Following our latest report on Google’s changes, todays news concerns the “Yelpification” of Google Places. Verified Google Places business owners can now reply to user reviews on their businesses’ Place page – which is a great opportunity for business owners to engage with their customers and promptly react to any negative issues. Yelp introduced a similar feature last year which was a hit with business owners who were now able to set the record straight and improve their offerings.
More Yelpification can be seen in the changes made to Google Maps for Android. Android users are now able to add the Places icon to their home screens for quick reference, and it now gives users quick access to important business information like opening hours, distance away, prices and menus. While Yelp is huge in the US, UK and Europe, it doen’t have much of an offering for us Aussies. These recent changes have the potential to give Australian businesses a powerful new edge online, and a better capacity to gauge customer sentiment than ever before.
Google’s Android mobile operating system is also enjoying unprecedented growth in the US market share, while demand for the Microsoft Windows mobile and the Blackberry wanes. Android phones have risen from dominating 2 percent of the market to 27 percent over the past year, second now only to Apple’s iPhone. It’s also been reported that Android sales have risen by over 300% in the UK this year. Go go Google!