The Google takeover started today in Google Places despite focus on Google Plus

Google Places Page Real Estate

More sheep

Calling us, the people, sheep sounds a lot worse than it really is, but that is, in essence, what Google is trying to do. Everything they are doing this year revolves around mobile, local, and social. Everything. Even the changes they are making to search and other products are in line with the desire to get us more connected through Google.

To add a review, you must be logged in with your Google account. To see personalized results on Google Places that show what your friends and family have said about a business, you must be logged into a Google account. To talk about it on Google+, check into it, or express yourself in any way about it, you must have your Google account up and running on whatever device you’re using.

Google has, for years, given away most of its services (search in particular) to any anonymous person. You didn’t need to be part of the Google club or have a Google pass to access Google products. That isn’t changing. Search remains the same, BUT they want us all to believe that we can have a much better experience if we are logged in.

This heads in that direction. Google wants us to do more than search on Google. They want us to be a part of Google. They want us to have accounts. They want us to make sure our friends and family have accounts. They want us to use Google Docs, Gmail, and every Google product by logging into a single Google account.

They want sheep. They want to tag us and herd us in a direction. Again, this sounds like some evil plan. It very well may be, but it’s unlikely that they have evil in their hearts while doing these things. The end result may bring us all together in a unified online world where we share and gain information pertinent to us and our current situations in real-time and with accurate results.

Then again, it may all just be an evil plot. Either way, the takeover has started. Expect more actions similar to this in the near future.

Thai Review

In the image above, you can see how the way Google distributes the real estate on the new Places layout. The green represents Google content. The pink represents 3rd party content (other than the ads, which we marked as Google content since they get paid for clicks on those). As you can see (or maybe it’s too small for you to see), there isn’t a lot of focus given to non-Google products.

Written by JD Rucker

+JD Rucker is Editor at Soshable, a Social Media Marketing Blog. He is a Christian, a husband, a father, and founder of both Judeo Christian Church and Dealer Authority. He drinks a lot of coffee, usually in the form of a 5-shot espresso over ice. Find him on Twitter, Facebook, and Pinterest.

Related posts


business online
July 22nd, 2011 at 10:57 am

Great post and loved reading it. Thanks for the share and got to know many valuable info.

Matt Chantry
July 22nd, 2011 at 4:32 pm

We spotted this yesterday​/blog/2011/07/google-kills​-95-of-your-hotel-reviews-​what-does-it-mean-for-seo/​ but the impact we’ve seen for our clients so far is negligible. Needs to be watched over the next few weeks though.

July 22nd, 2011 at 7:58 pm

Great insights on Google’s reasoning for removing the emphasis on review sites. Google Places is a powerful way for them to battle Facebook/Foursquare and other social networks in the location space.

I think an even more powerful way for them to improve quality and provide consistency is through social search, that is, showing search results from actual friends/people you care about. This would definitely trump reviews from strangers.

I work for social search startup Wajam, and we provide social search across platforms via the browser. We show results from your friends on Facebook, Twitter and very soon, Google+.

Our CEO Martin-Luc Archambault would be happy to chat with you about the future of social search and the search/social media consolidation. Feel free to reach out :)

Alain Wong | Community Manager | [email protected]

July 24th, 2011 at 1:45 pm

I’ve spent the last few weeks and months trying to improve our websites ranking. I’ve done this by requesting customer reviews from various respected sites on the web.

So, does this mean I’m better off getting my reviews on Google – Google Places etc and not other sites?


July 24th, 2011 at 3:07 pm

It is scary what info Google have at the moment, and what influence on businesses. Still, we have to adapt.


Name (required)

E-mail (required - never shown publicly)


Your Comment