For Google’s next move forward, they focused their attention on location-based services. With the launch of the Google Places app on the iPhone, users can find every type of information they would want about the city they are in. Sounds kind of familiar, huh? Many see this as a low blow to the company Google previously wanted to acquire, Yelp.
Google Places hasn’t made any moves towards competing with Foursquare as of yet, but this could be another step in the process. In the mean time however, it has successfully compiled every detail anyone would want or need for location-based information. Best of all? What Yelp offered previously was user reviews and ratings on specific places, items, products, etc. Unfortunately for Yelp, all of these reviews have already been imported into Google Places. So although there are other services that Google has lifted information from, Yelp may see the biggest impact from this new service by far.
The difficulty some are having to show support to Google’s newest service, comes from its lack of willingness to provide traffic between other sources such as Yelp. So, even though they receive the information and traffic coming in, they are unlikely to provide this in return.
As the King of the Internet, Google strives to retain this title. Although it may want to control users on the Internet and social media itself, the launch of Google Places – and it’s frightening familiarity to services such as Yelp – may not have been the wisest choice.
Until we see what Google makes of this new service, we won’t know what the exact impact is. But as far as the future for Yelp, they may choose to take the path TripAdvisor previously did and block Google from accessing this specific information entirely. Google Places seems to be a mirror-image of Yelp. How far is too far?