Google+ Local update makes it easier to post reviews

New rating system will contribute to scores for venues on Google+ Local searches. Plus, the reviews are social.

The new reviews interface on Google+.
The new reviews interface on Google+.

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 Google bought last year . 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.)

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