products together.(Via TechCrunch.)