Treat #7 – Who Has the Best Candy?

This is an entry in our HALLoween Blog series. Each week leading up to Halloween 2010 we will treat you with internet marketing topics that have a fun and spooky flare.

Google Places is Giving Us a New Way to Search

halloween candy
Photo credit: Juushika Redgrave

We all have an inside scoop on some of our favorite places. Trick or Treaters know which houses have the best candy and which neighborhoods are the best for trick or treating.

With sites like Yelp!, Foursquare, Gowalla, Tripadvisor, Google Places etc. we now have a way to leave our little tidbits of knowledge behind so that others can benefit from them too. Maybe not specifically for trick or treaters yet, but I won’t be surprised when they do.

Google announced yesterday that they are revving up their Place Search to organize the world’s information on locations.

Now establishments that have new information posted on review sites will get more attention with a large red pin point.

Why is this important?

This is important because Google is twisting your arm to encourage your customers to participate in these rating and review websites. People are using Local search and Places search more often, many from mobile browsers. We want to know what is nearby and we want to know what other people have to say about an establishment often, more than we want to know what the organization says about itself.

This search behavior benefits those with good reputations, service, food and it is bad news for people who are relying on smoke, mirrors and fancy advertisements to attract attention.

In the context of a neighborhood trick or treater – Google’s place search would be like knowing who is handing out the best candy (my 10 year old cousin says the best candy is Twix, by the way) and which ones are handing out pennies, apples, have run out of candy or are handing out their leftover Easter candy. Users trust other users like themselves for rating and reviews on businesses. What are people saying about your business online and what are kids saying about your Halloween candy?